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The summer sockeye fishery remains very good at places such as Baker Lake, and in Brewster Pool and below Wanapum on the Columbia River.

In this week’s seafood recipe of the week, Executive Chef Jonathan Garcia of El Gaucho Events has a delightful grilled sockeye salmon recipe that’ll hook your guests at the dining table.

Garcia along with other chefs from El Gaucho and The Inn at El Gaucho will be contributing a handful their delicious recipes for the Reel Time Northwest Fishing blog. Each of recipe will be related to the “catch” of the week.

Garcia was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco in Mexico, but grew up in Bellevue, and joined the El Gaucho team through the Renton Technical College Apprenticeship program.

The intense apprenticeship program requires 6,000 hands-on hours and mastery of ten stations around the kitchen. It usually takes three years to complete, and in addition to the hands-on time in the restaurant, classroom training includes four hours a week, with additional homework and testing. It’s a huge commitment from both the chef and apprentice.

Garcia worked his way through every station at El Gaucho Seattle under Executive Chef Matt Brandsey, starting with sauté, moving to lead line cook, and becoming sous chef. He was recently promoted this year to executive chef.

(Executive Chef Jonathan Garcia of El Gaucho Events. Photo courtesy of El Gaucho)
(Executive Chef Jonathan Garcia of El Gaucho Events. Photo courtesy of El Gaucho)

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 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 Sockeye Salmon with Warm Chipotle Mushroom and Corn Salsa

Salmon ingredients

1 1/2 lbs Sockeye Salmon divided into four individual portions

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

Warm Chipotle Mushroom and Corn Salsa ingredients

½ lb of crimini mushrooms chopped

2 ears of corn pre-grilled and corn kernels removed from cob

1 avocado diced

½ bunch cilantro chopped

1 lime

1 tablespoon chipotle chili chopped

1 teaspoon honey

4 tablespoons butter

½ teaspoon minced garlic

½ teaspoon minced shallots

Salt and pepper to taste

3 bacon strips diced


Get your grill nice and hot and season the grates with an oiled rag.

Rub the olive oil all over the 6 oz. portions of salmon. Place the fish on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side.

In a sauté pan on medium heat place the diced bacon and cook until it gets a little crispy, then add shallots, garlic and slightly sauté.

Add mushrooms and corn then add the chipotle, honey, butter and squeeze the lime.

Finish with the cilantro, avocado and add salt and pepper to taste.

Place the vegetable mixture under the fish and enjoy.