Chowder Chowdown?

by Lauren Mote

Tonight at the Vancouver Aquarium, bellies were filled.
Through the daunting correspondence, and play-by-play from VanFoodster Richard Wolak, and Refinery Client Relations Manager Lee-Anne Gordon, it seems I’ve correctly identified the winner(s) – both with the winning chowders, and the winning hearts.

First place:

Go Fish, Chef Matt and Chef Andrew Christie

Andrew has been cooking since he first was tall enough to stand on a chair and “help” make cookies. In 1997, he moved to Ottawa to study philosophy at the University of Ottawa, and it was in the cafeteria of the university’s residence that his passion grew into a career. After a short stint in Montreal, he moved to Stratford, Ontario, training at the Church Restaurant and Bijou Bistro, then moved to the Rimrock Resort’s Eden dining room in Banff for a year and a half.

Second place:

The Refinery, Executive Chef Michael Carter

Michael Carter was born and raised in Vancouver. He has been cooking professionally for over ten years. After graduating from the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, he honed his skills at some of Vancouver’s finest restaurants. Some highlights include stints at The Teahouse in Stanly Park, The Opus Hotel and The Hotel Vancouver. Before taking the post of executive chef at Sip and The Refinery, Michael was working with the Mark James Group.

Third place:

COAST Restaurant, Executive Chef Josh Wolfe

COAST Restaurant welcomed Josh Wolfe, a Toronto native, to its well established culinary team as Executive Chef in October 2007. Wolfe began his cooking career at Centro Grill and Wine Bar in Toronto. While completing his apprenticeship at Centro, Wolfe learned the speed and precision necessary to cater fine dinning to upwards of 300 guests. Promoted to Sous-Chef at Toronto’s The Fifth, Wolfe refined his cooking and honed his management skills. During his stay, The Fifth was honoured with the city’s most coveted award, Number One Restaurant by Toronto Life Magazine in April 2003. While Wolfe’s training is classical, his inspiration is contemporary and his style is fueled by both products and seasons.

Although Go Fish was the winner, I gotta say, without a doubt, Chef Carter at THE REFINERY was uber disappointed. Talk about blatant passion. He’s like me – a perfectionist to an extreme, quite competitive, and doesn’t enter a contest unless he wants the win bad enough. Come try his “award-winning” chowder at The Refinery. Congratulations to the Chefs at both Go Fish and Coast for an excellent display of chowder-ship.

About Lauren Mote

Lauren has been an intricate part of the food industry for many years. Whether it’s behind the bar, in the kitchen, tasting and learning about wine, or sitting with her laptop writing food stories and reviews at the local coffee house, it was clear at an early age that Lauren’s professional and personal life would be completely consumed by the joy and passion of edibles.
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