Best of the West Chowderfest–March 12

It's a good thing we're on the West Coast, or else we might have to tell you about the Beast of the East Chowderfeast. But instead, Long Beach's Aquarium of the Pacific hosts this chowder competition at its seventh-annual Sustainable Seafood Day. Besides, as Californians, we're freed of New England-chowder-vs.-Manhattan-chowder expectations you might find on the other coast.

Presented by the aquarium's own Seafood for the Future program and co-hosted by Fish Watch, a consumer-education program run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Fisheries Service, the event aims to raise awareness of sustainable-seafood options in the marketplace.

local chefs and restaurants will compete with their best recipes, and
the public will vote for their favorites. Awards will be given for the
Best in Show, Most Creative and People's Choice. Vote, and become
eligible for a variety of hourly prizes throughout the event, including
free tickets ($100 value each) to Sea Fare 2011, the Aquarium's annual
marquee event, a limited number of annual memberships to the Aquarium,
tickets for free daily admission to the Aquarium and gift certificates
to participating restaurants.

Participating local restaurants include:

  • Sip Lounge/Renaissance Long Beach, chef Michael Poompan
  • Primal Alchemy, chef Paul Buchanan
  • Parker's Lighthouse, chef Jeff Thurston
  • Savor…Long Beach, chef Paul Upton
  • King's Fish House, chef Matt Stein
  • Gladstone's Restaurant Long Beach, chef Peter Lehmar

Usually when I eat next to a tank full of live seafood, it's at a Cantonese restaurant where I get to pick out my tasty victim victuals. Be assured, however, no aquarium residents will be harmed in the making of your chowder.

Best of the West Chowderfest happens at the Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, (562) 590-3100; Sat., March 12. Chowder will be served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission for Aquarium members; $24.95 for ages 12 and up; $21.95 for ages 62 and up; $12.95 for children between 3 and 11; and and free for children under 3. Admission to the Aquarium is included with general admission for the public.

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