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Chef Paul Ferzacca's Fennel Roasted Sea Bass Recipe
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November 15, 2011
Kaiser Maximilian is serving up Chef Paul Ferzacca's Fennel Roasted Sea Bass through November 20, 2011 during Puerto Vallarta's XVII Annual Festival Gourmet International. Click HERE to reserve your table online. (Video Diva Productions)

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - A little taste of France enhanced by the flavors of Banderas Bay during the 2011 Festival Gourmet at Kaiser Maximilian in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

The restaurant's guest chef, Paul Ferzacca has owned and operated La Tour Restaurant in Vail, Colorado since 1998. Paul prides himself on using regional ingredients in his recipes and this allows him to add a lighter and more contemporary twist to his menu, while maintaining the traditional French cornerstones of classic cuisine.

Look for many local ingredients Paul will be using during his stint as guest chef at Kaiser Maximilian. Here, he shares his recipe with items right out of the bay.

Fennel Roasted Sea Bass with Pernod Shrimp and Heirloom Tomatoes surrounded by Star Anise Sauce Recipe:

Star Anise Sauce:
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
2 Shallot, peeled and sliced
4 Garlic Cloves, peeled and sliced
4 fluid oz. Pernod
4 fluid oz. Vermouth
12 fluid oz. Demi-Glace

2 Star Anise
1 Bay leaf
4 sprigs Thyme
8 springs Parsley Stem
1 teaspoon Black Peppercorn
TT Kosher Salt
TT Ground White Pepper

Sea Bass:
1.5 lbs. cleaned Sea Bass filet
2 Fennel bulbs
4 fluid oz. Clarified Butter

Pernod Shrimp:
2 fl oz. Clarified Butter
12 each 21-26 per pound count Shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Shallots minced fine
6 Garlic cloves minced fine
4 fluid oz. Shrimp Stock
6 fluid oz. Heavy Cream
1 tablespoon Italian Parsley
20 Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
TT Kosher Salt
TT Ground White Pepper

Have your fish butcher cut the sea bass into 6 ounce pieces
Pre-heat oven to 400 F°

Make your Star Anise sauce first and keep warm: Place a sauce pot over medium high, add canola oil and sliced peeled shallots and cook until slightly caramelized. Deglaze with Pernod and allow alcohol to flame off. Add vermouth and reduce by one third volume. Add Demi-glace and sachet and reduce to sauce consistency. Season with kosher salt and ground white pepper and strain through fine chinois into metal container to be able to keep warm in hot water bath.

For the Bass: Remove core from fennel bulb and julienne fennel. Season bass with Kosher Salt and Ground White Pepper. Over a high heat, place a large skillet, add clarified butter and sea bass pieces in center of pan. Add to bass pan, the julienne fennel around outside of bass. Lightly cook one side of bass and turn fish over. Stir fennel around and place entire pan in oven to cook until interior of fish is 120 F° for medium, or until prefered internal cooking temperature.

For the Pernod Shrimp: In a medium skillet, over medium high heat, add clarified butter and shrimp, let shrimp cook for approximately 1 minute a side. Add shallots and garlic and cook until shallots are transparent and make sure garlic does not burn. Deglaze with Pernod and flame off alcohol. Add shrimp stock and reduce by half. Add heavy cream, and parsley, reduce to sauce consistency, coating the back of a spoon. Add cherry tomatoes and just warm in sauce, do not overcook tomatoes. Season with kosher salt and ground white pepper. Serve over top of sea bass.

This dish is just one of the culinary delights being served at Kaiser Maximilian through November 20, 2011 during Puerto Vallarta's XVII Festival Gourmet International. Click HERE to see Kaiser Maximilian's 2011 Festival Gourmet Menu.

Paul Ferzacca has a degree in culinary arts and began his career in Chicago by spending time at Spaggia, The Ritz Carlton Hotel, The Hotel Intercontinental and The Racquet Club of Chicago. He was later recruited by the owner of Vail Resorts to be executive chef at the Two Elk Restaurant on Vail Mountain. Later on Paul was recruited to head the team that opened the exclusive Game Creek Club on Vail Mountain. His talents were recognized at the James Beard House in New York City, an honor extended to the most promising rising stars in the culinary arts. It was shortly after this that he opened La Tour.

You don't have to travel to Vail to sample Paul's excellent cuisine. The sea bass and other tasty selections will be served at Kaiser Maximilian during the festival, which runs through November 20, 2011.

Related article: 2011 Festival Gourmet Guest Chef Paul Ferzacca at Kaiser Maximilian

Open Monday-Saturday from 8 am to 11 pm for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Kaiser Maximilian Restaurant & Cafe is located at Olas Altas #38B in the Zona Romántica of Puerto Vallarta. For reservations call (322) 223-0760 or visit

Click HERE to read more about Kaiser Maximilian.