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Monty Halls

My Signature Dish

by Monty Halls

"I like fish that I've caught, chucked in a skillet"

With two decades' experience of leading teams in some of the most remote environments on earth, Monty Halls - broadcaster, speaker, naturalist, marine biologist, travel writer and leadership specialist - is used to taking risks but in the kitchen he prefers to play it safe and simple.

Life as a Royal Marine and later a broadcaster, filming series such as The Great Escape, sees Monty perfectly at home cooking for himslef - whether its around a campfire or cooking for one on location. But back at home, cooking is no solitary business; in the family's Devon home, Monty is frequently outnumbered by toddlers running wild. "we bought a barn conversion, well it's more or of a barn than a conversion, and spanked our entire savings on it but what we got was a massive kitchen which is very mucht the heart of the house. You know, with all those toddlers in it, they can get a good run up in it. Momentum.

"I like cooking. Like most people would probably say, I'm a keen chef but not a good chef. I have bursts of enthusiasm, you know, particually arounf the time of MasterChef, which I'm a huge fan of. I'm not an intuative cook like my sister - she turns up, goes through the cupboards, sprinkles some of this, adds a glug of that and it's like magic - but if you spoke to my friends they'd probably say I'm a decent cook."

For Monty, simple food is best. "You know, with fish, we gild the lily don't we? We use sauces and spices. But for me, I just like fresh fish and vegetables. I like fish that I've caught, chucked in a skillet. When we were filming The Great Escape in Scotland, I actually built an earthenware oven. I smoked a lot of mackerel and game up there, living in a bothy fo six months."

Monty was delighted with his wife's choice of Christmas present this year. "I now have a fire pit - a really serious one, and this is what I cook my salmon dish on. It's so simple and quick. Cooking outdoors can be a bit of a performance when you've got toddlersand fire to consider, you know, with the logistics, but this is a simple dish, which I'd usually serve with salad and some light mayonnaise - it's almost a starter really."

Monty's Coconut Crusted Salmon

Montys coconut crusted salmon
Follow Monty's blog 'Monty's Great Escapes' at
Recipe featured in Stiritup August 2016 edition.


  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 organic, free-range egg, beaten
  • 1½lb wild salmon, skinned and sliced
    into four portions


  1. Preheat oven to 190°C.
  2. Mix coconut flour, shredded coconut and salt together in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
  3. Dip the salmon in the egg and coat both sides with the coconut mixture. Lay flat on a sheet pan.
  4. Bake the salmon for 15-20minutes, flipping once until the salmon is cooked and the coconut crust is slightly browned and crisp. Serve warm.
  5. Note: to make the crust crispier and add more colour, broil the salmon for the last 5 minutes of the cooking process.


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