Cooking with Jonathan By Jonathan Jolicoeur

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In this weekly culinary column, I will be focusing on one dish – giving the reader a quick history of the dish, the classical preparation of it, and of course, my own spin on the classic.

This week I have chosen to cover
bouillabaisse – a traditional Provencal fish stew which originated in the port city of Marseille, France. Bouillabaisse was originally a stew made by the fishermen of Marseille. The stew would consist of their days catch, which they could not sell to markets or restaurants. The differentiating factor between bouillabaisse and other fish stews is the Provencal herbs and bony local Mediterranean fish which flavor its broth.

Traditional Bouillabaisse

1 lg​Onion, chopped
2​Tomatoes, chopped
½ cup​Olive oil
3​Garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ lbs​Potatoes, large diced
4 lbs​Assorted fresh fish, cleaned
2 lbs​Assorted shell fish, cleaned
to taste​Fresh cracked black pepper
1 lg​Bouquet garni

Place a large pot over medium heat and allow to get hot. Add your oil and onions and sweat them until the onions are translucent. Add your tomatoes, garlic, potatoes and bouquet garni to the pot. Layer the fish on top of your vegetables and add enough water to cover 75% of the food. Bring the stew to a full boil for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes start to become tender. Add your shellfish and cook for roughly 7 minutes, or until the shellfish opens. Season with pepper to taste and serve.

Jonathan’s Bouillabaisse

1 lg​Onion, chopped
1 bulb​Fennel, chopped
1​Leek, washed, chopped
2​Tomatoes, chopped
½ cup​Olive oil
3​Garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ lbs​Potatoes, large diced
3 cup​Fish stock
4 oz​Vermouth
4 lbs​Assorted fresh fish, cleaned
2 lbs​Assorted shell fish, cleaned
1​Lemon, zested, chopped
1 pinch​Saffron
1 tbsp​Tarragon, fresh, chopped
to taste​Fresh cracked black pepper
1 lg​Bouquet garni

Place a large pot over medium heat and allow to get hot. Add your oil, fennel, leeks and onions and sweat them until the vegetables are translucent. Add your tomatoes, garlic, potatoes, vermouth and bouquet garni to the pot. Layer the fish on top of your vegetables and add your fish stock. Bring stew to a full boil for 15 minutes, or until potatoes start to become tender. Add your shellfish, lemon zest and saffron. Cook for roughly 7 minutes, or until the shellfish opens. Add your fresh tarragon. Season with pepper to taste and serve.

Whether you choose to prepare the classic, my twist or your own interpretation, remember that food is about bringing people together and that the act of cooking is about caring and as long as your heart is in the dish you prepare, the people you are cooking for will appreciate it (and you).

If you have any questions for me or would like to see me cover any particular dish in this column, feel free to write me, care of this publication. From my kitchen to yours, it is my pleasure to give you a peek into the mind of a chef. Thank You

Jonathan Jolicoeur is a chef at A Tavola – an Italian restaurant on Church Street in Winchester – which focuses on “farm to table” style of cooking. Jonathan was born in Somerville, lives in Woburn and has a degree from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.

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