Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Maine Scallops and Wild Alaska King Salmon from Fire & Vine Hospitality From Seafood & The Menu’s collection of best-selling seafood menu items of 2018

The Maine scallops at Aqua by El Gaucho in Seattle change with the seasons. Here, they’re served with pickled rhubarb, spring onions and stinging-nettle risotto.
Jason Wilson, Culinary Director | Fire & Vine Hospitality, based in Seattle

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.”

From the special Sept/Oct 2018 Seafood issue of Flavor & the Menu magazine. Read this issue online or check if you qualify for a free print subscription.

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About The Author

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Christine Burns Rudalevige is a seasoned food writer and classically trained cook living in Brunswick, Maine. She has worked as a chef, a farmers’ market manager, and a boutique caterer. Christine founded the Family Fish Project (a website dedicated to eating seafood at home) and later worked as a lead culinary instructor at Stonewall Kitchen. The dedicated home cook and food writer has lent her voice to regional and national media outlets, from NPR to Cooking Light.