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Whole Roasted Fish with Fennel, Olives and Thyme

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  • Difficulty: difficult
  • Video Length: 16:33
  • Course: Technique II: Grill and Roast WTF?

Roasting a whole fish is actually more simple than you think. Start with a good fish. Go to the market, and look for one that is firm, but not slimy. Get a fish with the scales already removed. Give it a smell - if you catch a scent of the ocean, the fish is good. If it smells like ammonia, the fish has gone bad. And don't be shy about getting a pre-gutted fish - it makes everything faster and easier. Once you've cooked the fish, you'll know it's done by inserting a knife near the head next to the spine. If the meat pulls away easily, it's done. Cut off the fins, then run your knife along the spine and the meat should pull away. Flip the fish over and repeat. Once you can see all the bones, grab the end closest to the tail and gently pull upward - the skeleton will come right out. Next, fold the fish back together so it's whole again, plate and serve.

Spike Mendelsohn (Season 4)

Spike works as the chef de cuisine at Tribeca's new hotspot restaurant, Mai House, owned by the renowned restaurateur Drew Nieporent. Mai House was named as one of the New York Times' top ten best new restaurants of 2007. Born in Montreal, Canada and trained in classic French cuisine in restaurants around the world. Spike has worked with Gerard Boyer at Les Crayeres, Thomas Keller at Bouchon and The Maccioni Family at Le Cirque. Spike believes in learning the basics to become the best. His latest venture is opening a new chain, Good Stuff Eatery, with his family (first location opening in Washington D.C. later this year) The new restaurant features his weaknesses -- hamburgers, hot dogs, fries and milkshakes.