Chowder Chowdown Toronto

Who will be the Toronto Chowder Chowdown champion?

Join the movement for sustainable seafood at Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown

2020 Chowder Chef Competitors

Chef Andrew Wilson, Cluny Bistro and Boulangerie

Toronto native and Executive Chef of Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie, Andrew Wilson, is a celebrated young veteran to modern and fine dining restaurants. Chef Wilson's love for bright, bold flavours and approachable, fine fare has landed Cluny a number of accolades, awards and spots on best-of lists under his tutelage. Leveraging skills in a vast range of international cuisines, including French and French-colonial, Chef Wilson will no doubt continue to garner rave reviews for his fresh, modern fare.

Chef Abhishek Shetye, CN Tower, 360 Restaurant

Experienced Sous Chef with a demonstrated history of working in the hospitality industry. Skilled in Catering, Food Quality, and Culinary Management. Strong operations professional with a focus in Culinary Arts/Chef Training at the Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology, with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Management from A.K. Hafizka Institute of Hotel and Tourism Management.

Chef Joe Thottungal, Coconut Lagoon

Joe Thottungal is a Canadian chef and owner of the Coconut Lagoon restaurant in Ottawa. Born in the State of Kerala in South India, trained as a chef in Madras, Joe worked for several years in Mumbai and the Middle East before immigrating to Canada in 1998. For five years he worked in hotel kitchens in Toronto, Windsor and at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ottawa where he earned his Chef de Cuisine designation. When a longing to cook the food of his childhood became too forceful to ignore, Joe opened Coconut Lagoon. Five years later, in 2008, Joe was named Ottawa Chef of the Year by the Canadian Culinary Federation. In 2016, he won top prize at Ottawa Gold Medal Plates, followed by a silver medal at the 2017 Canadian Culinary Championships. Joe lives in Ottawa with his wife and three children.

Justin Borg, Distillery Events

Justin Borg’s love of food began in his earliest years. Born and raised in Oshawa, Ontario, his earliest memories of food are of spending time in the kitchen of his family home, watching his mother and grandmother cook. Today, most of his cooking is based on these memories of his childhood, and the earlier parts of his career.

Chef Laura Maxwell, Le Sélect Bistro

Chef Laura Maxwell is a George Brown College graduate and a Red Seal certified Chef. She is a winner of the Ontario Hostelry Institute’s Top 30 Under 30 Award for 2012. Laura began as an Entremetier Chef at Le Sélect Bistro, and worked her way through the ranks to Executive Chef. Laura’s menu focuses on locally sourced, naturally cultivated and sustainable ingredients while remaining true to the style of an authentic Parisian Bistro. Her 2018 Food Day Canada menu was chosen for a Gold Good Food Innovation Award. Laura is inspired by Toronto’s dynamic and diverse culinary scene, and the top Chefs she has been fortuitous enough to work with, both in Canada and abroad. When not leading her talented team at Le Sélect, she enjoys cycling, spending time with her husband, Chef Brent Maxwell, and their two giant kitties.

Chef Dawoon Chae, Luma

Growing up in Seoul, South Korea, Chef Dawoon Chae inherited a strong passion for food from his mother. Her freshly baked breads, homemade stocks and soup, and use of seasonal vegetables and fresh fish all inspired a young Dawoon to become a professional chef. When he was 21 years old, Dawoon made the move to Toronto to study culinary management at George Brown College. Following apprenticeships at George under Chef Lorenzo Loseto, and Scaramouche under Keith Froggett, he found a job as a cook at O&B Café Grill Bayview Village. After a brief stint at Vancouver’s renowned C Restaurant, where Chef Dawoon worked extensively with sustainable seafood, he returned to Toronto to take a Chef de Partie position at Marben. In 2011, Chef Dawoon took the next step into a leadership position at Simple Bistro. As Sous Chef, Dawoon expanded his knowledge of butchery and modern French technique. Now leading the kitchen at Luma, Chef Dawoon is excited to bring global flavours, fresh fish and seafood, and seasonal vegetables to the forefront of the menu.

Chef Kellen Crumb, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment

Chef Kellen Crumb is the Executive Sous Chef of the Scotiabank Arena. That is inclusive of three restaurants, The Platinum Club, The Hot Stove Club and The Scotia Club, and 23 concession stands offering made from scratch cooking for 19,000 fans every event. Chef Crumb’s culinary journey began at a young age as he grew up in a family that loved cooking and eating. After spending some time working in restaurants like Kelsey’s and The Book Shelf, Chef Crumb attended George Brown Chef School under the 2 year Culinary Management program. Chef Kellen was hired as an Apprentice by Celebrity Chef Brad Long to join Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment shortly after graduating. Chef Crumb worked and staged in many of the city’s top restaurants, honing his craft across his 13 years while still being a proud member of the MLSE Culinary Team. Kellen first took over the Hot Stove Club, before moving to take over and running the larger Scotia Club (formerly Air Canada Club), and then finally stepping up to oversee the multi-million dollar food & beverage operation at Scotiabank Arena.

Chef Doug Niegel, Mercatto

As a boy growing up in Muskoka, Doug Neigel always appreciated where his food came from. Exploring local maple syrup farms, fishing out the Muskoka River and local hunted and foraged products is where his connection to food began. It was those truly authentic experiences, in that small Northern Ontario town, that shaped and inspired his life’s work. Through his twenty-one years in the industry, Chef has won over critics hearts and gained many accolades including: Top 10 new restaurants from James Chatto, Top 10 new restaurants from Joanne Kates, Top 10 new restaurants from Toronto Life, Top 100 restaurants in Toronto from Joanne Kates, Best Italian restaurants in Toronto from Dine.To, Nine of dine award from Now Magazine, Pizza hall of fame from Toronto Life, Best lunch spot from Now Magazine, and Industry partner award from George Brown College. Humble, Doug credits the successes in his career to his focus on quality ingredients and partnering with the greatest of suppliers.

Chef Taylor Dow, Peninsula Ridge

Born and raised in Barrie, Taylor’s passion for cooking developed early on in his teen years. While working for a local catering company, he enrolled at Georgian College in the Culinary Management program. As a co-op student at Bigwin Island Golf Club, he quickly rose through the ranks to the position of Sous Chef. Since graduating, Taylor has gained extensive experience as a Private Chef working for a Senior Wealth Management Executive, as well as well-known celebrity Cindy Crawford. In 2016, Taylor travelled to Prince Edward Island to work under Chef Michael Smith at the Inn at Bay Fortune. During his time with Chef Smith, he gained insight and developed his passion for live fire cooking. Prior to Peninsula Ridge, Taylor held Executive Chef positions at The Strand and Bayview Wildwood Resort. He joined the Peninsula Ridge team as Sous Chef in May 2018, and took over as Executive Chef in August later that year. His culinary inspiration is drawn from Niagara’s plentiful bounty and close working relationships with local farmers. With Taylor’s drive, creativity and innovation, Peninsula Ridge has again earned a spot on Open Table’s Top 100 Diner’s Choice list.

Chef Jason Maw, Pier 87

Chef Jason Maw was born and raised in the suburbs of Toronto. While he may have been born here his parents were from South Africa, with ancestry originating from Canton province in China. He has spent his career trying to hone his craft taking in various styles and techniques. Learning French bistro cuisine from Bistro 990, incorporating international flavours from Boba, molecular gastronomy from Match events and catering and utilizing local and fresh seafood from Starfish Oysterbed and grill. Jason also has done a little traveling for his profession to broaden his prospective. Chef Jason has since decided to pursue a different path, by helping others. He helped start a small consulting company utilizing his years of food industry knowledge to aid others succeed. He also most recently has been teaching at Centennial college in a wide variety of courses, from baking to restaurant operations. Pier 87 is the most recent restaurant that chef Jason has been tasked to help develop.

Chef Aaron Linley, Pure Spirits Oyster House

Chef Aaron Linley dreamed of being a chef at 18, but attempted his first recipe long before that, at age 12 with Deep-Fried Fish from the television show, Wok With Yan. Born and raised in Stratford, Ontario, Linley headed to one of the best training grounds in Canada - Stratford Chefs School. His passion for “constant learning” and travel led him to Toronto’s famed Scaramouche, a stage at Oliveto restaurant in California, with Chef Paul Bertolli of Chez Panisse fame. After years of travel Linley felt the pull back to his hometown. “Seafood’s always been a big love of mine,” Linley says. So the title of executive chef for The Distillery Historic District’s Pure Spirits Oyster House & Grill is a natural fit.

Chef Anthony Law, Drake One Fifty

A graduate of George Brown's Culinary Management program, Law quickly found his way into the hospitality scene in 2008 as a culinary apprentice for C5 in the Royal Ontario Museum. A few years later [in 2011] he decided to travel abroad to London in search of further experience and hands-on learning. There, he was honored to work as Chef de Partie at David Moore's Pied-à-Terre as well as a tournaut for Marcus Wareing in the esteemed Berkely Hotel. Having spent years honing his skills in Michelin-starred restaurants, he eventually returned to Toronto in 2013 to join Drake One Fifty as a Jr. Sous Chef. It was here that he really came into his own, quickly moving into a Executive Sous Chef role and eventually Chef-de-Cuisine in 2017. The evolution of Drake One Fifty's contemporary concept has been a collaborative effort that Anthony leads with great care. He is dedicated to running an uplifting kitchen that embraces learning, teaching and a high bar of excellence, while being committed to sourcing local ingredients as well as sustainable farming practices.

Chef J.W. Foster, The Fairmont Royal York

As part of the Fairmont Family for over 15 years with time spent at the Peace Hotel in Shanghai, Fairmont Dallas, Fairmont San Francisco, and Fairmont Banff Springs, executive chef, J.W., brings a true taste of the world, his award-winning talent and highly-respected food philosophy to Canada’s icon, Fairmont Royal York. As the creative culinary director, Chef J.W. infuses imagination into the hotel’s six culinary concepts. Visitors and guests alike can experience a bold, modern and authentic essence in Chef and team’s menus while they honour the hotel’s rich food history and renowned service. Chef J.W. is a world-class and well-traveled Chef who holds an immense care for guests and elevating the culture of passionate culinary artists along the way.

2019 Chowder Chowdown Toronto Winners

Spoons were out, ladles were full of chowder and beer was flowing at the Fermenting Cellar on February 27th 2018, as 12 notable chefs from Ocean Wise seafood partner restaurants brought their best recipe to the table at the Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder Chowdown.

Chowder Champion:

Chef John Morris – 360 The Restaurant at CN Tower

Peoples Choice:

Chef Felicia de Rosa – The Chase

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Chowder Chowdown also takes place in VANCOUVER