Washington State Chef's

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight - June 2011

Bruce Bonholzer

Favorite Quote

"The secret to good cooking resides in the cooks ability to say 'the hell with the basic recipe' and improvise freely from it. If you haven't this kind of moxie you may as well hang up the apron." -James Alan McPherson


At the age of 14, I began working as a pot washer in a small independent bakery in North Seattle. while attending high school I also enrolled at the Occupational Skill Center, taking a cooking course the first year and baking course the next. after graduating from high school I decided I wanted to pursue a cooking career. I attended Seattle Community College and graduated with a Culinary Arts degree.  After working in the industry for five years and working with mostly European trained chef’s, I decided to continue my education by taking a year program at  the Cordon Bleu School, Paris, France with a degree in Classical French Cooking and Pastries. I returned to Seattle and continued working for Victor Rosellini at Rosellini’s 610, 410 and Other Place. Always having a desire to work in a ski area I moved to Colorado and took a job at the Sweet Bail in Vail, Colorado for three years. Returning to Seattle area I have been employed by for Swartz Brothers Restaurants as Executive chef at Henry’s Off Broadway, Daniel’s Broiler,Leshi and  Benjamin’s Restaurants. Owned and Managed Carreras Restaurant in Bellevue, before becoming chef for Cafe Juanita with owner, Peter Dow. Continuing my career working as Corporate chef for Bon Marche, overseeing 14 restaurants in 4 western states.  I am presently Executive Chef at McCormick Woods Golf Course, Port Orchard, Washington. Currently Advisory Board Chairman for Olympic College/West Sound Technical Culinary Arts Programs.

View his favorite recipe below…

Favorite Recipe


Yields: 6 portions


  • 1 1/2 cups – Dry Bread crumbs
  • 6 Tbsp – Horseradish, finely grated
  • 3 Tbsp – Orange zest, finely grated
  • 4 each – Garlic clove, minced
  • 6 each – Halibut fillets, 7 oz. trimmed of skin, bones and dark membrane
  • 1 tsp – Salt
  • 1/2 tsp – Ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp – Canola oil
  • 3 tsp – Sesame oil


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine crumbs, horseradish, orange zest  and garlic in shallow pan.
  3. Season fillets with salt, then press into crumb mixture, coating both sides completely.
  4. Heat oils in  oven proof sauté pan. Brown one side of each fillet, one to two fillets at a time for easier handling.
  5. Arrange fillets, brown side on top, in sauté pan. Place in oven until fish is firm in the middle.

Spicy Butter Sauce


  • 1 cup – White wine
  • 1 Tbsp – Distilled Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp – Shallots, minced fine
  • 1 Tbsp – Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 cup – Heavy Cream
  • 8 oz. – Butter, chilled, cut small

Add after straining:

  • 2 Tbsp – Rice vinegar, seasoned
  • 1 tsp – Sambuli Chili paste


  1. Bring wine, vinegar, lemon juice and shallots to boil. Reduce by half.
  2. Add heavy cream and reduce by half, remove from heat and slowly add butter, taking care not to break sauce.
  3. Strain sauce and add chili paste and rice vinegar.