Gourmets believe that fish should swim three times: first in water, then in butter, and finally in wine. Of course, there is nothing wrong with such a recipe, but it might become monotonous over time. So how can we enjoy such nutritious white meat full of healthy substances as often as possible without getting turned off by having fish too often? One of our residents knows the answer – chef Martin Kortus, graduate of the famous French Culinary Institute, experienced restaurateur and current lecturer of culinary courses for the public.
Martin Kortus has been loving fish since his childhood, often spent with fishing rod in hand on the banks of Bohemia’s Berounka River. Gradually over his culinary career, he found it ideal to prepare fish and seafood as simply as possible using only a few ingredients like lemon and herbs. How to make the tastes of these dishes stand out as much as possible without spending the whole day in the kitchen? Right now, Martin Kortus is teaching this to enthusiasts in his online courses. He is sure you will enjoy your kitchen time during these virtual cooking lessons together, and the results are sure to please not only the palate but also the eyes, which we ourselves can definitely confirm.
FIVE QUESTIONS FOR MARTIN KORTUS
1. Do you still fish?
I would love to go, but lack of time prevents me. I have enjoyed catching fish since childhood. I spent my holidays by the Berounka River, where I could be found either on a tennis court or fishing. Fishing gradually grew into my great passion. I even represented Czechoslovakia in angling and fishing techniques in a pentathlon when I was eighteen years old. As I’ve aged, that passion has subsided a bit, but I definitely plan to return to fishing. That's why I live in DOCK where the water is within reach, and in the future, when I have a little more free time, I plan to buy a boat and start fishing again.
2. Where can we go for a successful "fishing trip” in Prague if we want to find guaranteed fresh fish?
There are quite a few of those shops today. I can definitely mention the bistro La Bottega di Finestra with its daily offer of fresh fish, mostly from Italy, and they can arrange almost any purchase in any quantity. I also enjoy buying vacuum-packed fish at C.I.P.A. In this shop, you can also get good quality meat, French poultry or frozen seafood, and you can get there from here at DOCK in just a few minutes by taking the tunnel. Another good source of quality fish is Makro, which has just about everything.
3. What makes your online course most fun?
Above all, the diversity of people who enroll in the courses. Anyone can log in from anywhere. People from smaller cities, from places far from Prague, or those who have children and little time, welcome the fact that all the necessary raw ingredients, of course premium ones, arrive at their home before the scheduled course. I also enjoy the interactivity of the courses, where participants and I can share our experiences. And if something goes wrong in the pot on the other side, I can intervene, and we fix it together. Online courses have a lot of advantages… Each stream is a little different, depending on what people get together, but it's always a ton of fun. Not only for me, but probably for the participants as well, because a lot of them keep coming back. Plus, it's really comfortable - you cook in your own place that you know down to the last teaspoon, and otherwise you don't need anything at all - a kit with everything arrives to the home - I even send the right salt.
4. What course topics do you plan soon?
Thanks to the initial cooperation with the agency representing Bonduelle, we will definitely feature cooking courses with vegetables in the near future. Current trends in gastronomy are presenting vegetables, legumes and healthy eating in general. That is why meals without an animal component are appearing more often in my courses. I like both the animal and plant components of gastronomy, but if I had to choose one over the other, I would find myself, and gleefully so, on the plant side. These dishes are more easily digestible, lighter, and their cooking times are shorter. And I would now like to focus on various techniques in my courses, definitely including sous-vide cooking, explaining it and how to master this technique without needing special equipment at home…how to actually get around that.
5. And the key question in conclusion - beer or wine?
Definitely wine. I wouldn't turn down one good glass of beer, but no more. I certainly can't manage to drink a pint, or even a few pints. That's not my thing. But I adore wine, something I’ve enjoyed from early adulthood. Unfortunately, the times when I liked them all are long gone. Today, it's a little harder to satisfy my palate, but here at DOCK, we have a fantastic wine shop. I can get there from home by taking a pleasant stroll through the complex, which always pleases me visually and functionally.
Sea bass baked in a salt crust
- 600g – 1kg fresh sea bass
- 2 lemons
- Small bundle of thyme
- 1-1.5 kg coarse sea salt
- Virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 210°C. Remove the scales from the fresh fish and gut it. Stuff the fish with a few slices of lemon and the thyme bundle (or other favorite fresh herbs) in the cavity.
Mix the coarse sea salt with a little water (about 10-15 ml) to moisten. Coat the fish on both sides with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Gradually cover it with salt, a bit of the head and tail may remain partially exposed. Try to create an even salt layer.
Bake the fish for about 17-19 minutes, depending on its size. After baking, crack and remove the salt crust, debone the fish and serve…best on a heated plate with lemon, quality olive oil and your favorite side vegetable.
ONLINE STREAM With Martin Kortus
20 March 2022
Get inspired watching a mini-course demonstration and soak up the spring energy for home cooking. For more information, visit www.dock.cz/martin-kortus
"After a good meal, the world is much better.”