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 (Boomer’s) – that demanded uber-chic foods from their restaurants in the 1980’s – to today’s dining public: the Y-generation; that has lived through multiple economic down-turns and, Social Revolution over the past two decades; our current dining clientele have no idea what opulent fine dining should be.
The dining populace today is looking for dwindling prices and bold flavors. They are not looking for quality products that are organized in rich visual appeal; it has to be immediate and scrumptious without convoluted service attributes. The dining public that insisted on a 2 ½ hour dining experience is now long gone. Those people are now investing their disposable income in supporting their aging parents, instead of treating themselves to an evening of culinary pleasures.
There is one avenue in culinary field that is growing in affluence and totality; it is the Gourmet Market segment. Companies such as: Wild Oats, Whole Foods and The Fresh Market are the Big Three that are more popular today than anyone could have imagined in the beginning of the 1990’s, when this groundswell was set in motion. It is mainly because if the Boomer’s are not going out to eat in fine dining venues, they are treating themselves now to superlative foods cooked at home. Their teen-age kids are being brought up expecting this should be the norm foods at home before they leave to go to college, it seems as though this trend 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, with occasional hints of health-consciousness abound in and around South Florida. Any metropolitan area you go, you will see the big three. There are also a few exceptions to cities where the Big Three haven’t made inroads, where 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 prestigiously 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, were retiring “Boomers” are now settling for a quite retirement from the rat race and see there is an increasing demand for Gourmet and 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 growing in popularity and scope. I can remember going shopping downtown to the only place in Fort Lauderdale that sells deCecco pasta, Fernanda’s with my Grand Mother 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 the future.
It has been a long journey for the family markets but, this segment is expanding faster than most any other segment of the food service spectrum. “We have seen the growth in sales rise ever since the Boomers started to retire”, say the gourmet store manager I interviewed. In Tampa and Sarasota area of the Florida’s West Coast, there is up and coming places like Surf and Turf Market, and 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 these commonalities were unattainable in the United States. Across the southern United States, we have seen larger towns and cities where this happens. These markets have been building in reputation for the last decade.

The NEW Social Scene:
A newly unexpected social scene for Boomers, occur at 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 marketplace to spend the afternoon socializing with friends. The social culture has changed from the “me generation” to the “we generation”. As the years pass into decades, the Boomer generation finds that their kids have gone to College and now they have to look outside their home-based life to reintegrate into a social path. “Boomers” are now living their “empty-nest” lives through the social and communal aspects of shopping and the Internet. Now that their lives are freer, without children at home the need to be a part of a community grows. Being seen at these markets reaffirms their place in social order of things. Using the Internet is bring the whole right to their computer screen.
The Internet and the markets are now the new Discos for the We Generation. We all want to be interconnected with others, it is a social thing. The society as a whole went through many stages. First TV generation, then it was Cable and it’s broadcasting of specific aspects of the social realm. Cable news brought us together as a country. We all know as much of what is happening in California and New York as around the city in which we live. Cable’s social aspects such as mTV quickly spread to young Americans the Urban sounds that they never would have heard locally in their own rural part of the country without it. The rapid spread of the cable’s cooking program broadcasts have led us to watching shows and their chef hosts that we would have previously read about only on books. This has brought us all to a mindset that we need even more. That is where the Internet has become the number one outlet for information and interconnect-ability.
Not only instantaneous but everyone now can be a star as long as they can reach a dedicated following. Some feel even more interconnected on a more personal basis. With the ability to choose the blogs and YouTube videos to which, the We Generation is able to pull information instead of the classic push advertising that reined a few years ago. The social connection is stronger for those who pull information. They want to know more and seek it out on consistent basis. Dining at home has become influenced by all these evolutions on a daily basis.

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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

 

***

 

My new book – a short overview!

Crafting
a
Cuisine:
2010

By
Michael Bennett
the Author of:
In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks
and
Underneath a Cloudless Sky

Published by:
The Professional Image, inc.

In the U.S: South Beach and South Florida
International: St. Croix, St. Thomas, Tortola, St. Maarten, Aruba
Contact us at: the_professional_image@yahoo.com
“Crafting a Cuisine”
isbn: 978-0-615-

Thanks to our Staff:
SENIOR Editor: Eileen Clark
ASSISTANT EDITOR: jESS “E”
Photographs: The Professional Image, inc.,

Copyright © 2010 by Michael Bennett~the Tropical Cuisinier!
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.

  • The Professional Image, inc.
    ~South Florida~
    1720 Harrison St.
    Suite 11-E
    Hollywood, Fl. 33020

Ordering Information:
Quantity sales. Special discounts are available on quantity purchases by corporations, associations, and others. For details, contact the publisher at the address above.
Orders by U.S. trade bookstores and wholesalers. Please contact TPI
Distribution: Tel: 305-851-3441 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              305-851-3441      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Printed in the United States of America

Introduction:
Innovation that comes with time and experimentation.
In America, modern Cuisine, is constantly changing.

Innovation Is the life blood of many successful restaurants. As you commence innovation, you have to craft an ideal. This ideal is a thought process. Cuisine is first thought, subsequently finesse and then production. Cuisine is thought of as a temporary art. So a chef has to be constantly creating. This book follows three generations of chefs that have crafted a Cuisine.

Cuisine, in modern days is a thought process of coexistence. Crafting a cuisine is first setting boundaries to what were your culinary limits. But on the New American Riviera there are no culinary transversal boundaries. This is a land of culinary experimentation, where anything goes-and usually does.

It has no start or end. It is a continuous flow of thought and brain toil. The thought comes to a chef, in mostly a daily re-accruing pattern. This art form, unlike the others – like music and painting – is one that is of oral and visual training that has been handed down through the generations and just reading descriptions are not powerful enough for consummate discipline. Repetition, repetition, repetition is the only way to teach cookery to staff and others.

Creation while day-dreaming is popular with the New American Riviera’s chefs. In South Florida, it is a little different. Being different is an every hour goal. While shopping, looking over the food choices, minds wonder as the combinations of their taste whirl around on an internal taste canvas. While dreaming about the combination’s, you need to create cookery sequences that respect the vibe of the past, while blasting through the stale misused food alliances. Tell a story of where we cook on this earth. It is always locally harvested foods that respects the cookery preferences of the local clientele as it creates and sets an imagery of the place in which we live and work. This is the hallmark of the cuisine that has been created on the New American Riviera.

Like a musician, we use the major cords of French Classical Cuisine to base culinary techniques while formulating a new cookery standard – in a techno-house (music) vogue. You should taste a dish in our mind before writing a road map to a dish. This is where understanding taste-relationships can’t just be handed down from mom. Trial and error helps balance the totality of concept. The conception must be balanced – just like a symphony of musical notes.

Artists must heal as well produce everyday. Healing is a duty alike to your children – to guide a recipe creation to exact correctness. Repetition brings with it a sense of creating a process of exactitude and velocity. The language of the recipe is one that has to be guided and refined. Healing the recipe from trial by fire (excuse the pun) is an orderly womb-to-tomb unconscious process.