Gastronomixs

Bass grouper with fish milk, green tomato, and potato paper

This month's guest chef is the Australian Mark Best from Marque Restaurant in Sydney. Mark is one of the world's most prominent chefs and he has a very unusual and instantly recognisable style. He started his career about as far from the kitchen as it's possible to get - he was originally an electrician working in a mine. Later he met the woman who would become his wife and decided to change careers entirely and begin a café. He gained his experience in various restaurants and travelled to France, where he ate at L'Arpége and later trained there. He also worked as the sous-chef at Quay Restaurant in Sydney. In 1999, Mark and his wife opened Marque Restaurant in Sydney. Since its opening, the restaurant has become renowned for its innovative approach to food. Mark's creations appear minimalist, but a second glance reveals how spectacular they truly are! The techniques he uses are simple and focus on utilising the entire product. In his kitchen, he gives simple ingredients centre stage, using them in perfect combinations and creating dishes that 'seem like they're found in nature'. French cuisine is the basis for his cooking, combined with modern Australian cuisine. 

Amazing fish found in Australia and New Zealand, paired with 'fish milk,' a sauce of milk and the remains of the fish. Again emblematic of the Marque style in that Mark attempts to use all of an ingredient. It is paired with some maritime succulents and potato paper. It makes a posh and delicious fish & chips.

Creation by Mark Best, Marque Restaurant, Sydney, Australia.

Bass grouper with fish milk, green tomato, and potato paper

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Ingredients

500

g

sea parsley

 

 

grape seed oil

 

 

sea banana (karkalla)

2-3

kg

bass grouper, preferably large fish

800

g

butter

200

g

white soya sauce

 

 

hickory wood chips

20

g

mullet roe

500

ml

ice water

3

g

salt

 

 

preserved fish bones and trimmings

 

 

milk

 

 

white soya sauce

 

 

xanthan gum

500

g

Désirée potatoes

5

 

green tomatoes

250

ml

verjuice

Preparation method: bass grouper
  • Fillet the fish, reserving all the bones and trimmings. Portion fish into 100g pieces.
  • Smoke the fish in a cold smoker for 5 minutes and refrigerate.
  • In a hot pan melt the butter. Once it reaches beurre noisette, remove from heat, and whisk in the white soya sauce. Let the mixture cool to room temperature and stick blend to combine.
  • Season the fish with sea salt and place in sous vide bags. Add a good amount of the soya butter mixture to each bag and refrigerate. Once the butter has set, seal in the Cryovac machine on full pressure.
  • Cook the fish at 48ºC for 16 minutes just before serving. 
Preparation method: fish milk
  • Combine the salt and ice water. Make a small slit in the mullet roe sacks and massage their contents into the salt water. Gently whisk to separate the smaller membrane from the roe.
  • Leave for three hours to allow the roe to bloom. Strain into an oil filter and let the free water drip away from the roe.
  • Smoke in the cold smoker with the fish for 5 minutes.
  • Shallow-fry the bones and trimmings from the fish in very hot pans until golden brown. Drain away the fat.
  • In a sous vide bag combine equal parts of roasted bones and milk. Add 10% of the milk’s weight in white soya sauce and seal on full pressure. Cook at 60°C for 90 minutes.
  • Pass through a fine chinoise. Discard the bones.
  • Thicken the milk with xanthan gum using a hand blender until it reaches the consistency of crème anglaise.
  • To serve, heat the sauce and whisk in mullet roe.
Preparation method: pickled green tomatoes
  • Reduce verjuice to 65ml.
  • Blow-torch the tomatoes to blister the skin. Immediately place in ice water and peel off the skin.
  • Cut each tomato in half, weigh, and place in a vacuum seal bag with verjuice (18% of the weight of the peeled tomato).
  • Steam the tomatoes at 85°C for 8 minutes.
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes before placing the bag into ice water.
  • Remove from ice water after half an hour and leave for 24 hours before serving to allow flavour to develop.
Preparation method: sea parsley oil
  • Pick the sea parsley and blanch it for three minutes, then refresh in ice water. Once fully cool, drain the parsley and squeeze it firmly in a clean tea towel to remove all excess water.
  • In a vita prep blender combine the parsley and twice the amount of grape seed oil by weight.
  • Blend on the highest speed until the mixture goes hot, and quickly cool in an iced bowl.
  • Drain through an oil filter and preserve the green oil in a small squeeze bottle.
Preparation method: potato paper
  • Cook potatoes until tender in salted water.
  • Blend in a blender at medium speed until fully smooth. Season with salt to taste and pass through a fine chinoise.
  • Compress the potato puree through the Cryovac machine to compress all the air out of the mixture. Spread on non-stick sheets and dehydrate in a dryer. Once the papers are fully dry they should easily detach from the sheets. Break into large pieces and store in an airtight container.
  • Fry in vegetable oil at 160°C just before use.
Finishing and presentation
  • We use a salty chlorophyllic-tasting sea succulent called sea banana for finishing the dish, which adds a nice character. It’s picked and washed just before service and kept under a moist cloth.
  • Pour a small amount of fish milk onto each plate (you’ll have some remaining), top with fish (slightly separated), green tomatoes, a few drops of sea parsley oil, sea banana tips, and potato paper shards.

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