In the past few issues, we’ve featured some succulent seafood recipes and the chefs who cook them from various Guy Harvey’s Island Grills around the country (and one in Grand Cayman). This issue we changed the ingredients a bit and borrowed some mouth-watering recipes from Chef Justin Timineri, who is the executive chef for the State of Florida. We all know that states have governors and attorney generals and congressmen in bad suits, but executive chefs?  Who knew?

When you’re the executive chef for the State of Florida, one of your main ingredients has to be seafood. Of course, for Chef Justin Timineri, that seafood hails from Florida. As a guy who works for the Department of Agriculture, he has an all-access pass to fresh local produce, seafood, beef, and just about anything grown in the Sunshine State.
Having grown up in Florida, Justin was exposed at an early age to the many cultures and cuisines from this diversified part of the country. His love and passion for cooking came at an early age when he watched his mother, father, and grandmother cooking up a storm. “I was raised in a family of really good cooks. I was always getting shooed out of the kitchen for causing trouble,” said Chef Justin. This family inspiration convinced him at a very early age that cooking would be his lifelong career.
Tidbits about Chef Justin

• Chef Justin’s favorite place to go for seafood is Apalachicola – to slurp down some fresh oysters

• The three most important qualities he believes a chef should have are temperance, skill, and passion

• The strangest seafood dish he has ever eaten was live, baby octopus in Korea

• His favorite type of seafood is pompano, because of its sweet, succulent meat

Chef Justin embraces the new style of American cooks, whose straight-forward approach to cooking relies on simple ingredients combined with fresh, locally-grown produce and locally-caught seafood.  Simplified ingredients do not mean a lack of choices for Chef Justin. “Having such an incredible diversity of foods to work with is a huge advantage when creating menus and recipes,” he notes.

While he focuses on local foods, he’s also comfortable around famous chefs and dignitaries. “I have been fortunate to be able to meet and gain inspiration from many talented chefs, including Art Smith, John Besh, Dean Max, John Folse, and Jeff Corwin, just to name a few,” Chef Justin said. 

Through his service in the kitchen at the governor’s mansion over the past 10 years, Justin has cooked for generals, professional athletes, famous businesspeople, as well as former President George Bush, Sr., and his wife Barbara.

In addition to creating gastronomic delights, Justin’s responsibilities include promoting all of Florida’s freshest commodities, creating new recipes, attending trade events around the world, performing cooking demonstrations, and educating children on the value of healthy food choices and proper nutrition.

Justin’s philosophy on food is a simple one: “Cooking should always be fun, simple, and flavorful.”  He always keeps nutrition in mind and enjoys cooking with fresh, local, and regionally harvested foods.

In addition to his certification as an executive chef, Justin is also an author, award-winner, teacher, and international culinary ambassador helping the world to rediscover simple, healthy cuisine. He thinks that Americans need more confidence and practice when it comes to cooking seafood at home. He says we cannot solely depend on restaurants for all our seafood needs. He encourages people to start small with different seafood appetizers and work their way up to being able to cook full seafood entrees. 

Now you can get a peek into some of his favorite seafood recipes.  They are guaranteed to please your palate!

 Florida Clam Scampi Grilled Mahi Mahi  Shrimp Remoulade Wraps
Florida Clam Scampi Grilled Mahi with Key Lime Shrimp Remoulade Wraps
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 Florida garlic cloves minced
2 dz Florida hard clams, rinsed well
1 cup fresh Florida parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
½ cup Florida dry white wine
¼ cup Florida sun-dried tomatoes
1 pt Florida grape tomatoes, halved
8 ounces spinach fettuccine, cooked
4, 6oz. Florida mahi fillets
½ cup Florida key lime juice
2 Florida key limes, zested
2 tablespoons dry white wine
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh Florida rosemary
½ teaspoon fresh Florida thyme
¼ tsp black pepper, course ground
Vegetable cooking spray
Fresh herbs for garnish
Key lime slices for garnish
2 pds medium Florida shrimp, cooked and peeled
1 ½ cups light mayonnaise
½ tablespoon catsup
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Florida shallots minced
¼ cup prepared horseradish
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
½ teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon paprika
3 tbsp seafood seasoning spices
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
½ teaspoon salt
6 flour tortillas
Shredded Florida lettuce

Melt butter with oil in medium skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic, cook and stir one minute.  Add clams, cook and stir five minutes.  Add parsley, lemon juice, salt, pepper and wine.  Continue steaming, stirring occasionally, until clams open.  Stir in tomatoes and serve over fettuccine.


Place the fillets in a shallow dish.  To prepare the citrus marinade, combine the key lime juice, zest, olive oil, white wine, herbs, and black pepper in a small bowl; mix well.  Pour the marinade over the fish and marinate for 1 hour in refrigerator.  Coat grill with vegetable spray and preheat on medium-high heat.  Grill fillets for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until center is opaque and meat flakes easily with a fork.  Garnish with herbs and key lime slices and serve.

Chill the cooked shrimp in a large covered bowl in refrigerator for 1 hour.  Make a remoulade sauce by combining all but last two ingredients in a food processor; blend until smooth.  Pour mixture over shrimp, stirring to coat.  Marinate shrimp in sauce for an hour or more before serving.  Spoon shrimp mixture onto center of tortilla and top with lettuce.  Roll into a wrap and cut in half to serve.

Yields: 4 servings

Nutritional Value Per Serving

Calories 313, Calories From Fat 122 , Total Fat 14g, Saturated Fat 6g, Trans Fatty Acid 0, Cholesterol 35mg, Total Carbohydrate 33g, Protein 12g, Omega 3 Fatty Acid 0.10g

Yields: 4 servings

Nutritional Value Per Serving

Calories 248, Calories From Fat 101, Total Fat 12g, Saturated Fat 2g, Trans Fatty Acid 0g, Cholesterol 124mg, Total Carbohydrates 3g, Protein 32g, Omega 3 Fatty Acid 0.19g

Yields: 6 servings

Nutritional Value Per Serving

Calories 506, Calories From Fat 173, Total Fat 19g, Saturated Fat 4g, Trans Fatty Acid 0g, Cholesterol 247mg, Total Carbohydrates 48g, Protein 35g, Omega 3 Fatty Acid 1g.



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