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The 13th Annual BC Seafood Festival 2019 Chef Line Up Announced with More Competitions and Seafood Experiences than Ever Before!

Chefs and Mixologists will battle for top prizes and epic bragging rights during the #BCSeafoodfest Signature Weekend, June 14 - 16, 2019

May 6, 2019

For Immediate Release


Comox Valley, B.C., May 6, 2019 – Visitors to the 13th annual BC Seafood Festival Signature Weekend, June 14 – 16th in the Comox Valley, will experience more chef competitions and seafood demonstrations than ever before during Western Canada’s largest seafood celebration – perfect for foodies who love to sample, slurp and savour BC seafood & spirits, music lovers, and families who want to explore & learn about cooking and the benefits of eating seafood for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“We are incredibly excited about the chef lineup and seafood events featured at this year’s BC Seafood Festival,” says Nathan Fong, Executive Chef Producer for BC Seafood Festival 2019. “The festival competitions have grown in popularity and prizes, and this year more chefs than ever are interested in competing. We are anticipating fast-paced competition in the Chef Challenge once again, and we are excited about the new Junior Chef Competition featuring cooks from ages 8-12 years old.”

The 2019 BC Seafood Festival competitions, held during the Signature Weekend, June 14 – 16th, will feature a variety of celebrity chefs, mixologists and oyster shuckers as they compete their way to win prizes, including the coveted $5,000 top prize at the BC Seafood Festival Chef Challenge– back for its second year! Throughout the BC Seafood Festival, June 7 – 16th, chefs will also be participating in demonstrations, cooking events, tastings and competitions all showcasing the bounty of BC seafood.

Reach for BC Seafood – The 2019 BC Seafood Festival program highlights:

The Signature Weekend – June 14–16th – Back by popular demand! Tickets are now on sale for the Signature Weekend featuring new events and celebrations including celebrity chef demonstrations, award-winning shellfish and seafood tastings, interactive and educational displays along with the famous seafood competitions.

BC Seafood Festival Chef Challenge – Presented by FortisBC and Garland – June 15th and 16th – The ultimate seafood challenge using BC seafood ingredients featuring an exciting line-up of 12 chefs who will compete head-to-head in black-box heats to present unique BC seafood dishes to a group of discerning Judges. Featuring a top prize of $5,000 to the winning Chef and a second prize of $1,500 awarded by FortisBC.

New for 2019! Junior Chef Challenge – June 16th – It’s time for the next crop of aspiring chefs to test their culinary chops! Four young aspiring chefs (ages 8 to 12) will be selected and transform BC seafood ingredients into mouth-watering culinary creations. Just like in the big leagues, there’ll be a twist ingredient the junior chefs must incorporate into their dishes. And what’s a competition without a race against the clock? The junior chefs will have 45 short minutes to prepare a seafood masterpiece and win the judges over with their creativity, plate presentation and delicious flavours!

Chef Lineup for the 2019 BC Seafood Festival:

Local Comox Valley area participating chefs include: Ronald St. Pierre, Executive Chef and Owner, Locals Restaurant; Nigel McMeans, Executive Chef, Black Fin Pub; Andre Durbach, Executive Chef, Il Falcone Restaurant; Sloan Romano, Executive Chef, Atlas Café; Wes Erickson, Chef, Wild Pacific Halibut; Aaron Rail, Chef, Kingfisher Oceanside Resort.

Regional and Canadian participating chefs include:

  • Nathan Fong, Executive Chef Producer of the BC Seafood Festival; Fong on Food, Vancouver, BC;
  • Duncan Ly, Owner and Chef and Jinhee Lee, Executive Chef, Top Chef Finalist, and Hyungae Lim, Chef de Cuisine, Foreign Concepts, Calgary, AB;
  • Hamid Salimian, Culinary Team Canada Chef and Chef NextJen Gluten-Free, Vancouver, BC;
  • Shelome Bouvette, Owner and Executive Chef, Chicha Restaurant, Vancouver, BC;
  • Lee Cooper, Executive Chef and Owner, Coquille Fine Seafood and L’Abattoir, Vancouver, BC;
  • Chris Andraza, Executive Chef, Fanny Bay Oyster Bar and Restaurant, Vancouver, BC;
  • Ned Bell, Executive Chef, Ocean Wise, Vancouver, BC;
  • Ricardo Valverde, Executive Chef, Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio, Vancouver and West Vancouver, BC;
  • Jean-Francis Quaglia, Executive Chef and Founder, Provence Marinaside, Vancouver, BC;
  • Welbert Choi, Executive Chef, Forage, Vancouver, BC;
  • Eva Chin, Sous Chef, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar (Vancouver Restaurant Award Winner 2019), Vancouver, BC;
  • Bobby Milheron, Executive Chef, West Restaurant, Vancouver, BC;
  • Morgan Wilson, Executive Chef, Fairmount Empress Hotel, Victoria, BC;
  • Isabel Chung, Executive Chef, Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort, Whistler, BC;
  • Derek Bendig, Executive Sous Chef, Chateau Fairmont Whistler, Whistler, BC;
  • Lisa Ahier, Founder and Executive Chef, Sobo, Tofino, BC;
  • Culinary Team British Columbia.

Also returning for 2019: Patrick McMurray, “Shucker Paddy”, Guinness Book of World Record Holder oyster shucker; and Charlotte Langley, Marine Stewardship Counsel Chef Ambassador and Culinary Curator for the Comox Garland Culinary Competition and Chef & Owner of Scout Canning and Events, Toronto.

Mixologists include: Amber Bruce, The Keefer Bar, Vancouver, BC (Vancouver Restaurant Award Winner 2019); Sabrine Dhaliwal, Pourhouse, Vancouver, BC; Katie Ingram, Elisa, Vancouver, BC; Kumiko Umeno, Chicha, Vancouver, BC.

Competition judges include: Pino Posteraro, Owner and Chef, Cioppinos, Vancouver; Mijune Pak, Iron Chef and Top Chef Canada and Follow Me Foodie; Alex Chen, Executive Chef, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, Vancouver; and Quang Dang, Executive Chef, Top Table Group, Vancouver, BC.

Other key Signature Weekend events include:

  • The Fanny Bay Oyster Shucking Competition, June 15th and The Ocean Wise Chowder Challenge, June 16th.
  • Featured ticketed events: Gala Event, June 14th; Shucked! Oyster Bar Happy Hour, June 14th – The largest oyster bar happy hour in Canada; Baked n’ Boiled! Kitchen Party, June 15th Where East coast meets West coast in a slurptastic seafood boil; Ceviche! Ceviche! Ceviche! Masterclass, June 15th; and Bounty! Seafood Cookout Brunch, June 16th.
  • Largest ever Kids Interactive Zone – Children will learn how seafood is sourced with numerous touch tanks, interactive displays, and seafood Cooking Classes.

Sponsors: An incredible number of partners and sponsors continue to support the Festival including Air Canada, Garland Canada, FortisBC, Flying Fresh Air Freight, Nespresso, Sobey’s, and Coast Capital Savings. Funding support for the 2019 BC Seafood Festival is 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.

Tickets: For a limited time, the “Limited Release” Signature Weekend Passes for the BC Seafood Festival are available for purchase. Tickets prices are $15.00 per Day Pass, $25 for the Weekend Pass, and the Weekend Pass with food vouchers is $70. For information, Signature Weekend or other event tickets, and accommodations, go to or call the Vancouver Island Visitors Center 1-855-400-2882. Inquire about a Free Signature Weekend Pass with Stays at participating hotels while supplies last.

Enter the Shuck It! Let’s Go! BC Seafood Festival Getaway Contest featuring airfare, accommodation and tickets for two to the Signature Weekend!

Join the conversation at #BCSeafoodFest

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