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Underneath a Cloudless Sky

Not that I’m one to report on the weather here in South Florida but this ‘title’ couldn’t be more of a dichotomy as we go into 48 hours of straight rain.

About a week ago I was given this great new cookbook to read by my friend, Executive Chef Michael Bennett (of Bimini Boatyard) titled (yup you guessed it!) “Underneath a Cloudless Sky”. Chef Bennett just so happens to be the author as well. After writing the review for his first book, In the Land of Misfits, Pirates & Cooks, we became “social networking” confidants so it only stands to reason that I got an advanced copy of his second book. Not all “cooking” is fun but Michael makes it fun as I pointed out in his first book “…..Bennett’s signature style of presentation “food stacking”. Bennett creates towers and rises with his food; Bennett clearly defines “playing with food…..” Well dear readers, he’s at it again but this time Chef Bennett plays with his ingredients. He put items together I didn’t know existed let alone prepare and serve, like Breadfruit, Black Sapote, Guarapo, Azuki Beans and the list goes on!

Chef Bennett likes the exotic, why use oranges when you can use starfruit? Now don’t let items such as Breadfruit and Azuki Beans scare you off, open your door and let them into your kitchen! Experiment! As Michael states in the introduction of his book he contends that “familiarity brings comfort and reassurance, while trying new things. He will bring the unfamiliar exotic food and cooking techniques into focus for you. After reading this book you will be comfortable using food your mother would have never considered cooking.” In the Land of Misfits, Pirates & Cooks, is definitely the precursor to Underneath the Cloudless Sky.

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