Truffles, sea salt from the Camargue and the freshest ingredients make this beautiful sea bass dish by Gérald Passedat worthy of his grandmother, after whom it is named.
Restaurant critic Alexander Lobrano wrote in our sister magazine, France Today, about his visit to Le Petit Nice in Marseille, describing it as quite simply “one of the best meals of my entire life”.
He wrote: “Seated in the contemporary-style dining room with big picture windows overlooking the Mediterranean, we chose the ten-course Passedat menu, and then sipped ﬂutes of rosé champagne while watching local teenagers diving from rocks into the sea far below.
“What followed was a feast of deceptive simplicity, since every dish stunned with its freshness, and intriguing garnishes ﬂattered but never overwhelmed the tastes of the seafood.
“Three of the dishes I liked best were the carpaccio of sea bream with bo–arga and caviar, sea anemone beignets with seaweed sauce and, last but not least, the sea bass in an aromatic bouillon of tomatoes and Mediterranean herbs.”
To dine at Le Petit Nice will set you back anywhere from €350 to €765 (with wine pairing). If you’re lucky enough to be under 30, though, you can tuck into the €165 Première Vague menu, designed by Passedat to encourage young people “to take the ﬁrst step towards a starred cuisine”. It includes three courses with food and wine pairing.
For more information visit www.passedat.fr
Sea bass Lucie Passedat
- 1 sea bass around 1.5 kg
Lucie Passedat base
- 1 l of fish stock
- 400 g of tomatoes vine or beef heart
- 1 teaspoon of tomato concentrate
- 2.5 g of sugar
- 8 g coriander seeds
For the fish stock
- 1.5 l water
- 1 shallot
- 1 carrot
- ½ leek
- 1 bouquet garni
- 3 yellow lemons
- 4 ripe vine tomatoes
- 40 g fresh basil
- 40 g fresh coriander
- 20 g truffle
- 1 cucumber
- 2 courgettes
- 50 g clarified butter
- 1 green tomato
- 2 g wild fennel seeds
- 250 ml Passedat olive oil
- 10 cl truffle juice
- Penja pepper in small pieces
- Camargue fleur de sel
- Scale, gut and clean the sea bass; cut out the fillets and remove the bones. Slice the 2 fillets to obtain 4 equal portions of 120 to 140 g, keeping the skin slightly incised on the top and in a regular manner.
- Keep the bones for the preparation of the stock reduction.
Preparation of the fish stock
- Prepare the aromatic garnish (1 shallot, 1 carrot, half a leek, 1 bouquet garni), wash, peel and chop the vegetables.
- Crush the fish bones and brown them in 250ml litre of olive oil.
- Add the garnish and moisten with 1.5 litres of water.
- Cook for 20 minutes, strain and reserve. You should obtain 1.2 litres of clear stock, 1 litre for the Lucie Passedat base and the rest for the cooking of the bass.
Preparation of the Lucie Passedat base
- Reduce by half the litre of fish stock, add the lightly crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, the coriander seeds and the sugar, then put everything through a vegetable mill.
Preparation of the garnish
- Meanwhile, zest 1 lemon. Cut it into cubes, blanch it three times and refresh. Set aside. Peel the 4 grape tomatoes, trim the skin and cut into small cubes (brunoise). Remove the leaves from the basil and fresh coriander, wash and chop them. Prepare the 2 other lemons in juice.
- Slice the truffle thinly on a mandolin. Set half aside in olive oil; cut the other half into very small dice. Set aside.
- Cut the peeled cucumber into tagliatelle shapes as well as the skin of the 2 courgettes. Make sure they are regular in shape and precise.
- Blanch and refresh.
- Place the vegetable tagliatelles on the parchment paper, alternating 7 strips of courgettes and 6 strips of cucumber.
- Prepare a stainless steel baking dish by brushing it with clarified butter. Season with salt and pepper, then arrange the green tomato strips and the bass sections, followed by the wild fennel seeds, 1 drizzle of olive oil, Camargue salt and mignonette pepper. Cover with fish stock.
- Steam the 4 portions of bass at 60°C for 12 minutes. Let rest.
- Add to the Lucie Passedat base the chopped coriander and basil, the diced lemon, the diced tomato, the diced truffle, the olive oil, the juice of 2 lemons, the 10 cl of truffle juice, salt and pepper to adjust the taste to your liking. Heat slightly without boiling.
- Place the vegetable tagliatelle on top of the cooked fish and let it reheat lightly with the steam.
- Take 4 slices of truffle, brush them with olive oil, salt and pepper, then heat them in the oven at 150°C and place them carefully on the bass sections.
- Arrange the Lucie Passedat base in a soup plate and gently place the fish on top. Finish with a dash of olive oil and a sprinkling of fleur de sel and the truffle slices.
Did you enjoy the recipe? Let us know in the comment section below.
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