Chef Avinash Martins Eats Local And Supports Local Too

Chef Avinash Martins needs no introduction, a modest chef who takes great pride in the cuisine of his home state of Goa. His rising prominence is thanks to his innovative spins on traditional fare. The stories about his fondness for the Goan artisans who make these foods, and their origins are just the icing on the cake. While experimenting with Goan flavours, he makes every effort to encourage his customers to buy locally and support small businesses. In his latest post on Instagram, he can be seen buying fresh fish from the famous Assolna fish market in South Goa.  

He captions” Assolna is located to the south of Goa. The market here has always attracted many fish enthusiast. The fisherwomen from around Betul and the surrounding areas dwell here every day. The men generally go out for the catch and their wifes do the selling. Assolna also is known for their brackish waters from the river Sal. So the quality of fish form this area is undoubtedly the best. The market opens up in the morning and they close by 12:30 unlike other commercial fish markets that are open all day. 

Most importantly the joy of meeting these fisherwomen, blending into their lives for a short time is something one needs to experience! It’s not just about going there and buying fresh fish, it’s much more than that! I always find a sense of belongingness, comfort and warmth in these small markets rather than the cold commercial ones! So my friends! my belief and ethos of support locals and eat local comes alive in such places!”  

As he strolls through the fish market, he sees a wide selection of fresh fish and hears local vendors, mostly women, praising the quality and flavour of their catch. Among the many varieties, he finds silverfish, pomfret, prawns, river mullet, which is indigenous to Goa and more.   

When you have the chance to work with freshly caught fish, you have the opportunity to create a truly delectable dish that perfectly captures the flavours of the marine environment. From the very first moment the fish is caught, its vivid hues and the briny scent of the sea awaken the senses and create a sense of eager anticipation. For both seasoned culinary professionals and home cooks alike, the use of freshly caught fish presents a unique opportunity to craft exceptional dishes. The fish boasts a firm and succulent texture that serves as the perfect foundation for a myriad of culinary creations, thanks to its subtle and refined taste profile. The culinary possibilities of fresh seafood are endless, whether you prefer grilling, baking, sautéing, or poaching. With its natural oceanic flavours, a well-prepared fish dish is sure to impress and delight your taste buds. 

Earlier in a post, Chef Avinash could be seen lake fishing in his village, Tollem in Goa. He explains the fish catching task and how meticulously it is done. In the video, fishermen can be seen carrying a huge fish net, called the Orbol. The men hold it on either sides and drag the fish, the net, and come on shore. He says, “Notice this is a very laborious job and the men involved here are continuously making sure that water and the net has no gap. Look at the labor of love all of us are putting into this.” His catch from that day is the Tilapia fish from the local lake. From all the variety of fish he says, some are in extinction, but nevertheless, we were happy with the catch, and I'm headed home. I'm going to leave some of the fish in my personal pond at home and let it just be there”.  

This isn't the first time he's shown his appreciation for local fare and praised its vendors on Instagram; his feed is full of such examples.