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The Center for Genomic Gastronomy & Special Snowflake Studio USA/Norway & USA

Vegetarian bouillabaisse is a historical re-enactment of science. The goal of the recipe is to locate, grow and cook with the ‘fish tomato’, a transgenic tomato containing an antifreeze gene that was isolated from the winter flounder fish [Pseudopleuronectes americanus]. The fish tomato was intended to be a frost-tolerant variety of tomato, but since first being developed, it has gone missing. In the process of tracking down and cooking a transgenic fish tomato soup we hope to make public the processes that led to the creation, hype and abandonment of this genome and to dispel popular myths surrounding it. If you do find the fish tomato, here’s a recipe to make the ultimate vegetarian bouillabaisse. In the mean time you can make this recipe, whose name means ‘to boil then to simmer’, at home using any other variety of tomato that is readily available.

3.2 kg fish tomatoes [or substitute with regular tomatoes]
Generous pinch saffron
1 bottle white wine
4 onions, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
6 carrots, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chop the bulb and reserve fronds for garnish
4 leeks, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
170 g tomato paste
Peel from one orange
1 bay leaf
Handful of seaweed
1 cup olive oil

5 slices artisan French or Italian bread
2 tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
Olive oil

2 garlic cloves
2 egg yolks
Juice from 1 lemon
½ cup olive oil
½ cup neutral-tasting vegetable oil such as
refined peanut oil or grapeseed oil
1 tsp sherry vinegar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper


_Put tomato paste and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a stockpot and cook over medium heat until browned. Add olive oil, onions, celery, carrots, fennel bulb, leeks, garlic, bay leaf and orange peel. Cook until vegetables are fragrant and soft, but not browned. Add tomatoes and mash with a spatula or spoon in the pot. Add white wine. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 40 minutes.
_In the mean time, to prepare the pa amb tomaquet, first grill the bread over a flame or toast in the oven, ensuring that both sides are browned. Cut garlic cloves in half and use to rub both sides of the bread slices. Cut the tomatoes in half and rub both sides of the bread slices. Sprinkle bread with salt, pepper and then drizzle with olive oil. Cut the bread slices in half and distribute.
_Next, to prepare the lemon aioli, slice the garlic cloves and crush along with a pinch of salt to form a paste using a mortar and pestle. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice. Add the oils in a thin steady stream to the egg yolks and lemon juice, whisking constantly. After the mixture has emulsified, whisk in the garlic mixture, vinegar, salt and pepper.
_Pass ½ to ¾ of the cooked soup from the pot through a food mill or blender to reach the desired consistency. A chunky consistency is most desirable. Garnish with pa amb tomaquet, lemon aioli, fennel fronds and pimenton.