Treasures of Colombia: Colombian Amarillo A La Monseñor (Colombian Fish Dish)

No one can deny that the fish dish is a favorite, no matter where you are. Seafood is mostly good for you. In Colombia, we have a variety of options and today, we will sample the Amarillo a la Monseñor or Elevated Steam Fish.

treasures of colombia with stacey ann smith


By: Stacey Ann Smith

In 1979, Chef Carlos Infante Granados prepared a special dish for a distinguished Priest called Monseñor Gregorio Garavito who visited the city of Villavicencio Meta, Colombia to celebrate his birthday. The host wanted to impress the Priest and so he ordered the chef to skillfully design a novel dish that would completely make an impression on his distinguished guest.

After much thought, the chef proposed that it would be best to prepare a dish that is synonymous to the region of Meta; and so, he decided to elevate an ordinary fish called the “Yellow Bagre” that could be found in almost all the surrounding rivers in the city. He then expertly chose ingredients that he thought would perfectly compliment this fish.

The ingredients included:

  • Bagre fillet (fish fillet)
  • Mushrooms
  • Shrimps
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Milk
  • Tomato juice
  • Wine
  • Garlic
  • Onion and other special spices

After eating the special dish, the Priest was so impressed that he went and dialogue with the Chef and told him how delicious and sophisticated it was. As a result, to this day the Amarillo a la Monseñor is on every high-end restaurant menu and is quite expensive.

I referred to the Amarillo a la Monseñor as an elevated steam fish because in Jamaica we do not add nearly as much as these ingredients when steaming fish, but of course, its taste is that of pure elevation (Jamaican steam fish). Jamaicans pay more attention to flavor than the number of ingredients.

However, in some high-end Chinese restaurants in Jamaica, one can find a similar dish to the Amarillo a la Monseñor called Seafood Wor Bar.

This dish includes Fish, Mushrooms, Lobster, Scallops and green vegetables.

In addition, I must highlight the fact that the Colombian Bagre (fish) is similar or of the same family of the Jamaican Grouper.

The cost for an Amarillo a la Monseñor dish ranges between twenty-five thousand and thirty thousand pesos (25000 & 30000 COP); that’s equivalent to one thousand and fifty to one thousand four hundred Jamaican dollars ($1050 – $1400 JMD), depending on the restaurant.

So, step outside the box and create your own elevated steam fish today…2019 Steam Fish Challenge!


Stacey – Ann Smith is from Kingston, Jamaica.  She is an alumnus of Camperdown High School and she graduated from The Shortwood Teachers’ College having earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Modern Languages, Spanish and French. Presently, Stacey is an English teacher at a University in Colombia.  She describes herself as a vivacious and loving person who also has a passion for traveling, taking pictures, her son Nicholas and Ashley, her adorable feline.

Copyright © 2019

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