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The chinook fishery off Westport, Ilwaco, La Push and at Buoy 10 near the Lower Columbia River mouth are the top late-summer fishing choices with catches being decent to very good at times.

In the coming weeks, many anglers will be bringing home their catch, and looking for ways to prepare this wonderful salmon.

In this week’s seafood recipe of the week, Matt Brandsey, Executive Chef of El Gaucho in Seattle has a grilled king salmon recipe sure to reel-in your guests at the dining table.

Brandsey grew up in Prior Lake, Minnesota, and has been working in the restaurant industry since 1995. He earned a Culinary Arts degree from Hennepin Technical College in Eden Prairie, Minnesota in May 2000. Soon after, he took a job with Cruise West in Seattle, where he met his wife. They briefly moved to Chicago, and then eventually settled in Tacoma in 2004.

Brandsey opened five restaurants as Executive Chef, including three Travelers Tavern Hospitality Group locations in Chicago, the wine bar and restaurant Pour at Four in Tacoma, and DeCaterina’s Market Grill and Bar in Puyallup before going to the Sea Grill in Tacoma.

He eventually joined El Gaucho at the Waterfront Seafood Grill (now AQUA by El Gaucho), before moving to his current postion as Executive Chef at the flagship, El Gaucho Seattle.

Brandsey also started a new business, Tallulah Nursery, with his wife last year, which is named after their seven-year-old daughter. Tallulah supplies many area restaurants, landscapers, hotels and events with flowers and plants.

This season we have weekly recipes and advice through October on how to cook up and dish out a wide variety of local seafood by experts like Chef Maria Hines, owner of Tilth, Golden Beetle and Agrodolce restaurants; Chef Pat Donahue with Anthony’s Restaurant; Chef Taichi Kitamura, owner of Sushi Kappo Tamura on Eastlake in Seattle; executive chefs Sarah Scott, Jonathan Garcia, and Wes Hood along with other chefs from El Gaucho, Aqua by El Gaucho and The Inn at El Gaucho; outdoor cookbook author Tiffany Haugen; head chef Chris Gabel at Tini Bigs and Hula Hula in downtown Seattle; tackle shop owners; local seafood-market owners; and fishing guides and charter services.

Recipes will run every Wednesday through Oct. 28 so if you have yummy recipes you’d like to reel-in my way, please let me know and I will post them and will even test it out with my family and friends at the dinner table.

Grilled King Salmon with Mediterranean Olive and Wild Mushroom Ragout

Salmon Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds chinook salmon

Canola oil


Salt and pepper

Mediterranean Ragout Ingredients

1/8 cup chopped Kalamata olives

½ pound wild mushrooms (for example: chanterelles, morels, black trumpets)

2 tbsp. chopped tarragon

1 tbsp. minced garlic

1 tbsp. minced shallots

2 tbsp. lemon juice

4 tbsp. butter


In a sauté pan, heat up the 2 tbsp. of canola oil and sauté the mushrooms, garlic, shallots and olives. When well sautéed add the tarragon and lemon juice. Sauté briefly for 1 minute and finish with butter, salt and pepper to taste.

Heat up the grill and season the grates with lots of oil. Rub oil all over the fish and season.

Place the fish on the grill and cook for about 4-5 minutes per side.