Chef Michael Bennett’s New Healthy Cookbook: Interview with a Mango

Chef Michael Bennett’s New Healthy Cookbook: Interview with a Mango

Cookbook cover: Interview with a mango
Interview with a mango healthy cookbook from chef Michael Bennett

Miami, Florida / August, 2017: Interview with a Mango is a Chef Michael Bennett’s healthy recipe cookbook that helps you become healthier by using food and recipes originating from the Caribbean and making them healthier by using Chef Michael Bennett’s modern Mediterranean cooking techniques.

From the mind of a Mango Man:
In the Chef Michael Bennett’s own words; “I’m trying to change dining habits and perception of what health food is and how it tastes.”

“I have developed a new recipe categorization: “Medi-bbean”.
Like my other healthy fusion cookery recipe books, this one combines healthy Caribbean foods with the healthy cooking techniques from Mediterranean counties; such as: Italy, Israel and Greece.” All healthy ingredients are meant to FUEL, NURISH, RESTORE, REVITALIZE AND SUPPORT a rich lifestyle.

“They will see a bright array of delicious artistic recipes presented in a 5 star manner.”

People know the key to a healthy life is a clean, simple whole fresh foods diet in some form or fashion. Chef Michael Bennett has lowered cholesterol levels by increasing the amount of plant base nutrition non vegans/vegetarians intake, increase their fiber, add a variety of fruits and vegetables to increase antioxidant intake and most recipes are deemed low glycemic healthy grain, dairy, oils and fats. Chef Michael limits beef the most recipes are prepared using healthier poultry, pork and seafood.

 

Book’s Thesis:

• I’m trying to get people back to eating fresh healthy clean natural whole foods and ingredients, catering to the young and the young are heart.
• These foods contain ingredients that fuel and support the athletic and still cater to a normal individual. Leafy greens, veggies, legumes, health fats and oils, fruits, grains and lean proteins make up all the recipes in this book. A variety of vegetables or fruits, and spices from these destination locations will be used in every dish.
• Meal categories will naturally include: *Gluten Free *Low Glycemic Diet *Paleo Diet *Vegetarian Diet and healthy *Kids meals.
• Recipes were formatted using this thesis: all ingredients that were researched and implement in this book mostly came from neighboring Latin, West Indies and Caribbean countries.
o Many popular cultural foods were place into this book’s recipe roster from counties like: Trinidad and Tobago (West Indian food); Jamaica, Virgin and the Cayman Islands (Caribbean foods); Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico (Latin foods).
o Healthy oils are used for this book’s recipes. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), coconut oil and flax seed oil are used to discover the healthy alternative way to sautéing and cooking in oil.
o Recipe include healthy and mostly gluten free cooking techniques common in popular countries from; China, Japan, Thailand, Italy (and other Mediterranean basin distinctions), the Greek Islands, and Kosher (Israeli).
o Research mirrored extremely popular foods in the Caribbean then they were altered into a tasty healthy gluten free balance.
o Each meal will come with 3-5 suggestions of other ingredients that can be used in the recipe to alter or change the dish somewhat if need by the reader. Such as the use of Agave nectar instead of sugar.
o Most ingredients will be naturally GMO free, process and preservative free.
 Baking, grilling, roasting, sautéing, boiling, steaming and slow cooking processes are used.
 All breads, wraps, dessert, thickening or dusting flours are gluten free.
 As commonly found in the Mediterranean diet, the use of combinations of leafy greens should always be included into each recipe if not stated otherwise.
 Avocadoes are used in recipes to substitute for the missing fat content of original recipes that might have originally used high cholesterol / high saturated fat proteins.

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Medibbean….. Fusion Cuisine

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

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

 

Cookbook cover: Interview with a mango
Interview with a mango

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Tropical Subtropical Floribbean Cuisine examined

What the Mango Gang joined together no one can really rend asunder.
By: Jen Karetnick
Published date:
Apr. 4, 2014

wpid-wp-1403884651860.jpeg wpid-wp-1403884411251.jpeg wpid-wp-1403884534637.jpeg wpid-wp-1403884317173.jpeg wpid-img_20140518_140512.jpg Book on laptop Image
Puzzled? That’s not surprising. A hybrid of the words Florida and Caribbean, “Floribbean” denotes the blending of these regions’ tropical ingredients – an abundance of fresh tree fruit, ground roots and seafood – with warm-weather-friendly cooking techniques like marinating and grilling. It was, and still is, a term widely accepted by well-educated diners, by those who live here as well as by those who visit. “Floribbean” even appears as a valid category in online dining directories such as Frommer’s.

But while it makes perfect sense for prospective diners to pigeonhole places with a cutesy portmanteau, many of the South Florida chefs preparing this type of fusion reject it. They feel the moniker lacks dignity, and neglects other elements of the cuisine as a whole – namely, its Deep South, Asian and Mediterranean influences.

Today, the debate continues, with some Fort Lauderdale chefs calmly acknowledging that their contemporary “farm-to-table cuisine” has Floribbean roots, and others flatly denying that Floribbean by any other name smells just as enticing, even when the evidence is on the plates in front of them.

Floribbean – The History

At the time the name was coined, back in the late 1980s, South Florida chefs – mainly those in Miami who were conducting this epicurean renaissance – were actively trademarking Floribbean cuisine a number of other ways. Norman Van Aken, at a Mano, and Allen Susser, at Chef Allen’s, both called it New World Cuisine, publishing cookbooks on the subject. At Mark’s Place, Mark Militello, who combined the goods from artisans from all over the country with local product, preferred New American. Cuban counterpart Douglas Rodriguez, approaching the dishes from a Hispanic sensibility at YUCA in Coral Gables, termed it, logically, Nuevo Latino.

Together, these four pioneers were labeled the “Mango Gang” for their collective and oft-experimental use of tropical fruit, local flora and fauna and borrowed modus operandi. (Mango Gang is another name, it should be noted, that was also roundly loathed.) Other Miami chefs were quickly added to their circle: Johnny Vinczencz, gaining fame at Astor Place as the “Caribbean Cowboy;” Robbin Haas at the Colony Bistro; Tony Sindaco at Langosta Beach; Michael Schwartz at Nemo; Cindy Hutson and Delius Shirley at Ortanique on the Mile.

No matter what it was called, and which cultural arm it pulled on most, the cuisine was met by critics with a mixture of love and hate, admiration and envy, clarity and confusion. Dishes were a riot of influences with titles as long as those of Fall Out Boy songs, such as Van Aken’s “Snapper Escabeche Ensalada with Salsa Romesco, Arbequine Olives, Avocado, Oranges, and Ribbons of Greens.” One plate could have as many as five or six different components on it – a protein, a starch, a sauce, a salsa, a garnish – built on top of each other architecturally. Successful dishes were just that; failures were like pileups on I-95, with each element spun around in a different direction.

Along with varying appellations, regional chefs had fluctuating definitions for Floribbean fare. Dean James Max, who launched 3030 Ocean at the Harbor Beach Resort and Spa in Fort Lauderdale (then assisted by Hell’s Kitchen runner-up Paula DaSilva, who is now executive chef there) says, “This wave of cooking started as the first wave of farm-to-table. The chefs heavily involved in this were simply showcasing the mangos, guava and other fruits and vegetables like yucca and plantains that were being grown in South Florida. What’s special about it was that it was the first sign of what farm-to-table and local was all about in the region.”

Although Max missed the first flush of Floribbean cuisine in Miami, he was at the forefront of it in Broward County when Mango Gang-era chefs like Johnny Vinczencz, chef-owner of Johnny V. on Las Olas Boulevard, and Tony Sindaco, chef-owner of SEA in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, migrated north. They joined chef Oliver Saucy and Darrel Broek, co-owners of the 30-year-old Café Maxx in Pompano Beach, where Saucy had always followed a fresh-and-local credo set forth by his father, who taught him to cook long before he attended the Culinary Institute of America.

“This was the evolution where the chefs said, in essence: ‘Let’s make the cultural food of the Caribbean flavors [into] fine dining.’ And they did,” Max says. “Some still wanted to use ingredients like foie gras, but they paired it with mango and citrus. Some took lobster and paired it with vanilla and avocado. There also was a lot of flavor blending of different food styles from Puerto Rico to Cuba, to Jamaica and [elsewhere]. Lots of cool things were happening that made the press take a look.”
One of those very cool things was the treatment of Indo-Asian flavors. They came into the mix by virtue of African, Indian and Chinese immigration to the islands and then, by extension, South Florida. These stewed, curried and wok-fried rudiments are an integral part of Floribbean cuisine, one of the reasons why chefs objected to its non-inclusive name in the first place.
Climate, however, plays the main role in introducing those now-familiar fundamentals to the cuisine, argues chef and cookbook author Michael Bennett, who most recently held the helm at Bimini Boatyard Bar & Grill on SE 17th Street.

“The cookery that was born here in South Florida was shaped with incalculable Asian culinary principles. Not only did they help shape methodologies, they espoused the use of locally harvested Asian ingredients that can only be nurtured here in this part of the United States. Luckily for Floridians, seafood especially loves being paired on the plate with Asian ingredients like a variety of citrus, coconuts and lychees.”

AJ Yaari, owner of the recently debuted, ultra-contemporary Tsukuro, where small plates such as oxtail spring rolls blend the best of the region with Asian authenticity, acknowledges the ease with which Asian influences have slipped into Florida. “Because of our proximity to the sea and year-round growing seasons, Floridians are accustomed to fresh foods year-round. It is very similar to the Asian culinary and street-food culture where fresh ingredients are sourced and cooked.”

But he is quick to note that the Fort Lauderdale Beach-situated Tsukuro, which means “where the moon arrives over the water,” is more difficult to classify. “We do not fit in the mold of Floribbean just because we are in Florida or have citrus and mango in some of our dishes, nor are we Asian-Fusion, which marries various Asian cuisines. While ‘Florasian’ has a nice ring, we wouldn’t classify ourselves as that either. We consider our food ‘Asian-Inspired’ because we marry global and Asian cuisines to add depth and flavor; dishes are curiously familiar but surprisingly different. It’s a style we felt strongly would appeal to South Florida’s growing landscape of sophisticated, adventurous diners, as well as visitors who travel to our resort destination from around the world.”

Floribbean – The Present

Given the disagreement over the Floribbean name and definition, it should come as no great shock that many of today’s chefs either refuse to admit that their cuisine is Floribbean, or don’t even know what that means in the first place.

For example, the chef team from the Seminole Hard Rock complex displayed their goods at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in February. The presentations consisted of dishes such as chicharrón bites, mango chimichurri, queso blanco, pickled onion and roasted tomato salsa; an arepa slider (braised carne asada, fresh mozzarella, cilantro garlic aioli, avocado, crispy corn arepa); and chocolate hazelnut panna cotta (Nutella, coffee gelée, toasted banana cake, chocolate cookie crumbs). Even the cocktails, including a caipirinha made with Leblon cachaça, simple syrup, pineapple, mint and lime juice, seemed like a Floribbean given.

But an inquiry to feature the chefs and their fare brought the following answer from their press representative: “The team will be passing on this opportunity. [They] said they don’t have any Floribbean cuisine to offer up at this time.”

Most likely, the reluctance to identify with Floribbean sprouts from the very same kind of thing that gave birth to the label in the first place: a trend. As much as critics were quick to define culinary paradigms in the 1990s, and chefs were quick to align themselves with one, this decade sees the same professionals trying to resist classifying and being classified.

To that end, some see Floribbean cuisine as dead in the warm, tropical water. “It’s a thing of the past. The product is not being used the way it was with the Mango Gang,” Sindaco says. “It had its run, and that’s not such a bad thing.”

Bennett disagrees. He still sees Floribbean alive and well in several establishments, including his alma mater Bimini Boatyard – which he says offers “Caribb-ican cuisine,” a subjective interpretation of Floribbean that he created – and 15th Street Fisheries, which he notes is “currently flaunting a Latino-Floribbean cuisine.”

As far as flaunting goes, Johnny V. continues to be crowded, and not much menu evolution has gone on there. Down the street, the very on-trend YOLO, run by the former Himmarshee folks, delivers some Floribbean dishes, although it leans more Mediterranean overall. At 3030 Ocean, the always in-demand Paula DaSilva has picked up where Dean Max left off, with plenty of sophisticated, far-from-overwrought Floribbean fare. And the much-beloved Café Maxx, unlike southern counterparts Norman’s, Chef Allen’s and Mark’s Place, appears to be like bamboo in a hurricane: unbreakable.
In addition, long-running Eduardo de San Angel can be interpreted as Floribbean-Mexican; Blue Fire Grille in the Fort Lauderdale Marriott North has a Floribbean-Mediterranean vibe; Salt Life Food Shack in Coral Springs has a good number of items that qualify; and Sugar Reef Grill, on Hollywood Beach, has had a long run with items that include tropical fish stew in green curry sauce and Jamaican pork loin. Farther west, you can also find Floribbean dishes at the Banyan Restaurant and Bar Zen at the Bonaventure Resort & Spa.

Floribbean – The Future

Is farm-to-table the culmination of Floribbean fare? Has it evolved to the point of disappearance? Or has Floribbean cuisine turned into Asian fusion, served at swank beach establishments such as Tsukuro?

Perhaps we should define Floribbean, and search for it, based on what it isn’t, as Bennett suggests.

“What Floribbean is not is a cuisine that is solely based on the ideals of a singular chef as it was in 1995. Now Floribbean cuisine is more an ideal rather than an unusual ingredient vat,” he emphasizes. “In Broward, one must look at the dining public to foresee if the Floribbean cuisine we once knew will continue to flourish. Our dining clientele has so drastically changed in the last decade there cannot be a discussion about its future without evaluating the clientele of Fort Lauderdale. Since Fort Lauderdale is a family-centric metropolis, so will be restaurant menus. Restaurants need to serve family-friendly food, so Floribbean cuisine is not seen as regularly as it once was.”

Or maybe we should acknowledge that it has simply been absorbed into the current food culture. In a way, it seems that Floribbean has become an influence all of its own. And for those willing to do a little research, that’s acceptable. As Max, who has himself gone on to other climes with his DJM restaurants in the Midwest and West, notes: “I think if you looked at a lot of the local chefs’ menus you could pull off one or two things that would classify as Floribbean, but I don’t see that many going fully in that style. It’s almost become a part of the menus like Italian tomato [and mozzarella] salad or Caesar salad.”

But in another light, it looks like Floribbean cuisine has been assimilated – which means its destiny as a regional cuisine lies in the hands of a new generation of chefs, much like the ones who created it in the first place.
– See more at: http://flmag.com/features/tropical-subtropical#sthash.lgHIEsHC.dpuf¬

Chef Michael Bennett’s first Two Natural Cooking eBooks mingle into a single All-Natural SEAFOOD cookbook.

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release

 

 

   Image       +      Image         =        Image

 

Miami, Fl. – May, 2014 ~ Chef Michael Bennett has pursued a healthier lifestyle after he turned 40 and these books echo recipes that have helped him achieve his goals.

 

                There are so many All-Natural and Gluten Free cookbooks that get released every year, adding to the already formidable collections in bookstores, it can be hard to figure out which ones are worthwhile. After you read the subtitle; “a Study in Natural Seafood Cookery” and, leap through the pages of All-Natural SURF CUISINE you will see this one is just what your healthy dining regime needs.

                All-Natural SURF CUISINE features 100 plus recipes are as vigorously innovative in the use of fresh seafood as they are ceaseless examples of a beneficial diet strategy.

                Here’s a look at common sources of each type of dietary fat. Be aware that many foods contain different kinds of fat and varying levels.

      Some truths should be taken at their true values. As an example some people will say that butter contains unsaturated fats, but it is largely made up of saturated fat. Canola oil is highly monounsaturated but it also contains small amounts of polyunsaturated and saturated fat.

Type of fat

Recommendation

 

Total fat

This includes all types of dietary fat. Limit total fat intake to 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories. Based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, this amounts to about 44 to 78 grams of total fat a day.

Polyunsaturated fat

While no specific amount is recommended, the guidelines recommend eating foods rich in this healthy fat while staying within your total fat allowance.

Omega-3 fatty acids

While no specific amount is recommended, the guidelines recommend eating foods rich in this healthy fat while staying within your total fat allowance.

Saturated fat

Limit saturated fat to no more than 10 percent of your total calories.

Cholesterol

Less than 300 milligrams a day. Less than 200 milligrams a day if you’re at high risk of cardiovascular disease.

Tips for choosing foods with the best types of dietary fat

So now that you know which types of dietary fat are healthy or unhealthy, and how much to include, how do you adjust your diet to meet dietary guidelines?

First, focus on reducing foods high in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. Here are some tips to help you make over the fat in your diet:

  • Read food labels and look for the amount of trans fat listed. It’s best to avoid foods that contain trans fat and those that have been partially hydrogenated.
  • Prepare fish, such as salmon and mackerel, instead of meat at least twice a week to get a source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Limit sizes to 4 ounces of cooked seafood a serving, and bake or broil seafood instead of frying.
  • Use liquid vegetable oil instead of solid fats.
  • Use olive oil in salad dressings and marinades.
  • Select milk and dairy products that are low in fat.

 

 

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 a superlative All Natural, Seafood-based Cookbook. In the past two years Chef Michael Bennett has been concentrating on developing and extending his solidarity of an “All-Natural” and “Gluten Free” cuisine with his culinary consultancies.

                This was all imitated 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 knowledgeable of locally-caught seafood.

Chef 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.

 

Michael’s Author’s avail

            Like his first cookbook, “In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks” a GLUTEN-FREE cookery guide  and, his fourth and fifth cookbooks “Natural Recipes that will Change your Life” and “Natural Know-how Cookbook”,  All-Natural SURF CUISINE also features 100 plus recipes, more than 30 Full-color recipe.

                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

 

 

FoodBrat’s Cookbook review for Summertime 2014

 

Posted on another Blog…

 Image

Welcome to the Summer Cookbook and Food Book Preview. Here you will find Summer releases (May 1 to August 31) that are about, written by, or could be useful to chefs/restaurants. As usual, Summer is a big season for ice cream books and grilling/barbecue books; but there’s something for everyone among the titles below.

 

First, meat. On the grilling and barbecue front, there’s Los Angeles chef Ben Ford’s guide to massive outdoor feasts, Taming the Feast, and flavormeister Guy Fieri discover fire in his outdoor cookbook Guy on Fire. For a bit more challenging fare, explore charcuterie with either a sausage book from Ryan Farr of San Francisco’s 4505 Meats or NYC/Boston chef Jamie Bissonnette’s new guide to charcuterie. Need to make both the backyard cookout master and the culinary showoff happy? Go for The Meat Hook Meat Book for instructions on making Brooklyn’s finest rooftop ribs and/or country pate.

 

Next, for the more popular books for Summer time reading has been lighter, healthier recipe cookbooks like; Chef Michael Bennett’sAll-Natural SURF CUISINE”. Rounding out Summer’s offerings are a book on the future of food from chef Dan Barber, a baking book from the ex-St John pastry chef Justin Gellatly, a big shiny chef book from Paris two star restaurant Le Cinq, the 40th anniversary reboot of Richard Olney’s classic Simple French Food, and a cocktail book from bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Clyde Common in Portland.

 

As for Summer’s favorite dessert treat – ice cream, Ohio ice creamist Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams has a new book out. There are also books from Maine’s Jeff Miller of ScoopBrooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain, national food truck Coolhaus ice cream sandwichery, and London’s Ruby Violet.

 

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

 

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Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking

Ben Ford and Carolynn Carreño
Chef Ben Ford (The Filling Station, Los Angeles) goes big on this, his first cookbook. The book lays out plans for feasts of mammoth proportions, with everything from a whole hog roast to a north woods lake fish fry to a burger-and-brats block party. The book was co-written by Carolynn Carreño (who worked on the Mozza cookbook as well as the Shopsin’s cookbook) and has photography from Frank Ockenfels III. Check out a preview here.
Atria: May 6; Buy at Amazon

 

All-Natural SURF CUISINE: a study in Seafood cookery

Chef Michael Bennett
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You want healthy Summer grilling help? South Florida author and chef Michael Bennett has 100 healthy and Gluten-free Seafood recipes for you. All recipes are Gluten-free and naturally healthy for you — including tuna, escolar, grouper, lobster, yellowtail snapper, swordfish and all-natural sauces and accompaniments that are tied together by photographs that explain the plating techniques. Photography by; The Professional Image.
The Professional Image, Inc.: May 20; Buy at Amazon

 

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts

Jeni Britton Bauer
Ohio’s cult favorite ice cream maker Jeni Britton Bauer is back with her second cookbook, and this time she’s expanding beyond the frozen treats that made her famous. Here bakers will find recipes for baked goods to accompany ice cream, from sundae toppings to cobblers to cookies for making ice cream sandwiches. In addition, the book contains 30 recipes for new ice cream flavors including Absinthe & Meringue, Juniper & Lemon Curd, Cumin & Honey Butterscotch, and more.
Artisan: May 20; Buy at Amazon

 

The Meat Hook Meat Book: Buy, Butcher, and Cook Your Way to Better Meat

Tom Mylan
‘Tis the season for cooking meat: in Brooklyn butcher Tom Mylan’s first book he explores meat in all its various forms. Learn everything from a basic braise to grilled ribs to sausage-making to lamb belly porchetta to homemade chicken nuggets, and maybe pick up some creative ways to get really drunk while doing so. It’s what Mylan describes, one assumes with tongue firmly planted in cheek, as a “cool-guy butchering book.”
Artisan: May 20; Buy at Amazon

 

The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food

Dan Barber
For Blue Hill/Blue Hill at Stone Barns chef Dan Barber’s first book, he didn’t go with a big, glossy chef cookbook. Instead, we get a thoughtful, 450-page manifesto on what Barber sees as the future of sustainable food. Drawing on his research at his restaurant in upstate New York and locations farther afield, Barber makes the argument that “America’s cuisine require[s] a radical transformation.”
Penguin Press HC: May 20; Buy at Amazon

 

The New Charcuterie Cookbook: Exceptional Cured Meats to Make and Serve at Home

Jamie Bissonnette
Recent James Beard Award winner and Boston/NYC chef Jamie Bissonnette shares recipes for charcuterie from a variety of traditions, including traditional European, Latin and Middle Eastern-inspired recipes. Photography is by Ken Goodman and the foreword is by Andrew Zimmern.
Page Street Publishing: August 26; Buy at Amazon

 

Also Coming This Spring

  • Dos Caminos Tacos: 100 Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Mexican Street Food
    by Ivy Stark and Joanna Pruess. Countryman: May 5; Buy at Amazon
  • The Soda Fountain: Floats, Sundaes, Egg Creams & More–Stories and Flavors of an American Original
    by Peter Freeman and Gia Giasullo. Ten Speed: May 6; Buy at Amazon
  • Man Bites Dog: Hot Dog Culture in America
    by Bruce Kraig and Patty Carroll. AltaMira: May 6; Buy at Amazon
  • The New Greenmarket Cookbook: Recipes and Tips from Today’s Finest Chefs—and the Stories behind the Farms That Inspire Them
    by Gabrielle Langholtz. Da Capo: May 27; Buy at Amazon
  • Dumplings All Day Wong: A Cookbook of Asian Delights From a Top Chef
    by Lee Anne Wong. Page Street Publishing: August 19; Buy at Amazon

 

Chef Michael Bennett’s Cookbook and Author Site

Chef Michael Bennett’s Cookbook and Author Site

Chef Michael Bennett’s Cookbooks are being sold here on this site at publisher discounts.

Chef Michael Bennett’s first Two Natural Cooking eBooks mingle into a single All-Natural cooking paperback.

Chef Michael Bennett’s first Two Natural Cooking eBooks mingle into a single All-Natural cooking paperback..

 

New all-Natural Surf Cuisine Cookbook from Chef Michael Bennett. His sixth published cookbook since 2009.

Chef Michael Bennett’s first Two Natural Cooking eBooks mingle into a single All-Natural cooking paperback.

Chef Michael Bennett creates All-Natural SURF CUISINE from his previously released Amazon Ebooks on All-Natural cooking.

Miami, Fl. – December, 2013 ~ Chef Michael Bennett has pursued a healthier lifestyle after he turned 40 and these books echo recipes that have helped him achieve his goals.

 Image      Image       Image  

                There are so many All-Natural and Gluten Free cookbooks that get released every year, adding to the already formidable collections in bookstores, it can be hard to figure out which ones are worthwhile. After you read the subtitle; “a Study in Natural Seafood Cookery” and, leap through the pages of All-Natural SURF CUISINE you will see this one is just what your healthy dining regime needs.

                All-Natural SURF CUISINE will be release January 2014 and features 100 plus recipes that are as vigorously innovative in the use of fresh seafood as they are ceaseless examples of a beneficial diet strategy.

               

                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 a superlative All Natural, Seafood-based Cookbook. In the past two years Chef Michael Bennett has been concentrating on developing and extending his solidarity of an “All-Natural” and “Gluten Free” cuisine with his culinary consultancies.

                This was all initiated because of 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 recipe choices in the 1970’s were limited to chicken, turkey or frozen seafood from the northern USA. Air transportation wasn’t as advanced as today so the only seafood that ever made it to the dinner table was what they caught themselves.  This is how Chef Michael fostered his love and matured his knowledgeable of locally-caught Florida and Caribbean seafood.

 

 Chef 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.

Many in the Foodservice industry have this lifestyle inclination. It is simply in one’s blood.

  • Author and Restaurateur, Michael Bennett has opened and operated several successful restaurants in both the United States and the Caribbean all-the-while continually writing and publishing cookbooks.
  • Some cookbook reviewers have thought that Chef Michael Bennett’s innovative ideals have helped revolutionize and shape the public’s reflections on, and about chefs. He has encouraged Miami Foodies to use Social Media and our locally available South Florida tropical foods to promote what our Caribbean neighbors have to offer the hesitant home cook. “That is his gig, a monster of culinary facts”, says people know him.

 

Michael’s Author’s avail

            Like his first cookbook, “In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks” a GLUTEN-FREE cookery guide  and, his fourth and fifth cookbooks “Natural Recipes that will Change your Life, Vol. 1 and 2“,  All-Natural SURF CUISINE also features 100 plus recipes, more than 30 Full-color recipe pictures and an intriguing re-account on how he pursues his goal of cooking healthier.

                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.
Phone 954.404.0815, or the.foodbrat@gmail.com