Prince Rupert sustainable seafood showcased in Vancouver culinary competition

Fukasaku and Smithers Brewing team up for Chowder Chowdown

It was the best of the Northwest displaying their culinary talents at the 12th annual Chowder Chow-down in Vancouver. Local Prince Rupert restaurant Fukasaku teamed up with Smithers Brewing Company to showcase the regions quality products in Vancouver on Feb. 20.

The prestigious competition invited some of British Columbia’s best chefs to create delicious dishes using sustainable ocean wise sources and pair them with regionally brewed beer. With more than 600 samples provided to diners, Dai Fukasaku, chef and owner of the restaurant said the line up for the Prince Rupert food was never-ending in the 2.5 hours they were serving.

“There were lots of ‘wow’ comments for the unique flavoured fusion of the chowder with the locally foraged mushrooms,” Fukasaku said.

“I wanted to create something very sustainable, unique and locally orientated featuring pristine seafood from our ocean and wild mushrooms from our forests,” said Dai Fukasaku.

Fukasaku is a sushi/seafood restaurant which used only B.C. sourced products, including local pacific seafood and seaweed from Haida Gwaii. It was the fourth year Fukasaku owner, Dai Fukasaku has been invited to compete in the chowder chow-down. This year he entered to promote the best produce the northwest coast and forests have to offer.

Tide’n Fungi Chowder is a unique flavoured tomato-miso broth enriched with Coastal Shellfish’s Great Bear Scallops, dungeness crab, side strip shrimps, black cod and locally foraged pine hedgehog, and golden chanterelle mushrooms.

The chowder was tastefully accented by Bee’s Knees a Belgian style golden strong ale brewed with Bulkley Valley wildflower honey, from Smithers Brewery.

“I was very excited to team up with Smithers Brewing as most of the mushrooms are foraged in the Smithers Terrace areas, and their beers are so pure and genuine,” Fukasaku.

Smithers Brewing opened it’s doors in 2018 in custom built premises and uses local ingredients such as Bulkley Valley Hive and Honey to create flavours for their beer. Excited about the pairing of the chowder and beer, Cam McKeigan, head brewer said the citrus and earthy pepper flavours of the brew compliment the seafood and mushrooms.

“Dai’s a wizard in the seafood world, and I’m thrilled to be sending our beer down there with him,” McKeigan said prior to the competition.

“I’m really happy with the result this year, while we didn’t place as they only announce first place, it was for sure the most successful year, ” said Fukasaku.

K-J Millar | Journalist 
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