My friend Denis, from Antibes, is a professional fisherman. He learned to fish from his father and today is one of the last professional fisherman in Antibes. After being in this business for 25 years, he knows every inch of the Mediterranean coast around Antibes, especially the Cap d'Antibes. He knows which places to go and where to put the net during every season for each kind of fish. For him, everything usually starts during the night and finishes early in the morning. He sells his catch himself at stand at the daily market.
He also practices line fishing from his boat for certain fish. Loup de Mer is one of them. Loup de Mer is a unique fish, that the stripped bass cannot replace even if they are part of the same family. We both agreed that the Loup de Mer is the king of the water. The delicacy of the meat offers a soft but firm texture, sweetness and richness.
I like to bake the fish whole, over slices of lemon, garlic cloves, and dry fennel sticks, seasoned with olive oil and salt. I start it off in the oven on high heat oven to brown the skin, then lower the temperature and cook it until the meat is pink next to the bone. When it is done, it goes from the oven directly to the middle of the table to be filleted and shared by the family. It was our main course on Christmas eve.