Salmon recipe earns Sequim chef recognition
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Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News
Chef Steve Little's dish, served on a cedar plank, was named second-best salmon creation in the West by Sunset magazine.

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

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SEQUIM –– The Cedar Plank Salmon created by Chef Steve Little at the Dockside Grill at John Wayne Marina was named earlier this month as the second-best salmon creation in the West by Sunset magazine.

Little, who owns Dockside Grill with his wife, Ruth, was surprised to make the list, much less finish near the top of it, ahead of restaurants in Seattle, Vancouver, B.C., and Los Angeles.

“We're just this little family restaurant,” he said.

“But here we are topping Nobu and Canlis. It takes three months to Canlis.”

He credited the finish to a steady supply of fresh salmon and crab meat but especially noted the importance of the cedar planks that the dry-rubbed salmon is cooked on made by Tim Wafstet at the Cedar Box in Diamond Point.

Little said the local cedar is key in flavoring the salmon.

The fish is baked on the plank in a 500-degree oven, just hot enough to release the cedar flavor but not hot enough to make it smoke, Little said.

The salmon is then topped with butter-sauteed crab meat and served with a citrus riesling sauce.

Little developed the cedar plank recipe about seven years ago, while cooking at the Old Mill Cafe in Carlsborg.

He came up with the idea by trying to connect the Old Mill's antique lumber aesthetic to its menu.

“And it just turned out to be this perfect match,” Little said.

Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at

Last modified: April 29. 2013 6:15PM
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