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What's Up Magazine

Chilean Sea Bass by The Bistro at South River

Feb 28, 2011 07:20PM ● By Ashley West


7 Questions with Executive Chef, Quintin West

How did your culinary career begin?

I began my career washing dishes. Soon, I realized that I really enjoyed the energy and excitement of the restaurant atmosphere. With hard work, I was eventually given opportunities to learn basic food preparation and cooking skills. I loved it.

I was fortunate enough to apprentice with a couple talented chefs along the way, who really gave me the skills and direction to be successful.

Please describe the culinary influence present in your dishes?

In some ways, cooking has become very complicated. I feel that our guests are more interested in a fresh and simple dish with just a touch of my personality. I give my mom credit for the creative touch to my cooking.

What do you enjoy most about your profession?

The “people factor” has always been a great positive influence. To work with people that you enjoy being with and have a common goal is really special.

What are some trends in the food industry you are pursuing on the local level?

Clearly there has been a trend toward healthier cooking practices. Regional seafood is the main attraction. Plus, herbs, which are indigenous to the area.

What flavor notes are most appealing about Chilean Sea Bass Imperial?

Pan searing the sea bass with a touch of salt, pepper, and olive oil. Then deglazing it with a crisp chardonnay.

Are there any special cooking techniques our readers should be aware of when preparing this dish at home?

Make sure the sauté pan is hot before you start the process. The right amount of olive oil is the key. And, lay off overdosing the fish with the chardonnay.

What side dishes and drink would you recommend pairing with this recipe?

Spinach, risotto, cous cous, Yukon potatoes and plantains. And I really enjoy a Pinot Grigio paired to this sea bass recipe.

Chilean Sea Bass Imperial

By Quintin West, The Bistro at South River

Begin by preparing Lobster Sauce, then Crab Imperial Sauce, followed by Sea Bass preparation. These three components will then be added together during final preparation of the dish. 

Lobster Sauce
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. lobster stock/base
1 tsp. chopped shallots
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1 tbsp. tomato paste
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup sherry

In a small sauce pot, over medium heat, add butter, shallots, garlic, and thyme. Cook for about 3 minutes, then add sherry and let reduce by half. Add tomato paste, heavy cream, and lobster stock. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, place sauce in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate.

Crab Imperial Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
1 large egg beaten
1 tbsp. finely diced red pepper
1 tbsp. finely diced green pepper
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. each salt and pepper

In a small mixing bowl, gently mix together mayonnaise, egg, red and green pepper, Old Bay, lemon, salt, and pepper. Set aside. The crabmeat (see below) will pair with this mixture as a topping to the sea bass.

Sea Bass

Two 8 ounce filets of Sea Bass
4 ounces lump crabmeat
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large lemon wedge
1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
Pinch course black pepper
Pinch Kosher salt
1/3 cup chardonnay

Preheat oven to 400°F. On a plate, brush both sides of each sea bass filet with olive oil and squeeze lemon juice over the filets. Let stand about eight minutes. While you wait, place wide sauté pan on a low heat burner. 1) When fish is ready for searing, turn heat up to high for 30 seconds, add 3 tbsp. olive oil to pan, and then place the sea bass in the hot pan. Sear each side of the filets for 1 minute. 2) Remove pan from heat and pour wine over fish. Place entire pan/fish into the oven and cook for 6 minutes. 3) Remove pan and top each filet with 2 ounces crabmeat and 2 tablespoons Imperial Sauce. Return pan to oven and cook until Imperial Sauce turns slightly brown. 4) Remove and plate the fish. 5) Finish presentation by drizzling Lobster Sauce over fish. 


The Bistro at South River Chilean Sea Bass Imperial Recipe