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Baccala Mantecato (Salt Cod Paste)

This recipe comes to us from the kitchen of Chris Lillico, Head Chef, Fondata 1872 at Wellers.

Chris was a regular instructor at the Neff Market Kitchen Cooking School which closed in May 2020.



  • 800 g piece white fish (salt cod)
  • 200 ml milk olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200 ml olive oil
  • parsley
  • spice salt
  • rock salt
  • garlic
  • thyme
  • juniper berries
  • lemon zest



Blend the rock salt with garlic, thyme, juniper berries and lemon zest together in a processor.
Cover the fish with the spice salt, place on a tray in the refrigerator for 2 hours to marinate.

Wash the salt off the fish under cold water. Cut into largish pieces. Warm the milk and bay leaves in a suitable pan. Add the fish pieces and poach gently until it is opaque in colour and flakes easily.

Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Using a Kitchen Aid or other electric mixer with a paddle attachment, add the cooked fish ( reserve the poaching milk) and mix slowly adding the olive oil, finely grated garlic, extra lemon zest and parsley until the mixture makes a light and smooth ‘dipping’ spread. If the spread is too thick, blend in some reserved milk to soften the mixture.

Serve with crusty bread.





Chris Lillico
Head Chef, Fondata 1872 at Wellers

Chris’ Italian heritage and early experiences in Italian and European kitchens helped develop his passion for Italian cuisine. This led him to Sapore in 2007 where he worked for two years as Sous Chef before heading to Europe to hone his skills. His stay in Europe included a stint at Phil Howard’s Michelin starred restaurant Kitchen W8, The Orange Public House which was awarded ‘Best New Gastro Pub’ the year Chris was there, and time on a super yacht in the Mediterranean. Following his experience at Cucinetta in Sth Yarra, Chris is now head chef at Fondata 1872 at Wellers.

Fondata 1872
150 Eltham-Yarra Glen Rd
Kangaroo Ground VIC 3097
03 9712 0742

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