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.
(less)

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

The Social Changes in Dining Habits

Chef Michael Bennett tells what we should expect for the future of our Food Business The Social Changes in Dining Habits

When you think about it, we will never dine again like we did a decade ago.

  • With the generational gap between the 70’s counter culture people – the Boomers – that demanded uber-chic foods from their restaurants in the 1980’s – to today’s diners – the Y-generation that has lived through multiple economic down-turns and a social revolution over the past two decades; our current dining clientele have no idea what opulent dining should be.

PRICE POINT, INSTANT SERVICE THE GOAL

The dining populace today is looking for dwindling prices and bold flavors. They are not looking for superior products that are well thought-out in rich visual appeal; it has to be instantaneous and scrumptious without drawn-out service attributes. The dining public that insisted on a 2½ hour dining experience is long gone. Those people are now investing their disposable income on supporting their aging parents, instead of treating themselves to an evening of culinary bliss.

There is one avenue in culinary field that is growing in affluence and totality: the gourmet food market segment. Companies such as Wild Oats, Whole Foods and The Fresh Market continue to grow, and are more popular today than anyone could have imagined in the beginning of the 1990s.

It’s the result of the Boomers treating themselves to superlative foods at home, rather than going out for fine dining. Their teen-age kids are being brought up expecting that this the norm. This procurement practice learned before they leave to go to college seems like it will transverse to the next generation unlike, fine dining of the 1980’s.

ARE THEY THE FUTURE?

Gourmet markets flaunting the highest quality cheeses from Europe, olive oils from around the Mediterranean, prime-aged meats and fresh locally harvested seafood abound in and around South Florida. Home-grown gourmet markets budded from long-standing family-owned local food markets. These markets over the decades saw that as their clientele gained esteem through their occupations, so did their need to live prodigiously at home. Coupled with the lack of formal dining out of the home and the need to still treat oneself, metropolitan gourmet markets flourish.

Look across the Southern United States, where retiring Boomers are now settling for a quite retirement from the rat race and you can see there is an increasing demand for gourmet and time-saving prepared food markets. Looking across Florida, Arizona and Texas, gourmet markets like: Epicure, Norman Brother’s, Gardener’s (all in Miami), Fernanda’s and Doris markets in Fort Lauderdale and Carmine’s of Palm Beach, Rice Epicurean and Eatzies in Houston and Dallas, Central Market in San Antonio, Texas, AJ’s fine foods in Phoenix, have been blossoming in popularity and scope.

I can remember going shopping downtown to the only place in Fort Lauderdale that sells deCecco pasta, Fernando’s, with my grandmother in the 1970’s. This is the way it starts for generational cooking at home. The Boomers have already indoctrinated their college aged kids to expect these markets to fulfill their needs for their future.

BOOMERS RETIRE, BUT THEIR TASTES DON’T

It has been a long journey for the family markets but, this segment is expanding faster than most other segment of the food service spectrum.

“We have seen the growth in sales rise ever since the Boomers started to retire”, a gourmet store manager told me. In the Tampa and Sarasota area of the Florida’s West Coast, there is up and coming places like Morton’s that have broken away from the mom and pop attitude to roasted-in-house gourmet coffee beans, supply in-house prepared entire Home Meal Replacements, dedicate a major part of the floor space to European cheeses and charcuteire that until recently unattainable in most of the United States.

A NEW SOCIAL SCENE

A newly unexpected social scene for Boomers occur at these gourmet markets. Not only do people linger long at their favorite markets, purchasing specialty foods for dinner, shopping has become a see-and-be-seen sport. It has become universal rationale to go to your favorite gourmet market to spend the afternoon socializing with friends. Today’s Boomer social customs have changed from the “Me generation” to the “We generation”.

The Internet and these markets are now the new siscos for the We Generation. We all want to be interconnected with others, it’s a social thing. The We society as a whole went through many stages.

First it was TV, then cable and i’s broadcasting of specific aspects of the social realm. Cable news brought us together as a country. Thanks to CNN, we know as much of what is happening in California and New York as around the city in which we live. MTV quickly spread to young Americans the urban sounds that they never would have heard locally in their own rural part of the country.

The rapid spread of cable’s cooking shows have led us to become food voyeurs, watching shows and their hosts that we would have previously would only have known from reading their cookbooks. No one has to look far for lessons on any food subject.

Now, the Internet has become the No. 1 outlet for information and our new interconnect-ability.

In the digital world, everyone can be a star as long as they can reach a dedicated viewership. Our Boomer community feels this immediacy brings more inter-connectivity on a personal basis while scanning their favorite sites. By opting-in to blogs and YouTube videos specific to our own wants, the social inter-connection is growing stronger. We can choose to interact with other cooks online, or watch favorites from our computers now sitting on our kitchen counters.

It’s a new age in dining – and where will the next generation get its food information? Time will tell.

* * *

Chef Michael Bennett is chef at the Bimini Boatyard in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and is the author of In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks, Underneath a Cloudless Sky and Culture of Cuisine.

Cooking events by Chef Michael Bennett

Chef Michael Bennett’s #popup restaurant and Culinary lectures in South Miami (Coral Gables) at Fairchild Gardens.

 

Chef Michael Bennett
Chef Michael Bennett lecturing at the Rare Fruit Council International – Miami, Fl. USA

 

Chef Michael Bennett
Chef Michael Bennett ready to do some cooking at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival #sobewwf – Miami, Fl. USA

The South Beach Wine and Food Festival – #sobewff featured chef: http://sobewff.org/personality_detail.php?id=104

 

 

Sample recipes by Chef Michael Bennett:

Check out @michaelinmiami’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/michaelinmiami/status/554456883135016961?s=09

Chocolate ganache bottom Passionfruit tart
Chef Michael Bennett’s most well-liked dessert presented for Miami Nights #popup restaurant in Itajuba, Brazil S.A.

 

 

 

 

image

Foodbrats only work in Food

Chef Michael Bennett in Brazil spreading the word about cooking like a South Florida Chef.

This past october, Chef Michael Bennett traveled to Brazil to create a three day #popup restaurant called Miami Nights.

Chef Michael’s menus reflected how Brazilians could cook like a South Beach Chef. Chef Michael brought dozens of his cookbooks with him to give to the patrons so they could replicate the recipes.

 

 

A Measly 96 hours in Brazil…. #96HOURSINBRAZIL

A Measly 96 hours in Brazil….

Going to Brazil means being dazzled by food!

 Hashtag us at #96hoursinbrazil

     “We have been planning this pop-up restaurant event for more than two month now”, says Chef Ricardo Passarelli the owner of 170 Bistro in Itajuba, Brazil.

       Itajuba is a budding international (business) city a few hours outside the financial capital of Brazil.

        Chef Ricardo Passarelli owner of 170 Bistro in Itajuba, Brazil invited cookbook author and Miami chef Michael Bennett here because we knew his latest cookbooks were exactly what we wanted to feature at our restaurant to ensure our grasp as the best restaurant in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.

 Example recipe 

at the end of this article

that will be apart of my new Cookbook

Interview with a Mango

170 Bistro Miami Nights
The first culinary expo in Itajuba, Brazil held at #170Bistro

 

Before all this can happen….

      Getting into Brazil usually means journeying to the booming affluence that anchors the country — São Paulo.

Our 96 hours in Brazil (#96hoursinbrazil) starts in the the city that is the powerhouse in Brazil that pays the tab for the rest of the Brazil’s material comfort. The São Paulo (Sampa) failings — of incredibly high prices and most prolifically your non-stop awareness that you could end up being a statistic of street crime; even when added together, are still not enough to deter the millions of noteworthy vagabonds seeking out São Paulo’s artistic and business energy snarled mutually together with a relentless and, stimulating 24 hour a day joie de vivre.

#96hoursinbrazil 

Where to Start Your Travels in SamPa (São Paulo – as locals call it) – Brazil…

  •        A São Paulo suburb – Brooklin, is an area just a stone’s throw from São Paulo’s Wall Street (Paulista Avenue) is being celebrated for its rise among the ranks of São Paulo’s best neighborhoods to experience South American culture and it’s food.

If you are here on Sunday you’re in luck if you are visiting Sampa than that means one thing Pizza. You should never leave this city without trying your closest pizza palace. São Paulo has become home to over five million folks from Italy and, they brought their food heritage – that has delivered to the tune of more than 5000 pizzerias, strewn across this mega-metropolis of 15 million South Americans. This city’s favorite is a New York City stylized restaurant called Braz. When you go, bring a heavy wallet and the empty stomach because São Paulo’s best will tempt your tastebuds with the revelation that Brazil is a damn good place to find a (Brazilian) wood-fire pizza.

Sampa’s incessant compulsion for eclectic fare is reinforced with the pervading din of Brazil’s most significant Foodies.  This single-minded contagious energy, that invigorates these frenzied metropolitan denizens, seemingly always has these perpetually tanned, wide-eyed smiles that always great you with an never-ending thumbs-up signs by everyone you stumble across.

My new Brazilian family
My new Brazilian family

Brazil’s Table… it is a harmony of diversity

Brazil is a country that is unified by its indulging yet, it is regionally divided by the deficiency of the practice. It is if you deliberate the contradictions in food heritage; culture, accolades and antipathies of the people who live in Iowa to those who live in Florida. This dissimilar display of fluctuating regional preferences at times share our American dining habits, yet a pattern in Brazil illustrates a harmony that is a diverse as it is similar. How can a culture be so diverse and at the same time similar? Food brings the well-off and deprived together in common ways! Rice, beans, coffee and cake link all Brazilians as they sit down to a meal.

 

Chef Ricardo Passarelli  owner of 170 Bistro and Chef Michael Bennett  tslk food.
Chef Ricardo Passarelli owner of 170 Bistro and Chef Michael Bennett talk food.

       If you are traveling in Brazil on a weekend, you will have to try the nationalized recipe called; feijoada – that can be found on any weekend dinner table and, seemingly has to be overindulged in to taste the heritage of Brazil, is the classic Brazilian recipe of black bean stew brimming with every part of a pig and is as much as part of the National Brazilian past time, as it is a daily fiscal necessity for the Brazilian populace.

#96hoursinbrazil

        Bolo: Brazilians love cake, which they call Bolo. In fact, it is one food that can be eaten at any time of the day. It is available at restaurants, corner shops, street vendors, gas stations, road stop intersections and generally any place that sells food. Bolo is often made with corn flour (like polenta) instead of wheat flour and is sometimes made with a combination of the two, giving it a different texture than what you expect in the USA.

       Brazil has always been recognized as being the world’s best source of great coffee. It is part of the Brazilian culture and you should never refuse a cup of coffee when one is offered to you at a restaurant or, by a new S.A. friend. So, downplay your state of consciousness and simply enjoy the rich roasted flavors of the humble coffee bean.

Coffee in Brazil #96hoursinbrazil
Every where coffee sends a welcoming note

 

Shopping in the Centro Market in São Paulo – is where we started our Pop-Up restaurant mission.

.

Located in São Paulo’s Centro district, our culinary journey starts with more than just a starling acknowledgement that this is a city the screams FOOD! São Paulo’s Marketplace is where we start our culinary excursion…..

Sao Paluo Cento market
The Sao Paulo Centro market place is where everyone shops for dinner.

São Paulo’s #96hoursinbrazil

Salted Cod on display
Shopping for Salted Codfish at Sao Paulo’s Centro market
Michael Bennett in Sao Paulo
Chef and author Michael Bennett in Brazil shopping at the Cento market in Sao Paulo #96hoursinbrazil
Fruit at the market
Food at the #SaoPaulo #centro #market #96hoursinbrazil
Wine selection for #Miaminights
Wine selection for #Miaminights
Chef Ricardo Passarelli (left) and Chef Michael Bennett
Chef Ricardo Passarelli (left) and Chef Michael Bennett shopping at Centro Market
Love #Spanish #proscuitto ? Here we have Serrano Jamon  a great selection ranging from $300.00 to $800.00
Love #Spanish #proscuitto ? Here we have Serrano Jamon a great selection ranging from $300.00 to $800.00

#NYTIMESTRAVEL

Fruit selection in Brazil #nytcooking
Fruit selection in Brazil   @nytcooking
Chef Michael shopping in #saoPaulo
Chef Michael shopping in #SaoPaulo @NYTdining
Tasting the tropical treasures on display in #brazil
Tasting the tropical treasures on display in #brazil

 #96hoursinbrazil

Outside the Centro market, Soa Paulo, Brazil

Cheese is so important to Brazil's dinner table we had to add it to the #MiamiNights menu #nytcooking
Cheese is so important to Brazil’s dinner table we had to add it to the #MiamiNights menu #NYTdining
Shopping in Brazil #nytimestravel
Shopping in Brazil #nytimestravel

Get here early – before 12 PM.

        The place is almost empty after 4 pm and a lot of the vendors move their products out of the confines of the walled marketplace and set it out onto the surrounding streets for sale during the rest of the evening.

Once we completed our hunting and gathering for our pop-up restaurant event, we jumped in the SUV and headed out of the city. Depending on the time of day, it might take you as much time getting out of downtown at rush hour as it would crossing the entire state of São Paulo’s in the middle of the night. So my hint for you is to grab some pizza or, fuel up at a Churrascaria, before gassing up and starting off.

Itajuba, Brazil; a place that speaks to what it is like to live all of your life in the same village you grew up in.

City marker for Itajuba
City marker for Itajuba

Finding your way to this provincial town  might be one that was a happy mistake by any adventurous Brazilian trekker. There are copious explanations yet unseen that will make you happy you found this animated village among the Minas Gerais highlands.

#96hoursinBrazil

Cities always grew up around the chruch
Cities always grew up around the church
Driving through the coldest city in Brazil
Driving through the coldest city in #Brazil
Home at the base of the mountain range that separates Sao Paulo and rio de Jeniero
Home at the base of the mountain range that separates Sao Paulo and Rio de Jeniero
Small villages spread across Brazilian countryside
Small Villages spread across Brazilian countryside
#travel in #brazil
Traveling Brazil, #96hoursinbrazil
Tiny villages across Brasil #96hoursinbrazil #nytimestravel
Tiny villages across Brasil #96hoursinbrazil @nytimestravel
#96hoursinbrazil
Mountain village in Brazil #96hoursinbrazil

Itajuba, Brazil is about half way between Rio De Janeiro and São Paulo’s on the north side of the Serra da Mantiqueira mountain range – that runs between the capital of Brazil and Brazil’s quasi capital (Rio). It is also the intersection of the other two cities that I came to love; Campos Do Jordao (the city that Switzerland lost during the continent drift) and Sao Lourenco (the water city) both are equally separated by Itajuba yet; seem similar because of the city’s welcoming residents.

traveling across Brazils countryside #96hoursinbrazil
Traveling across Brazil’s countryside #96hoursinbrazil
traveling across Brazils countryside #96hoursinbrazil
Traveling across Brazil’s countryside #96hoursinbrazil
traveling across Brazils countryside #96hoursinbrazil
Traveling across Brazil’s countryside #96hoursinbrazil
traveling across Brazils countryside #96hoursinbrazil
Traveling across Brazil’s countryside #96hoursinbrazil

Why we are here today…

       Miami Nights is the pop-up restaurant that was the brain child of Chef Ricardo Passarelli, the owner of Itajuba’s 170 Bistro. Chef Passarelli wanted to make his restaurant the “Zero Point” for culinary awakenings in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. He decided that the menu had to reflect love of the city chef Passarelli once called home – Miami, Florida.


ricardo cooking pot

Miami Nights
Above: Chef Passarrelli –                 Below:  Sold out dining room at 170 Bistro for #MiamiNights #culinary expo in Itajuba, Brazil

Chef Michael brought to the Chef Passarelli’s Bistro 170 recipes that were conceived by mingling ideas from two of his four cookbooks. The Miami Nights menu was highlighted by the fact that some of the food enjoyed would never have been seen in Itajuba without Chef Michael Bennett packing them up in his suitcase and bringing them with him from Miami. It was not a specific ingredient that made this culinary expo unique, it was the cookery techniques and artistic food pairings that made taste-buds stand up and take notice.

Miami Nights menu overview
Menu overview pictorial

        The meal started with two choices of appetizers, continued with three entrees picks and finished with two options in dessert. A Miami favorite, an appetizer of Mahi Mahi ceviche was at times the most popular of the night. This recipe was paired with one of Chef Michael favorite recipe side dishes; baby greens en vase. This is where Chef Michael places baby greens – that are rolled into a bouquet (like a bouquet of wild flowers) – and squeezes them into a vase cut from a cucumber.

Mahi Ceviche and Baby greens en vase #nytcooking
Mahi ceviche and Baby greens en vase #nytcooking
Close up of Mahi Ceviche
Close up of Mahi ceviche
Ceviche in Brazil from @michaelinmiami
Ceviche in Brazil from @michaelinmiami

      The second appetizer selection was one of Chef Michael’s favorite cookbook recipes called Lucky 13 curry spiced shrimp. A sugarcane stalk is cut down to form a skewer and the shrimp is threaded onto this skewer. This sugarcane is not only the implement use to eat the shrimp with but it also becomes a taste altering, marinating and moisturizing maneuver to safeguard the texture of the shrimp while grilling. Because of the fragrant and honeyed flavor of the sugarcane shrimp, Chef Michael needed to place this atop an approachable taste-variance counterpoint of Kimchee made with green (under-ripe) papaya that he learned about in the Caribbean while living there (circa 2006-2009).

 

 

13 curry spiced Sugarcaned shrimp atop Caribbean Kimchee #96hoursinbrazil #nytimestravel #nytcooking
13 curry spiced Sugarcaned shrimp atop Caribbean Kimchee #96hoursinbrazil #nytimestravel #nytcooking

       Entrees were a South Florida milieu consisting of a certified Angus NY strip steak, with an extraordinary three-day sprouted mustard seed~Robert (row-bair) sauce and Angry pommery-balsamic, pan-roasted potatoes.

mustard seeds
NY strip Steak with a 3-day sprouted mustard seed Robert sauce.

        Another of Chef Michael Bennett’s favorite cookbook recipes that became a bombshell best seller on the third night of this culinary exposition was a Caribbean sweet spiced Mahi Mahi with a Caribbean avocado and Italian scampi salad. Last but not least was the apogee of a true South Florida and Caribbean cookery ideal; Brazilian espresso marinated, grilled pork loin and lobster-saffron (Miami-style) Paella risotto made with an infusion of locally produced in the city just a stone’s throw away from Itajuba; Mascarpone cheese.

scampi and avocado sald
scampi and avocado salad with Caribbean spiced Mahi Mahi and tobacco onions

Finally….

      Citrus is extremely important in this area of Brazil as is cheese so to highlight this, Chef Michael Bennett paired his recipes to reflect the locally available foods for Itajuba’s first culinary expo. The aftermath of all this was the dinner’s finishing touches of Chef Michael’s Saint Maarten, FIVE-liquor Tiramisu made with local Brazilian espresso and locally produced Mascarpone cheese.

The second dessert choice of a Brazilian chocolate and cardamom seed ganached base of a passionfruit – that is always extremely popular in Brazil – Tart; with a cardamom-ricotta cheese (also a locally produced cheese) Mousse dressed with a caramelized citrus sauce was a fitter selection proving Chef Michael use of localized ingredient theory.

passionfruit and chocolate
Two of the most important things in the Brazilian kitchen’s pantry; chocolate and passionfruit collide in this Passionfruit Tart dessert especially formatted for this #miaminights event

  

Tiramesu
Chef Michael Bennett’s FIVE Liquor Tiramesu
    The dinner was of course topped off with a multiple red and white Chilean wine selections.   
Wine selection for #Miaminights
Wine selection for #Miaminights

An Afternoon in another Country or, it just seems that way….

Campos do Jordao; the city that Switzerland lost during the last continental shift.

    This is a city that if you did not drive here yourself, you would believe that you were secretly discarded in Switzerland by alien abductors.

       Traveling a little more than an hour from our Itajuba gastronomic haven we ventured out early in the afternoon to Campos Do Jordao and toured the city’s mountainous (elevation: 6,000 feet) neighborhoods and after we crossed the city’s gates anyone can tell that this city was going to be very different.

The architecture in this city is amazing  #nytimestravel
The architecture in this city is amazing #nytimestravel
The architecture in this city is amazing  #nytimestravel
The architecture in this city is amazing #nytimestravel
The architecture in this city is amazing  #nytimestravel
The architecture in this city is amazing #nytimestravel
The architecture in this city is amazing  #nytimestravel
The architecture in this city is amazing #nytimestravel
The architecture in this city is amazing  #nytimestravel
The architecture in this city is amazing #nytimestravel
The architecture in this city is amazing  #nytimestravel
The architecture in this city is amazing #nytimestravel
The architecture in this city is amazing  #nytimestravel
The architecture in this city is amazing #nytimestravel

This city is known to be Brazil’s fashionable Swiss hot chocolate and fondue capital.

This is a place that in the wintertime (June and July –where the population quadruples) is filled with Brazilians fleeing the warm climes of equatorial Brazil to feel as though they absconded the South American continent to vacation in Switzerland’s Alps. This town is purely a vacationer’s paradise. Even in the Brazilian summer, the nights are chilly at this altitude. The town is filled with gift stores, restaurants, bars and seems to be the only reason that people are on the streets, rambling between one watering hole to another. Some people actually use the city’s antique commuter train to do this like a metro trolley.

Sao Lourenco (the Water City) and the Hotel Brasil

Overview of the city of Sao Laurenco, Brazil
Overview of the city of Sao Laurenco, Brazil

This city is the ultimate spring (September to October) afternoon city. A trip to Brazil’s water city can’t be complete without touring it greatest asset – the Water Park.

Entrance of #saolaurencos water park #96hoursinbrazil
Entrance of #saolaurencos water park
#96hoursinbrazil

The park is a walking tour of nine different tastings of naturally occurring springs. All have of the water stations have different tasting water because of the changing mineral content of each spring. To me it was just amazing to see an adjoining park district separated by little more than a few hundred yards yet, the taste from the wells were completely dissimilar.

Carbonated water spring

Description for the naturally sparkling water spring.

Each spring has different medicinal purposes.

Water station in Sao Lauernco's water park
Water station in Sao Laurenco’s water park
Bottling our own Naturally sparkling water in #saoLaurenco
Bottling our own Naturally sparkling water in #SaoLaurenco
sights in brazil #96hoursinbrazil #nytimestravel
Sights in Brazil #96hoursinbrazil #nytimestravel

      Opposite the park (Parque das Águas) district of São Lourenço; in the city center is a tradition in São Lourenço, Brazil – the Hotel Brasil.

Brazil's best hotel #hotelBrasil
Across the lake view of #HotelBrasil #nytimestravel
#hotelBrasil
Lakeview of #HotelBrasil

An afternoon at the park will lead to a family in need of replenishment. Directly in front of the Water Park is the Hotel Brasil (com – Certificate of Excellence 2014). Since the founding of this area and the discovery of the healthful spring water, the Hotel Brasil has been there.

#hotelBrasil walking up from water park
#HotelBrasil walking up from water park
Art in #hotelBrasil
Art collection in the #HotelBrasil in @saoLaurenco Brazil

The hotel stands out for its gentle care. This has been the branding the hotel exemplifies since the end of WW1.

 

Evaluation:

He who evaluates this hotel can not lose sight that Hotel Brasil has a full life story and during its existence it has been home to media and social personalities to Presidents of Brazil. Charming and this hotel today still keeps the glamour of the 1920’s DECO era despite several generational renovations and expansions.

Depiction of the #saoLaurenco area around #hotelBrasil in 1920
Depiction of the #saoLaurenco area around #HotelBrasil in 1920

Decor:

The building is antiquated and flows with (the) DECO style of Rio de Janeiro and South Beach of the 1920’s and 30’s

Deco hotel #hotelBrasil

Welcoming

Antiques neverywhere

Antiques neverywhere

Marble everywhere

Ambiance:

The ambiance is kick started with the ageless marble that surrounds you like a luxurious frock, in every sector of the hotel. Timeless flooring instigates your eyes to notice to original artisan-crafted windows and doors.

Antiques neverywhere

Don’t want to compare Hotel Brasil network hotels like; Holiday Inn, Hilton or Marriott. The hotel stands out for his gentle care and this branding is what the hotel exemplifies. It is a place that provides good moments of peace, beautiful photos with friends or family.

Sentimental value.

       Since 1917 this family has been keeping the doors of Hotel Brasil open for road warriors and the summertime family vacationer. This will be the hotel you’ll want to come back to year after the year cared for by the same waiters that have been there for over 30 years. Reserve a stay on the south side of the hotel… to get views of the water park and its lake. The north side of the hotel has views of the city.

The family that owns a fab Deco hotel #hotelBrazil
The family that owns a fab Deco hotel #HotelBrazil

Recipe example from #96hoursinBrazil

96 hours in Brazil salad

Serves: 4

Like so any other things in this book, this recipe is as twisted in its conception, carry through as it is as diverse as the ingredients that are in the recipe itself.

My edification in the Culinary Arts led me to explore South America and the Brazilian cookery culture. I have found the cookery culture of northern Brazil’s traditions and recipes are akin to the Caribbean cookery heritage because these states were originally made up of peoples escaping Caribbean slavery.  Mango, pineapple and dozens of comparable fruits and vegetables in the Brazilian pantry are the same as the Caribbean’s pantry.

Many parts of Brazil have a residential heritage of people from the Mediterranean and Middle East. This is why I have included traveling to Brazil in my research for recipes in this book. Sao Paulo, the financial capital of Brazil, has over 15 million people and 5,000 eateries with Mediterranean cookery heritages.

Cheese and dairy is a large part of the culinary culture of the centric states in Brazil. There are more dairy cattle in States like Minas Gerais than in any other part of Brazil. The addition to cheese to any meal in Brazil is as common as adding salt and pepper to your steak. I have based this recipe in a slightly different form to represent the Mediterranean experienced in this Brazilian recipe.

Ingredients:

Main Recipe

1 each        Romaine lettuce, heart only, chiffonade finely

½ cup         Kale, shred into a razor-fine chiffonade, see note

6 logs         Hearts of palm

2 each       Bell pepper, red, roasted, cut into chunks

2 each       Mangos, diced

1 cup         Pineapple, sliced thin into 2”x1/2” pieces, caramelize, see directions

1 each       Shallot, fine chopped

2 stalks     Scallions, sliced finely, on the bias

1 cup         Labneh, yogurt cheese, buy in gourmet market or, see note 2

As needed      Pecans, see sub-recipe

As needed      Microgreens, assorted

As needed      Grape-cherry Tomatoes, halved

Sub-recipe: candied nuts:

1 cup          Pecans, halved and pieces (you can substitute walnuts)

1/3 cup      Sugar

2 Tbs.         Water

Pinch          Salt

½ tsp.         Vanilla

Sub-recipe: the Dressing:

4 each          Passion fruit pulp, Brazilian P.F. is much sweeter than in USA

1 Tbs.           Lime juice

1 Tbs.           Mirin, sweetened Rice wine

2 Tbs.           Shallots, diced

2 Tbs.           Honey (if using P.F. pulp from the USA)

Pinch            Salt

½ cup           EVO

Directions:

Wash and dry lettuce, and cut into thin ribbons. Place in bowl. Save to the side. When the other parts of the recipe (main recipe) are accomplished toss together in the bowl and then scoop up all the ingredients and place into a 2 inch stacking tube with a 2 ½ inch diameter. Place an appropriate sized bottle (ketchup bottle) over the top and with a light pushing motion slide the stacking tub up the bottle while removing the salad contents into a stack in the center of the plate.

Drizzle the plate with dressing and garnish the plate with Microgreens and halved cherry tomatoes.

Sub-recipe: Pecans

Prepare candied nuts: Place sugar, water, and salt in small saucepan and bring to a boil on medium heat. Add the nuts and cook, stirring constantly. As the water evaporates, the sugar will turn granular in appearance. Keep stirring until sugar starts to melt and caramelize. Once the sugar has melted and you can see a light brown caramel color forming on the bottom of the pan.  Stir in the vanilla and pick out the nuts onto a piece of parchment paper to let cool. Add to main recipe.
To caramelize the pineapple; quickly dip the pineapple pieces in the same liquid and remove after one minute. Place on parchment and let cool as well. Add to main recipe.
        Prepare the dressing: Place passion fruit and the rest of the ingredients (except oil) in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Add the oil is slowly to incorporate fully. Check for seasoning and place in a container that can be used to easily apply the dressing to the plate. I use a squirt bottle. Follow directions above.
NOTES:

In Brazil I found that in all the Farmers markets where I visited, street hawkers and little old ladies behind the shamble they called a booth, there were small bags of shaved greens. The greens were shavings of Kale. A great green for garnishing plates, salads and it could be used to bolster the vitamin content of any main dish by quick sautéing and placing aside an entrée.

In this recipe, I am going to use it as a thickening Hay in the recipe, like the Egyptians used hay in the mud mortar blocks to build the Pyramids.

Note 2:

Labneh, yogurt cheese is made by taking 1 ½ times as much yogurt for the amount of cheese that the recipe calls for, and add a couple pinches of salt, stir it in and place in a cheesecloth. Gather up the ends of the cheesecloth and tie into a hanging bundle. Place in your refrigerator with a shallow pan underneath the bundle to catch the moisture that escapes.

 Tip: Tie the cheesecloth with twine and hang the cheesecloth from the rack/shelf with the twine, to increase Gravity’s pull on the cheese thus increasing the rate and the amount of liquid oozing out from the yogurt.

Gluten Free cookbook Author Chef Michael Bennett produces another Neo-Tropical cookbook

GLUTEN FREE COOKBOOKS FROM MIAMI CHEF

MICHAEL BENNETT

Miami, SOUTH BEACH, Fla.–(The Professional Image, Inc.)—Chef Michael Bennett has wined and dined across the Caribbean in gourmet restaurants and hotels stationed on unique tropical destinations around the world to gather recipes for his latest cookbooks.

Today, Bennett maintains a remarkable 50-pound weight loss while continuing to enjoy the absolute best in exotic tropical recipes, coupled with an active lifestyle.

“Gourmet, Gluten Free and Healthy are no longer mutually exclusive,” said Chef Michael Bennett. “I use only the finest, freshest tropical ingredients I can find to create some of the healthiest Gluten Free gourmet recipes comparable to five-star resort menu offered in the best Caribbean restaurants.”

        Chef Bennett believes that you should never have to sacrifice quality, taste, enjoyment, or satisfaction when attempting to lose 10, 50 or even 150 pounds.

Chef Bennett’s vision is simple: you deserve the best and you, too, can enjoy gourmet foods and lose and maintain a healthy weight – complimented by regular exercise. Chef Michael features delicious and healthy gourmet gluten free recipes that he developed from seven of the Caribbean’s top resort locales. His recipes have namesakes like: Antillean (Haiti-French) and Dominican (Spanish), St. Barts, Martinique (French), Blue Mountain (Jamaica-English), Belize (Central American) and St. Croix (an Island governed by 7 different countries).
Chef Bennett’s inaugural signature use of these restaurant proven recipes was at Bimini Boatyard in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and, his three generations of menu (circa 2009-2012) exemplified authentic, healthy gluten free tropical fare. After returning from his four year journey across the Caribbean, Chef Michael Bennett used only the finest and locally available quality ingredients that reflected his recipe pursuit in the Caribbean. Chef Michael first embarked offering a lighter fare for patrons who expect the best – outstanding taste and exquisite presentation – using All-Natural Seafood. His dishes soon featured gluten free as the predominate footing in future seasonal menus that eventually evolved into an entirely separate bill of fare for the restaurant.
Bennett’s recipe development namesake unify into two cookbooks: All-Natural SURF Cuisine; May, 2014 and a Gluten Free FLAVOR QUEST; July, 2014 that are being published by The Professional Image, Inc. Bennett debuts these published recipe memoirs as part of a series of healthy gourmet tropical cookbooks. Bennett intends to launch another healthy gourmet recipe cookbook later this summer earmarked “Interview with a Mango”. His groundwork and signature recipe assertion will introduce a fresh audience of Mango devotees to healthy gluten free mango recipes.

SPECIFICS:
All-Natural SURF CUISINE (ISBN: 9781495105982) features 160 page, 100 plus Gluten free Seafood recipes and 40 + Full color pictures are as vigorously innovative in the use of fresh seafood as they are ceaseless examples of a beneficial diet strategy.
A Gluten Free FLAVOR Quest (ISBN: 9781495117619) features 170 page, 125 plus gluten free recipes with over 50 Full color pictures that include pantry busting chapters in spice and marinade combinations, salads, and one just on sauces – that will astonish – paired with any food you would normally serve for dinner in your home tonight.

 

BEGINNING OF A CAREER:
From the time when chef Michael Bennett directed South Beach’s Epicure Gourmet Market’s healthy Spa-Cuisine menu expansion (circa, 1989-95), he has always wanted to revisit the console of utilization only the best locally-harvested ingredients to procreate superlative healthy All Natural, Gluten Free, Seafood-based Cookbook. In the past two years Chef Michael Bennett has been concentrating on developing and extending his solidarity of “All-Natural” and “Gluten Free” cookery with his culinary consultancies in America and in the Caribbean.
This commenced stemming from a family history where Chef Michael Bennett’s father suffered from massive heart problems. Thirty years ago his family decided to get away from beef-related dinner table but the choices in the 1970’s were limited to chicken, turkey or frozen seafood from the north. Air transportation wasn’t as advanced as today so the only seafood they ever had on the dinner table was what they caught themselves. This is how Chef Michael fostered his love and matured his knowledge of Tropical seafood.

 

CHEF Michael Bennett – SUBSTANTIVE:
Michael Bennett is a well-known award winning (Chef of the Year-1995) South Florida chef whose customers have been the Who’s Who of Media and Sports personalities. He earned critical culinary kudos as the Executive chef for the 26 year-local culinary force Left Bank restaurant. Under his auspices he brought “Best of” (Zagat Survey), Four Stars (AAA) and Four Diamonds (Mobil) to the long-standing three star rating. He also holds culinary affiliations with several culinary and food-related organizations. He regularly lectures on Gluten Free and Natural “Caribb-ican” cuisine.

 

Author’s Avail:
Chef and Author Michael Bennett, an acclaimed South Florida chef has made a name for himself by mixing culinary traditions from diverse parts of the World.

 

  • CONTACT

Press Only: Rebba Pusckor
The Professional Image, Inc.
the.foodbrat@gmail.com

Books Worth Buying: January’s Best Food and Drink Releases

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We get dozens of cookbooks each week at SAVEUR magzine, and every month we share our favorite new releases—books that, through one avenue of greatness or another, have earned a place on our over-stuffed shelves. This time, those books that piqued our interest came from all over the world—the Middle East, Myanmar, Paris, the American South—and covered a variety of recipes, from Gluten Free cooking to Palestinian mezze.  
 

   OLIVES, LEMONS & ZA’ATAR: THE BEST MIDDLE EASTERN HOME COOKING

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by Rawia Bishara
I have long been a fan of Tanoreen, Rawia Bishara’s Palestinian restaurant tucked away in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where her inventive mezze, like fried Brussels sprouts drizzled with fresh tahini and pomegranate seeds and eggplant napoleons slathered in babaganoush cream, make the forty-five minute trek from Manhattan well worthwhile. So, I was thrilled when I finally got my hands on her cookbook, and the secrets behind the delectable dishes I’d eaten at her restaurant. The recipes for my favorites turned out to be shockingly easy, 5-ingredient affairs, and as I flipped through the pages of mouthwatering photographs and lovely asides about local culinary folklore and her own food memories, I also discovered simplified recipes for many Palestinian classics. For example, her recipe for Musakhan, a complicated festival dish of sumac-rubbed roast chicken served on rounds of fresh-baked taboon bread, is transformed from weekend project to weeknight meal with a simple pizza-like flatbread recipe and smart substitutions like quick sautéed boneless chicken breast. Bishara’s modern, approachable take on classic Palestinian food makes Olives, Lemons, & Za’atar a book I’m glad to have on my shelf as a source for doable, exciting dishes and tried and true favorites that I will be reaching for again and again. —Felicia Campbell

Available February 13 from Kyle Books; $29.95.

  

 

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  IN THE LAND OF MISFITS, PIRATES AND COOKS

by Chef Michael Bennett
It is akin to cooking and eating with a conscience. Chef Michael Bennett carefully weaves 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 has been inspired by the wisdom of the ages. 

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 healthier. 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 things about Caribbean tropically-inspired healthy cooking while discussing what it is like to travel and work throughout the Caribbean. After reading so many books from “experts”, this was a nice little break. All the Gluten Free recipes like —spiced pecans, crab beignets, silky onion dip, and my favorite, bacon and Parmesan gougères—transformed my kitchen table into a fruit laden maple Butcher’s block sideboard.

The book is just as interesting reading as it is interacting. The author has published this book with interactive QR code links that connect your directly to the Internet’s database of cookery terms and grocery websites where you can find the more rare food novelties.

This book will take you on a 1000 mile journey across the Caribbean in an innovative technological and healthy way.— FoodBrats.com

Available from FoodBrats.com; $35.95

 DOWN SOUTH: BOURBON, PORK, GULF SHRIMP & SECOND HELPINGS OF EVERYTHING

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by Donald Link and Paula Disbrowe
I grew up in the South, and on cold, blustery days in New York, I long for it. The Gulf Coast holds particular charms for me, and whenever I go to New Orleans a visit to one of Donald Link’s restaurants is a must. So when Link’s latest cookbook, Down South, arrived, I grabbed it off the shelf and headed to the liquor store, inviting a few friends over along the way. Oftentimes, cocktails are relegated to the back of cookbooks, ancillary to the “real” stars of the show. In Down South, however, cocktails proudly set the stage for all of the deliciousness to come. Meyer lemon French 75s were my favorite, but the punch from the famous Flora-Bama bar (whose wallop I have felt on a few youthful road trips down the coast) was the crowd pleaser at my house. Following the initial cocktail section of the book, Link takes you inside an “old-school Southern cocktail party” with dishes—spiced pecans, crab beignets, silky onion dip, and my favorite, bacon and Parmesan gougères—that transformed my Brooklyn kitchen table into a groaning Southern sideboard. The rest of the book is just as inviting, and Link’s enthusiasm for the region is palpable. Cooking from this book took me a thousand miles down south and out of the northeastern cold. —Kaylee Hammonds

Available February 25 from Clarkson Potter; $24.63

 

 

 UNDER THE SHADE OF OLIVE TREES: RECIPES FROM JERUSALEM TO MARRAKECH AND BEYOND

by Nadia Zerouali & Merijn Tol

This playful romp through Arabia comes from the hosts of a Middle Eastern cooking program in the Netherlands who, through their travels, have come to see the area that stretches from the Mediterranean and North Africa to Iran, as a multicultural tapestry united by an ancient culinary history. In their latest book, Under the Shade of Olive Trees, they incorporate historic dishes such as Iraqimadfuna—a ground lamb-stuffed eggplant dish spiked with rose water that was popular in the Middle Ages—with easy, contemporary riffs on Middle Eastern cuisine, including their two-ingredient tahini-halva ice cream. Informative sidebars provide short histories of ingredients such as sumac and argan oil, along with tips on incorporating them into all manner of cooking. Nadia and Merijn’s inventive energy comes through in recipes like a modified Arabic flatbread, which uses an upside-down wok in place of the traditional rounded metal griddles used by street vendors in Lebanon. They have even included a special section in the back of the book where friends like Kamal Mouzawak, the founder of the first organic market in Lebanon, and Ingmar Neizen, an expert on African cuisine, share their favorite recipes. Though many of the recipes are basic, this book is full of surprises, my favorite of which was Niezen’s Sudanese falafel, a spicy, sesame encrusted version of the ubiquitous Middle Eastern snack served, in her version, with a tart-hot African peanut sauce. This cookbook offers a modern, innovative perspective on an amazing culinary region.—Felicia Campbell

Available March 18 from Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $31.50

   LA MERE BRAZIER: THE MOTHER OF MODERN FRENCH COOKING

by Eugenie Brazier

Simple French fare is my preferred comfort food: an omelet with salad, a slice of pâté, perfectly-executed moules marinières—for me, these simple bites can transform a drab day into something else entirely. My collection of French cookery books has swallowed my bookshelf to the degree that I’ve had to enforce an “only if it’s extraordinary” rule on my purchases, but La Mère Brazier: The Mother of Modern French Cooking is just that. Available in English for the first time this month, La Mère Brazier brings the life, voice, and recipes of an iconic French chef to an Anglophone audience at long last. Paul Bocuse, who apprenticed in Brazier’s kitchen, wrote the highly respectful and nostalgic forward to this book. Care has been taken to retain the historical accuracy of the recipes while making them accessible to modern home cooks. And the stories of Brazier’s rise from farm-hand to fêted, decorated chef—she was the first woman to receive six Michelin stars—is told with such charm and simplicity, and with such emphasis on the humble roots of much of her food, that I could not help but hear her voice as I stood in my kitchen recently, whipping up a batch of her Parisian gnocchi, feeling grateful that there was room on my shelf for at least one more book. —Kaylee Hammonds

Available March 25 from Rizzoli, $24.92

 

 YUCATÁN: RECIPES FROM A CULINARY EXPEDITION

by David Sterling

Before I picked up this book, I knew little about the Yucatán, apart from what I had read in the story The Queen of Yucatán from our Mexico issue. With that meager knowledge in mind, I approached David Sterling’s tome not without apprehension. The book runs through all the sub-regions of the Yucatán, almost a food-driven road trip in text. And beyond Sterling’s encyclopedic and meticulously-researched knowledge of Yucatecan food, his love for and connection to the region and its fare are evident on every page; it is rare to find such humble passion and vigor in a volume that is so comprehensive and informational. The photographs capture scenes from the streets, food stalls, and home kitchens, as well as landscapes from the region. Nothing feels staged; the images of the recipes are mouth-watering, yet homey, imperfect, and entirely in tune with the rest of the book.

The recipes, too, are surprisingly accessible. On a snowy night in New York City, I set out to make Ajiaca, a deeply garlicky stew with a strong orange color. After roasting six heads of garlic and squeezing out the slightly sweet, liquified cloves, I started adding vegetables to a stock pot. By the end of a long stew, large hunks of pork tore apart under the tines of my fork. An entire diced potato had disintegrated into the stew, giving it a comforting thickness and satisfying texture. I spooned out bowls of pork and vegetables, topped them with the orange broth, and finished with plantains I had twice fried into tostones, putting together a bowl of the Yucatán. I couldn’t imagine eating anything better on a cold winter night. —Oliver Erteman

Available March 30 from University of Texas Press, $40.65

 

 LODGE CAST IRON NATION: GREAT AMERICAN COOKING FROM COAST TO COAST

By The Lodge Company

It was my mother-in-law—an exemplary cook—who gifted me with a Lodge cast iron skillet when I was just a newlywed. That was a decade ago, and it’s since been U-Hauled across the country and moved in and out of countless New York City apartments. But no matter how tiny the stove (and there have been some Easy Bake Oven-style varieties in past kitchens), I always find a home for my trusty skillet on the back left burner. In Cast Iron Nation, Lodge celebrates the deep ties Americans have to this well-seasoned cookware, with recipes that span the nation. A few classics make an appearance: center-cut, bone-in pork chops that become sweet with a quick sear; a buttermilk-brined fried chicken; and a handful of trusty cornbreads, cooked in the vessel that gives the requisite cracking crust. But there are plenty of rather sophisticated recipes represented here, too, and I fell hard for the squash bisque with mascarpone and apple-cheese crostini. I could never have imagined making soup in my skillet, yet the flavors roast and melt down to a wintery perfection. The North Carolina clam chowder, a warm-your-belly kind of dish, ditches the thick base, and allows plump clams to steal the thunder. Since I’ve found this cookbook, now thoroughly dog-eared, it seems that my beloved skillet has made its way to the front burner on a near-daily basis. —Anne Roderique-Jones

Available March 18 from Oxmoor House, $25
Buy Lodge Cast Iron Nation: Great American Cooking from Coast to Coast

 

 SLICES OF LIFE: A FOOD WRITER COOKS THROUGH MANY A CONUNDRUM

by Leah Eskin

For charm, you can’t beat Leah Eskin’s memoir and cookbook, Slices of Life (Running Press, 2014). The long-time SAVEUR contributor and Chicago Tribune columnist brings an irreverent humor, cool precision, and gustatory gusto to her accounts of American family life. Each small, resonant moment is occasion to cook something delicious: a child’s obsession with dinosaurs leads to batches of stegosaurus-shaped pumpkin muffins; an audiophile husband’s grudging surrender of the aubergine-colored mega-speakers that hogged the living room inspires a bout of eggplant cookery; a sulking pre-teen gets Mom’s love in the form of an Asian chicken salad. So much domesticity necessarily inspires nostalgia, but Eskin is such a versatile cook that such reveries offer pithy surprises: college memories come attached to a recipe for lobster rolls; tax day merits its own dessert, an almond and popcorn brittle. Readers with a more categorical sensibility might be disconcerted by Eskin’s haphazard organization—ice cream recipes up against a granola recipe up against a tarragon chicken recipe—but the book simply mirrors life, which is brimming with episodes either happy or sad but always punctuated by a meal. —Betsy Andrews

 

Books Worth Buying: January’s Best Food and Drink Releases

Re-posted from another Blog

Chef Michael Bennett 's Gluten free cookbook makes a list
Foodbrats.com

We get dozens of cookbooks each week at SAVEUR magzine, and every month we share our favorite new releases—books that, through one avenue of greatness or another, have earned a place on our over-stuffed shelves. This time, those books that piqued our interest came from all over the world—the Middle East, Myanmar, Paris, the American South—and covered a variety of recipes, from Gluten Free cooking to Palestinian mezze.

   OLIVES, LEMONS & ZA’ATAR: THE BEST MIDDLE EASTERN HOME COOKING

olives and lemon

by Rawia Bishara
I have long been a fan of Tanoreen, Rawia Bishara’s Palestinian restaurant tucked away in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where her inventive mezze, like fried Brussels sprouts drizzled with fresh tahini and pomegranate seeds and eggplant napoleons slathered in babaganoush cream, make the forty-five minute trek from Manhattan well worthwhile. So, I was thrilled when I finally got my hands on her cookbook, and the secrets behind the delectable dishes I’d eaten at her restaurant. The recipes for my favorites turned out to be shockingly easy, 5-ingredient affairs, and as I flipped through the pages of mouthwatering photographs and lovely asides about local culinary folklore and her own food memories, I also discovered simplified recipes for many Palestinian classics. For example, her recipe for Musakhan, a complicated festival dish of sumac-rubbed roast chicken served on rounds of fresh-baked taboon bread, is transformed from weekend project to weeknight meal with a simple pizza-like flatbread recipe and smart substitutions like quick sautéed boneless chicken breast. Bishara’s modern, approachable take on classic Palestinian food makes Olives, Lemons, & Za’atar a book I’m glad to have on my shelf as a source for doable, exciting dishes and tried and true favorites that I will be reaching for again and again. —Felicia Campbell

Available February 13 from Kyle Books; $29.95.

IN THE LAND OF MISFITS, PIRATES AND COOKS

 

Gluten free cooking from Chef Michael Bennett
Gluten Free recipes from Chef Michael Bennett

by Chef Michael Bennett
It is akin to cooking and eating with a conscience. Chef Michael Bennett carefully weaves 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 has been inspired by the wisdom of the ages.

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 healthier. 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 things about Caribbean tropically-inspired healthy cooking while discussing what it is like to travel and work throughout the Caribbean. After reading so many books from “experts”, this was a nice little break. All the Gluten Free recipes like —spiced pecans, crab beignets, silky onion dip, and my favorite, bacon and Parmesan gougères—transformed my kitchen table into a fruit laden maple Butcher’s block sideboard.

The book is just as interesting reading as it is interacting. The author has published this book with interactive QR code links that connect your directly to the Internet’s database of cookery terms and grocery websites where you can find the more rare food novelties.

This book will take you on a 1000 mile journey across the Caribbean in an innovative technological and healthy way.— FoodBrats.com

Available from FoodBrats.com; $35.95

 DOWN SOUTH: BOURBON, PORK, GULF SHRIMP & SECOND HELPINGS OF EVERYTHING

 

Southern vcooking

by Donald Link and Paula Disbrowe
I grew up in the South, and on cold, blustery days in New York, I long for it. The Gulf Coast holds particular charms for me, and whenever I go to New Orleans a visit to one of Donald Link’s restaurants is a must. So when Link’s latest cookbook, Down South, arrived, I grabbed it off the shelf and headed to the liquor store, inviting a few friends over along the way. Oftentimes, cocktails are relegated to the back of cookbooks, ancillary to the “real” stars of the show. In Down South, however, cocktails proudly set the stage for all of the deliciousness to come. Meyer lemon French 75s were my favorite, but the punch from the famous Flora-Bama bar (whose wallop I have felt on a few youthful road trips down the coast) was the crowd pleaser at my house. Following the initial cocktail section of the book, Link takes you inside an “old-school Southern cocktail party” with dishes—spiced pecans, crab beignets, silky onion dip, and my favorite, bacon and Parmesan gougères—that transformed my Brooklyn kitchen table into a groaning Southern sideboard. The rest of the book is just as inviting, and Link’s enthusiasm for the region is palpable. Cooking from this book took me a thousand miles down south and out of the northeastern cold. —Kaylee Hammonds

Available February 25 from Clarkson Potter; $24.63

 UNDER THE SHADE OF OLIVE TREES: RECIPES FROM JERUSALEM TO MARRAKECH AND BEYOND

by Nadia Zerouali & Merijn Tol

This playful romp through Arabia comes from the hosts of a Middle Eastern cooking program in the Netherlands who, through their travels, have come to see the area that stretches from the Mediterranean and North Africa to Iran, as a multicultural tapestry united by an ancient culinary history. In their latest book, Under the Shade of Olive Trees, they incorporate historic dishes such as Iraqimadfuna—a ground lamb-stuffed eggplant dish spiked with rose water that was popular in the Middle Ages—with easy, contemporary riffs on Middle Eastern cuisine, including their two-ingredient tahini-halva ice cream. Informative sidebars provide short histories of ingredients such as sumac and argan oil, along with tips on incorporating them into all manner of cooking. Nadia and Merijn’s inventive energy comes through in recipes like a modified Arabic flatbread, which uses an upside-down wok in place of the traditional rounded metal griddles used by street vendors in Lebanon. They have even included a special section in the back of the book where friends like Kamal Mouzawak, the founder of the first organic market in Lebanon, and Ingmar Neizen, an expert on African cuisine, share their favorite recipes. Though many of the recipes are basic, this book is full of surprises, my favorite of which was Niezen’s Sudanese falafel, a spicy, sesame encrusted version of the ubiquitous Middle Eastern snack served, in her version, with a tart-hot African peanut sauce. This cookbook offers a modern, innovative perspective on an amazing culinary region.—Felicia Campbell

Available March 18 from Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $31.50

   LA MERE BRAZIER: THE MOTHER OF MODERN FRENCH COOKING

by Eugenie Brazier

Simple French fare is my preferred comfort food: an omelet with salad, a slice of pâté, perfectly-executed moules marinières—for me, these simple bites can transform a drab day into something else entirely. My collection of French cookery books has swallowed my bookshelf to the degree that I’ve had to enforce an “only if it’s extraordinary” rule on my purchases, but La Mère Brazier: The Mother of Modern French Cooking is just that. Available in English for the first time this month, La Mère Brazier brings the life, voice, and recipes of an iconic French chef to an Anglophone audience at long last. Paul Bocuse, who apprenticed in Brazier’s kitchen, wrote the highly respectful and nostalgic forward to this book. Care has been taken to retain the historical accuracy of the recipes while making them accessible to modern home cooks. And the stories of Brazier’s rise from farm-hand to fêted, decorated chef—she was the first woman to receive six Michelin stars—is told with such charm and simplicity, and with such emphasis on the humble roots of much of her food, that I could not help but hear her voice as I stood in my kitchen recently, whipping up a batch of her Parisian gnocchi, feeling grateful that there was room on my shelf for at least one more book. —Kaylee Hammonds

Available March 25 from Rizzoli, $24.92

 YUCATÁN: RECIPES FROM A CULINARY EXPEDITION

by David Sterling

Before I picked up this book, I knew little about the Yucatán, apart from what I had read in the story The Queen of Yucatán from our Mexico issue. With that meager knowledge in mind, I approached David Sterling’s tome not without apprehension. The book runs through all the sub-regions of the Yucatán, almost a food-driven road trip in text. And beyond Sterling’s encyclopedic and meticulously-researched knowledge of Yucatecan food, his love for and connection to the region and its fare are evident on every page; it is rare to find such humble passion and vigor in a volume that is so comprehensive and informational. The photographs capture scenes from the streets, food stalls, and home kitchens, as well as landscapes from the region. Nothing feels staged; the images of the recipes are mouth-watering, yet homey, imperfect, and entirely in tune with the rest of the book.

The recipes, too, are surprisingly accessible. On a snowy night in New York City, I set out to make Ajiaca, a deeply garlicky stew with a strong orange color. After roasting six heads of garlic and squeezing out the slightly sweet, liquified cloves, I started adding vegetables to a stock pot. By the end of a long stew, large hunks of pork tore apart under the tines of my fork. An entire diced potato had disintegrated into the stew, giving it a comforting thickness and satisfying texture. I spooned out bowls of pork and vegetables, topped them with the orange broth, and finished with plantains I had twice fried into tostones, putting together a bowl of the Yucatán. I couldn’t imagine eating anything better on a cold winter night. —Oliver Erteman

Available March 30 from University of Texas Press, $40.65

 LODGE CAST IRON NATION: GREAT AMERICAN COOKING FROM COAST TO COAST

By The Lodge Company

It was my mother-in-law—an exemplary cook—who gifted me with a Lodge cast iron skillet when I was just a newlywed. That was a decade ago, and it’s since been U-Hauled across the country and moved in and out of countless New York City apartments. But no matter how tiny the stove (and there have been some Easy Bake Oven-style varieties in past kitchens), I always find a home for my trusty skillet on the back left burner. In Cast Iron Nation, Lodge celebrates the deep ties Americans have to this well-seasoned cookware, with recipes that span the nation. A few classics make an appearance: center-cut, bone-in pork chops that become sweet with a quick sear; a buttermilk-brined fried chicken; and a handful of trusty cornbreads, cooked in the vessel that gives the requisite cracking crust. But there are plenty of rather sophisticated recipes represented here, too, and I fell hard for the squash bisque with mascarpone and apple-cheese crostini. I could never have imagined making soup in my skillet, yet the flavors roast and melt down to a wintery perfection. The North Carolina clam chowder, a warm-your-belly kind of dish, ditches the thick base, and allows plump clams to steal the thunder. Since I’ve found this cookbook, now thoroughly dog-eared, it seems that my beloved skillet has made its way to the front burner on a near-daily basis. —Anne Roderique-Jones

Available March 18 from Oxmoor House, $25
Buy Lodge Cast Iron Nation: Great American Cooking from Coast to Coast

 SLICES OF LIFE: A FOOD WRITER COOKS THROUGH MANY A CONUNDRUM

by Leah Eskin

For charm, you can’t beat Leah Eskin’s memoir and cookbook, Slices of Life (Running Press, 2014). The long-time SAVEUR contributor and Chicago Tribune columnist brings an irreverent humor, cool precision, and gustatory gusto to her accounts of American family life. Each small, resonant moment is occasion to cook something delicious: a child’s obsession with dinosaurs leads to batches of stegosaurus-shaped pumpkin muffins; an audiophile husband’s grudging surrender of the aubergine-colored mega-speakers that hogged the living room inspires a bout of eggplant cookery; a sulking pre-teen gets Mom’s love in the form of an Asian chicken salad. So much domesticity necessarily inspires nostalgia, but Eskin is such a versatile cook that such reveries offer pithy surprises: college memories come attached to a recipe for lobster rolls; tax day merits its own dessert, an almond and popcorn brittle. Readers with a more categorical sensibility might be disconcerted by Eskin’s haphazard organization—ice cream recipes up against a granola recipe up against a tarragon chicken recipe—but the book simply mirrors life, which is brimming with episodes either happy or sad but always punctuated by a meal. —Betsy Andrews

Chef Michael Bennett, a Miami-based Gluten-Free cookbook Author, has departed Bimini Boatyard Executive Chef post, after a three year restructuring, to now empower a rapidly expanding Tampa Bay Gourmet Markets.

For Immediate Release
FoodBrats.com

January 1st, 2012

Contact: Rebba
954-404-0815

Tampa and Miami, Fl. | January 1st, 2012 ~ FoodBrats.com announces that our chief Author-member, Chef Michael Bennett New Year’s resolutions to changed career intent and, is now establishing what he considers an idyllic Gluten-Free, Fusion Cuisine culinary arena, being the director at a gourmand marketplace. After Chef Michael Bennett three year reshaping of the culinary remnant from the 1990’s – Bimini Boatyard, he is now undertaking the development of specialized Gourmet Markets. From the time when he directed South Beach’s – Epicure Gourmet Market’s healthy Spa Cuisine based menu expansion , Chef Michael Bennett always wanted to revisit the console of utilization the best potential ingredients to generate a superlative “home meal replacement” dining option .

He has developed and extended his healthy “Fusion-style” Home Meal Replacement cuisine with emphasis in Gluten Free dining. His culinary consultancy has stretched this past Winter between two different companies, one located in the Caribbean, on Grand Cayman and Harvest Marketplace opening on Valentine’s Day, 2012 – in the upwardly classic Tampa Bay neighborhood of Belleair Bluffs.

Chef Michael Bennett endorses his previous culinary posts – via the Social Media universe with his Gluten-Free cookbook “In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks”. It is the first of three cookbooks that he penned for FoodBrats.com albeit being the distinctly recuperative soul at the resuscitated Bimini Boatyard eatery relic. This past year after releasing his third cookbook (Culture of Cuisine- ISBN:9781450783002), Chef Michael Bennett honed and revised his first tropical-inspired, Fusion-Cuisine cookbook’s recipes to be 100 percent Gluten-Free. His revised 180 page | four color | 125 + Gluten-free recipe cookbook has been developed with an emphasis on America’s hottest healthy Fusion-Cuisine dining trend. These healthy, Gluten-Free recipes capture a distinctive and inventive 2012 tropical Fusion cookery heritage, while keeping recipes vigorously vibrant taste profile. Powerful photography, exclusive interactive design, one-of-a-kind recipe flow, helpful sidebars and QR (Quick Response) codes blend to create the perfect sampling of what this Gluten-Free Fusion cuisine has to offer.

The QR codes link you directly to the Internet so your interactive experience is as fun as it is informative. FoodBrats.com has published America’s first interactive QR code cookbook where QR codes are inlaid directly into the pages of “In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks” – ISBN: 978-0-615-29778-1. This new technology enable the recipe reader directly connect to information about recipes and cooking techniques on the Internet. Using your smart phone, just click onto the QR code and you are taken directly to these associated cookery techniques and models.

Chef Bio:
Michael Bennett, born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. to first generation Floridians, has spent most of his adult life in the food and hospitality industry. Michael’s grandfather was the family’s first restaurateur, ran several South Florida restaurants after emigrating here from Ohio in the 1940’s. Chef Michael Bennett earned critical culinary kudos as the Executive chef for Left Bank restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. Under his auspices he brought Left Bank – the 26 year culinary tour d’ force it’s first ever “Best of” (Zagat Survey), “Four Stars” (AAA) and “Four Diamonds” (Mobil) to their 20 plus year era of three star ratings. He is affiliatted with several culinary and food-related organizations. Chef Michael regularly lectures on Florida’s “Caribb-ican” Fusion cuisine.
Chef Michael Bennett is considering this move back to Tampa Bay a homecoming because he started cooking at a seafood restaurant in New Port Richey while attending college. He then transferred to the Culinary Institute of America to pursue his true professional passion. After leaving the CIA and for the next 11 years, he sought out the most exotic and chic dining network to hone his craft as his life revolved around intense periods of kitchen management followed by concentrated O.J.T. from the tutelage of Miami’s most important and well-known chefs.
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 clientèle comprise 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 Food Brats.com
FoodBrats.com is America’s first QR code enable cookbook publisher. FoodBrats.com was founded in 1991 and as a “budding” Chef | Author PR services provider for chefs and soon to be authors. FoodBrats.com was formed to help Chefs and Authors publish food related articles and their own books on Fusion Cuisine. FoodBrats.com provides Chefs | Authors with direct and personal access to quick, quality orientated publication in trade paperback, custom leather-bound, and full-color formats.

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