Book Review: In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks
In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks
by Michael Bennett and Eileen Bennett Clark
Published by The Professional Image
Mango, crab, papaya, coconut, salmon, avocado and lobster, so many wonderful delights from nature are plentiful in the Caribbean. With nature’s overflowing bounty of tropical fruits, vegetables, fresh seafood and amazing spices it’s no surprise that Chef/Author Michael Bennett has penned a Caribbean-style cookbook from his years of living amongst the Islands.
Chef Bennett’s first book is titled “In the land of Pirates, Misfits and Cooks”, a first-hand “taste of living” in the Caribbean. Bennett has coined the term “Caribb-ican” a cross between Caribbean and American styles of food preparation. To excite one’s palate and to experiment with new methods of cooking and innovative ingredients makes the old new again. Chef Bennett takes the reader on playful culinary journeys throughout the many islands of the Caribbean showing you that with a little ingenuity you can bedazzle your taste buds by being tropically inspired with what Mother Nature has already given us.
The recipes are easy to read, easy to follow and easy to prepare. This book was designed with simplicity in mind to appeal to the most novice of home cooks yet intrigue the experienced cook at the same time. The ingredients are readily available at your local grocery store making this exciting style of cooking accessible at a moment’s notice without much plan other than having the ingredient list with you as you shop. On most pages there are sidebars that highlight cooking tips, preparation tricks and “inside information” as it pertains to healthy eating and variations on the preparation of the dish.
The photos highlight Bennett’s signature style of presentation “food stacking”. Bennett creates towers and rises with his food, Bennett clearly defines “playing with food”, you will never just get food on a plate with Michael Bennett, you will get works of art carefully constructed. This may seem daunting to the average home cook but in true teaching style Chef Bennett explains in detail “how to play with your food”, this alone is worth having the book as you become an honorary Pirate, Misfit and Cook of the Carrib-ican style of cooking.
– Review by Christine Najac