Chef Paul Cecconi of Summerland’s Local Lounge-Grille claimed the title of Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder Chowdown Champion last week.
“I began practicing an ocean-friendly seafood philosophy as a chef at the Four Seasons Hotels in Vancouver and Sydney over a decade ago and at Local we’ve been an enthusiastic Ocean Wise partner since opening in 2009. Living and working by the lake really brings home the value of this,” said Cecconi.
The contest is sponsored Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program, a nationwide sustainable seafood initiative working with restaurants, markets and suppliers to help them sell seafood that has been harvested in a sustainable manner.
Cecconi’s winning chowder was a combination of smoked Ocean Wise Out Landish oysters with parsnips, squash and brown butter bread crumbs.
Cecconi holds an advanced Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) certificate, and mentors other young chefs in their culinary journey to achieve Red Seal certification.
Christa-Lee McWatters Bond, co-founder of the Local Lounge-Grille, said, “We’re thrilled that Paul has been honoured with another charity culinary award. His innovative use of parsnip puree rather than pure cream for the Smoked Oyster Chowder base and an “oyster bacon” garnish of smoked oysters in brioche bread crumbs gave his chowder a unique creamy, earthy flavour, which I think made it really stand out from the rest. We’re adding this delicious dish to our winter menu and I look forward to the customer feedback.”