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Pacific Cioppino Recipe

Cioppino is an Italian-style fish stew that was traditionally made with the catch of the day. The dish is great when you have a lot of seafood and want to cook up something really special for a large group. So if you’ve got a big party coming up and a bunch of fresh fish from a recent trip, this might be the perfect recipe for you.

INGREDIENTS: Pacific Cioppino Recipe

Yields 2 gallons

  • 4 Ounces olive oil
  • 1 Large diced onion
  • 1 Cup chopped celery
  • 1 Cup chopped carrots
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 4 Branches fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Pinch saffron threads
  • ½ Cup white wine
  • 1 Large can of clam juice (51 ounces)
  • 1 Cup tomato paste
  • 2 Pounds Little Neck clams
  • 1 Pound black mussels
  • 1 Pound of 16- to 20-count shrimp, shell removed, cleaned
  • 1 Pound chopped squid
  • 1 Pound cubed fresh fish
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • Sea salt, fresh-ground black pepper to taste


In a large stockpot heat up the oil and add the vegetables and saffron. Simmer for five minutes.

Add the clam juice, white wine and tomato paste and continue to simmer for 30 minutes, letting the broth come together. You may want to add some more tomato paste because you want the Cioppino to be thick to accommodate the liquid that will cook out of the seafood.

Add all of the seafood and let simmer for 20 more minutes, making sure that all of the fish and shellfish cooks thoroughly. Taste the stew to check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

Add the fresh chopped parsley at the last moment just before you’re ready to plate, and serve with a freshly baked loaf of bread for dipping.

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Chef Steve Black attended Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1986. His hotel career began at the Sheraton Boston Hotel & Towers in 1984, where he developed his culinary skills working in the five restaurants and catering the private banquets. In 1990, Chef Black traveled abroad to Strasbourg, France, where he had the opportunity to work with several 5-Star Michelin Chefs.

Returning to the U.S. in 1992, Chef Black moved to San Diego and joined the culinary teams at the La Costa Resort & Spa and at the Hyatt La Jolla Aventine. In 1993 he became the Executive Chef at the Sheraton Hotel & Marina on Harbor Island. During his culinary career, Chef Black has been recognized as one of the leading chefs in San Diego. In 2002, he received the Gold Medallion Award as Chef of the Year from the California Restaurant Association. At the 2008 Gold Key Awards, he was nominated for the Food & Beverage Person of the Year by the San Diego Hotel & Motel Association. He has been awarded with “Best Recipe” from Maple Leaf Duck Farms and Contessa Shrimp.

For more than 17 years, Chef Black has catered the annual events for The Old Globe Gala, the RITZ, Jewel Ball and Patrons of The Prado. He has participated in major fundraisers for Meals on Wheels, Mama’s Kitchen and the Shiley Eye Institute. During the 2007 devastating fires, he personally drove donated food from the Sheraton Hotel to the Valley Center High School to feed the many people that were displaced from their homes. Chef Black has had the opportunity to cater to celebrities such as Richard Dreyfuss, Hal Holbrook & Dixie Carter, John Kerry, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bob Dole and Mayor Jerry Sanders. In 2000, he had the privilege of meeting Julia Child as she was honored at the UCSD Cancer Center event. He’s also an avid angler and you’ll find him fishing the local islands as well as Mexico waters.