Cross-Island cycle to end at shellfish fest

Chef Ned Bell will celebrate his 40th birthday this month by putting the rubber to the road for a cause he believes in. 

ON JUNE 15 at the BC Shellfish Festival in Comox

ON JUNE 15 at the BC Shellfish Festival in Comox

Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver executive chef Ned Bell will celebrate his 40th birthday this month by putting the rubber to the road for a cause he believes in.

On June 12 — the morning of his birthday — Bell will set off on a 900-kilometre bicycle trip across Vancouver Island with the goal of increasing awareness about the sustainability of our food system.

He concludes the journey this Saturday at the BC Shellfish Festival in Comox.

A longtime supporter of local farmers, fishermen, artisans and food producers of all kinds, Bell’s focus has recently become more tightly honed on making food choices that help improve the health of our oceans, lakes and rivers.

In what he calls a “life highlight,” Bell worked with a dedicated team to draw a crowd of more than 500 people to the May 3 celebration that supported the creation of a National Sustainable Seafood Day.

Dr. David Suzuki participated as the event’s keynote speaker, along with Barton Seaver, the director of the Sustainable Food Program at Harvard’s School of Public Health and National Geographic fellow.

Dr. John Nightingale, president and CEO of the Vancouver Aquarium, has singled out Bell as an individual making a positive difference against the grave threat of overfishing. Dr. Nightingale noted that Bell’s “spirited efforts in helping us conserve our oceans is leading change in the culinary landscape, one dish at a time.”

Bell’s ride also marks the culmination of two years of work on his personal health and wellness, an effort that has included many kilometres logged road biking and running marathons. The start of a new decade in his life has the well-known chef thinking bigger, broader and bolder than ever before.

“It’s amazing to see what can be accomplished if you are really committed to change for the better,” says the fit and focused chef. “I am honoured and humbled by the immense support that I’ve been given for this ride, in particular from the sponsors, supporters and my family.”

Follow Bell’s journey on Facebook and at #chefsforoceans journey on Twitter.

— BC Shellfish Festival