Dine + Drink

Fairmont Pacific Rim Spring Recipe: Pan-Seared Coastal Halibut

As featured on Global News, Chef James Town prepares a Pan-Seared Coastal Halibut recipe to highlight Canada’s Junior Culinary team.

April 16th, 2024

Chef James Town, Banquet Chef at Fairmont Pacific Rim and former competitor of Junior Culinary team, has prepared a Pan-Seared Coastal Halibut in honour of Hot Chefs & Cool Jazz happening this Friday, April 19.

The 2024 Hot Chefs & Cool Jazz Gala is an exclusive event hosted by Fairmont Pacific Rim Executive Chef Damon Campbell in support of Junior Culinary Team Canada. Featuring 20 of British Columbia’s most talented chefs, this event promises to tantalize your taste buds with an array of exclusive dishes. Experience live chef cooking stations paired with Junior Culinary Team Canada members, award-winning wines, and live jazz music in the Star Sapphire Ballroom.

General Admission tickets are now on sale for $185 which includes entry at 7:15pm and access to all chef and wine stations, and $300 for VIP tickets that includes early access at 6:30pm to the VIP lounge and VIP wine station. Each ticket sale remarkably supports Junior Culinary Team Canada members. Purchase your tickets here.

Pan Seared Coastal Halibut with Spring Vegetable Sauté and Citrus Butter


Pan Seared Halibut:

  • 2 portions fresh Pacific Coast halibut filet (90 g each), skin removed
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • Canola oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Vegetable Sauté:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup spring English peas
  • ¼ cup leeks, sliced
  • ¼ cup green asparagus tips
  • ¼ cup zucchini, diced
  • ¼ cup spring onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 2 leaves basil, torn or chopped
  • 3 leaves mint, torn or chopped

Lemon Butter Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Zest of ½ lemon


  • Check halibut for any bones and pat dry. Season both sides with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
  • Heat a large ovenproof frying pan over high heat with a little canola oil until shimmering. Place the halibut portions presentation side down. Lower heat to medium-high and cook for four to five minutes until golden. Flip and sear briefly on the other side.
  • Flip the halibut again and add one tablespoon of butter to the pan along with crushed garlic and thyme sprig. Carefully baste the halibut with the flavoured oil for about one minute. Remove halibut from the pan and let it rest.
  • In another sauté pan, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add leeks and sauté until just wilted. Add asparagus, spring onion, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.
  • Add peas and zucchini, sauté briefly until peas are tender-crisp. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Fold in basil and mint just before serving.
  • For the lemon butter sauce, pour lemon juice into the pan used for cooking the fish. Heat over medium heat until warm, then reduce heat to low and whisk in butter gradually until fully emulsified. Remove from heat and keep warm.
  • To assemble, divide the vegetable sauté evenly between two plates. Place a portion of halibut in the center of each plate. Spoon lemon butter sauce over the fish and around the plate. Finish with a sprinkle of lemon zest. Enjoy!

    Watch Chef James’ Global News Cooking Together segment here.



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