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.

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Cooking events by Chef Michael Bennett

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

Sample recipes by Chef Michael Bennett:

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

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

 

 

 

 

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Foodbrats only work in Food

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

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

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

 

 

Culture of Cuisine: Chef Michael Bennett Writes a Workbook

By Laine Doss Mon., Oct. 17 2011 at 8:50 AM excerpt taken from New Time magazine on line
Chef Michael Bennett writes a workbook….
​Michael Bennett isn’t content to just sit around on a rare day off from his executive chef job atBimini Boatyard. Instead of sunning or fishing, Bennett writes.

With two Caribbean-influenced cookbooks under his belt, In The Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks,

In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks

 

 

and Underneath a Cloudless Sky,

Underneath a Cloudless Sky
Chef Michael's second book.

 

Bennett decided to write a book geared to professional chefs and culinary students.

The 140-page Culture of Cuisine is a cross between a textbook and a series of essays from a chef with three decades in the kitchen.

Culture of Cuisine by chef Michael Bennett
Chef Michael's third book about South Florida cooking and chefs.

In the book, Bennett gives his thoughts on everything from the changing tides of modern American cuisine to a run-down of chefs who have influenced and changed the dining scene in south Florida.

You’ll find no recipes in Culture. Instead, students of cooking will find insider tips for running a restaurant usually not on a culinary school curriculum like how to design a brand, market yourself, and use social media to spread the word about your restaurant.

QR codes throughout the book unlock chef interviews, websites and blogs for additional insight into the south Florida cooking scene.

Michael Bennett
​Though written with professionals in mind, Culture of Cuisine is a good read for any south Florida food enthusiast. With chapters that include a timeline of Florida cuisine, features on influential south Florida chefs like Allen Susser, Norman Van Aken and Michael Bloise, and an intimate look inside a commercial kitchen, this book gives the reader a portrait of what it takes to be a professional chef.

Bennett told Clean Plate Charlie that Culture of Cuisine is actually the first in a three-part series. This first book focuses on chef ideals. Part two will work on techniques and the third book will tie everything together. The volumes are designed to serve as a non-traditional workbook for up and coming chefs.

Chef Michael Bennett featured in the Sun-Sentinel newspaper

Spiked sweets:

Desserts that get cheers and booze
Here’s proof that a little alcohol in treats can lift everyone’s spirits

Bimini Boatyard’s chocolate cake is made with Jack Daniel’s, Myer’s Rum, Kahlua, Frangelico and Grand Marnier. (Ginny Dixon, Sun Sentinel / October 6, 2011)

Recipe: Jack Black and friends’ death by chocolate from Bimini Boatyard

by: Jan Norris, Correspondent

October 6, 2011

At Bimini Boatyard Bar & Grill in Fort Lauderdale, chef Michael Bennett sometimes takes inspiration from the bar.

It was the Death by chocolate martini — vodka, half-and-half, chocolate liqueur and dark creme de cacao — that led him to create a dessert he calls Jack Black and friends’ death by chocolate.

Bennett starts with mini-cakes in muffin tins from a boxed mix. He soaks them in a buttery-liquor concoction and then coats them in a smooth chocolate ganache spiked with the same liquors.

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They may be mini, but their kick is mighty.

“It explodes with flavor,” says Bennett. “Even a little piece will send you to chocolate heaven.”

death by chocolate by chef michael bennett
Death by Chocolate, a five liquor ganache cake

Created three years ago, they’re so popular that he doesn’t dare take them off the menu.

Chefs across South Florida are taking their cues from bartenders. That’s because mixologists are the latest culinary geniuses. They create sweet, and sometimes savory, concoctions that elevate even the simplest bar experience. Think Cucumber-basil-mint juleps and Smoky maple bacon old-fashioneds.

Pickled fruits, infusions of herbs and vegetables, mad scientist-like foams are spun behind the bar and squirted into drinks. Inside kitchens, those concoctions get translated into some heady send-offs that pack plenty of punch.

At Spin Ultra Lounge in Boca Raton, chef Jason Feinberg riffs on popular melon martinis with frozen melon martini balls. He uses a vacuum bag to speed the infusion process, frozen with a spike of vodka. They make a fun and cool end to a patio party, especially when presented in an oversized martini glass.

At Prime, a Delray Beach steakhouse, chef Peter Masiello turns cookies and milk into an over-21 experience. Adult chocolate milk — nothing like the Hershey’s and milk of your childhood — is paired with a white chocolate chip cookie spiked with white chocolate liqueur. If you can’t make it to Prime, make them at home. Just keep the kids out of the cookie jar.

The Breakers has a different take on old stand-by tiramisu. Executive pastry chef Elmar Wolf tips in Kahlua along with Marsala wine to create a Spirited cappuccino tiramisu for the resort’s The Italian Restaurant.

Several restaurants, including Hyatt Regency’s Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale, serve Mojito cheesecakes. We have a version of this mint-lime-rum cheesecake concoction that makes individual servings. Since these freeze well, you can pop a few in the freezer for impromptu desserts.

When serving these booze-filled desserts, consider serving a cordial glass of the liqueur used in the recipe for an elegant finish to your meal. Not that you’ll necessarily need any more booze.

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

 

***

 

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 1 st., 2011
Miami, Florida
FOR MORE INFO: 305-851-3441

AUTHOR AND CHEF MICHAEL BENNETT WRITES ABOUT
MIAMI’S CULINARY CULTURE

SOUTH FLORIDA, AUGUST, 2011 ~ FOODBRATS.COM – ANNOUNCES THAT MICHAEL BENNETT, THE EXECUTIVE CHEF OF BIMINI BOATYARD IN FORT LAUDERDALE AND COOKBOOK AUTHOR, IS RELEASING HIS THIRD BOOK ON AMAZON DIGITAL PLATFORM. CHEF MICHAEL HAS BEEN A WELL-SPRING OF CULINARY IDEAS THAT HAS FILLED THE INTERNET AND HE SEEMS TO HAVE MUSTERED SUFFICIENT TIME TO POSITION ANOTHER BOOK FOR YOUR KITCHEN LIBRARY SHELF.
AFTER GOOGLING “CHEF MICHAEL BENNETT”, ONE WILL FIND DOZENS OF PAGES THAT DISPLAY AUTHOR / CHEF MICHAEL BENNETT’S LITERARY CREATIONS. CHEF MICHAEL’S CURRENT ARRANGEMENT OF WRITING FOR MIAMI’S EXAMINER.COM, HAS HELPED THE CHEF CONTEMPLATE MORE INVENTIVE INSPIRATIONS, DIVULGING TO THESE INTERNET READERS WHAT IT IS LIKE BEING A CHEF IN MIAMI. THIS AUTHOR’S ROOTS ARE DEFINITELY SITUATED DEEP INTO SOUTH FLORIDA.
HIS EFFORTS THROUGHOUT THE INTERNET’S SOCIAL MEDIA AVENUES HAVE BROUGHT THE AUTHOR RECOGNITION FROM AS FAR AWAY AS AUSTRALIA. HIS COOKBOOKS ARE SELLING IN DISTANT PLACES BECAUSE OF THE COMMONALITIES IN THE FOODS USED FOR THE RECIPES. COOKING AND THE FOOD USED IS A UNIVERSAL ANALOGUE AND ALL INQUISITIVE COOKS LOVE READING ABOUT THE USE OF TROPICAL AND EXOTIC FOODS. THIS IS PROVEN WITH SALES OF HIS FIRST COOKBOOK; IN THE LAND OF MISFITS, PIRATES AND COOKS SELLING IN INDIA, AUSTRALIA AND ACROSS EUROPE.
MICHAEL HAS FOUND THAT THE REAL EQUALIZER AMONG COOKBOOK READERS IS THE INTEREST IN THE CULTURE OF COOKING. THIS IS HOW HE DEVELOPED HIS LATEST BOOK. “CULTURE OF CUISINE” WHICH DELVES INTO WHAT MIAMI CHEFS THINK ABOUT THE IDEALS OF CUISINE. IN THIS BOOK, MICHAEL RATIONALIZES THE COMMONALITIES OF IDEALS BETWEEN OUR GENERATIONS OF SOUTH FLORIDA CHEFS. THE BOOK SEGMENTS ARE BASED UPON MICHAEL’S INTERVIEWS WITH THESE NOTED SOUTH FLORIDA IDEALISTS.
INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH THE FIRST AND SECOND CHAPTERS OF THE BOOK ARE SEPARATED INTO SUB CHAPTERS OF THOUGHT. MICHAEL THOUGHT THAT THESE CULINARY CULTURE-BASED IDEALS WERE SIMILAR ENOUGH TO HAVE BEEN CATEGORIZED THEM 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 DAILY READ” FOR ALL CULINARY ENTHUSIAST.
• CULTURE A CUISINE
• HOW OUR CUISINE WAS CRAFTED
• UNDERSTANDING FOOD
• DESTINY OF INGREDIENTS
• THE PROCESS OF HOW THINGS HAPPEN
• ONE MOMENT PLEASE; YOUR MEDIA VOICE
• THE FIRST THREE STEPS
• THE INTERNET IS YOUR FUTURE
• QR CODES AND HOW THEY WILL HELP YOU

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. HE HAS WORKED IN NUMEROUS NOTEWORTHY SOUTH FLORIDA AND CARIBBEAN RESTAURANTS AND RESORTS HONING A SPECIFIC CULINARY LEADERSHIP STATUS THAT HE HAS EARMARKED “CARIBB-ICAN”. OBVIOUSLY THIS CULINARY TRAJECTORY HAS HIT A CORD WITH LOCAL RESTAURANT CONSUMERS. THIS STYLING HAS PLAYED OUT WELL AT HIS CURRENT POST AS THE EXECUTIVE CHEF FOR THE PAST THREE YEARS. BIMINI BOATYARD WHERE SALES AND CUSTOMER COUNTS HAVE GONE FROM SLEEPY TO BOISTEROUS WAS FEATURED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES – best places in Fort Lauderdale FOR ITS BLUSTERY SALES INCREASES. SEE LINK: http://nyti.ms/hSzpNH .

BIMINI BOATYARD’S MENUS EMERGED TWO YEARS AGO AND SEGUED INTO ACCOLADES FROM LOCAL MAGAZINES AS “BEST NEW MENU” IN 2008 AND CHEF MICHAEL BENNETT WAS NAMED ONE OF SOUTH FLORIDA’S “TOP CHEF” IN 2009 AND 2010.
ABOUT CHEF MICHAEL BENNETT’S OTHER BOOKS:
CHEF BENNETT’S FIRST BOOK IS TITLED “IN THE LAND OF PIRATES, MISFITS AND COOKS”, A FIRST-HAND TASTE OF LIVING IN THE CARIBBEAN. HIS BOOK WILL ENERGIZE ONE’S PALATE WHEN YOU PARTAKE IN THE NEW METHODS OF COOKING AND EXPERIENCE BEING EXPOSED TO THE INNOVATIVE INGREDIENTS PAIRED WITH FAMILIAR AMERICAN MENU ITEMS – THE WAY CHEF MICHAEL MAKES OLD STALE DINNER ITEMS NEW AND EXCITING ONCE AGAIN. CHEF BENNETT TAKES THE READER ON PLAYFUL CULINARY JOURNEYS THROUGHOUT THE MANY ISLANDS OF THE CARIBBEAN SHOWING YOU THAT WITH A LITTLE INGENUITY YOU CAN BEDAZZLE YOUR TASTE BUDS BY APPLYING THIS TROPICALLY-INSPIRED COOKERY.
THE FULL 4 COLOR PHOTOS HIGHLIGHT BENNETT’S SIGNATURE STYLE OF PRESENTATION: “FOOD STACKING”. BENNETT CREATES TOWERS AND FOOD ASCENTS; 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, MISFIT AND COOK OF THE CARIBB-ICAN STYLE OF COOKING.
IN THE LAND OF MISFITS, PIRATES AND COOKS IS 120 RECIPES, 180 + PAGES AND IS AVAILABLE FOR $35.95 AVAILABLE AT THE AMAZON DISCOUNT BOOKS SELLER SITE AND AT WWW.FOODBRATS.COM.

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 4 COLOR BOOK SERVES UP AN EASY TO READ 180 PLUS PAGES OF TOOTHSOME RECIPES (110+) 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 SKY” COOKBOOK IS RETAIL PRICED AT $29.95. THE BOOK CAN BE BOUGHT AT AMAZON.COM AND 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:
mailto:the_professional_image@yahoo.com?subject=Inquiries
***

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

For Immediate Release:
The Professional Image
and FoodBrats.com

Fresh Ingredients, Tropical Flavors and Gluten-free dining are deliciously
absorbed in a Value-Endorsed State of Mind
“Food and healthy cooking has been my entire life…making it a value just seems right!”, chef Michael Bennett.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida ~ August, 2011 – Chef Michael Bennett’s current post as the Executive chef – Bimini Boatyard (BBy) that was first usher into the Fort Lauderdale dining scenescape in September of 1989. A lot has happened in the world since the time of its opening. Remember the fall of the Berlin Wall?
The reins of Bimini’s protracted journey have been taken by chef and cookbook Author – Michael Bennett; once acknowledged by the American Culinary Federation as Chef of the Year.
Today the BBY is best-known for its exciting and innovative “Caribb-ican” menu, value-based wines and the best local Happy Hour in Fort Lauderdale. Like BBY’s menu, the wine list selections are globally sourced, chosen for their value price point and a complementary taste that harmonizes with our menu. United with our casual-style of service – that is straight from the heart – referring to a sense of caring and friendliness, it is the combination of good food and this almost neighbor-like service has inspired this 21 year landmark.
Based on his culinary experiences, from a four year escapade in the Caribbean, Chef Bennett has created another “Caribb-ican“inspired menu – he refers as…”New World Cuisine revisited”. This menu feature his unique twist on this menu featuring local tropical ingredients – with a focus on seafood, complimented by: low-fat, Gluten-free “Coulis-grette’s © .
”Since the original opening of BBY, we have embarked on a new course”, says Chef Michael. “The decision was made to create a more accessible and creditable Gluten-free Caribbean slanted seafood-based menu.
Before becoming the executive chef of Bimini Boatyard, chef Michael Bennett recalls; “I lived and worked on various British, French and American Caribbean islands there were unbound by classic European cookery disciplines.” He has blended modern American food with “Caribbean” cookery techniques and ingredients invented during his four year journey through the Caribbean.
This is where Chef Michael reflected upon his culinary edification and began to write his first cookbook: “In the Land of Misfits, Prates and Cooks”. It has become The Professional Image’s first published cookbook and first Gluten-free book written by a chef for chefs.
See more below:

The first Gluten-Free Caribbean-influenced cookbook
that is enhanced with QR codes.
The Professional Image, Inc. that is touted to be the publisher for the Culinary profession, announced its first Cookbook release on September 1st, 2009. “In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks” has now been revised to be 100 percent Gluten-Free.

In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks is now Gluten-free and boasts over 125 mouth-watering Caribbean-inspired recipes. This four color book serves up an easy to read 180 pages of delectable tropical recipes each emphasized with a narrative about what it is like to live and cook in the Caribbean.

This cookbook is the result of Michael’s equating and collaborating hundreds of years of compelling Caribbean food and cookery elements. This book is overflowing with a scrumptious mix of seasoning blends and marinades, salads, appetizers and entrees written in a way where you are the aspirant chef and YOU can compose or alter recipes while atop the stove.

The modern metropolitan recipe styling captures the distinct local flavor of a multi-national cookery heritage. Vibrant photography, easy to use design, one-of-a-kind recipe flow and, interesting and helpful sidebars and QR (Quick Response) codes blend to create the perfect sampling of what this multi-cultural, Caribbean based cookery style has to offer.

The cookbook was developed as a way of thanking the many fans of Caribbean cuisine that know “curry powder” or a “jerk glaze” are not the only examples of a Caribbean chefs repertoire. Michael asserts that after working as a chef for the past four years in applaudable Caribbean dining venues, each has played an important role in the successful dispatch of this book. Michael’s travel and oeuvre throughout the Caribbean, whether on a British, American, French or Spanish island nations, has helped Michael to shape this unprecedented recipe collection.
QR CODES:
THIS IS THE FIRST COOKBOOK IN AMERICA THAT IS ENABLED WITH INSTANT-LINK QR CODES. QUICK RESPONSE (QR) CODES ARE INLAID WITHIN THE PAGES TO HELP THE READER LINK TO AND SEE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION THAT UNTIL NOW WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO INCORPORATE INTO A PRINTED COOKBOOK.

QR CODES BRING THE READER TO WEBSITES, COOKING DEMONSTRATION MOVIES AND SUPPLEMENTARY COOKERY INFORMATION ABOUT THE FOODS YOU ARE READING ABOUT. USING A QR CODE ENABLED SMARTPHONE OR IPAD DEVICE, TAKE A PICTURE OF THE PRINTED SYMBOL AND YOU ARE INSTANTLY CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET. CHEF MICHAEL BENNETT HAS PLACE LINKS TO PRODUCT INFORMATION WEBSITE, HOW-TO AND GLUTEN-FREE FOOD PURCHASING WEBSITES THAT MAKES YOUR EXPERIENCE ONE OF A KIND.

As guests enjoy chef Bennett’s award-winning Gluten-free cooking as they are treated to the casual elegance of newly remodeled spacious dining rooms, floor to ceiling windows peering out onto the riverfront – in which BBY is perched, three expansive Bar/Lounge areas and an outdoor (riverside) dining terrace. The remodeled interior design captures the feeling that you are in a family friendly, comfortable, Cape Cod stylized restaurant.

For more information on either the cookbook “In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks” or The Professional Image, inc. “publisher for the Culinary profession”, visit:
http://www.foodbrats.com (initiate July ’09) | contact T.P.I. at (305) 851-3441 | the_professional_image@yahoo.com.

“In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks” cookbook is priced at $34.95 (Please add $3.50 for shipping and handling) Books can be ordered online at http://www.foodbrats.com as well as through the Mail to this address:

New Times Magazine interview with Miami Author Michael Bennett

First seen in New Times Broward palm Beach

Interview by:

Laine Doss


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

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

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

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

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

What is the tourist-to-local ratio?

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

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

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

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

Where are you from?

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

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

Jack LaLanne also used to come in all the time.

Please tell me he was a nice guy.

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

So do you eat healthy?

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

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

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

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

Did you cook for your daughters?

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

I spoiled them so much with the food.

Are they in school?

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

Do they want to go into the business?

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

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

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

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

When was there a shift that made cooking cool?

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

Hell’s Kitchen?

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

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

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

What was everyday life like there?

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

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

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

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

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

So how did you get from Tortola to Bimini Boatyard?

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

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

You can’t get good scallops retail.

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

Bimini Boatyard is a big seafood house, obviously.

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

What’s next for chef Michael Bennett?

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

Recipe from chef Michael Bennett cookbook:

In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks.

Caribbean Kimchi:

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

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

Caribbean Kimchi

Ingredients:

• 12 oz. Green mango

• 1 head napa cabbage, shredded

• 4 oz. Red onion, julienne

• 2 oz. Red bell pepper, julienne

• 1 oz. Garlic, sliced thinly

• 3 oz. Carrot, julienne

• 2 oz. Pineapple, julienne

• 3 tbs. Cilantro, chopped

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

• 1 oz. Sesame oil

• 2 oz. Salt

• 1 oz. Ginger, crushed finely

• 4 oz. Scallions, sliced thinly on a bias

Place all veggies in a large bowl and toss roughly.

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

Toss Roughly again.

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

Remove the slaw/salad and drain well.

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

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…..by 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?

no
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?

yes.
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.

Ideals!