“My ultimate goal is to spend time with chefs and B.C. seafood and get inspired by everyone’s creativity and to get the guests excited about our beautiful seafood here in B.C.”
The BC Seafood Festival annually boasts an incredible array of seafood chefs and mixologists that light up the stage, participating in exciting dinner events, Demonstrations and fast-paced competitions.
This year is presenting chef Shelome Bouvette’s second year in a row at the B.C. Seafood Festival.
Chef Shelome Bouvette, co-owner and executive chef of Chicha Restaurant, is a member of the highly-regarded Les Dames Escoffier B.C. Chapter (Women Culinary and Hospitality Innovators and Leaders Association).
Bouvette trained under many of the city’s cutting edge chefs; Bin 942, Delilah’s, Allegro, Ballantine’s, to name a few, and was the first young female executive chef at Lolita’s South of the Border Mexican Cantina where she honed and developed her niche with her signature cuisine marrying modern West Coast and Latin cuisines. She fuels her passion by creating beautiful and colourful, fresh and flavourful, Peruvian classics
Chef Bouvette and her business partner chose the name Chicha for two reasons, first and foremost because it sounds fun and feminine, and secondly, compounded after imbibing a few of the Peruvian cocktail Chicha Morado, a popular drink made from purple corn, spices, pineapple, and citrus.
Chicha restaurant is a fun, casual restaurant that offers modern, creative small share-plates and innovative cocktails inspired by Peruvian ingredients and flavours. The ladies pride themselves on Chicha’s being a place where friends, lovers, family, and industry people go to enjoy an upbeat time, share many dishes, and be introduced to Chef Bouvette’s bold and colourful modern interpretation of Peruvian food.
Last year was a very special year for Shelome Bouvette to perform at the B.C. Seafood Festival because it was the year where the event celebrated both women chefs in the industry and BC shellfish.
“It was a really wonderful experience where I was able to spend time cooking with other female chefs with an abundance of beautiful local BC seafood.
“As a chef, it is rare that we are able to spend an extended period of time with other chefs as we are all usually caught up and busy in our own kitchens. So, for me, it was a special experience working in the same kitchen with some amazing female chefs, inspiring each other, sharing kitchen and restaurant stories, and having fun outside our own restaurants,” said Bouvette.
Chef Bouvette believes that being a chef is about creating inspiring and creative seasonal menus and carving out inspiring work environment, which will hopefully mould future kitchen leaders.
One of the many highlights for Chef Bouvette is being in a space where local chefs get to host out of town chefs and introducing them to the best seafood in the world.
Asked what her ultimate goal is for the B.C. Seafood Festival, chef Shelome Bouvette said, “My ultimate goal is to spend time with chefs and B.C. shellfish and get inspired by everyone’s creativity and to get the guests excited about our beautiful shellfish here in BC and bring back some of the inspiration and appreciation for our shellfish to the restaurant. We are very fortunate to have such amazing seafood.”
“My favourite moment is talking with the guests at the gala when they are excited to try something new and are excited about new flavours and new things they have tried. I am a chef and I love food and I love to share it!” exclaimed Bouvette when asked about her favourite thing to do at the festival.
At this year’s event Bouvette will be conducting a cooking class showcasing two dishes Dungeness Crab in a Causa – a dish in Peruvian cuisine made with potatoes and layered or topped with meat, vegetables, or seafood. As well as an innovative Halibut Ceviche.
For the Gala Dinner Series, the chef has created a mixed seafood ceviche with wild sockeye salmon as the star of the dish.