Many of you are probably asking, “What in the heck is Floribbean Food?” The answer ties back in to the wonderful melting pot of cultures found in cities like Miami. Floribbean is generally a mingling of culinary influences from Caribbean islands like The Bahamas, Barbados, Haiti and Jamaica. These island cooking styles have mixed with Australian and Southern US dishes to create a style unlike anything else in the world.
What Exactly is Floribbean Food?
Floribbean, like all of its myriad cultural influences, focuses on a few key elements:
- A dynamic mixing of flavors: Intricate pairings of powerful spices slowly melts away into softer flavors.
- Always Fresh Food: There is a huge emphasis on freshness when it comes to cooking Floribbean Cuisine. Because of the complexity of the dishes, the only way to have your recipe come out perfect is to ensure that the taste of the ingredients play off each other as they were meant to.
- Lots of Fruit: A wide variety of fruits and fruit juices are used to augment the flavors of the spices. Mango, papaya, keylime and others are popular favorites.
Presentation is Everything:
Another important aspect of Floribbean Cuisine is the presentation. A number of herbs, fruit, vegetable garnishes and fresh greens are used to give the dish a healthy, straight from the kitchen feel. When preparing your own dishes, be sure to focus on a clean, natural aesthetic, rather than something that looks like a Van Gogh oil painting.
Now You’re Ready!
Here are some great recipes to try cooking Floribbean yourself. You’ll be able to impress whomever you’re cooking for, and give them something new and exciting to try. The Key Lime Mustard Ginger Grilled Chicken is one of my favorites, and isn’t that hard to cook for first time Floribbean chefs.
Key Lime Mustard Ginger Grilled Chicken
¼ cup Key Lime Juice
½ cup Dijon Mustard
2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Ginger
2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Halves
Directions: Mix the first four ingredients together. Make sure both sides of the chicken breasts are completely covered, and let them marinate for several hours (I even like to let them sit in the marinade overnight). Be sure and save the remaining unused marinade mixture as you will need it later.
Grill or broil the chicken for 5 – 6 minutes on each side until it’s cooked all the way through. Heat the marinade you saved on low heat until you can smell the garlic and ginger. Spoon this sauce over the cooked chicken breasts and serve!
The Most Important Part
Enjoy yourself, and remember that experimentation with recipes is how this wonderful cuisine came to be in the first place. There are countless dishes for you to make, and once you have the hang of it you can start creating your own. The complexity of the spices and soft fruit and citrus flavors can be a bit daunting at first, but then again, no great dish was perfected on the first try.
This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Miami. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Miami offers Le Cordon Bleu culinary education classes and culinary training programs in Miami, Florida To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Miami for more information.
LCB Miami does not guarantee employment or salary.