Gene and his wife, Sue Ann, have been good friends since I first met them seven years ago. Gene is the unofficial “mayor” of Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg, California, and has taught me a great deal about seafood from the north coast of California up through British Columbia. Here’s his take on what is trendy for the rest of us and old hat to folks along that coastal area.
By / Photography By Ben Fink | February 15, 2010


Soak cedar planks in water for about 4 hours.


1. Combine the dill, shallots, garlic, scallion, pepper, oil, maple syrup and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Use your hands to mix it thoroughly.

2. Generously spread this mixture over the flesh side of eachfillet. Let the fillets sit at room temperature until your grill is ready.

3. Oil the grill racks. Preheat your grill using all burners set on high and with the lid closed for 10 to 12 minutes.

4. Take the cedar planks from the water and season them with salt. Place them on the grill, close the lid and let them heat until they start to smoke and crackle, usually about 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on the cedar planks while they are heating. Sometimes they tend to catch on fire, and you might want to have a spray bottle filled with water handy to control this. Turn the heat down to medium and place the salmon on the planks, skin side down. Close the lid and cook without turning the fillets for about 12 minutes. This will give you a medium doneness; the fish will still yield to the touch.

5. When the salmon is done, remove the planks from the grill and transfer the salmon to a platter. Serve immediately with the lemon wedges.

Recipe from Grillin’ With Gas by Fred Thompson (Taunton Press, April 2009).

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How to Grill with Gas

It's Springtime and the Grillin' is Easy. We love this pastime that brings families and neighbors together over fire and table.


  • ½ cup snipped fresh dill
  • ½ cup chopped shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Six 6- to 8-ounce center-cut skin-on salmon fillets, pin bones removed
  • Kosher salt
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • 6 cedar planks, soaked in water for about 4 hours
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