Community Cooks: Maple glazed salmon is go-to dish for Atlanta caterer

Double the marinade and bake an entire side of salmon for a holiday buffet or party.
Courtesy of Bob Brinson
Double the marinade and bake an entire side of salmon for a holiday buffet or party. Courtesy of Bob Brinson

Credit: Bob Brinson

Credit: Bob Brinson

Local chef uses church kitchen for personal and philanthropic food endeavors

Atlantan Bob Brinson is the in-house chef and baker at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, and the owner of Gourmet Innovations Inc.

After earning an MBA and spending 13 years in the corporate world, Brinson decided to turn his culinary hobby into a profession. Mainly self-taught, he started as a personal chef, then got into the catering business.

“I’m the preferred caterer at the church, but I also use the kitchen for my outside private work,” he said. “As members of the church, we also wanted to leverage the kitchen for some local outreach, so my wife and I started an organization called FareWorks. It’s a culinary ServSafe program for people who have barriers to employment because they are in recovery or have been incarcerated.”

Chef Bob Brinson Gourmet Inventions, Inc. 
Courtesy of Bob Brinson.
Chef Bob Brinson Gourmet Inventions, Inc. Courtesy of Bob Brinson.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

The program went on hiatus when the church shut down many of its programs due to the pandemic. But Brinson began delivering meals and baked goods to Grady and Piedmont hospitals, and other first responders, including the Atlanta police.

His catering business has changed direction, too, offering delivery, curbside pickup, take-and-bake casseroles, ready meals, and drop-offs for small gatherings. Brinson also has plans to sell spice blends and sauces online. And right now, he’s gearing up for Thanksgiving, taking orders on his website, gourmetinnovationsinc.com.

“You can get a full Thanksgiving meal from us, with the idea being basically, ‘It’s been a rough year. Let us take care of the cooking. You just enjoy your holiday,’” he said. “And a portion of the proceeds we give back to the church. It’s just been a really good relationship with the church since I started. I’ve been doing this now for 15 years. It’s something I’ve always had passion for, and I’ve always enjoyed doing.”

One of Brinson’s favorite recipes is Maple Glazed Salmon, which he says was inspired by a LongHorn Steakhouse salmon dish with an enticing sweet and savory marinade. His version is a hybrid of several different recipes.

“I thought it would be good for dinner parties, and really nice on a buffet,” he said. “I started toying around with grilling it on a cedar plank, which gives it another level of flavor. To keep the recipe simple, I do it in the oven, and it gets a crispy glaze as you baste it. It pairs well with so many different things – any kind of vegetables, and it’s great with couscous or a rice dish.”

Chef Bob Brinson’s Maple Glazed Salmon. 
Courtesy of Bob Brinson
Chef Bob Brinson’s Maple Glazed Salmon. Courtesy of Bob Brinson

Credit: Bob Brinson

Credit: Bob Brinson

This recipe serves up to six, but you can double the marinade, and bake an entire side of salmon for a holiday buffet or party.

Maple Glazed Salmon
  • 2 pounds salmon fillets
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger or ¼ teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1 minced garlic clove or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/4 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Place the salmon in a shallow baking dish. Whisk together the pineapple juice, maple syrup, soy sauce, brown sugar, thyme, ginger, garlic, onion powder, and pepper flakes to make a marinade. Reserve ½ cup of the marinade and pour the rest of the marinade over the fish. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place the marinated fillets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 6 minutes, remove fish from oven, baste with the reserved marinade. Return fish to the oven. Repeat this process of baking and basting every 6 minutes for a total of 24 minutes, then remove from oven and serve. Serves: 4-6

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving, based on 4: 433 calories (percent of calories from fat, 190, 48 grams protein, 39 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 9 grams total fat (2 grams saturated), 168 milligrams cholesterol, 1,286 milligrams sodium.
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