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Sustainable Seafood: Island chef not wasting any food at this year’s P.E.I. Shellfish Festival

Nick Chindamo slurps down on oyster on Peake’s Quay in Charlottetown on July 16. The chef hopes to embody the sustainable impact movement while competing in this year’s Shellfish Festival.
Nick Chindamo slurps down on oyster on Peake’s Quay in Charlottetown on July 16. The chef hopes to embody the sustainable impact movement while competing in this year’s Shellfish Festival. - Daniel Brown
Nick Chindamo is going to cook with literally everything he’s got in this year’s P.E.I. International Shellfish Festival.
“For me to get that chance to spill my heart and soul, what else could I want?”
He was the only competitor to attend a festival announcement at Peake’s Quay in Charlottetown on July 16. In total, 11 chefs from across Canada and the United States will be competing in the Charlottetown Event Grounds, Sept. 19-22.
Chindamo is the only competitor currently cooking on P.E.I. He’s originally from Ontario, but he fell in love with P.E.I. when he moved here to work for The Inn at Bay Fortune in early 2018.
There, he was thrown into the world of seafood, he said.
“It kind of erupted into an extreme passion for seafood as a whole.”
This will be his second cooking competition. His first was the Garland Chefs Competition in Toronto earlier this year, which he won.
That competition’s theme was sustainable impact, meaning chefs had to utilize as much of their given ingredients as possible, trying not to leave any waste behind.
“They gave us a basket that we had to put all of our waste in, and they judged us afterward based on how little there was or how much there was,” he said.
Chindamo tries to embody the sustainable impact movement every time he cooks. Competitions are a good platform for him to show people it can be done, and this year’s Shellfish Festival is no exception.
“I’m not there necessarily to win,” he said. “I’m literally just going to go in there and do my thing.”
Along with the competition throughout the weekend, there will be live entertainment and roof-raising kitchen parties each night. This is the 24th version of the world’s largest celebration of shellfish, presented as a joint effort between the P.E.I. Aquaculture Alliance and the P.E.I. Shellfish Association.
Last year’s winner, Darren Rogers, will be competing again this year. He’s currently the chef de cuisine at Park Restaurant in Montreal.
Present for the announcement were Premier Dennis King, MP Sean Casey, Charlottetown Mayor Phillip Brown and chef Michael Smith of The Inn at Bay Fortune.
Full list of competitors:
Robyn Almodovar – Chef and owner of Palate Party food truck in Florida
Nick Chindamo – Chef at The Inn at Bay Fortune on P.E.I.
Alex Fitzgerald – Chef at Mallard Cottage in Newfoundland
Christine Hazel – Chef at North Shore Bar and Kitchen in New Jersey
Daniel Kim – Chef at Boulevard Kitchen and Oyster Bar in Vancouver
Alex Lira – Chef at Estadio in South Carolina
Juan Pedrosa – Chef at Lolita Cocina and Tequila Bar in Boston
Darren Rogers – Chef de cuisine at Park Restaurant in Montreal.
Matthew Sullivan – Corporate chef at MLSE Restaurant in Toronto
Brian Thibodeau – Sous-chef at restaurants’ Park and Lavanderia in Montreal
David Viana – Chef at Heirloom Kitchen in New Jersey

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