Chef Michael Bennett, chef of Bimini Boatyard
wins “Pairings” tasting event in Fort Lauderdale.
Miami, Florida ~ Chef and Author of three cookbooks, MichaelBennett the Executive chef of Fort Lauderdale’s Bimini Boatyard, judged “BestOverall” by New Times magazine.
Authorand Chef Michael Bennett has been BiminiBoatyard’s chef ever since he returned to the U.S. from his three year expeditionworking through the Caribbean. Chef Michael Bennett tells a story about the foodsof the Caribbean through his dish – that won “Best Overall” recipe – atthis premiere Fort Lauderdale foodie event.
ChefMichael describes his Caribbean Escolar as an ode to theCaribbean nations he has visited. Meaning; each part of this recipe representsa vast array of Caribbean cultures via the ingredients that he uses. Escolar isa white tuna and it is found in the waters off Florida’s west coast and thewaters around Mexico’s Pacific Ocean. First chef Michael dusts the Escolar filletwith a spice rub composed of a Caribbean spice palette of; pink and greenpeppercorns, mace, ginger and “justenough of a good thing” – cocoa. “It is tribute to the western Caribbean’s Incanculture”, says Chef Michael Bennett. The actual addition of Cocoa was made toheighten the flavor profile of the north Florida Oak grilling of the Escolar.
As the fish cooks, itabsorbs the flavors from the grilling and to counteract the grilling char headded a French Caribbean beloved flavoring, Frangelico in the beurre blanc thathe uses to nappe the Escolar. Of course,Frangelico has a great flavor profile for dessert chefs, but Chef Michael hasproved that Frangelico is not just for CrèmeAnglaise anymore. “The richness of Escolar and the Frangelico Beurre Blanc calls to me for balancethis dish with an acidic yin and yang”, says Chef Michael. So he pairsthe dish with a Kimchee made from a characteristic Caribbean market basket,consisting of papaya and pineapple. Chef Michael Bennett says, “It goes a longway to bring this dish into the Caribbean cuisine realm and also acts as theperfect foil to the Escolar’s richness, along with the flavor profile balance”.
Chef Michael also addeda texture related counter-balance with the crunchof Tobacco onions. The ideal to add texture balance was to revise a classic Caribbean cooking premise and present the Escolar in a snappier,more memorable, exciting and groomed manner. The notion of total platecounter-balance was in vogue back in the early ‘90s. Nouvellecuisine taughtus well. Smallportions of exceptionaly subsequent plate oppose-balances and beautifulfood, is now the model ratherthan the exception
About Chef andAuthor Michael Bennett:
Chef Michael Bennett’s first cookbook, “Inthe Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks”, has been revised to be 100 percent Gluten-Free.This cookbook is the result of chef Michael Bennett’s equating and collaboratinghundreds of years of compelling Caribbean food and cookery elements with a Gluten-free scope. This book is overflowing with ascrumptious mix of seasoning blends and marinades, salads, appetizers andentrees written in a way whereyou are the aspirantchef and, YOUcan compose or alter recipes while atop the stove.
The modern metropolitan recipe styling captures a distinct local flavor, one that illustrates a multi-national cookeryheritage. Vibrant photography, easy to use design, one-of-a-kind recipe flow,interesting andhelpful sidebars and an unique concept of using QR (Quick Response) codes,blend to createthe perfect sampling of what this modernized, Caribbean based cookery style has to offer. This Gluten-freecookbook wasdeveloped as a way of changing the idea that Caribbean cuisine is only “curry powder” ora “jerk glaze” repertoire.
Chef Michaelasserts that after working as a chef for the past four years in applaudableCaribbean dining venues, each has played an important role in the successfuldispatch of this book. Michael’s travel and oeuvre throughout the Caribbean,whether on a British, American, French or Spanish island nations, has helpedMichael to shape this unprecedented recipe collection.
Michael Bennett is a well-known awardwinning (Chef of the Year-1995) South Florida chef whose clients are a Who’s Who of Media and Sportspersonalities. He earned critical culinary kudos as the Executive chef for the26 year-local culinary force Left Bankrestaurant. Under his auspices hebrought “Best of” (Zagat Survey), Four Stars (AAA) and FourDiamonds (Mobil) to the long-time three star rating. He also holds culinaryaffiliations with several culinary and food-related organizations. He regularlylectures on South Florida’s “Caribb-ican” cuisine.
About The Professional Image, Inc.
The Professional Image was founded in 1991 and as a “budding” Chef/Authorservices provider for chefs – and soon to be authors, has helped to publishfood-related articles and books on a regional and national basis. TheProfessional Image is based in South Florida with outposts throughout the Caribbean.TPI provides chef/authors with direct and personal access to quick, qualityorientated publication in trade paperback, custom leather-bound, and full-colorformats.
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Creative Director/Art Director/Designer:
Food Stylists: Michael Bennett
Editor-in-Chief: Eileen Clark