Chef Kurt Peter, owner of Chesapeake Chef Service, and his team of Chefs, are a chef service and catering company that specializes in sourcing and preparing the finest ingredients Maryland has to offer. 
"We are blessed with the opportunity to entertain in one of the most unique corners of the country, which combines lush farmland along with the unique Chesapeake Bay waterfront, which provides extraordinary local seafood such as rockfish, oysters, and Maryland's iconic blue crabs. We utilize our unique location to source ingredients from local farmers and fishermen and prepare them directly on open fire using our Cowboy Cauldron. We love to watch our guests gather around the Cauldron as it becomes a conversation piece and a way for us to educate, explaining seasonality, sustainability, and what makes our region so special, all while entertaining our guests."
Chesapeake Chef Service Grilled Whole Rockfish
Serves 4-5 Adults 
1 whole Chesapeake Bay Rockfish (Maryland Striped Bass) (approximately 4-5 pounds, scaled and gutted)
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
2 T Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 Lemons cut into slices
Old Bay 
4 sprigs of Fresh herbs (such as thyme, rosemary, tarragon or parsley)
2-3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 bulb shaved fennel, sauteed before stuffing
Prepare the Cowboy Cauldron: Set up the Cowboy Cauldron in a safe and level outdoor cooking area. Use a nice dry hardwood such as hickory, maple or oak to build a fire in the Cowboy Cauldron. Allow the fire to burn down, and add wood to one side of the fire. This will be your "searing side"
Prep the rockfish: Rinse the rockfish under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Make sure the fish is scaled, gutted gills removed, and all fins removed. You can also ask your fishmonger to do this for you.
Season the rockfish: Lightly score the skin of the rockfish, about one inch apart from each other. Drizzle olive oil over the fish, both inside and out, and rub it to coat evenly. Season the fish generously with salt, pepper and old bay, both inside the cavity and on the skin.
Stuff the cavity: Place lemon slices, fresh herbs, thinly sliced garlic, and shaved fennel inside the cavity of the fish. This will infuse the fish with wonderful flavors while cooking. Rub the skin of the fish with a small amount of mayonnaise and season with Old Bay. This will help create a beautiful golden brown crispy skin as well as a non-stick barrier to prevent the fish skin from sticking to the grill.
Secure the fish: Use kitchen twine to tie around the fish in 2 spots over the cavity, ensuring the stuffing does not fall out while grilling.
Prepare the Cowboy Cauldron for grilling: If your Cowboy Cauldron has a cooking grate, ensure it is clean and well-oiled to help prevent sticking. 
Cooking on the grate:Sear the fish on the hotter side of the grill for 4-5 minutes on each side depending on coal level, target grate temperature is 350F, then place the fish on the cooler zone of the grill, cooking on each side for an additional 6-8 minutes, or until an internal temperature of 155 degrees. This method will give you slightly more control over the cooking process, ensuring proper internal temperature while still getting a great sear and crispy skin.
Serve: Once the Rockfish is cooked to perfection, carefully remove it from the Cowboy Cauldron. Let the fish rest for a few minutes. Cut along the spine to free the filet from the fish, garnish with fresh herbs and grilled lemon slices, Old Bay, and a drizzle of olive oil. Please keep in mind that there are spinal and pin bones so always eat whole fish with caution. Serve your beautiful fish with your favorite Maryland sides, including farmer's market grilled sweet corn and summer squash!
August 15, 2023