May 21, 2021

Ask A Chef: Nova Scotia Seafood Chowder

Recipe: Renée Lavallée

Renée Lavallée, chef and co-owner of The Canteen on Portland, shares her recipe for Nova Scotia Seafood Chowder.

Q: The chowder at The Canteen in Dartmouth is so good: smoky, creamy and satisfying. Can you get the recipe? — Christine, Halifax

A: A version of this recipe was introduced to The Canteen’s menu four years ago, and it’s been a crowd favorite ever since. “Chowder is considered to be a humble dish but, since moving to the East Coast almost 20 years ago, I’ve come to realize that it’s one of the best ways to showcase our amazing seafood,” says Renée. Her version has a light broth, and smoked seafood such as oysters and haddock give it a complex, deep flavor.

Send your questions to [email protected].


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 can smoked oysters
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
    2 leeks, cleaned and finely diced
  • 3 ribs celery, finely diced
  • 4 large potatoes, diced and kept in cold water
  • 1 large smoked haddock fillet, cut into bite-size cubes
  • 1 1⁄2 cups whole milk (3%)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (35%)
  • 200 g lobster meat (knuckle & claw)
  • 4 large sea scallops, bite-size pieces 1 tbsp dill, chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon


Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  1. In heavy-bottomed pot, melt butter and add oil from smoked oysters; add bacon and render for about 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add leeks and celery, and sauté for 3 to 4 more minutes; season with pinch of salt.
  3. Add potatoes with their water, and bring to simmer. Add smoked haddock, milk and cream.
  4. Cook for approximately 25 to 30 minutes, until potatoes are cooked. Add lobster meat, scallops and smoked oysters.
  5. Cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, then add dill and lemon zest. Taste for seasoning

Doug Townsend


House & Home May 2021