The Fishmonger’s Art
Years ago every chef of a decent caliber was a Fishmonger and they knew how to break down their own whole fish into fillets. Chefs were intimately familiar with the different skeletal patterns of the various species which they served, and they knew how to get the most yield out of each type of fish.
Today, the Fishmonger’s art in the kitchen is fading away. Most professional Fishmongers only exist at the seafood processing level, where almost all of our fish is filleted, skinned, and even portioned for us by the big seafood houses, then shipped to our restaurants. Although this is convenient, and can save on labor costs and perhaps even on actual yield costs (because of their expertise), it is sad that we, as chefs, are losing this skill.
If you’re among the few chefs who still order either whole fish, or loins of large fish, then I applaud you! To be successful at running your own Fishmonger program at your restaurant you need the technical skill to fillet various fish correctly, and you need the business knowledge to know the yield percentage you will get so that you can correctly price your menu.
This fish filleting log and yield percentage form will help track the skill level of your filleters, and also give you an indication of how different sized fish have different yields and how that impacts your food cost. For instance, I’ve found that H&G 10/20 Halibut have a poor yield compared to H&G 20/40 Halibut and therefore I always ask for the 20/40 size.
Fish Fillet Yield Chart for Fishmongers
For comparison to standard yields check-out the Fish Fillet Yields page which lists a large variety of industry standard yields for various fish.
Download the Fish Fillet Log & Chart for Free
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