Chef Jim Smailer’s life-long love is seafood and he brings this passion to the menu of Boulder Cork since 1981.  Supported by sous chef Greg Larson, who has been with the Boulder Cork for an equal amount of time, they have a miraculous amount of experience that brings a confident calmness to the kitchen.  Chef Smailer is always searching for outstanding and unique foods to offer his guests.  He travels for menu inspiration, often internationally, stopping at seaports to see the varieties of fish that fisherman are catching.  He enjoys searching out farmers markets and bringing new flavors to the menu at the Boulder Cork. Chef Smailer purchases locally for the Boulder Cork, he knows his produce and protein farmers, knows his customers, and knows the value in extraordinary product.  He has been talking with Sandy Black and purchasing seafood from Northeast Seafood since the business started as a seafood market in the Table Mesa shopping center.  Chef Smailer has always been a firm believer that the best ingredients should be allowed to speak for themselves.

DSC_0941[1]Chef Jim Smailer shows us what it means to have your best ingredients speak for themselves with his classic sea shore crab cakes.  These are the type of crab cakes that bring you to the ocean as Chef Smailer is the only one currently purchasing fresh jumbo lump blue crab meat from Northeast Seafood.  Blue crab is native to the Atlantic and is often confused with pasteurized blue swimmer crab meat that is not of the same origins.  Having fresh seasonal blue crab meat at the Boulder Cork brings east coast clientele into the restaurant for a taste of their childhood.


There are no secret’s in Chef Smailer’s kitchen, he uses Mayo, egg, and generic white bread crumbs with very small hints of Worcester sauce, Tabasco, black pepper, Dijon, and a healthy amount of fresh parsley.  He folds the ingredients and crab meat together with a delicate hand to not break apart the large jumbo lump blue crab meat.  The crab cakes sear up on the flat top and are served with a side of coleslaw.


Chef Smailer’s coleslaw is a summer garden in every bite: cabbage, green onion, summer squash, parsley, dill, bell pepper, celery, mint, chives, mayo, yogurt, and cider vinegar seasoned lightly with celery salt.  The Cole slaw is allowed to infuse in the fridge until two hot 4oz crab cakes are plated.  The coleslaw is strategically placed beside the crab cakes to allow the juices from the coleslaw to flow around the crab cake for a subtle seasoning that brings the dish together.


Another seasonal specialty that Chef Smailer enjoys is the Pacific Salt Spring Island Mussels, from British Columbia, Canada.  These mussels are plump and sweet in flavor, making for an excellent treat.   DSC_0934[1]Chef Smailer steams his mussels in white wine with garlic, parsley, basil, sun dried tomatoes, and a tomato corn salsa. When the mussels start to open Chef adds a little cream before plating the mussels with toasted bread and dollops of chipotle chili.

Open for Lunch and Dinner, visit Chef Jim Smailer and Sous Chef Greg Larson at the Boulder Cork this summer.  Stop by for a quality glass of wine, walk thru his summer garden, and enjoy food made from the highest quality ingredients.

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