A Record-Breaking Seafood Loving Crowd Enjoyed a Bounty of Seafood at the BC Seafood Festival 2019!
The 13th annual BC Seafood Festival wrapped-up with the Signature Weekend celebration and competitions
June 20, 2019
Comox Valley, B.C., June 20, 2019 — Seafood lovers celebrated! The BC Seafood Festival held June 7 – 16th, wrapped up its most successful festival ever culminating with the Signature Weekend festivities, June 14 -16th. The 13th Annual BC Seafood Festival was a tremendous success celebrating all things seafood in the beautiful Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, BC.
This year’s BC Seafood Festival featured an endless variety of Comox Valley events, tours, seafood experiences, cooking demonstrations, cooking classes for all ages, and competitions that showcased the bounty of BC seafood for breakfast, lunch and dinner all prepared by celebrity BC celebrity chefs using the freshest seafood ingredients.
Congratulations goes to the BC Seafood Chef Challenge Presented by FortisBC and Garland Canada winner, Bobby Milheron, Executive Chef, West Restaurant, Vancouver, BC who won the $5,000 top prize and bragging rights during this action packed black box cooking competition during the Signature Weekend. Second place $1,500 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, Executive Chef Producer of the 2019 BC Seafood Festival. “BC seafood simply tastes better especially when local chefs use their culinary talents to raise the bar in creating innovative seafood dishes. 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!”
Celebration of the 13th Annual with 13 Competing Chefs: In honour of the 13th annual BC Seafood Festival this year, a total of 13 regional chefs competed in this year’s BC Seafood Festival Chef Challenge presented by FortisBC and Garland Canada!
- Sonam Pontsang, Executive Chef, 1410 World Bier House, Calgary, BC;
- Ricardo Valverde, Executive Chef, Ancora Waterfront Dining, West Vancouver, BC;
- Alex Lavoff, Executive Chef, Garden Bistro, O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars, Lake Country, BC;
- Derek Bendig, Executive Sous Chef, Chateau Fairmont Whistler, Whistler, BC;
- Eva Chin, Executive Sous Chef, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, Vancouver, BC;
- Chris Andraza, Executive Chef, Fanny Bay Oyster Bar and Restaurant, Vancouver, BC;
- Bobby Milheron, Executive Chef, West Restaurant, Vancouver, BC;
- Jesse Weimer, Chef, Locals Restaurant, Courtenay, BC;
- Tabitha Ramsey, Chef, Match Eatery and Public House, Courtenay, BC
- Kelly Stanley, Chef Chef, Semiahmoo Resort
- Aaron Rail, Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa, Courtenay, BC;
- Ryan Bissell, Director of Food & Beverage, Villa Eyrie Resort, Malahat, BC.
- Rob Schreier, Land and Sea Brewing Company, Comox, B.C.
What were some of the BC Seafood Festival highlights? Chef Quang Dang, 2018 BC Chef Challenge Winner returned as a judge in the BC Seafood Festival Chef Challenge and demonstrated best methods for cooking geoduck; Guinness Book of World Record holder Shucker Paddy offered up a sold out hands-on cooking class that featured his take on preparing and savouring the best BC oysters from the Comox Valley – the largest oyster producing region in Western Canada; and the Festival was delighted to the announce the First-Ever Junior Chef Competition winner Eva Filipponi, who won the Junior Chef Competition and a $1,000 RESP contribution presented by Mindset Wealth.
More winners from this year’s BC Seafood Festival include:
- Fanny Bay Oyster Shucking Contest
- 1st Mike Osborne, Harbour Oyster + Bar came first and 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;
- 2nd Johnathan Merrill, Salt & Earth Catering Co.;
- 3rd place – Calvin Shiu, Fanny Bay Oyster Bar
- Ocean Wise Chowder Challenge
- Winner: Chef Florencia Gomez Quinteros, Wildflower at The Chateau Fairmont Whistler, won this head-to-head sustainable seafood chowder battle!
- Runner-up: Chef Alex Lavroff, Garden Bistro at O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars
- Best Caesar in Town:
- Damien Famelart, Fanny Bay Oyster Bar, took home the $500 prize.
Celebrity regional chefs offered various demonstrations on the Coast Capital Savings Chef Stage throughout the Signature Weekend while ticket holders were able to graze through a variety of tasting stations. And, kudos to all those Dads and families that took in the sights and sounds of this year’s sold-out Signature Weekend to celebrate Father’s Day! A diverse mix of tasty seafood experiences were offered up along with a variety of land and sea tours of the beautiful Comox Valley.
The BC Seafood Festival held from June 7-16th, kicked off with the first-ever Dock Days, June 8-9th, followed by a week-long celebration of local events, dinners and tours throughout the Comox Valley region and the BC Seafood Expo leading up to the grand finale events held during the Signature Weekend, June 15 – 16th.
As June is BC Seafood Month, participating restaurants once again joined together for the BC Seafood on Your Plate highlighting favourite seafood experiences for diners. Top participating British Columbia restaurants showcased showcasing their favourite seafood dishes to celebrate BC’s bounty and compete for a $1,000 prize by earning the most votes. Many thanks to the participating BC Seafood on Your Plate restaurants listed here and congratulations to the People’s Choice Award winner, Ocean 7 Restaurant, Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa!
Funding support for the 2019 BC Seafood Festival was provided, in part, by the BC Government’s Buy BC Partnership Program; delivered by the investment Agriculture Foundation of BC with funding from the Government of British Columbia.
Signature Event Sponsors for this year’s festival included: Air Canada, Garland Canada, FortisBC, Buy BC, Sobeys and Coast Capital Savings, FFAF Cargo, Thrifty Foods and Ocean Wise along with industry and community partners:
The 14th Annual BC Seafood Festival will be held June 5 – 14th, 2020 in the beautiful Comox Valley, BC – plan on saving the date!
Join the conversation at #BCSeafoodFest.
What is the BC Seafood Festival?
What initially started as a one-day event has expanded to become the largest seafood festival in Western Canada – proudly hosted in the Comox Valley, Canada’s largest oyster producing region. The BC Seafood Festival draws some of the country’s best chefs while featuring gourmet dinners, hands-on cooking classes, wildlife & producer tours, family activities, cooking competitions and tastings over a 10-day period. This annual seafood extravaganza is a must-attend for seafood lovers who can sample, savour and slurp their way through festival favourites including oyster shucking competitions, a seafood chowder challenge, ceviche master class and an ultimate seafood boil filled with a bounty of seafood from the pristine waters of the Comox Valley.
About the Comox Valley
Located midway on the east coast of Vancouver Island, the Comox Valley is well known for its culinary bounty from the farms and sea to table. Rich with festivals and sporting events, stunning alpine to ocean resorts and spas, this region is a place of super natural beauty that offers lush culinary, cultural and outdoor experiences. It is comprised of the communities of Comox, Courtenay and surrounding rural areas in the Comox Valley Regional District. Visit www.discovercomoxvalley.com.