Jason Wilson says the highlights of his menus at Aqua by El Gaucho in Seattle and The Lakehouse in Bellevue, Wash., are Maine scallops and wild Alaska king salmon, respectively. Both are rich and full-flavored, but Wilson takes a delicate approach to cooking them in cast iron or French steel pans and serving them with farm-fresh ingredients.
In the spring, he pairs the sweet scallops with stinging-nettle risotto, pickled rhubarb and spring onions, and the salmon with grilled asparagus, sautéed radish and asparagus-lemon purée. Seasonality is a big focus for Wilson to maintain his sustainability initiatives.
“Fortunately, our menus change often, and our clientele has been warm to receiving the benefits and deliciousness of supporting a sustainable seafood harvest,” he says. “Seasonality plays a greater role today than even a few years ago.”