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Make This Tonight: Mussel and Maple Chowder with Caramelized Fennel

Chef Ned Bell’s take on seafood chowder uses the flavour of caramelized fennel to add a unique twist.

Leaves have finally hit the pavement and Vancouver’s annual torrent of rain is in full swing. In other words: it’s the season for hearty comfort food. Which is exactly where the annual Chowder Chowdown comes into play. The seafood-centric event is celebrating its 10th anniversary with an all-star chef face off. On Wednesday, November 22, 13 chefs—and past winers of the competition (ARC‘s Karan Suri, Boulevard Kitchen and Oyster Bar‘s Roger Ma, Mercatto‘s Doug Neigel)—will bring new and exciting chowder recipes to the Vancouver Aquarium for guests to try alongside a selection of craft beer, wine and cocktails.

As he prepares for the event, Ocean Wise executive chef Ned Bell shared his mussel and caramelized fennel chowder with Western Living, and shared his tips to help you make a delicious seafood chowder at home.

Tip #1: “Always use Ocean Wise-recommended seafood. Sustainable tastes delicious!”

Tip #2: “Use shellfish, the ‘real fast food.’ We need to eat more mussels, clams, oysters, Geoduck and gooseneck barnacles—they all make for a delicious and healthy chowder.”

Tip #3: “Try garnishing your chowders with diced apples or pears, or maybe even make a B.C. tree fruit butter. The sweet and salty [tastes] make a tremendous, creamy combination.”

Get the recipe for Ned Bell’s Mussel and Maple Chowder here or, if you’re looking for more great seafood dishes, check out the WL Recipe Finder!

Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown

When: Wednesday, November 22 (7 p.m.)
Where: Vancouver Aquarium | 845 Avison Way, Vancouver
Tickets: $75


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