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Yield: 6 -8 servings

2 pounds rock fish, filleted, bones reserved
1 pound John Dory, filleted, bones reserved
2 pounds rouget or red snapper, filleted, bones reserved
1 pound striped bass, filleted, bones reserved
2 pounds grouper, filleted, bones reserved
6 blue crabs, broken into small pieces
16 small squid
1 cup mussels
Two 1 1/2 pound lobsters, head separated and crushed
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 carrot, diced
5 garlic cloves
2 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 fennel bulb, diced
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
12 black peppercorns
3 Tablespoons Pastis (licorice-flavored alcohol from south of France)
1 cup white wine
1 dried red chile pepper
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme
1 pinch saffron
5 parsley stems
6 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper


1/2 cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves
1 fresh chile pepper
1 pinch saffron
1 cooked potato, peeled


8-10 cooked potatoes
1 baguette
10 Tablespoons Gruyère cheese, grated

To prepare the bouillon, in a large, hot stockpot roast the bones of the rock fish, rouget, striped bass, grouper, crab and the lobster heads in the olive oil. Once the bones are caramelized, add the onion, celery, carrot, fennel and garlic; sweat for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until soft. Stir in the tomato paste and coat all of the vegetables and bones. Add the pastis, and cook until dry. Add the white wine and reduce by half. Add the peppercorns, chile pepper, bay leaf, thyme, saffron, and parsley stems; add enough water to just cover everything. Cook until the liquid has reduced by a third. Stir frequently so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.

In another large pot run all of the contents of the bouillabaisse through a medium holed food mill. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the bouillon to a simmer and add each filet of fish individually based on its thickness (thickest filets first). Cut the lobster tail through the shell into large pieces. Add the lobster, squid and mussels to the bouillon. Cook until the mussels open. Serve as is in the pot.

To prepare the Rouille, in a food processor, combine all the ingredients. Season with salt pepper. Serve on the side with the Gruyère cheese, cooked potatoes and toasted baguette.

Chef’s Note
As bouillabaisse is a very old concept, recipes for it are subjective. Any Mediterranean fish could be substituted for what is listed here.