Record-breaking crowds enjoyed slurping and sampling their way through a bounty of fresh BC Seafood
By Samantha McLeod
Everybody was a winner at the 10 day long 13th annual BC Seafood Festival, which just wrapped-up with a sold-out Signature Weekend at Vancouver Island’s Comox Valley.
But some won more than others.
“This year’s BC Seafood Festival offered up a record number of events, tours, seafood experiences, cooking demonstrations and competitions,” said John Watson, executive director of the Comox Valley Economic Development, the organization that collaborates with a wide range of seafood organizations and institutions to develop the expo and festival annually.
“We also had the largest international buyers’ delegation in the history of the event and dozens of deals have been set in motion,” he said.
Bobby Milheron, Executive Chef, West Restaurant, Vancouver, BC won the $5,000 top prize for BC Seafood Chef Challenge sponsored by Fortis BC and Garland Canada. Second place $1,000 went to Chris Andraza, Executive Chef, Fanny Bay Oyster Bar, Vancouver BC.
“It’s fantastic to see the ingenuity and great flavour-profiles brought together by this year’s competitors,” says Nathan Fong, emcee of the Chef Challenge and Executive Chef Producer of the 2019 BC Seafood Festival.
“BC seafood simply tastes better especially when our local chefs use their culinary talents to raise the bar in creating innovative seafood dishes. This year did not disappoint and we want to thank our sponsors for creating such an iconic competition to the west coast – and more importantly, helping to establish the first Junior Chef challenge for our talented young chefs!”
The festival also crowned, Eva Fillipioni, with the Junior Chef Competition and a $1,000 RESP contribution provided by Mindset Wealth.
Mike Osborne of the Harbour Oyster & Bar won the $2500 prize, the golden oyster statue, and a place to compete at PEI Shellfish Festival in the Raspberry Point International Oyster Shucking Championship.
Coming in second was Johnathan Merrill, of Salt & Earth Catering Co followed by Calvin Shiu, of Fanny Bay Oyster Bar
Chef Florencia Gomez Quinteros, Wildflower at Fairmont Whistler, won the sustainable seafood chowder battle. The runner-up was Chef Alex Lavroff, of Garden Bistro at O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars.
Damien Famelart of Fanny Bay Oysters, took home the $500 prize and bragging rights for Best Caesar in Town contest.