MasterChef, the TV Experience

The Flying Fish

by Chef Margarita Vaamonde

This is a family recipe that I learned from my mom many years ago and she always cooked it for us on special occasions.

It is super simple but full of flavor with a delicious aroma of fresh herbs and Jamaican pepper (All Spice) which is very common in the Caribbean. This spice has amazing notes of pepper, cloves and nutmeg and makes this dish very unique.

This particular dish always brings back very good memories of family get-togethers and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.


  • 4 Large White Fish Fillets (Seabass, John Dory, Sole)
  • 6 Sprigs of Fresh Mint (Leaves and Stem)
  • 1 Handful of Fresh Parsley (Leaves and Stem)
  • 2 Sprigs of Fresh Lemon Thyme (Regular works too)
  • 1 Bunch of Celery Tips with Leaves
  • 1 Small Bunch of Fresh Dill (or Fennel Fronds)
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Basil
  • 2 Lemons Sliced 1.2 Kg White Flesh Potatoes
  • 600g Carrots
  • 1 White Onion 1 TBS All Spice (Also known as Jamaican Pepper)
  • 2 TBS Capers in Brine
  • ½ Cup White Wine (dry preferably) OR the Juice of 1 Lemon and 2 TBS of White Wine Vinegar
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 50g Butter
  • Water


  1. Turn on your oven to 1800 Celsius.
  2. Clean the whole fish fillets from any scales, pin bones or blood – I always leave the skin on but you can remove it if you prefer.
  3. Clean and peel the carrots, potatoes and onions and cut them in slices, not too thin as you don’t want them to break while they cook, place them on the bottom of your baking tray, season with salt and add about half of the fresh herbs bouquet on top.
  4. Add the wine (or the lemon juice mixer) and about an inch of water (or enough water to almost cover the layer of veggies).
  5. Add 4 cubes of butter evenly distributed, 1 tablespoon of capers (don’t strain the brine) and about 6-8 whole Jamaican peppercorns
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and cook in the oven for 10 minutes.
  7. Pinch some of the veggies with the tip of a knife. If they’re still too hard then add 5 more minutes or until the veggies are cooked half way through.
  8. Season the fish fillets and place it skin side down on top of the veggies, cover it with the lemon slices (remove any seeds) and the remaining herbs on top.
  9. Baste the fish with some of the cooking liquid, cover with foil again and poach it in the oven for 8 minutes or until the fish is fully cooked.
  10. Strain about 2 cups of the poaching liquid and put in a pot, reduce till 1/2 and add some butter and 1 more teaspoon of capers.
  11. The resulting sauce should be fresh and buttery with a nice hint of wine.
  12. Serve the fish with some of the veggies and pour some of the sauce on top and Buen Provecho.

Chef Margarita Vaamonde, Head Chef,