Chef Michael Bennett releases Third Book on 911


Michael Bennett releases his Third Book on 911.

 

            South Florida, August, 2011 ~ FoodBrats.com – announces that Michael Bennett, Cookbook Author and the Executive chef of Bimini Boatyard in Fort Lauderdale is hosting a Release Party for his Third Book on September 11th, 2011 in remembrance of 911.

                Chef Michael Bennett remembers the days after 911 as those of worry and sorrow, yet in the aftermath came new found pride in being an America. Ten years later we all have been changed by these events. Michael reminisced about such terrible loss and vowed to make his time a valued commodity. Since 911, Chef Michael Bennett taught himself the skills of writing and computer based book publishing to be able to share his passion for the food business with others.

                Since 911, Chef Michael has written and published three books on food and cooking. His love of South Florida is seen in his first two cookbooks: In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks and Underneath a Cloudless Sky. His third book delves into what is like being a chef, called Culture of Cuisine, it notes the common ideals culinary ideals amid four generations of chefs boasting a New American Riviera (Miami) cookery heritage. He will have a book signing and half-price book release at Bimini Boatyard of the evening of the 911 anniversary.

                This book’s primary assertion is based upon the ideas and ideals of some of South Florida’s Top-Chefs. Very recognizable top chef names are written about in the latter chapters, while the first three chapters discuss the rudimental ideals of being a chef. Chapter one lays the groundwork for the next two chapters. Summed up in the next few sentences, Chef Michael describes life as a chef with a particular Love-affair slant; and, is a book that can be used and enjoyed by all, no matter their experience level…

 

AS ANY CHEF WILL TELL YOU, “THIS IS THE HARDEST JOB THAT I EVER LOVED.” FOR MOST CHEFS, THIS IS TRUE.  CULINARIANS ARE A SPECIAL BREED OF PEOPLE. THEY TAKE A RAW FOOD AND TRANSFORM IT INTO ART UNDER SPARTAN CIRCUMSTANCES.

 

BEING A CHEF IS AT TIMES UNSETTLING, AND SOME PEOPLE WILL NEVER KNOW THAT AS CHEFS….

  • IT IS THE TURMOIL – THAT DRIVES US.
  • IT IS THE HEAT AND THE FRUSTRATION – THAT RECHARGES US.
  • IT IS THE NEVER-ENDING, AND DAUNTING EXPECTATIONS – THAT DRIVE US TO

PERFECTION.

  • IT IS THE LACK OF SURROUNDING CULTURE – THAT MAKES US WANT TO SLICE,

WEAVE AND TIE EDIBLE WORKS OF ART INTO A MOZART-LIKE CONCERT.

  • IT IS THE LACK OF UNDERSTANDING – THAT MAKES US WANT TO EDUCATE

FURTHER.

  • IT IS THE INFINITE – THAT DRIVES US TO CALCULATED SINGULARISM.

INNOVATION ARISES WITH THE PASSAGE OF TIME AND COUNTLESS HOURS OF EXPERIMENTATION.

 

                Chef Michael has found that the real equalizer among cookbook enthusiast is interest in the culture about cooking. Interestingly enough chapters one through four are segmented into sub chapters of thought. Michael deliberated that these similar culinary culture-based ideals were similar enough to have been categorized concurrently, yet the stand-alone thoughts should have their own sectioning. The first two chapters alone have a consequential tone that screams “this has to be a read daily” by all culinary aficionados.

               

The Use of Q.R. CODES:

                Quick Response (QR) Codes! An Internet sensation, QR codes are being used by millions of people around the world. Chef Michael’s books are produced with these revolutionary codes inlaid within the text of the pages.

                He first added QR codes to his newly revised first Gluten-free cookbook, In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks. QR codes quickly establish weblinks to additional information about the topic stemming from the Internet using a smartphone. On this third book, Chef Michael uses them to enhance descriptions and show additional background information on the chefs that are featured in chapter five. Chapter six goes on to describe how the Internet’s Social Media aspects are going to help young chefs in the future.

                               

About the Author

                Formally trained in the school of hard knocks, Chef Michael has always pursued only one culinary goal, making Miami’s unique culinary ideals visible world-wide. Chef Michael Bennett has done this most convincingly through his two South Florida grounded cookbooks.

                His first two cookbooks are the result of working in numerous noteworthy South Florida and Caribbean restaurants and resorts. Ones that tout a particular South Florida vogue and he has earmarked as “Caribb-ican”.  Obviously this “Caribb-ican” culinary trajectory has hit a cord with local restaurant consumers. This culinary styling has played out well at his current post at Bimini Boatyard. It is where sales and customer counts have gone from sleepy to boisterous as they were recently featured in the New York Times – best places in Fort Lauderdale for its blustery sales increases. See link:   http://nyti.ms/hSzpNH. Chef Michael’s Boatyard Caribb-ican menu styling emerged three years ago and has segued into accolades from local magazines as: Best New Menu” in 2008 and, Chef Michael Bennett named locally as one of South Florida’s: “Top Chef” in 2009, 2010 and 2011. All the while Chef Michael Bennett boldly hones a specific culinary leadership status through print and on-line publications. 

 

About Chef Michael Bennett’s other books:               

                Chef Bennett’s first book is titled “In the Land of Pirates, Misfits and Cooks”; it is a first-hand taste of living in the Caribbean. That is also the first interactive cookbook in America. Chef Michael has based the recipes in the book upon healthy Gluten-free cooking. And to this end, he has placed QR (Quick Response) codes on the pages so the reader can quickly interact using a smart phone or web-enabled device. Chef Michael has inlaid the QR codes on the page with the recipe, so you can instantly source that hard to find Gluten-free food item used in his recipes.

                His book will energize your palate as you taste the new cookery methods and the innovative ingredients that are deliberately paired with familiar American fare. Chef Bennett takes the reader on playful culinary journeys throughout the many island Nations of the Caribbean, showing you that with a little ingenuity, you can bedazzle your taste buds by applying this tropically-inspired “Caribb-ican” cookery.

                The book’s FULL FOUR color photos highlight Bennett’s signature style of presentation: “food stacking”. Chef Bennett creates towers and food that ascends, as his recipe styling clearly characterizes “playing with food”. You will never just get food on a plate with Michael Bennett; you will get works of art. This may seem daunting to the average home cook but in true culinary tutoring style Chef Bennett explains in detail “how to play with your food”, this alone is worth having the book as you become an honorary Pirate and Cook of the Caribb-ican style of cooking. 

 

Chef Michael’s second book; “Underneath a Cloudless Sky” features mouth-watering recipes that will incite a pantry-quaking aftermath. South Florida’s five cookery heritages influenced the book’s recipe development. This full FOUR COLOR cookbook serves up an easy to read 180 plus pages of toothsome (110+) recipes and an instructional narrative about what it is like to dwell and work as a chef on the New American Riviera. This cookbook is the result of Michael’s reformulating the last two decades of South Florida’s “Florida’s Five Flags Fusion Foods” cookery components. The Five Flags citation represents his conceptual reformatting of South Florida’s five distinct cookery heritages.

 

Underneath a Cloudless Skya 180 page, 110 recipes, “Caribb-ican” stylized cookbook that is retail priced $29.95.  The Book can be bought at Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com and foodbrats.com.

 

In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks is 120 recipes, 180 + pages ($35.95) is available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon discount books seller website, as well at: www.foodbrats.com

 

Culture of Cuisine” is 140 pages ($15.95) and is available as a digital download ($2.95) or in print from Amazon.com and www.FoodBrats.com

 

 

Author substantive:
Michael Bennett is a well-known award winning (Chef of the Year-1995) South Florida chef whose clients are a 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-time three star rating. He also holds culinary affiliations with several culinary and food-related organizations. He regularly lectures on South Florida’s “Caribb-ican” cuisine. 

For more information, contact us at:

the_professional_image@yahoo.com

 

***

 

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New Times Magazine interview with Miami Author Michael Bennett

First seen in New Times Broward palm Beach

Interview by:

Laine Doss


Chef Michael Bennett is a native Floridian and a passionate chef who truly believes in cooking creatively and making a meal memorable for his guests.
Chef Bennett loves his work, and it shows. Since 2008, he’s manned the helm of Bimini Boatyard, one of Fort Lauderdale’s most enduring and iconic restaurants. Bennett has brought the sheer joy of cooking to the restaurant’s menu. We spoke with Bennett about cooking and family.

Clean Plate Charlie: Fort Lauderdale, while having some very good restaurants, seems like a thousand miles away in attitude from Miami restaurants. Why do you think that is?

Chef Michael Bennett: It’s a business and a down-home attitude here in Fort Lauderdale. Here, it’s let’s do business and go home and have a family life. In Miami, it’s kind of like, “I need the P.R.; I need the publicity,” and I’ve never been that way.

Bimini Boatyard is a large restaurant. How many people can you seat?

We have like 460. We added another 80 to 100 seats on the small deck we built last year. You know, they renovated this entire place last year in like 24 hours. I went on vacation for a week, and when I came back, everything was brand new — the dining room, the bathrooms, everything. They worked nonstop.

What is the tourist-to-local ratio?

A lot, but at lunchtime, we get all locals. Everybody is slowing down after season; we’re getting crazed. We broke a record last year. I don’t know what everyone else is doing, but we’re doing very well. We’re doing phenomenal. Business is so busy, I need another kitchen. We’re getting ready to really bust it loose next year. We have the cruise ships and the conventions. The concierges from the hotels or the convention center will send us their big parties of 20-plus. You stay here until about 1:30 and I’ll swap you paychecks if I don’t get a party of at least 20 people here today. We may not have a private room for them, but we’ll accommodate them.

You worked at Solo on the Bay in Miami Beach — that must have been crazy.

I used to do the nightclub after the restaurant from midnight to 5 a.m. It was crazy. There were thousands of people there every weekend. You should have seen the sheer numbers of people we had. We packed them in. Memorial Day 2005, I had 2,500 people walk through that place in one night. That was the night Beyoncé walked in.

Lil Wayne was there one night, and there were 800 people waiting outside to get in.

Where are you from?

I was born at Broward General, and so was my oldest daughter. I was the first child born in Sunrise. My dad was in the marine business. My grandfather owned the marina next door to Bimini Boatyard. My father and uncle used to race boats by the old Marine stadium in Key Biscayne. My father owned a marina in Tampa, but I moved back to Fort Lauderdale because Tampa was too slow for me.

Before I moved back to Fort Lauderdale, I opened up a few restaurants and redid a Radisson in St. Petersburg, right next door to QVC. Susan Lucci and Lauren Hutton used to be my best customers. Lauren Hutton used to come in every day and ask why I can’t make anything healthier.

Jack LaLanne also used to come in all the time.

Please tell me he was a nice guy.

The guy was a pistol. It didn’t matter how old he was. His mind was as sharp as when he was doing acrobatics in Miami. He used to come in for only broccoli and egg whites every day. He did it the right way.

So do you eat healthy?

I’m a starch-aholic. Because I’m so busy, I only eat once a day, but starch gives me energy. I eat potatoes, pasta, and bread. I can’t live without it. I don’t eat meat that much because it isn’t important to me any more. Although I cheat. I eat a hamburger once a week. That’s my guilty pleasure. And it’s not because I’m getting old, although I am, but I’ve been getting heartburn all my life, and now because I don’t eat meat, I don’t.

What do you think about chefs who look down on vegetarians?

Why would they say that to a customer? We’re here to provide a service. If I don’t have it in the kitchen, I can’t give it to you, but if I have it — you got it. This business is hospitality. If you have a problem with that, you should be writing a cookbook or teaching a class. If you’re going to be a chef, you’ve got to be a host.

That’s why this place is so popular. Nobody cooks seafood at home. People rarely even cook. Including my daughters. They don’t cook, but they love to eat at my restaurant because nobody cooks what they like the way Dad does.

Did you cook for your daughters?

When they were young, I worked 70 to 80 hours a week. I wasn’t home a lot, but they called me up every night to bring something home for dinner. And it was never one dish; it was always something different for each girl. And now that they’re out of the house, it’s like, “What am I going to do? I hate everything because Dad’s not making it.”

I spoiled them so much with the food.

Are they in school?

One’s going to University of South Florida, and one’s going to Florida State. They’re great kids.

Do they want to go into the business?

I don’t think so. They’re too smart.
By Laine Doss, M

​Yesterday, we featured part 1 of our interview with Bimini Boatyard’s chef Michael Bennett. If you missed it, you can read it here. In part 2, chef Bennett talks about living in the Caribbean and what it’s like to serve a ton of seafood in one weekend.

Clean Plate Charlie: You’ve written two cookbooks. Have you ever taught cooking?

Chef Michael Bennett: Yeah, I’ve taught. I taught kids at my daughters’ school. It was a healthy-cooking class. I would show them that you can go to the store and buy a bag of chips that are healthy. We did healthy pastas. We did healthy techniques. This is before chefs were all over TV. But you could see that these kids really loved cooking. My class grew from 15 to 30 kids. Kids were sneaking into the class.

When was there a shift that made cooking cool?

I think it’s all Bravo Network’s fault. I hate Top Chef, but my wife loves it. That and that show where the guy yells a lot..

Hell’s Kitchen?

Yes. What an idiot. Nobody in this industry would treat their people that way. Nobody. But these shows did good things, because kids want to be in this industry now.

You lived in Tortola for a while. Tell us about it.

I’ll tell you why I dream about Tortola every night. (shows me a picture.) Look at the water. The water is crystal blue. I had to cross the channel to get to my restaurant every day. You could see sea turtles, whales, dolphins. The blue is an amazing blue.

What was everyday life like there?

It was the British Virgin Islands. I had a work permit, but my daughters had to go to school online through the Miami-Dade Public Schools system. It took three months to get electricity in my house. We take things for granted here — like groceries, internet service. It was eight months before we got telephone service. I had to take my daughters downtown every day to get internet service. It became a real hassle.

When you go to the Caribbean, there’s no Publix, no Kmart, no Burger King. It’s great for a week, but try to do it for a year. When I went to St. Thomas and ate a Big Mac, it was like heaven to me — because I couldn’t get one in Tortola. When you don’t have these little conveniences, you really miss it.

And my kids were so citified, the couldn’t stand it, because we lived next door to Aventura Mall before we moved, and suddenly there wasn’t a mall for hundreds of miles.

It must have been torture for two teenaged girls. Any good stories?

One time at my restaurant, we had a giant setup for the Super Bowl. We had 100 to 150 people at the bar. At 7:30, the game started [there’s an hour difference], and the entire island went black because everyone flipped on their TV at the same time. Luckily, someone had a laptop, and 150 people gathered around the laptop to watch the game.

So how did you get from Tortola to Bimini Boatyard?

My family and I decided to move back to Florida. I got back, I’m holed up in my hotel room waiting for my furniture to arrive. It takes about three weeks. I’m bored, so I walk into Bimini Boatyard. I figure Bimini Boatyard — Caribbean. Sounds good. I talk to the general manager, and I’m working there the next week. It was a natural fit.

I thought about doing dishes from the French Caribbean, the Spanish Caribbean. Like the Martinique grouper and the scallops.

You can’t get good scallops retail.

I know. I get them in specially. I have them specially dry-packed.

Bimini Boatyard is a big seafood house, obviously.

We do so much seafood. At the last Boat Show, we sold over a ton of seafood. We sold 2,600 pounds of seafood. Oysters, snapper, yellowtail, dolphin, lobster. I was buying and cooking five cases of Florida lobster tail a day. Over 100 pounds of dolphin a day. It was crazy. I didn’t cut less than 200 pounds of fish a day during that weekend.

What’s next for chef Michael Bennett?

I plan on writing more. I wrote my cookbooks on my deck in Tortola. It was a great experience. I’m also making cooking videos directly from the balcony of my home in Hollywood. It’s an amazing view. It’s a beautiful vista.

Recipe from chef Michael Bennett cookbook:

In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks.

Caribbean Kimchi:

A Recipe From Bimini Boatyard’s Chef Michael Bennett
By Laine Doss,

Chef Michael Bennett and wife serve up dishes at the Kampong in Coconut Grove
​Bimini Boatyard’s Chef Michael Bennett has a joy for both cooking and life.
In our recent interview with Chef Bennett, we learned about his passion for bringing the flavors of the Caribbean home to south Florida. If you missed the interview, you can read it here and here.
Clean Plate Charlie is happy to share Chef Michael’s Caribbean-inspired take on the classic Korean kimchi.

Caribbean Kimchi

Ingredients:

• 12 oz. Green mango

• 1 head napa cabbage, shredded

• 4 oz. Red onion, julienne

• 2 oz. Red bell pepper, julienne

• 1 oz. Garlic, sliced thinly

• 3 oz. Carrot, julienne

• 2 oz. Pineapple, julienne

• 3 tbs. Cilantro, chopped

• 1 oz. Sriracha sauce, or more if you like

• 1 oz. Sesame oil

• 2 oz. Salt

• 1 oz. Ginger, crushed finely

• 4 oz. Scallions, sliced thinly on a bias

Place all veggies in a large bowl and toss roughly.

Shake in the salt and drizzle with the sriracha sauce and oil.

Toss Roughly again.

Place in the refrigerator for three days, Tossing the ingredients once a day.

Remove the slaw/salad and drain well.

Use on plates as garnish or as a spicy Salad accompaniment.

Chef Michael Bennett’s dish for New Times-Pairings 2010.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Michael Bennett
Bimini Boatyard
1555 17th street Cswy.
Fort Lauderdale, Fl. 33306
954-525-7400

Chef Michael Bennett’s dish for
New Times-Pairings 2010.

Fresh Ingredients and Tropical Flavors are deliciously
absorbed in a Value-Endorsed State of Mind

“Food and Cooking has been my entire life…

making it a value just seems right!” ~Chef Michael Bennett

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, September 2010 – The Bimini Boatyard (BBY) was first usher into the Fort Lauderdale dining scene scape in September of 1989. A lot has happened in the world since the time of its opening. Remember the fall of the Berlin Wall? The reins of this lengthy journey have been taken on by chef and cookbook author-Michael Bennett, once acknowledged by the American Culinary Federation as Chef of the Year -1995.
Today the BBY is best-known for its exciting and wildly popular “Caribb-ican” menu, value-based wines and the best Happy Hour in Fort Lauderdale. Like BBY’s menu, the wine list selections are globally sourced, chosen for their value price point and a complementary taste when paired with our menu. United with our casual-style of service – that is straight from the heart – referring to a sense of caring and friendliness, it is the combination of good food and this almost neighbor-like service that has invigorated this 21 year landmark.

Chef Michael is participating in the Pairings event this year and he gives us this recipe to post so all will be familiar with the dish before they get a chance to try in on September 16th, 2010.

My recipe for the New Times-“Pairings” event 2010

  • Event will take place on September 16th, 2010 – in Fort Lauderdale.
  • Chef Michael will be showcasing a fabulous recipe made from WHITE tuna.
  • It is prepared in a new – “Old World” style.
  • As chef Michael Bennett mixes in the classic French cookery methodologies with Caribbean and Asian elements – to form a new classic cooking method that is transformed by the use of an un-likely pairing of ingredients.

For more recipes and information about chef Michael Bennett’s cookbooks, goto:

http://www.foodbrats.com

***

Escolar

Red-Curry and Beurre Noisette Mop

served with Plantain and Pineapple

8 portions

*** White Tuna – being extremely rich – should only be eaten in smaller portion sizes.
5 oz. Is all you’ll need to be satisfied.

Ingredients:

First part of the recipe
Caribbean Sweet-Spice:

Pink Peppercorns 3 Tbs.
Green Peppercorns 1 Tbs.
Mustard powder ½ teas.
Ginger powder ½ teas.
Seasalt 1 Tbs.
Mrs. Dash 1 Tbs.
Curry Powder ½ teas.
Poultry spice ½ teas.
Cayenne pepper pinch
Paprika 2 Tbs.
Mace pinch
Nutmeg pinch
Garlic, granulated 1 teas.
Onion, granulated 1 teas.

2nd part of the recipe: the Mop
Butter ½ lb.
Red Curry paste 2 Tbs.
Triple Sec liquor 1 teas.
Brandy 1 teas.
Sesame oil 2 oz.
Salt and pepper 1 teas. (4 to 1 ratio-salt to pepper)
Honey 4 oz.

Escolar 8 (5oz. fillets about 1 ½ inch thick)

First part of recipe – directions:
Place all spice ingredients in a coffee bean grinder and pulse into powder.
Use this powder to sprinkle – heavily onto the fish – before grilling.

2nd part of recipe directions:
First: you are going to make the sauce, then glaze the fish as it cooks on a grill.
Mop/Sauce:
Place the butter in an already hot – heavy bottom pan to speed the butter’s browning. Stir while the butter starts to cook. Continue to stir as the pan heats the butter and you will notice the butter starting to turn a brownish color. At this point add the red curry, watch for boiling. The curry spices will hasten the browning of the butter. Then, as the color deepens in brownish tint, add the CAREFULLY rest of the ingredients.
Carefully add the liquor to the glaze because there is a chance that the mix will be too hot and boil up rapidly and over flow on the stove.
Finish with adding the honey last. Cool the glaze.
Next – Season with the Caribbean Sweet-Spice blend and cook the fillets of Escolar over the grey coals of a well-oiled grill grates. Mark-the fillets, that is sear on the grates (about two minutes) and then flip and cook 1 minute more. Then move over to the cooler parts of the grill and cover so the heat of the coals work to heat the fish like an oven. Cook about 5 minutes more per inch of fillet thickness.
As you are cooking over the grey coals, lightly brush with the mop. Flip over and mop again. Move the fillet, mop again, close lid, cook and mop once again. Finish cooking and mop once more. Place on a warm platter until ready to serve. There will be some juices that flow out.
To plate, Make the next part of the recipe. Place the melange in the center of the plate and set the cooked fish fillet atop and mop with a little more sauce and let it roll down onto the plate.

NOTE:
Using a 3 inch round ring mold, fill with the plantain melange and push down onto the mixture to form a compressed circle of plantain. Lift the mold to remove, leaving a perfect circle on the plate where the fillet can rest easily.

Garnish with a small salad of arugula, sunsprouts and citrus sections or, just a little micro greens.

Paired with a special combination of tropical food elements;

Plantain and Pineapple

enough for eight portions

Ingredients:
Plantains, greenish-yellow 3 each
Pineapple pieces 1 small can (about 5 oz.)
Red Bell pepper, diced 1 each
Cilantro, chopped well 4 bunch
Seasalt ½ Tbs.
Oil As needed

Directions:
Heat 1/2 quart of oil in a deep pot to 350 degrees.

Clean the plantains. This is done by making a slit into the plantain with a small pairing knife along the ridges of the banana-like veggie. Remove the skin, then dice the plantain into 3/8 – 1/2 inch size diced.
Fry the plantain-about 2 minutes so they are no longer raw. Then remove from oil and drain. Season with salt.
In another saute pan, saute the diced peppers in a small amount of oil. Toss in the drained plantains, then the pineapple and then cilantro. Toss in the pan to mix the melange. Season again with the Seasalt. Remove and then place in the center of the plate. Place the fish fillet over top.

For more recipes and information about chef Michael Bennett’s cookbooks, goto:

http://www.foodbrats.com