Q&A with Chef Poyan from Ocean Mama


Tell us about your journey as chef? What was it like representing Canada at the 2012 World Culinary Olympics?

It’s an absolute honour that I have had to represent Canada at such a prestigious world culinary competition. Four Chefs and one pastry chef are chosen from across the country to compete at this competition. 62 Countries compete in two different types of competition, with one being a 110 person plated three course meals, all prepped in front of judges and the public in kitchens built in stadium arenas. 10 countries compete per day across 6 days. It was extremely challenging, but ultimately brought out the best of myself and my fellow teammates. It’s an experience that has shaped my cooking career and my personal life for the better.

Tell us about Ocean Mama and what your brand is all about?

Ocean Mama is about sustainability, trust, reliable and trustworthy sourcing, and healthy eating.

You source your shrimp from Mangrove forests can you tell us what that means and why that’s important?

Black Tiger Shrimp naturally live in Mangrove forests. To be able to “ranch” farm the shrimp in their natural habitat, allows us to get the most sustainable, natural and flavourful shrimp available.

Can you tell us about your partnership with Ocean Wise and which Ocean Mama products are also Ocean Wise?

We have worked with Ocean Wise from the very beginning to source sustainable products from all around the world. Our list of Ocean Wise seafood include, Shrimp Gyoza, Seaweed salad, Basa, Scallops, Tuna, Mussels and Shrimp.

When consumers are making choices about choosing quality seafood what tips would you recommend?

Choose fresh when in season, but with today’s technology, frozen seafood is a great option. Defrost overnight in your fridge and cook as soon as possible. In general, most seafood cook better at high temperatures for lower time frames.

What are some of your favourite seafood dishes to cook and why?

Seafood chowders and salmon wellingtons are my favourite two seafood dishes. Salmon wellingtons are extremely easy, but have such as great wow factor. While a great bowl of seafood chowder is a welcomed meal at anytime or season.


Chef Poyan is currently Culinary Director at Ocean Mama Seafood.

Named 2013 BC Chef of the year, he was also one of four chefs that represented Canada in the World Culinary Olympics in Germany in 2012, placing 4th in the world. He was also Captain of the Olympic Culinary Team of BC where he led them to gold in their category, and 4th place finish at the World Culinary Olympics in Germany October of 2008.

Poyan was also a member of CTS from 2004 to 2012 competing in Luxembourg, Germany, Basel and Chicago, winning 8 gold medals in total.