The Food of Miami Cookbook

This compilation of recipes from Miami's best chefs, whose full title is The Food Of Miami:Authentic Recipes From South Florida And The Keys, was published in 1999. It is interesting if for no other reason than to get an idea of who were considered Miami's top toques at the time. Most of the chefs highlighted in the book are still going strong: Jonathan Eismann; Cindy Hutson (back then of Norma's on the Beach); Jan Jorgensen (of Two Chefs, when Soren Brendahl was one of the namesake chefs); Mark Militello (for Mark's Las Olas); Pascal Oudin (pre-Pascal's, at Sweet Donna's Country Store); Allen Susser (one of the few who still operates the same restaurant); Claude Troisgros (still exec chef of Blue Door, but isn't the chef on property); Norman Van Aken (with Norman's); Johnny Vinczencz (back then at Astor Place). Some of the other contributing chefs are Efrain Vega (Yuca), Todd Weisz (Turnberry Isle), Carmen Gonzalez (Carmen's), and Dawn Sieber (Cheeca Lodge).

The recipes are wonderful. This was sort of the peek of the whole Mango Gang/New World/Nuevo Latino South Florida cuisine, and the featured foods are bright and tropical: Susser's lobster quesadillas; Hutson's Caribbean pumpkin bisque; Militello's swordfish with mango Scotch bonnet sauce; and so forth.

Miami New Times gets credited on page 138. Sort of. It is noted that Two Chefs was named Best New Restaurant by New Times Magazine. The author was Caroline Stuart, who evidently didn't get out much.

Now that Jonathan Eismann's Pacific Time has closed for good, we'll

share that restaurant's recipe for steamed Florida clams with Pacific spices. Perfect for a summer cookout.

Steamed Florida Clams With Pacific Spices
Jonathan Eismann, Pacific Time

1/2 cup dry sake

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

24 fresh lime leaves (optional)

1 Tbsp Thai red curry paste

3 Tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika

1 Tbsp curry powder

1 tsp dark chili powder

1/2 tsp salt

60 fresh clams, cleaned

3 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped fresh tomatoes

1/2 cup minced scallions, green parts only

6 garlic cloves, sliced extra thin

1 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger

lime leaves on branches

1 cup cilantro leaves

In a medium-size saucepan, mix the first 8 ingredients. Add

the clams and cover. Place over high heat until the clams are opened

and cooked, about 5 minutes from the sight of the first steam. Remove

the clams to 4 deep serving bowls and stir the tomatoes, scallions,

garlic, and ginger into the remaining hot broth. Spoon the liquid

evenly over the hot clams. Garnish with lime leaves on branches and

cilantro. Serves 4.

The Food of Miami is published by Periplus Editions (HK) Ltd. Photography by Jacob Termansen. Styling by Christina Ong. Original price was $16.95.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Miami New Times' restaurant reviewer for the past decade, and the world's indisputable master of disguise.
Contact: Lee Klein