Northumberland Seafood Chowder

pictured: Chowder Cook-Off, Winning Chowder by Thomas Carey

Chef Thomas Carey from Pictou Lodge describes his winning dish from the Taste of Nova Scotia Cutting Edge Chowder Cook-Off as a creamy seafood broth enriched with double-smoked bacon (The Pork Shop), Avondale Sky Winery Tidal Bay, topped off with Nova Scotian mussels (AquaPrime Mussel Ranch), fresh Atlantic scallops, haddock and fresh chopped tarragon.

Carey’s Chowder is just one of 60 seafood chowders you’ll find on our Nova Scotia Chowder Trail. The recipe you’ll taste at Pictou Lodge is outlined below, but to finish the chowder at the competition, chef Thomas used a sous vide 65 C egg yolk with red tabiko caviar, and Liquid Gold olive oil.

Fish Stock
2 lbs fresh halibut bones
1 onion (peeled and quartered)
1Tbsp peppercorn
2 bay leaves
2 celery stalks


  1. Rinse off fresh halibut bones and place into stock pot, fill with cold water and bring to a simmer.
  2. Skim off foam that comes to the top and when clear add remaining ingredients.
  3. Simmer for 45 minutes and strain through fine mesh, cool immediately.

Chowder Base
2 carrots (peeled and diced)
4 potatoes (peeled and diced)
4 celery stocks (diced medium)
1large onion (diced medium)
1/2lb butter
1/2lb all-purpose flour
1.5L whipping cream
1tsp nutmeg
1/2tsp cayenne
3c white wine (Chef Thomas used Avondale Sky Tidal Bay in the Chowder Cook-Off)
3L fish stock


  1. Melt the one pound of butter and sauté onion and celery until translucent.
  2. Add flour and cook out for about 3 to 4 minutes
  3. Then add cold fish stock and whisk until all the lumps are out.
  4. Now add the wine, cream and seasonings and finish with salt until desired amount.
  5. Simmer for 30 minutes and cool down in ice bath.
  6. Simmer the carrot and potato in separate pot until tender and cool down and add to cooled down chowder base.

To Finish
Now That everything is finished and ready, find the freshest fish and add it to the base and slowly heat this to a simmer.

1/2lb salmon (large Cubes)
1/2lb haddock (large cubes)
1/2LB smoked Haddock (small cubes)
6 scallops (cut in half)
6 large shrimp (cut in half and tail removed)
1 can clams (juice as well)
12 AquaPrime mussels
1 lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp fresh chopped Tarragon

Now that everything is in a heavy bottom pot and on medium heat, make sure to stir once in a while and have a cover on it. Once up to a simmer,  cook for about 20 to 25 minutes to make sure everything is cooked and mussels are fully opened and adjust seasoning and enjoy.

Recipe provided by:
Chef Thomas Carey, Pictou Lodge Beachfront Resort
2014 Taste of Nova Scotia Chowder Cook-Off Champion

Photo provided by: Lia Rinaldo

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