Mussels Clams and Oysters with Dennis Hopper

Mussels Clams and Oysters with Dennis Hopper

Meeting Dennis Hopper!
I just finished my last shift before some holidays working at the Hotel Vancouver as a apprentice cook. I covered lots of shifts from early am till after midnight. It was time for a break and the Summer was mine to do whatever I wished and I figured about two months of traveling in B.C. and eating someone else’s cooking was all I would need to build up my spirits and strength again. I made it back to Ontario but couldn’t wait to get back to Beach Ave,
I arrived back in Vancouver just as the much talked about Kettle of Fish restaurant was being built.
I was visiting some friends at Hotel Vancouver.
Caviar
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As I was standing outside looking the project over the owner Glen Anderson and designer David Vance showed me the kitchen which was state of the art. The dining area had lots of character and there was also a downstairs overflow room called the Caviar Bar. It had this luxurious marble bar with all the appointments to show off fresh shucked shell fish and several varieties of Caviar from around the world. The intimate booths and seating area was a very hip Vance design. I was asked if I would help out for the opening to chef the Caviar Bar.
img_6837I was soon serving up Mounds of Caviar with frozen vodka lemon shrimp, oyster shooters, fried oysters and clam toasts,  sea food skewers, fresh shucked oysters or seafood grilled over a wood and charcoal fire.Oyster Shooters Fried Clam Toast fried oysters
Jalapeno Shrimp Platter
I served many of the Vancouver socialites along with many celebrities.
One afternoon I was told that Dennis Hopper and his entourage Linda Manz, Sharon Farrell, Doris Dychs, and David Lynch were coming for a nosh.
I cooked up some very avant-garde dishes showcasing the fine selection of ocean fresh seafood and drinkable embellishments. After that were all fully fueled and the night was still young I was asked to join them at their residence. They were just doing the Final wrap of the movie Out of the Blue. They had rented this beautiful farm house outside Maple Ridge where Dennis directed and stared in this movie.
David lynch was there to pitch his movie Blue Velvet.
My time off that I so needed turned into a 5 day party with all of Dennis Hoppers actor friends present and trying to remain somewhat normal! He signed my book saying;”Wayne, Thanks for every thing man, deluxe!”
I came back to the Kettle Of Fish newly invigorated and continued to work the Caviar Bar. The one dish I would make and become known for was my Mussels. The ingredients are important in this recipe.
Start with the best mussels available, the Blue Pacific [M. Californianus] or the edible mussel [mytilus edulis] from the east coast.
Scrub clean the mussels and remove the beard.
1 kg mussels
1 kg butter clams
1 cup Vermouth
1 cup good dry white wine
2 cups unsalted fish stock
1 medium onion fine chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 small shallot minced
1 leek stalk finely sliced
1 spear of celery fine chopped
1 spear of carrot fine chopped
1 fresh bay leaf
3 sprigs of Italian parsley
4 tbs of uncultured butter
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tbs of fine chopped parsley [cilantro optional] Juice from half a lemon In large thick bottom pot over medium heat add half the butter and all the chopped items except the fine chopped parsley.
Add the bay leaf and parsley springs and sauté for about 5 minutes.
Add the salt and pepper and the mussels and turn the burner to high.
Give the pot a stir coating the mussels and then add the Wine, Vermouth and stock.
Add the lemon juice. Stir again cover and bring to a boil then turn down the heat to medium and cook till all the mussels have opened. Discard any mussels that have not fully opened
Add the rest of the butter and the chopped parsley and stir till well coated.
You now are ready to serve dished into large bowls and sided with a fresh baked baguette and a glass of your favourite wine or cold beer.
thekitchenman’s B.C.