Spicy Floribbean Cuisine South Beach Style is the hottest topic at the 7th Slow Food Night at Mount Lavinia Hotel

Florida plus Caribbean equals spicy fusion cuisine, states Chef Leo President of the Slow Food Chapter in Sri Lanka and Senior Sous Chef of Mount Lavinia Hotel. Enjoy yourself, and in my view experimentation with recipes is how this wonderful cuisine came to be in the first place. There will be many dishes for you to try and once you have the taste of it you will crave for more. 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 loved on the first taste.”

“What on earth is Floribbean Food?” The answer ties back into the wonderful melting pot of cultures found in the city of 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 Miami’s proximity cities including Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and creation style unlike anything else in the world.

In addition Miami, like New Orleans, could lay claim to being “fusion” cuisine before “fusion” became a hot buzzword. Both places incorporate the best of a variety of culinary traditions and this is beautifully expressed in the food you will find at the 7th Slow Food Night at the Governor’s Roof Top at Mount Lavinia Hotel.

So why Floribbean Food on the Slow Food Night on 16th January? When asked the General Manager Mr Anura Dewapura who began his career as an Executive Chef and indeed he knows his food, he stated this, “A dynamic mixing of flavors: elaborate pairings of powerful spices which Sri Lanka too can claim to, slowly melts away into softer flavors. And no doubt Fresh Food which is the heart of Slow Food: There is a huge emphasis on freshness when it comes to cooking Floribbean Cuisine. Because of the density 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 and Sri Lankan fruit could lay claim to this to: A wide variety of fruits and fruit juices are used to augment the flavors of the spices. Mango, papaya, and others are popular favorites.”

Key elements of the Floribbean style food include spices, citrus (like intense Key limes) and other fruits like mamey (a tropical fruit with a flavor something like a cross between peach and apricot), mango, and papaya are very common. The spice trade that went through most of the Caribbean also contributed to this region’s flavor profile adding spices as diverse as ginger, allspice and cumin. When Floribbean dishes combine elements from all these traditions, you will definitely see heat from peppers balanced by sweetness from fruit. Other elements such as coconut and rum are common, too. Chef Leo will incorporate all these elements. He will also add new techniques and flavors, keeping the evolving Floribbean cuisine deliciously exciting. His culinary masterpiece was borne from of Miami so grab on to your cutlery because this will be one heck of a ride!

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