Recipe For Bouillabaisse

I have learnt that there is a very clear distinction between food bloggers and food photographers / stylists. I am a food blogger and I concentrate on bringing you, my reader, the very best recipes I possibly can. I cook at night when I get home from work – yes, I do have a regular job. I usually start cooking at 18h00 and in summer it is still light, but in winter, the sun has set and it is a lights on situation. I dish up our supper around 19h00 and just before we go and sit down I take a photograph of our meal. Basically, what you see here is what we eat. On the very odd occasion I will take a photo during the day but that is about as close to food photography as I will get. This photograph is the bouillabaisse I made at home and photographed under a halogen light in my kitchen.


I was very fortunate to spend an afternoon with Sam Linsell who is a food stylist / photographer. I made bouillabaisse for her and she showed me a few tricks of her trade. Sam showed me how she goes about styling her photographs and what goes in to taking the perfect shot. I learnt so much from her, and even though you don’t see it everyday on my blog it is something I think about each time I take a photo. I know that the next step for me is a better camera -but that is a long way off from happening as I am throwing all my spare cash at building a house, and I want to stay true to being a food blogger first and foremost. This photograph was taken by me and styled by Sam.

Bouillabaisse With Sam
Bouillabaisse With Sam

I don’t make use of props as I am a bit impatient and I like to concentrate on the dish. Also, my blog is not photo ‘heavy’ as I am really all about the recipe. This recipe for bouillabaisse was tested over a long period of time and made about 4 times before I was happy with the end result. I hope you will give it a try!

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb sliced
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 sprig of fennel fronds
  • Small bunch of parsley
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Piece of dried orange rind
  • 300g firm white fish, thickly sliced
  • 300g mussels
  • Generous pinch of saffron
  • 60mls olive oil
  • 60mls white wine
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 500mls decent quality fish stock
  • small bunch of roughly chopped coriander
  1. Using a heavy bottomed casserole dish with a lid, layer the onion, carrot, tomato and fennel
  2. Add the garlic, chilli, fennel, the small bunch of parsley, thyme, bay leaf and the orange rind
  3. Layer the fish and the shellfish on top
  4. Grind the strands in a pestle and mortar
  5. Add the oil and the wine and mix
  6. Pour over the shellfish
  7. Season generously with salt and pepper
  8. Leave to marinade for 2 hours and then pour in the stock
  9. You want the stock to cover the fish – you might not need all of it, and if you need more, use water
  10. Bring to the boil with the lid on, remove the lid and boil for 12 minutes
  11. Gently remove the shellfish and fish and place into a deep soup bowl
  12. Strain the broth and serve over the fish and shellfish with a sprinkle of coriander
My Notes
To dry a piece of orange rind: use a vegetable peeler and peel a piece of the skin off the orange without ‘grabbing’’ the pith. Dry in an oven heated to 100 Deg C for 20 minutes. Accompany with a French loaf and rouille

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30 thoughts on “Recipe For Bouillabaisse

  1. Your bouillabaisse looks so delicious, and nicely photographed! Bookmarking this recipe–thanks for sharing! 😀
    I need to try working on my photo-taking skills as well, but just like you I want to first focus on the food itself and I am also investing my money towards renovations in my new home.

  2. Love your admissions on food styling Tandy! I’m with you although your recipes are so much more eloquent. I especially like this one as I am a shell fish eater. Always appreciate your food and your photos.

  3. I agree with you whole heartedly on the food blogger vs photographer/stylist!I am not a Food Stylist, or Food Photographer. Just me, my food and my blog. Do what we can with what we have 🙂

  4. I don’t go too crazy with food styling but I do try to put out a placement and have some items in the background just for some context. it’s just a few extra steps but it really makes a photo much better!

    1. That is a great idea Joanne – I will do that when we move into the house as I will have the space to set up for my photos 🙂

  5. Hi, Tandy, lovely bouillabaisse recipe and I like the idea of adding some coriander leaves and blossoms to it.

    Like you I am a WYSIWIT (what-you-see-is-what-I-took) person and most of the time I use my iPhone camera app. But it is nice when time allows it to fiddle around a little bit with a better camera and the results are obvious.

  6. Fabulous recipe Tandy. I like to photograph the food and not props. It might be a bit short sighted but I like to show the food the way it will be eaten and not dressed up, if you know what I mean. Your photographs are lovely.
    Have a happy day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  7. Oh Tandy, I hear you!! I too work and have to make do with artificial lighting, take a quick pick a minute before it’s devoured by the family…I love Bouillabaisse. It reminds me of the month I spent in Marseille, we dined on this when we felt like something special and it was always washed down with a crispy glass of white. Bliss!

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