30 Jun

Recipe Series: Eichardt’s Seafood Chowder

Eichardt’s Private Hotel is a historic Queenstown icon providing fine accommodation in a premium lakefront position in the heart of the town. Our spectacular location and emphasis on outstanding service extends to our two restaurants: Eichardt’s Cocktail & Tapas Bar, and The Grille by Eichardt’s. Both use premium produce from the best local suppliers to provide our guests with a unique taste of the region.

Eichardt’s Legendary Seafood Chowder 
Serves 4 as main, or 8 as starter 


  • 1 tbsp bonito flakes 
  • ½ a red capsicum 
  • 1 stick celery 
  • 1 white onion 
  • ½ a fennel bulb 
  • 1 bay leaf, preferably fresh 
  • 250ml milk 
  • 250ml cream 
  • 60g flour 
  • 60g butter 
  • 100ml vermouth 
  • 8 clams 
  • 8 scallops 
  • 8 tiger prawns 
  • 8 mussels 
  • 100g blue cod fillet or similar, chopped into 2cm chunks 
  • Wakame seaweed, hydrated, to garnish 

Chowder base: 

  • Cover the bonito flakes in 100ml boiling water and leave to infuse for 5 minutes.  
  • Meanwhile, coarsely chop the vegetables and pulse in a food processer until they are evenly finely chopped to pieces around 2mm across.
  • Strain the bonito water through a fine sieve into a large pot. Add the milk, cream, bay leaf and minced vegetables. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat, stirring regularly. 
  • While the cream mixture is heating, melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir in the flour to form a roux. Turn the heat down to low and gently cook it, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes 
  • Once the cream mix is simmering whisk in your roux. Keep whisking till evenly thickened then turn heat down to low and cook, stirring regularly, for 5-10 mins. 
  • Season to taste with salt and white pepper, and fish out the bay leaf. This is your chowder base. Let it cool till warm then chill until needed. Ideally this should be done the day before you need it to allow the flavours to develop. This will also make your life easier when it comes time to serve the soup. 

To serve: 

  • Put a large pot on a high heat and add the vermouth. Once it starts to steam add all the seafood, then the chowder base. Turn the heat down to medium and bring to a simmer, stirring regularly.
  • Once all the clams and mussels have opened, all the other seafood will also be cooked.
  • Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  • Garnish with the wakame and serve with a wedge of lemon and some hot crusty bread.