On Sept. 17 – 20, the Prince Edward Island Shellfish Festival marked its 20th anniversary with the biggest celebration in festival history. The weekend was jam-packed with cooking contests, celebrity chefs and a long list of other events. Here’s a sample of the great activities featured this year:

The Garland Canada International Chef Challenge pitted twelve chefs against each other, as they created dishes using PEI shellfish as the main ingredient. Competitors travelled from across Canada and the U.S., and from as far away as Estonia and China, vying for the grand prize of $10,000. In each of three rounds of competition, the chefs had 45 minutes to prepare their food for the judges. By the final round only two chefs remained, and they prepared their dishes on the Main Stage in front of a live audience. Chef Matt Nolot of Fort Wayne, Indiana won for the second year in a row, with Ontario chef Andrew McLeod coming in a close second. Congratulations to all the competitors for showing your skills with PEI shellfish!

Speed and presentation carried the day at the Shiny Sea Oyster Shucking Championship. This closely-contested match involved twelve of the best shuckers in PEI. The grand prize of $500, plus an automatic bye into the Raspberry Point International Oyster Shucking championship, went to Andrew Bond, who beat the nearest competitor by a mere second.


Other highlights included the PEI Potato Chowder Championship, a world-record length lobster roll, and great music from stars like Jimmy Rankin and George Canyon.

“I was blown away by the hospitality I was shown here in Charlottetown,” said Donna Dooher, President and CEO of Restaurants Canada, and a celebrity judge in the Garland Canada International Chef Challenge. “The excitement surrounding the festival was absolutely infectious! It really brought home what a tremendous asset the shellfish industry is to this province, and how the people of PEI truly value it.”



Beth Pollock is a communications and content marketing expert. Working with Restaurants Canada, she has edited and published two newsletters (RC Insider and BITE); developed the RC Show website; managed social media feeds (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram); and written press releases, blog stories, operational manuals, and an op-ed for the Globe & Mail. Beth is also a freelance writer who has written for a number of publications about food, travel, and children’s books, and has written over 600 posts on her personal blog, Of Muses and Meringues about recipes and her personal travels. She has published three books for children.

  • Kenneth Trager

    Who won the chowder competition?

  • Hi Kenneth,
    The winner was Gordon Bailey of Red River College. Second prize went to Dwayne MacLeod of The Gahan in Halifax, and Anti Lepik of AS Tallink Grupp in Estonia came in third. Congratulations to everyone who participated!

  • Beth

    Hi Kenneth, and thanks for asking! Gordon Bailey of Red River College won the chowder competition. Dwayne MacLeod of The Gahan Halifax came in second, and Anti Lepik of AS Tallink Grupp, Estonia placed third. Congratulations to all the competitors!

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