Reviews for Chef Michael Bennett latest natural healthy cookbook.

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

Natural Recipes That Will Change Your Life:

Simple and Healthy Recipes for Delicious Appetizers

by Chef Michael Bennett

RATING: 3.71

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 3/5

Jun 13, 2013Dini rated it 3 of 5 stars

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

Jun 17, 2013Karen Mclaren rated it 4 of 5 stars

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

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

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

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

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

Chef Michael Bennett releases Third Book on 911

Michael Bennett releases his Third Book on 911.


            South Florida, August, 2011 ~ – 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…














                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: 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, and


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:


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



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:




Interview – Chef Michael Bennett

Interview with

Michael Bennett, Executive chef and author

What is your definition of creativity – what is it?

Taking the known and producing something totally different or umcommon. Being able to understand similar flavor profiles of different foods mix and match to create unusual or uncommon
new dishes.

But after 5000 years of cooking, it is going to be hard to do this compared to what the Chinese have done.

You need a base of culinary learning to formulate something new. You have to use what is known in techniques or ingredients and use this to go another step beyond the commonplace.

Using culinary ideals to formulate your creativity or style helps. Your ideals help you perform the next steps to innovation.

Is creativity the same as innovation?

Creative innovation is akin to being cutting edge.
Innovation is remolding or restructuring the plate or a recipe (the known) into a perceived (by the customer) better commodity. Creativity is a thought that can be perceived by the consumer or taught by enlightenment of the consumer… using a really good P. R. person!!!!!

Do you think it is something that people are born with (innate) or can it be learned?

Which creativity? Or talent of innovation?

Look at chef Chalie Trotter. He is perceived as a talent but if the people evaluating his food didn’t like his wild mushroom study because they don’t like mushrooms, doesn’t mean he isnt a talented cook. But the “study in mushrooms” was still innovative.

Chef Trotter was born this way. I believe creativity is something that you are born into, not with.

I think you can be taught creativity by mimicking. Other people will evaluate you from their own perspectives whether what you can create in food is creative.

Innovation comes from experimentation and having a good enough palate to judge if what you cook is good tasting. It will always be the combined that will judge you to be innovative by what is commonplace at the time.

Look at new world cuisine, circa 1992. Innovative because everyone said so. From reporters to consumers, it was judged to be an innovative. By using tropical fruits paired with common American foodstuffs.

The creativity of new world cuisine came about by finding how to pair the unknown with the known popular foods of the day. Then again if there weren’t so many Caribbean people in Miami, these chefs might not have discovered these foods to begin with. They were taught by the people who worked for them in the kitchen. So their ( perceived) creativity was taught them them by common peoples that knew how to use uncommon ( to American chefs) foods.

How important is creativity to you in your employees? How can they be creative – can you give me an example?

Very important to some of my people. The others just have to minick and produce what is needed for service that day.
My sous chef have to be able to create but they arent creative. Create for me is to do something with leftovers or extras not used from a party the day before or over purchasing.

In my previous position i had to three creativity chefs that knew how to get the most from the food available so you make better profits. Creating profits has been my requirements from my staffs
for the past decade of managing other chefs and f&b managers. Creativity in creating profits keeps all of us employed.

When you hire someone for a job, is creativity an important job requirement?

Creativity is honed by me. A new employee just has to have the skills to produce what I teach.

Later when they can prove their techniques – and the demand in creativity I’ll ask them for innovation.

Creativity in cooking meat dishes doesn’t work for me because we are a seafood- centric menu. So creative is cool, but great skills are more necessary.

What other things are important when you consider hiring someone (e.g., reliability, punctuality, teamwork, communication) ?

Yes, I am never late. Nor my staff. We are always under the gun so time is a commodity that can’t be wasted, so yes being on time is very important.

Skills – see above answers.

In your business, do employees work predominantly on their own, or do they work in teams?

On own after trained by co- workers. With a staff of over thrity, no one is trained by me except my second in charge.

After training we reevaluate to see if skills are proper and if any more are needed. They work together in the same areas but as individual fulfilling the needs required. Teamwork to produce plates on the line is necessary. Individual accomplishment and completion of assigned tasks is more individualistic in nature by the back of the house.

Have you ever had college students working for you? What was your experience?

One good, became my second. One not so good. Let him go because he didnt keep pace in skill development.

It is all up to the person that is hired. If they can keep up with what is demanded by me and improve to the next level they stay with me.

What do you consider important for the school to emphasize in students’ education in general (i.e., English, math, communication skills)?

for leaders very important.
For my hands on people not so much.

How important are your clients? Do they drive what you do creatively?

Of course, see my explaination about creativity and innovation above. If my menus weren’t perceieve as creative, they would not define me as a leader in South Florida cooking. I would be part of the crowd producing great food but never thought of as i creative person by most consumers.

Now if what i create is thought of as innovative then i will be set apart from the other chefs and held in high perceived esteem. So yes, my customers drive my innovation to be thought of as a creative.

How important are principles or process (skills/craft) in your profession – more important than creativity?

Principles are the culinary training or thoughts that puts us all in the same rankings as chefs. I choose to call them ideals. Skills, the amount of skills and how you can apply them to the cooking of food is what will define you as a chef and later separate you from others as those skills lead to innovation of new ideals and creative culinary works.

If you had a choice between hiring a super-talented prima donna, or a humble and reliable, but less creative, person, which one would you give preference to?

Depends on the position I hire for.

If I need an innovator, someone to bring the menu to the next level I’ll choose the primadona. His mindset will force himself to do more and better than everyone else in the kitchen. His need to succeed and be the best in the kitchen will drive him to do what I need from this position as a chef de cuisine or sous.

The lesser skilled dependable person fills almost all my other positions in the kitchen.

How can we specifically better prepare students for the work world, i.e., what would you emphasize for the employee of tomorrow to learn (math? English? Teamwork?)

Read my new book “Culture of Cuisine” (due out Summer 2011) and you will know exactly.