Meet Chef Herman

Chef Herman Pfanzelt knows a thing or two about cooking fish and seafood. Since joining Export Packers in 2002, he has become our resident expert. In addition to providing menu development and analysis to our food service customers, Chef Herman is in an instrumental resource for new product development. All of the recipes in our on-line recipe library were developed and tested by Chef Herman who says “I love the simplicity of cooking fish and seafood. Not masking the flavor of the fish, just simple.”

After serving an apprenticeship at The Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto, Chef Herman worked in a variety of food service and corporate positions before joining Export Packers as Corporate Chef.  “People are sometimes afraid of cooking fish and seafood because it’s delicate. They are worried about over-cooking or under-cooking.” A good rule of thumb?  Whether oven or pan frying, cook fish 5 – 7 minutes per inch of thickness. For shrimp and scallops only cook until the flesh is opaque.

Cooking Tips:

  • Most fish and seafood
    can be baked, pan fried, poached, microwaved or grilled.
  • According to Ontario’s Ministry of Health, fish and seafood should be cooked to an internal temperature of 70°C / 158°F.
  • If you are cooking defrosted fish fillets,
    pat both sides well with a paper towel to remove excess moisture before cooking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frozen fish should be thawed gradually to avoid health risks. Do not thaw frozen fish at room temperature or run under hot water as the outside will thaw faster than the inside, and encourage the growth of dangerous bacteria.

Method 1:

Thaw frozen fish and seafood gradually by placing it in the refrigerator overnight.

Method 2:

Seal frozen fish and seafood in a plastic bag. Seal the bag and immerse it in cold water, then put a small slit in the bag and microwave it on the “Defrost” setting. Stop the microwave when the fish is still icy but pliable, so that the fish is thawing but not beginning to cook.

Unless fish or seafood is catagorized as “sushi grade” it should not be eaten raw. We do not recommend eating our fish and seafood raw.
I.Q.F. stands for Individually Quick Frozen and is a way for fish and seafood to be processed. Fish is put through a blast freezer which instantly freezes the fillets, so that each piece is individual.
We generally recommend keeping vacuum packed fish and seafood in the freezer up to 6 months.  Fish that is not vacuum packed should be used within 3 months.

Get more recipes and tips at