Boban Kovachevich: Pan Roasted Salmon and Quinoa

Boban Kovachevich

Corporate Chef

Executive Hotels and Resorts, Burnaby

Fundamental nature: Logic, unquenchable curiosity, and empathy

Chef Boban Kovachevich started his culinary training at the age of seventeen and worked as a cook throughout his Culinary Arts schooling.

After graduation, he pursued his hunger for knowledge while working at Hotel Adria – the well-known tourist area by the Adriatic Sea – where he specialized in Mediterranean and Italian cuisines.

The hunger was not sated and so he took off for Netherlands, there he learned about French, Scandinavian and Moroccan foods.

From 1993 to 1998 he worked in Tel-Aviv, Israel, where he was voted one of the city’s top chefs.

He emigrated to Canada in 1998, his best career move to date.

“Here I found my place in the world,” said Chef Boban.

Chef Boban said local ingredients are plentiful, and fresh seafood can be accessed throughout the year, which makes it easy and fun to create and cook new dishes. For Chef Boban sustainability is the most important attitude to have in the kitchen, everything can be used.

“Here we use fresh Atlantic salmon from head to tail, we use the fillets for entrees, the end bits for candied salmon, and the rest for broths and soups.”

Pan Roasted Salmon and Quinoa

Yield: 1 Serving


1 salmon fillet (6 ounces)

150 grams Quinoa Salad

1 portion Seasonal Vegetables

50 ml pomegranate molasses

60 ml arugula

20 ml orange vinaigrette

Salt and black pepper to taste


1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F with a rack placed in the middle.

2. Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel, drizzle some olive oil over the top of the salmon – just enough to coat the salmon – sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper. Pre-heat the frying pan and place the salmon for 1 minute on each side and then transfer it to the oven.

3. Roasting time depends on the thickness of your salmon, for every half-inch of salmon, roast 4 – 6 minutes – 4 minutes will give you salmon that is still a touch rare, 6 minutes will thoroughly cook it.

4. Mix arugula with orange dressing and place it on the plate. Place the Quinoa Salad, then place the salmon, garnish with sliced radish, micro greens and edible flowers.

5. Finish with pomegranate molasses.

Orange Vinaigrette

Yield: 7 litres


2 litres fresh orange juice

2 litres vegetable oil

1 litre lemon juice

1 litre maple syrup

1 litre water

100 ml seasoning salt


1. Combine all the ingredients and mix thoroughly

Quinoa Salad

Yield: 3 portions


125 ml quinoa

60 ml red Vidalia onion

1 ct. orange

60 ml dried cranberries

1 ct. avocado

250 ml black beans

250 ml pomegranate arils

250 ml corn kernels

30 ml olive oil

30 ml crushed almonds

80 ml cilantro

5 ml seasoning salt


60 ml lime juice

2 ct. lime zest

2 cloves garlic

60 ml olive oil

5 ml seasoning salt


1. Wash the quinoa under cold running water in a fine strainer, drain well.

2. Combine the water, olive oil and lemon juice, stir in the quinoa, and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook the quinoa for about 15 minutes until the grains are translucent, tender, and the germ has spiraled out from the grain. Remove from heat and drain any remaining liquid.

Pomegranate Molasses

Yield: 500 ml


1 litre pomegranate juice

125 grams sugar

60 ml lemon juice


1. Heat pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice on medium high until the sugar has dissolved.

2. Simmer for about an hour, or until the juice has a syrupy consistency and has reduced to 250 to 300 ml.

3. Let cool. Store chilled in the refrigerator.