Meals & Recipe

"Very very important in any fishing trip... is the food!"

I am pleased to offer a mix of local meals, as well as international cooking from France and Italy.

What's for Dinner? The catch of the day?

Costa Rica and Nicaragua are not typically known as gourmet destinations, but in San Jose, Managua, and Granada there are some good restaurants. After exploring the region for over 20 years, we've discovered there are some delicious dining options. For great food in the area, we recommend, Asseri (Local Surtidas), Le Chef Jacques (basic good French cooking), and Fellini (really gourmet Italian) for some of the best food Nicaragua have to offer.

Most of the time during your fishing trip, you will be around and on our fishing grounds. Many of our meals include a rice and beans combination called Gallo pinto, Casado, or Arroz con frijoles whatever you call it, it is generally the same in all of Central America.

Guest can't eat rice and beans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday, so we generally prepare several French dishes, and some other international dishes acquired over years of travel. Also, we often serve some typical local dishes including the Gallo Pinto, El Bao, The Tortillas, El Casado, and Los Picadillo.

Basic daily "Menu"

BREAKFAST In the morning we may serve traditional Gallo Pinto with eggs, and we add hot fresh bread, butter, various delicious marmalades, and fruits depending on what is in season. Examples would be pineapple, banana "Jardin", mango, and fresh fruit juice.

LUNCH Normally our lunch is at friends' Ranchos on the river banks. Obviously, there will be some rice and beans around, but then we add potatoes, yucca, tiquisque, and whatever the morning catch was that day, which will be served as a filet or whole. Chicken is always around, and some other more exotic surprises such as deer, turtle, or turtle eggs may also be served. If around lunchtime we have hooked a tarpon, then we will go on fighting it and eat aboard. We always have food in our coolers such as fruits, cookies, ham, marmalade, bread, and butter, so nobody will go hungry.

DINNER Dinners are typically a little more sophisticated. We generally have them at the lodge or in local restaurants. Some of the restaurants we visit are Kaoma, El Mirador in San Carlos, Hospedage in Solentiname, and El Castillo. We generally will have our catch of the day, which can be grilled, or in a filet, with different sauces from the local restaurant. You might have your fish French style with whipped cream and mushrooms, In tomatoes with onions, or in garlic sauce. We also may have some of our famous river shrimp, chicken, or meat (sometimes deer). Each protein can be cooked la Parilla or a la Plancha, and we recommend the Pollo a la Crema del Kaoma, which is excellent. Everything in the lodge's kitchen typically has a French touch.

River Shrimps, Langostinos, Camarones de Rio, Ouassou...

Shellfish are in our area but can be more difficult to get than fish, but we still always try. They are an important part of the ecosystem and are important to the survival of the families located in the jungle.
Wild Camarones de Rio has almost disappeared everywhere in the world. For example, you can no longer find them in the Caribbean Islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. Long ago it was a common delicatessen in Ouassou. They are mostly gone now but people are still crazy about them. Recently, a gentleman from the Caribbean asked us to send some. He was so eager to get them that he wanted to send me a charter jet every week.
Around San Carlos people fish them at night in the Jungle river aboard small wooden pirogue. No way to use conventional Trap, they use an open on top wooden box with stones in it , 10/15 feet rope and a buoy they put a Bait ( Any dead fish would work but The best is a Machaca ) wait a few hours then slowly lift the basquet ...if there is 3 River scrimps in the box at this moment they will probably get one in the boat. Per night using 20 traps they will probably collect between 5 to 10 River Scrimps...A tuff fishing but enough to make a living....
These river scrimps are around 1lb each.. Almost a lobster ...body is around 8/9 inch long , claws up to 12 inches!!!
Very very aggressive they are really dangerous to catch , the bit do cut a lot..the only way is they catch your hand or finger is to not move... Easy to say....
I am always impressed when I see the little boys catching them, they have a very precise technique they distract their attention with one hand and with the other grab them by the back....Not easy
In most of our trip we buy some from our friends on the river banks and have a Special dinner with our guests...this is a Unique my opinion much better than lobster.
Our area is one of the few place in the world where you can eat this wild specie it is impossible to eat in Europe or in state , whatever the Restaurant you go , whatever the price ...Exist farming of somewhere similar specie in the Caribbean also in Costa RICA , the great producer are in Asia , Please Trust me I also did try this Farm ones NOTHING COMPARE to the wild one we have here...
I forgot this is also one of the favorite meal of our Tarpon

Cooking: My favorite French Sauce...
Will match almost all fish,

( A new experience for me to write a Cooking Recipe in English...not easy I hope it is understandable...)

I call this sauce , "La tentation du fils de Jean". All of you know how simple we are ( " the Improvised French cooks" ) as soon as we talk cooking reality this sauce apart from it's name is very simple...
Filet a fish , I enjoyed this sauce with Grouper ( Merou in Greece ) , Flounders ( in Normandie France ), Dorado ( in Florida and St Martin FWI ) , Snook ( in San Carlos), Rainbow Bass ( In San carlos ) etc reality in my opinion it matches almost all fish...
Well LETS GO...Cut your fish filet in steaks, length around 5/7 inch, wide 4/5 inch, thick from 1/2 inch up to 1 order these piece of fish do not attach the Frying pan you can put some Flour around them....A FEW please...
Take a small frying pan put in it Butter or Olive Oil...when it is very hot , start to fry some mushrooms ..( 1 can ) . Once the mushrooms are well fried ( they have to be a bit burn so more testy ) , Stop cooking, add some whipping cream ( 2 cup ) it has to be the Salted one in no way the one used for decorating cake we need NO SUGAR, "Creme fraiche" I WAS ABLE TO FIND in any Super market when I was living in Florida sorry I forgot the exact name or brand.. , then add the juice of half a lime, Chopped Garlic ( a few , but a Must , very thin ) Chopped oignon ( just a little bit , fewer than the Garlic, also very thin), salt and Black pepper according to your taste, Mix all that carefully while you start to cook with very low heat.......THIS SAUCE must be very hot but MUST NEVER BE BOILING DURING THE ENTIRE PROCESS THIS IS THE SECRET...Keep it hot...And taste, taste, taste...adding eventually, lime juice, salt, black pepper according to your preference.....The final touch is to had a bit of chopped Parsley...
Apart, cook you Fish filets...They can be steam ( perfect for some fish ) or better fry in Butter or Olive Oil..( Please Only a few in the Frying pan) .careful if you decide to fry your fish parts when you put them in the Frying pan it has to be very hot....cook according to you taste ...but do not over cook as it generally will destroy the taste of fish...
Once the fish cook and hot, Put it in your most beautiful service Plate, you can add some Chopped parsley and Parts of lime on the side for presentation...( Colors ) , serve the sauce apart , each of your guest will take the quantity he wish....
You can serve this plate with White rice , or Boiled Potatoes...Simple.
As an eventual wine I recommend a Dry white wine...It can be from France.( a Muscadet , un gros plan, or better a Pouilly fuisse for Example..) ..but they are also excellent dry white wines from California, Chile , or Argentina...( some of my French compatriot will not forgive me for writing this !! but it is true nowadays good affordable wines is no more a French exclusivity )
That's it...and it is easy I do this Recipe in our Jungle of the San Juan river...I think It will be easier in the comfort of your Kitchen...
Bon apetit...

Sometime I feel really sorry for my poor English...if something sound really strange or is totally impossible to understand please E mail me I WILL TRY TO EXPLAIN BETTER 

* Bernie's favorite drinks..

They are "Classic" but so special when Bernie make them.. and so fast ... No show ...Efficiency!!!! ( Thanks Bernie... it's always with a great pleasure than we think of you and Don...)

# 1 Martini
a glass almost full of good gin..
1 small spoon full of dry vermouth.
3 or 4 large green olives.
1 small spoon full of olive juice.

pour all ingredients into a shaker of ice. stir and let chill. pour into martini glasses. if
you like, pour over ice (ON THE ROCKS)add 2 or 3 olives or a piece of lemon peel.

#2 a glass full of gin

small spoon full of sweet vermouth, or dry if you don't have sweet.
1/2 a glass of tonic water.
a bit of lemon juice and lemon peel.

mix all together and serve over ice. after 3 or 4 of these, get ready to dance, or fight.................

Bernie cook


14th of July 2003 I got this nice E mail from someone around Mississippi...

E mail is Thank You Philippe

I enclosed a couple of recipes you might like to try.
Here in Louisiana this is the bait we use to catch the really big ones. However, if you have never eaten alligator gar, you have missed a real treat. Here are a couple of recipes. This, as with most recipes, will take a couple of times to get the seasonings adjusted to your liking.
1 lb of ground alligator gar meat from a large one
1 lb of pealed and ground Irish potatoes
1/2 lb of finely chopped green onions
2-3 Tbls minced garlic
2 stalks of finely chopped celery
2 tsps salt and black pepper sprinkled over mixture
2-3tsps Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning or red pepper. Tony's is best.
2 Tbls of "Try Me" brand Tiger Sauce
Mix well with your hands. Roll into balls about 11/2" diameter then, flatten to about 1/2" thick. Roll in yellow corn meal or corn flour and fry. Hum-hum good. Try dipping your hands in cold water when fish begins to stick to them.
2 lbs of fresh gar from a large one.
Cut alligator gar meat into steaks about 1/2" thick. Season with salt, black pepper, garlic, onion and celery powder or Toney's Cajun Seasoning. Roll in yellow corn flour or corn meal. Fry until golden brown. Another hum-hum good.