The Fenix and the Gator

FENIX — MARIN’S very own supper club — has added front man chef Glenn “Gator” Thompson to the kitchen lineup. Thompson has a bit of a cult following throughout the Bay Area; he learned the tricks of the trade working under renowned chef Paul Bertolli at Oliveto, after which he made a solo impact at Alcatraces in Noe Valley, crafting a unique California/Cajun menu. During a series of endeavors south of the city — Gator’s Neo Soul Cafe, Dollie Marie’s, Gator’s Back Porch BBQ, Bayonne Southern Dining in San Jose and The Grill in San Mateo — the chef was said to be serving up some of the best seasonal barbecue around the bay. Now, Thompson brings his bold menu (which includes alligator sliders and jambalaya) to Fenix, where he can often be found chatting with diners about food and familial history. “I’ll put a healthy spin on a dish that a guest shares with me, name it after the ancestor who passed it down, and now we’re family,” says Gator. Try this blackened catfish dish in the comfort of your kitchen, or head to Fenix to get your fare with a side of live music.

Blackened Catfish

Serves 4


  • 4 7-ounce catfish fillets
  • Your favorite blackening spice
  • 4 ears sweet yellow corn
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup diced green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 10 chopped fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup rice oil or regular olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Italian parsley leaves

To Prepare

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Season catfish fillet with blackening spice, evenly coating both sides, and set aside.
  3. Remove corn kernels from cob and place in a bowl. Add the diced peppers, garlic and basil; set aside.
  4. Heat ½ of the oil in a large sauté pan. Sear the catfish on one side to a nice reddish brown color.
  5. Flip over and place in an ovenproof pan.
  6. Repeat until all fillets are seared on one side.
  7. Place pan in preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until fish is cooked through.
  8. Five minutes before catfish is done, heat remaining oil in a sauté pan. Sauté the corn mixture for about 5 minutes, adding butter, salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Spread corn mixture on a serving platter.
  10. Place fish on top, adding another sprinkling of corn mixture for color. Garnish with fresh Italian parsley leaves.