a revisited emblem of Marseille

Marseille’s authentic and emblematic bouillabaisse inspires young Mediterranean chefs who create surprising variations on the famous recipe for soup made with fish from the south of France. If you thought you knew everything about Marseille bouillabaisse, you’ve got another thing coming: your tastebuds will just swoon with Chef Lionel Lévy’s milk-shake version!

The origins of Marseille bouillabaisse

Can we believe the Roman bouillabaisse legend? Venus is said to have offered some to Vulcan to send him to sleep so that she could seduce Mars in peace! What is known as bouillabaisse is an emblematic dish from the South of France which is classically a fish stock with leftovers of fish and the fish the fishermen aren’t able to sell. Prepared with Mediterranean fish cooked in a strong stock, perfumed with fennel and saffron, bouillabaisse has a lot of fans! Scorpion fish, weeverfish, John Dory and conger eel are often used to prepare it.

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Une publication partagée par Chez Fonfon (@chezfonfon)

A rethought iconic dish

In the restaurant of the Intercontinental Hôtel Dieu in Marseille, chef Lionel Lévy proposes this dish in the form of a milkshake presented in a tall glass where the spoon has to travel to the bottom. The chef lines it with a layer of saffron potatoes and then accompanies it with a creamy emulsion of egg, mascarpone and olive oil like ice cream.  This is the base for a poached John Dory in a foam of fish soup, like a mousse in a shaker. And to cap it all, a parmesan straw so that you can enjoy it as a  milkshake!

Chef Lionel Lévy’s bouillabaisse milkshake recipe

Ingredients (for 6) :

For the rouille (sauce):

  • 3 potatoes
  • 1½ l of soup
  • 8 g garlic
  • 4 egg yolks
  • Saffron
  • 1 red mullet liver
  • Salt, Espelette pepper
  • Olive oil

For the egg capuccino:

  • 10 eggs
  • 20 g butteer
  • 50 g olive oil
  • 125 g mascarpone
  • Salt, white pepper

For the foam of fish soup:

  • 2 kg rockfish
  • 2 branches of celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion, leek, orange
  • 2 fennels
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • Thyme, bay leaf
  • 100 g tomato puree
  • Pastis
  • 4 litres fish fumet
  • Saffron, pastis, olive oil
  • One fish fillet


    1st step: the foam of fish soup

    Sauté the fish in the olive oil, add the aromatic garniture cut into small 3 centimetre-long pieces: celery, carrots, onion, fennel, leek. Déglacer with the pastis. Add the orange cut into 4, the garlic cut in half, tomato puree, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, skim. Cook over low flame for 2 hours. Add the saffron. Reduce to half and season.

    Step 2: the rouille

    Peel and cut potatoes into pieces, and cook them in the fish soup with the garlic and saffron. Strain and blend the potatoes with the garlic and egg yolks. Add a red mullet liver and blend. Add the salt, Espelette pepper and olive oil.

    Step 3: the egg cappuccino

    Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper, scramble them in a skillet with a knob of butter and a drop of olive oil, stop the cooking process and add the mascarpone. Blend. Pour into a cream dispenser using 2 gas cartridges.

    Step 4: the fish fillet

    Cut a filet of fish, without the skin, into little cubes.

    Step 5: serving

    In a glass, place the rouille, the egg capuccino and the foam of fish soup.


    Chef Lionel Lévy at the helm of l’Alcyone at the Intercontinental Hôtel Dieu

    Among the leaders in Marseille and Mediterranean gastronomy, Chef Lionel Lévy of the restaurant l’Alcyone in the 5-star Intercontinental Hôtel Dieu overlooking the Vieux-Port in Marseille trained with world-famous chefs including Éric Fréchon and Alain Ducasse. The chef is a Marseillais by adoption who set up in the Mediterranean city in 1999, and he was the youngest chef in France to be awarded a star in 2005. His knowledge of regional cuisine is widely recognized and he creates phenomenal interpretations of Marseille specialities such as daube, aïoli and snack-style sea urchins. In 2012, he was co-founder of the association Gourméditerranée which promotes the dynamics of local cuisine and puts Marseille in the limelight of the gourmet food world. Inventive, curious, and a defender of the Marseille culinary territory, he is perpetually in search of novelty. His cuisine showcases the most beautiful pieces of the Vieux-Port, the vegetables he uses are harvested by producers with firm ethics and the meat is from respectful husbandry which gives his dishes their unique flavours.

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