Medibbean….. Fusion Cuisine

To understand the beauty of Medibbean fusion recipes, we must first understand its core definition. Medibbean is all about combining distinctly different food elements from across the world into something new, healthy and tastes extraordinary. Cuisine is a specific set of cooking traditions and practices within a given culture or region. Medibbean alters this to include the best of the best.

From the introduction, we learn that “fusion” may be a term which has more recently been coined to refer to food, but in its broadest definition, we have seen this as an on-going characteristic for chefs throughout the centuries. For instance, when I think of Italian cuisine, pasta covered with a red sauce immediately comes to mind. Many of us know that Marco Polo brought pasta back to Italy from China; further, prior to 1492, there were little to no tomatoes in cooking throughout Italy. This means that at some point, possibly hundreds of years ago, pasta with red sauce was an example of fusion cooking.

 

Cookbook cover: Interview with a mango
Interview with a mango

Another incarnation of Medibbean cuisine is a more eclectic approach, featuring original Caribbean recipes using varieties of ingredients from various cuisines and Mediterranean regions and then combining cookery techniques and methodologies. A Medibbean cuisine restaurant might feature a wide variety of Caribbean food inspired by a combination of various Mediterranean regional cooking techniques with these new food pairing and preparation ideas.

A third approach uses foods with a history based on Caribbean food, but prepared using methods and flavors inherent to Mediterranean cooking or cuisines.
For instance, pizza made with cheddar and pepper jack cheese, salsa, refried beans and other common taco ingredients is often marketed as “Taco Pizza” or a similar concept, and is a fusion of Italian (pizza) and Mexican cuisines. Another example of this is Korean tacos. Similar approaches have been used for fusion-sushi, such as rolling maki with different types of rice and ingredients, e.g. cheetos, curry and basmati rice, cheese and salsa sauce with Spanish rice, or spiced ground lamb and capers rolled with Greek-style rice and grape leaves (resembling inside-out dolmades).
Since Medibbean fusion cuisine is a general term, it is legitimately applied to very few restaurants as of yet. While many diners feature dishes from Greek, Italian, and sometimes Asian cuisines side-by-side, these restaurants are generally not considered fusion as they fail to combine any elements of the cooking styles and also have no over-arching fusion or eclectic theme.

In fact, Chef Michael Bennett’s Medibbean cuisine has gone further, incorporating ingredients and methods from the Middle East, the Caribbean and Central and Southern Mediterranean countries into menus that, when successfully paired, begin to lose their national identity and become something like the diet for a culinary One World.

But there’s a problem with this notion: it assumes the existence of a cuisine that hasn’t been fused already. Take that weary emblem of Italian food, pasta with tomato sauce. Noodles, the story goes, were carried to Italy by Marco Polo on the backs of camels and tomatoes or “love apples,” were shipped from the Americas. There are myriad other examples, all demonstrating that cuisines themselves are in as much flux as languages and the nations that claim them both.

Can Medibbean cuisine be in flux and be fused? A region would have to be impregnable–as China once was or seemed to be–for its food to be continuously constant to register the change that flux in Medibbean fusion represents.

No, what we mean when we talk about “fusion” is a particular historical circumstance having to do with late-20th-century chefs and their urge to create. Of course, most high-rent chefs offer the recipes on their menus as their own, but these dishes are usually variations (often wonderful variations) on standard themes–Mediterranean, Greek, north African and bistro-style French. It’s not complicated: you sit down, open the menu and more or less know where you are–whether your protein will take the form of a slab or pieces; whether butter, olive oil or animal fat will smooth your tastebuds way; whether the palate temperature will be Arctic cool or tropical hot; whether you’ll be paying for food originally intended for the poor, the rich or the in-between.

Look at L.A.’s Spago’s early fusion dishes: pizza with artichokes, shiitakes, leeks, eggplants and sage; roasted duck with pears and ginger; marinated tuna with avocado, kaiware (daikon sprouts) and sweet onions; sweetbreads sautéed crisp with mustard greens and smoked pancetta. One can hardly predict where the separating semicolons should go
Fusion works not only by artfully combining flavors but also by reminding the eater of the gap that’s being breached. When the look and taste of such ingredients as nori become so familiar that they cease to challenge the Western palate–cease to seem “foreign”–then chefs may feel the urge to look elsewhere in order to invent. Chef Michael Bennett’s Medibbean fusion cuisine has succeeded so well in Miami distinctions of where the food was originally harvested will disappear.

Fusion cuisine has existed for centuries before people like Wolfgang Puck coined the term in the 80s and 90s. Whenever you have two or more cultures meeting and combining – either due to trade, conquest, immigration, etc. – the result has always been new culturally variegated recipes.

Technically, any dish that is composed of ingredients that aren’t from the same geographical area, could be considered fusion. I was a chef for many years and was schooled in Classical French and Italian cuisine before I worked with healthier French nouvelle cuisine techniques in the early 1980’s. Medibbean follows Northern Italian/Southern France cooking techniques, held to a higher standard by the 1980’s California cuisine craze that tend to marry it to two or three different cuisines on one plate like; a Japanese style cooking method with Thai spices and a Classical French plate presentation. Medibbean is mixing up these cooking techniques and seasonings; splicing them onto traditional Caribbean recipes by adding in our exotic fruit or spices to alter the color, texture and flavors.

Critics of the practice sometimes call it “confusion cuisine,”
arguing that chefs rely on novelty to carry the food,
rather than flavor, texture and presentation.

The roots of Medibbean fusion cuisine are ancient, since Pirates, Indentured servants and worldly travelers have been exchanging culinary heritage for centuries in the Caribbean Islands, but the concept became popularized in America in the 1970’s with the USA Culinary Team winning the Culinary Olympics in Germany.

Some of the most well-known fusion cuisine combines European and Asian-inspired Caribbean food. These distinctively different cultures have wildly divergent culinary traditions and combining the centuries of these cooking traditions can sometimes result in astonishing recipes because of their adventurous home cooks.

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New Healthy Cookbook – Interview with a Mango

PRESS RELEASE
Miami-based cookbook Author releases America’s first Medibbean Cookbook: Interview with a Mango.

February 1st, 2017 ~ Miami, Florida | The Professional Image, Inc. announces that Chef Michael Bennett’s latest Medibbean cookbook: Interview with a Mango (ISBN: 978-1-5323-3069-8) is a cookbook that features a new Medibbean cookery ideal. Medibbean recipes pair Caribbean food (like… a Mango) with Mediterranean cooking techniques. Chef Michael says, “You will be amaze with the healthy living choices that this Medibbean cookbook will teach you.

Cookbook cover: Interview with a mango
Interview with a mango

Since Chef Michael Bennett return to Miami – from a four year journey through the Caribbean – Chef Michael started promoting Miami menus featuring Caribbean cookery.

He first developed Miami’s “Caribb-ican” recipes – that filled his previous two healthy cooking books – with recipes featuring gluten free, tropical cookery of American food. Now he is again working with Caribbean food in an All-Natural, Mediterranean way. Medibbean!
Since Chef Michael Bennett always wanted to revisit the console of utilization only the best locally-harvested ingredients; to procreate a matchless and dynamic dining choice, this past year Chef Michael Bennett has been concentrating on developing an extensive healthy Medibbean cookery style mirroring the “Spa-Cuisine” cooking trend of the 1990’s.

In the Chef’s Words:
As Chef we pride ourselves in knowing the source of the all our fresh harvests
only striving to purchase from local Miami artisan growers.

….. a dialogue with the Chef Michael Bennett

You have been developing healthy recipes for the past decade….Why?
Chef Michael Bennett tells a story, “actually more than 20 years but, I have been concentrating on healthier basis of cooking in most every menu I have used for the past decade.”
Chef Michael Bennett developed a new Medibbean cookery ideal, one of community and belonging; that strives for fresh and healthy dining decisions. This new Medibbean cookery trend is one that provides healthy sustenance as it is entertainment for your taste buds.

Chef Michael was asked, “20 plus years working as a South Florida chef, you left Miami to live in the Caribbean. After spending four years there, were you able to learn the secrets of tropically-inspired cookery?”
His response was telling about the future of this new Medibbean cooking style. “I have had the greatest adventure any chef could have. Being able to go to live and work in the place where my favorite cookery style evolved. It compelled me to begin writing heart-healthy Caribbean food inspired cookbooks for all the rest of America to enjoy.”

Other questions that Chef Michael Bennett answered in various interviews:

Are you are a third-generation Florida Restaurateur?
“My entire family have all been in the restaurant business. My grandfather started in the business so he could keep his family fed during the depression. My Father, Uncle, Wife, both of my Brothers and my two Daughters all worked in restaurant business.”

You have been a long time chef-member of the Rare Fruit Council International, James Beard Foundation and the American Culinary Federation (ACF). Why?
“I am a true believer in being a part of the fabric that makes up our culinary world. Being the regional South Florida restaurant reviewer for the James Bread Foundation enabled me to get into the back door of my peer’s kitchens; writing more than 300 South Florida restaurant reviews. Working as a newsletter publisher for the A.C.F. was great way to get to know all my comrades around South Florida and informing these professional alliances about cooking in Miami led me to strive to tell other Americans about what it is like being a chef in South Florida.”

You have taught and judged culinary peers throughout Florida.
“It is this giving back to our community that makes me whole. It is something every chef should do.”

What it all comes down to…
Chef Michael Bennett endorses all of his culinary posts through his writing via local and International social media channels. This year, Chef Michael Bennett has released his fifth recipe book: Interview with a Mango, ISBN: 978-1-5323-3069-8 by honing his tropical-inspired, Mediterranean fusion cuisine cookery to be All-Natural and Gluten-Free to match his dedication to a lifelong heart-healthy cooking emphasis.

All five of Chef Michael’s books are found online on the Amazon.com website as a downloadable version or old fashion printed cookbook.

· Interview with a Mango (ISBN: 978-1-5323-3069-8) is a 212 page | four-color | 100 + Medibbean recipe cookbook that has an emphasis on America’s newest healthy Fusion-Cuisine dining trend. Medibbean recipes capture a distinctive and inventive new 2017 healthy tropical fusion-cookery heritage, while keeping to a vigorously-vibrant taste profile. As with all Chef Michael’s cookbooks; the Professional Image, Inc. published this new cookbook exclusively with interactive internet-based QR codes that link electronically to websites that help explain unfamiliar terms to everyone. This book makes use of this highly specialized way of interactivity with the reader with the use of QR codes printed directly on the pages alongside the recipes that directly link your smart phone/device to the Internet so your interactive experience is as fun as it is informative.

The Professional Image, Inc. has published America’s first interactive QR code cookbook – where QR codes are inlaid directly into the pages of “a Gluten Free FLAVOR Quest” – ISBN: 978-1-4951-1761-9.This new technology enables the recipe reader the ability to directly connect to the Internet to see information about recipes and cooking techniques.

Chef Bio:
Chef Michael Bennett, born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to first generation Floridians, has spent most of his adult life in the food and hospitality industry.

Chef Michael Bennett earned critical culinary kudos as the Executive chef for Left Bank and Bimini Boatyard restaurants in Fort Lauderdale. Under his auspices he brought Left Bank – the 26 year culinary tour d’ force its first ever “Best of” (Zagat Survey), “Four Stars” (AAA) and “Four Diamonds” (Mobil) to add to the 20 year era of three star ratings.

He is affiliated with several culinary and food-related organizations. Chef Michael regularly lectures on Florida’s “Caribb-ican” Fusion cuisine.

Chef Michael Bennett is a well-known, award winning (Chef of the Year-1995) Florida chef whose clients are a Who’s Who of Media and Sports personalities. Some of his clientele is comprised of celebrities from the entertainment and sport industries including; Wilt Chamberlin, Roger Stubb, Oprah, Jayda and Will Smith, Patrick Stewart, Andy Rooney, Michael Caine, Daryl Hanna, George Hamilton, Walter Cronkie, Morgan Freeman, Elton John, Snopp Dog, Madonna, Trina, Beyonce and others…..

About The Professional Image, Inc.

The Professional Image, Inc. is America’s first QR code enable cookbook publisher. TPI was founded in 1991 and as a “budding” Chef | Author PR services provider for chefs and soon to be authors. The Professional Image, Inc. was formed to help Chefs and Authors publish food related articles and their own books. TPI provides Chefs | Authors with direct and personal access to quick, quality orientated publication in trade paperback, custom leather-bound and full four-color formats.

Reviews for Chef Michael Bennett latest natural healthy cookbook.

Reviews on Chef Michael Bennett ‘s first All-Natural Cookbook:

Natural Recipes That Will Change Your Life:

Simple and Healthy Recipes for Delicious Appetizers

by Chef Michael Bennett

RATING: 3.71

Author and Chef Michael Bennett – South Florida (Miami, Fl.) has become a livewire cookbook writer and publisher. In the past four years he has written, produced and published four cookbooks along with writing ghost-authored cookbooks for two International Publishers. Chef Michael Bennett has been a noted South Florida chef with participation in dozens of charity and culin…more

Reviews

May 23, 2013Pax Fernandez rated it 3 of 5 stars

It is akin to cooking and eating with a conscience. Michael Bennett carefully weave the art of cooking with the science of achieving a healthy body and sane mind. He introduced to his readers an approach in eating that have been inspired by the wisdom of the ages.

The encouragement to lose or at least lessen the meat in our diets can be a bit difficult for some to fathom. Nevertheless, his method of going natural is worth trying with determination and discipline as their key components.

He provided recipes that are simple, fun and with some twists on the classics (bouche and ceviche).

The good thing was he also plotted a sample of how going natural can be applied in a daily eating regimen. It would have been better though if he added more recipes for his readers to be more inspired.

Furthermore, the chef-author courageously shared his ideas based on how he was able to curb his personal health concern by changing how he ate. The good thing is he still leaves it up to the reader to decide whether he/she will adapt to his approach.

This book is a must have for those who thought they have ‘read it all’.

Rating: 3/5

Jun 13, 2013Dini rated it 3 of 5 stars

This has been one of many recipe books I have gone through so far and I could rate it as average comparatively and my feedback is a mixture of pros and cons of the book.
Recipe books are mostly for fun and to try something new and different. But as per the title in this book “Natural recipes that will change your life”, it adds some kind of seriousness to the book making it unique and stands above the ordinary cook books. However I did not find the book as professional and inspiring as I expected it to be. For one thing, the font style and the size were lacking the professionalism. True that it was easy to read and soothing for the eyes, but it would have been better if the recipes were somehow managed within 1-2 pages and followed a standard font style, size and a format.
According to my view, table of contents plays a major role in attracting the readers to read the book. That is even more important with e-books as the reader usually don’t get a chance to flip through any random page before the purchase. Also if we go with the famous saying “first impression is the best impression” table of contents is quite powerful to intrigue the readers. Unfortunately I don’t find that technique has been used in this book. I feel it would have been a great catalyst if the recipe names were also penned down as sub topics so that readers will be both curious to learn the new recipes and also would know what to expect from the book.
The content was great. The author has nicely presented many important facts in a well-organized way. Yet again I felt inconvenient with the amount of facts written per page and it often gave me the feeling as if the simple facts were unnecessarily extended over many pages. It’s my habit to sometimes go back and re-read something which I came across little while ago in order to memorize. In this book I had to go back through several pages to find out the stuff other than doing a quick scan through 1-2 pages like how it happens with other books.
The theme of the book “Natural foods” is quite appropriate to the modern society. But in the same time, in internet we all come across hundreds of blog articles related to this field. It’s a plus point that all the important facts were found in this book in concise manner. However, being an avid reader especially on healthy diet and related topics I hardly found anything new and unique in this book.
As for a recipe book, recipes were too less and not even half of the book was of recipes. I loved the way how the recipes were written with step wise direction and notes. Explanations were quite practical and guidance was proper. But the recipes lacked one good feature, which is the mentioning of the level of expertise needed. The recipes would have looked perfect with the expertise level given first and also it might have been a nice way to categorize and order the recipes in the book with ascending pattern of the level.
The book starts with lengthy explanations, not that I’m complaining. All the topics and the chapters prior to the recipes were well written and quite insightful but comparatively the ending of the book is quite abrupt and unexpected.
Considering all plus and minus points I have mentioned above, I would rate the book 3 stars but would recommend it to anyone who is ready to switch into a healthy diet and is eager to learn how and why.
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Jun 17, 2013Karen Mclaren rated it 4 of 5 stars

The truth of the matter is really this – we are what we eat! Yep, it sounds like a worn-out cliché, but it actually is true. And we are truly seeing the damaging impact that overly-processed, packaged, high fat, high sodium, pesticide- and chemical-laden foods are having upon our bodies and our society….just look at the soaring rates of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. It is time for us to take a long, hard look at what we’re feeding ourselves, and make a positive, healthy change; not only…more

May 23, 2013Charles Franklin rated it 3 of 5 stars

As a person who has been making the transition toward a more natural diet, I was naturally drawn to this book. Overall, I would say that it was a helpful book at inspiring readers to eat more natural. I liked the personal Introduction that discussed the author’s motivation for writing the book as well. It set the tone of a book as a regular guy who has learned a few things about nutrition. After reading so many books from “experts”, this was a nice little break. I also agree wholeheartedly with…more

Aug 02, 2013Valerie Lewis rated it 4 of 5 stars

This book was great for learning more about the way food can be used for a healthier body. This book talked about food that’s great for anything from the brain to skin to burning fat and getting good cholesterol. It includes meals that can help you get started to eating natural and explains why natural eating is good for you. The only issue I had was on the recipes. They all looked like they were meant for head chefs to make instead of a mom cooking for her family or a student trying to eat bett…more

South Beach’s Food and Wine event #sobewff — a history lesson.

Chef Michael Bennett - the Foodbrat's Blog

South Beach, Florida has seen a lot of things. Snow covering the sands of Miami Beach – on Jan. 19th 1977 – was not the most unique of the event that happened.

The discovery of the New World started in the Caribbean but eventually came to the shores of South Florida. Just like those great explores we are now hosting culinary explorers on our shores. The South Beach Food and Wine experience has changed a little since its inception on Lincoln Road……

Just like immigration changed the culture and cuisine styling’s of Peru, France and Japan; South Florida has had been influenced by world travelers.

#sobewff 20 years cooking at the Taste of South Beach #sobewff

At first SoFlo was the land of frozen turbot and flounder- from New England – that South Beach and Downtown Miami flaunted on menus, later it was the new cuisine styling’s of France’s nouveau…

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South Beach’s Food and Wine event #sobewff — a history lesson.

South Beach, Florida has seen a lot of things. Snow covering the sands of Miami Beach – on Jan. 19th 1977 – was not the most unique of the event that happened.

The discovery of the New World started in the Caribbean but eventually came to the shores of South Florida. Just like those great explores we are now hosting culinary explorers on our shores. The South Beach Food and Wine experience has changed a little since its inception on Lincoln Road……

Just like immigration changed the culture and cuisine styling’s of Peru, France and Japan; South Florida has had been influenced by world travelers.

#sobewff
20 years cooking at the Taste of South Beach #sobewff

At first SoFlo was the land of frozen turbot and flounder- from New England – that South Beach and Downtown Miami flaunted on menus, later it was the new cuisine styling’s of France’s nouveau cuisine that drove SoFlo chefs in the mid-1980’s

Later the forward thinking and influence from regional and “fresh from the ocean” cookery led us to be described as America’s greatest culinary discovery since the time of Columbus (circa 1992-5). Funny this is the same time that the “Taste of South Beach” gained prominence on Lincoln Road.

After the Taste of South Beach out grew its “road” status it became clear that this organized event needed a new venue and FIU was the adapted venue site for the “Taste of South Beach“. Of course it had to be renamed and, the Food and Wine moniker was adapted (#sobewff).

Since the influence of the name had changed its importance to the Foodie community as a whole, the F&W experience ( #sobewff ) was adapted by its greatest supporter F&W magazine. So the Taste of South Beach returned to South Beach after the FIU campus left out an important detail to the entire overall experience of SoFlo cuisine, the BEACH.

As the beach became the venues location once again, we can celebrate the RIGHT WAY. ….with a libation in hand, hob-nobbing with the glitteratti of the foodie world once again on the pristine sands of the Strand of the Atlantic Ocean – that SoFlo loves so dearly.

 

#sobewff

#nytfood

#floridafoodies

#sobewff