Mixed Seafood ChowderChef May’s seafood chowder is far from traditional camping fare.



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September 2007

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Soups & Stocks

Recipe: Creamy Seafood Chowder In Cumin Thyme Broth

Add Oysters, Salmon, Shrimp ~ Make It Your Own Chowder

Chef Timothy May of the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort on Vancouver Island, British Columbia emphasizes the use of local seafood ingredients for his “glamping” (glamour camping) food. Clayoquot Wilderness resort is only accessible by plane or boat, so although you will feel the secluded camping vibe, the resort is far from “roughing it.” It provides white canvas tents furnished with Persian rugs and antiques—the way royalty goes camping. When vacationing, choose from a range of “glamping” activities such as fishing, whale watching, kayaking, mountain biking and more. Check out WildRetreat.com for information.

Chef May uses local ingredients, and there’s plenty of delicious seafood to be had. This creamy seafood soup can be made with mixed seafood or with your favorite: It can become an oyster chowder, salmon chowder, even shrimp chowder (but to keep it easy and elegant, leave the clams and mussels out—less cleaning in preparation, less work for your guests). Also see Chef May’s Wild Pacific Salmon recipe.


  • 2 pounds mixed seafood*
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 cups vegetable stock†
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • Black peppercorns, freshly crushed or ground
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Cumin to taste
  • 1 medium onion, diced   
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons chives, snipped

  • Garnish with whole thyme springs

* If you prefer, you can use all oysters, scallops, shrimp, salmon, cod or whatever you enjoy.
† Making your own vegetable stock produces a much more delicious broth than using a canned product.


You can make the chowder a day in advance—not the seafood—to allow the flavors to blend. On the day of serving, warm the chowder as you prepare the seafood.

  1. Season seafood with lemon, sea salt and fresh black pepper. Set aside until the last few minutes before serving the soup

  2. Sauté onions with olive oil and cumin; cook until they are transparent.

  3. Add vegetable stock and boil. Add whipping cream. Blend well.

  4. Season broth to taste and add fresh thyme, reserving 4 sprigs for garnish.

  5. Sauté seafood in a hot oiled pan. Cook the seafood medium rare—don’t overcook.
  6. Arrange seafood in an artistic display in warmed soup plates. Add soup. Garnish with chives.

Serves 4.


Recipe and photo © Clayoquot Wilderness Resort. All rights reserved. Other material Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved.