Shop with a Chef: David Wong

David Wong, a former social worker, oversees all culinary operations for the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel. His kitchen philosophy is based more on great ingredients andauthentic flavours than cross-cultural fusion. “We take flavours from places like Vietnam or Korea,” he says, “and then have some fun on the plate.”

How to Buy

Fresh, wild sablefish season starts mid-March so it’s the perfect dish to serve in spring. The North Pacific sablefish has mild-flavoured, flakey white meat and is easy to source locally. If you buy the fish with its head on, make sure the eyes are clear, the gills are clean, and you’re dealing with a reputable vendor (like Seafood City, 1689 Johnson St., 604-688-1818). Fish frozen at sea will always be fresh.

How to Cook

Marinate the sablefish for 24 hours in sweet miso, honey, a spash of water, and sake kasu-“which offers a deep flavour, with a touch of bitterness” and is available at the Artisan Sake Maker (1339 Railspur Alley on Granville Island, 604-685-7253). Broil the fish in the oven until you achieve a delicate char on the skin. Serve with a sweet miso-butter sauce (to echo the flavour of the meat) and gingered cherry tomatoes to cut the richness. “We use everything in my kitchens,” says Wong—he sprinkles the dish with the seared tomato skins for a colourful touch.

Click here for a video of Chef David Wong preparing sablefish with sake kusu.