Huntsville Chef Wins Alabama Restaurateur Of The Year

By: Huntsville Real Estate Expert Mike Manosky On October 22, 2012

Huntsville chef and restaurateur James Boyce has won the Restaurateur of the Year award for Alabama awarded by the Alabama Restaurant Association and the Alabama Hospitality Association.

The two-time Mobil Five Star award winner and James Beard semifinalist opened Cotton Row Restaurant in Huntsville in 2008 and has since been a regular on the “Today” show and in publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Cooking Light, Food & Wine and Men’s Health. Boyce also owns Pane e Vino pizzeria and Commerce Kitchen, both in Huntsville.

Boyce will be one of 5 chefs in the state of Alabama participating in the Taste of Alabama Dinner. That’s Monday night at Satterfield’s in Birmingham. He will be making the same Gulf Seafood Chowder recipe he prepared on WAAY 31 FirstNews Morning.

Here’s Chef Boyce’s recipe:

Gulf Seafood Chowder

Serves 8-10

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
16 tbsp. butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, and chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 leek, white part only, trimmed, cleaned, and chopped
1⁄2 small fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
2 28-oz. cans crushed Italian tomatoes
2 tbsp. tomato paste
4 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried basil
2 pinches cayenne
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 1⁄2 lbs. snapper or grouper filet, cut into large pieces
16 gulf oysters, shucked
16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1⁄2 lb. raw rock shrimp, if available, or smallest shrimp available, peeled
1-2 cups flour
12 oz. crabmeat, preferably dungeness, picked over
2 cups dry white wine
16 manila clams, scrubbed
1⁄2 bunch parsley, chopped

1. Heat 1/2 cup of the oil and 8 tbsp. of the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes. Add carrots, celery, peppers, leeks, and fennel and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 4 cups water, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, basil, and cayenne and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours.

2. Heat remaining 1/2 cup oil, 8 tbsp. butter, and garlic in a large, heavy skillet over high heat until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Working in 2 batches, dredge snapper, oysters, and large and rock shrimp in flour, shaking off excess, and fry, turning seafood frequently, until golden, 1-2 minutes. Transfer seafood with a slotted spoon to pot with sauce, and add crabmeat, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

3. Add wine to same skillet over high heat, scraping browned bits stuck to bottom of skillet. Add clams, cover, and cook until shells open, about 5 minutes. (Discard any clams that don’t open.) Add clams and broth to pot; adjust seasonings. Ladle soup into large bowls, garnish with parsley, and serve with toasted sourdough bread, if you like.

Congratulations to Chef Boyce!!

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