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Culinary CPR: Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass with Sofrito Peppadew Sauce

Summary: Chef Luca Paris joins Dr. Mike to discuss his latest savory recipe.
Air Date: 8/2/17
Duration: 27:34
Host: Dr. Mike Fenster
Guest Bio: Luca Paris, Chef
Luca Paris wineGianluca Paris is the Executive Chef and owner of Luca’s Mediterranean Café, a fine dining restaurant, The Market at Luca’s, offering light bistro style fare and gourmet take out and Luca's Culinary Journey Catering in Keene, New Hampshire, where he lives with his wife Lindy and his two children. He is the recipient of many accolades, including “Excellence in Dining” and “Best Service/Wait staff” every year since 2002 from Market Surveys of America, along with “Best Mediterranean Restaurant,” “Best Fine Dining Restaurant,” “Best Caterer in New Hampshire,” and, for four years, “Best Restaurant in the Monadnock Region” from New Hampshire Magazine.

Luca, as he is known to everyone, had a dream of opening his own restaurant since starting as a busboy at a family style Irish pub in New York at the age of 14.  Having been born in Italy, it would have to be a Mediterranean style restaurant and he never lost sight of his dream. He graduated from Johnson & Wales University 1989, where he met his wife of 22 years.

He began his professional career at Doral Arrowwood, a hotel and conference center in Westchester County, New York, but his first experience with his own culinary business began at the age of 22 opening a gourmet store in New York City called Gianluca’s Salumeria. This business flourished and spun off a very successful catering business.  While owning his own businesses, he honed his restaurant skills as the Manager of a fine dining Italian restaurant in Westchester County, New York before moving to Keene, New Hampshire, in the heart of New England where his wife Lindy grew up, to pursue his dream of a Mediterranean style restaurant.  

Luca has always had a love for entertaining through his food so Luca has his own weekly talk radio show, What’s Cooking with Luca Paris, and has had such notable guests as Mary Ann Esposito, host of Ciao Italia and will be a featured chef on an upcoming episode of Ciao Italia. Luca has been a featured chef in the national culinary magazine Culinary Trends. He is a monthly guest on “Cook’s Corner” segment on ABC's WMUR Channel 9 in New England. Luca is also the host of his own cooking show, also titled A Culinary Journey with Luca Paris, locally produced for Cheshire TV, the local cable access station for Keene and surrounding towns and can be seen in the Manchester, New Hampshire area and around the country on cable access stations. His show is one of the most downloaded shows by cable access stations around the nation. Luca has created his own Culinary Journey You Tube Channel, where all the episodes from his TV show can be seen. Luca was also a featured chef on the Resort Network in 2008 and 2009 and is a Chef Ambassador and spokesman for Roland Foods, doing live cooking demonstrations and cooking features on the Roland Foods You Tube channel. Most recently, Chef Luca was selected to compete on the new Food Network show, Guy's Grocery Games, which aired in December 2013 and he won! In 2011 Luca was selected as a New Hampshire Celebrity Chef and nominated for Restaurateur of the year. Luca loves to entertain while teaching about culinary arts. His philosophy is that food should be fun and entertaining and some of the best dishes come from the mistakes! He begins filming his new show, Kids in the Kitchen with Luca Paris, in January 2014.

In addition to his culinary accomplishments, Luca is a serious community supporter and an advocate for charitable organizations. He was on the board of directors of the Keene Chamber of Commerce, and was instrumental in promoting several local restaurants in a special week-long television segments on the local ABC affiliate. He was a founder of the “Keene Snow and Ice Festival” and the reinvented “Taste of Keene” event which supported Meals on Wheels for the elderly. In 2011 and 2012, Luca organized Keene Restaurant week, bringing local restaurants together. Luca has also taught adult culinary courses and has been a guest lecturer at Keene State College. He supports a culinary scholarship that he created, “The Culinary Journey Scholarship Fund,” to help a local high school student going to hospitality or culinary school. He will be teaching classes at the famed Stonewall Kitchen in Maine in the summer of 2014.

Luca was awarded the top honor of New Hampshire Chef of the Year from the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association for 2013.

Luca feels he has just begun his culinary journey and enjoys sharing it with guests and audiences everywhere and is looking forward to his next adventure.
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Culinary CPR: Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass with Sofrito Peppadew Sauce
In this segment, Chef Luca Paris joins Dr. Mike to discuss his latest creation for Culinary CPR: Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass with Sofrito Peppadew Sauce. 

  • 4 6 oz portions Swai/Basa filets
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp sofrito (ingredients below)
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 3 cups finely diced Peppadew peppers
  • ¼ cup sherry wine
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 oz Old Bay seasoning
  • 3 oz flat leaf parsley - cleaned, leaves picked & coarsely chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • flour for dredging


Sofrito Directions

You will need about 4 strips of bacon, two fresh peppers red or green, a dried ancho chile or even a can of chipotle paste, one onion diced and a little oil. You first render the bacon and add the rest of the ingredients until they are all soft and cooked through. Let the mix cool for a bit and place in a blender puree until smooth then transfer to an ice cube tray. Once the cubes are frozen solid, they can be released from the tray and put in zippered freezer baggies and kept frozen for a couple of months. One cube of sofrito will be perfect for this recipe.


Heat oil in a large sauté pan over moderately high heat until hot, but not smoking. Dredge the basa in flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper and old bay. Sear the swai/basa for one to two minutes on the each side depending on the thickness. Remove the fish and place in a warm oven about 200 degrees.

Sofrito Sauce Directions
Add the sofrito directly to the pan with the garlic and peppadew peppers and sauté until garlic is nutty but not burned. Remove pan from heat and add the sherry wine. Deglaze the pan with the wine. Once the wine is reduced by more than half the original amount, turn off the heat and wisk in the butter to create a silky smooth sauce. Finally toss in the chopped parsley and pour over the fish to serve. Tastes great with couscous or garlic mashed potatoes.

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