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August 24, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

Chef Allen’s Hook, Catch & Cook: An Evening of Sustainable Seafood


August 24, 2017
7:00 pm


James Beard Award-Winning Chef Allen Susser Joins Forces with Guest Chefs Paula DaSilva & José Mendín to Create an Exquisite Sustainable Seafood Dining Adventure from Under the Sea

The Café at Books & Books at

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts



 “Tickets always go fast for this very popular dinner that marries environmental education and delicious seafood…”

Mitchell Kaplan


Thursday, August 24, 2017 at 7 p.m.

Tickets: $82 per person (plus tax & gratuity)

The Café at Books & Books Inside the Historic Carnival Tower


MIAMI, FL August 24, 2017 – The Café at Books & Books on campus at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is proud to present CHEF ALLEN’S HOOK, CATCH & COOK: AN EVENING OF SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD as part of its 2017 Seasonal & Sustainable Original Dinner Series. James Beard award-winning Chef Allen Susser of the Café at Books & Books joins forces with guest chefs Paula DaSilva and Jose Mendin to partner on the 2017 edition, which is always a hot ticket. Previous editions have featured guest chefs Brad Kilgore (Brava), Timon Balloo (SugarCane), Sam Gournstein (My Ceviche), Danny Serfer (Blue Collar/Mignonette) and Jamie DeRosa (Izzy’s Fish and Oyster).

Diners are in for a night of delicious seafood and environmental education as the Chefs collaborate on five unique courses featuring sustainably caught local seafood. Allen, a long-time member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force, will go on a fishing expedition the day before with Captain Mike Puller to “catch and hook” the seafood that will be “cooked” during this special night. The evening’s menu will be determined by the actual catch. They will set sail for the Florida Keys aboard the captain’s charter boat “Lisa L” on the day before the dinner. Together, they will sustainably and responsibly catch all of the fresh seafood that will then be prepared and presented by Susser and the guest chefs during the delectable five-course dinner.

The festivities get underway at 7 p.m. with handmade cocktails and champagne. Dinner will be served at the Cafe’s communal table and all five courses will be paired with delicious wines. Chef Allen and Captain Mike will educate attendees between courses. Their goal is to illuminate South Florida foodies about ocean conservation through scrumptious dining. Chef Allen is passionate about the subject and has been a longtime advocate of sustainability and wants to educate other chefs about sustainable seafood.

About the Chefs:

Chef Allen Susser is a winner of the prestigious James Beard Award. He is the executive director of The Café at Books & Books in Coral Gables, Miami Beach and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. These are full-service café-restaurants, located on-site at three of Mitchell Kaplan’s locally-based, independently-owned neighborhood bookshops. Under his direction, the Café at Books & Books, a Slow Food Snail of Approval recipient, serves locally caught and sustainable produced fruits, vegetables, fish and seafood products. “Good food begins with unpolluted air, land, and water, environmentally sustainable farming and fishing, and humane animal husbandry,” states Susser. “Food choices that emphasize delicious, locally-grown, seasonally fresh, and whole or minimally processed ingredients are good for us, for our community, and for the planet.”

Chef Allen’s personal culinary viewpoint has been established since 1986 when he opened Chef Allen’s, a groundbreaking Miami restaurant. The New York Times called Allen the “Ponce De Leon of New Florida cooking.” Food & Wine magazine named Chef Allen “One of the Best 10 Chefs in America”. In 2000, Allen launched Chef Allen’s Consulting a boutique restaurant and hospitality consulting firm – providing strategic initiative, culinary resources, and innovative direction for the industry. He is currently pioneering chocolate in St Lucia, West Indies. His Emerald Estate Vintage Chocolate is authentically handcrafting small batches of cacao beans on the volcanic hillsides by the edge of the rain forest.


Chef Paula DaSilva demonstrates a remarkable talent for creating imaginative, farm-to-fork dishes that highlight the flavors and freshness of South Florida’s local ingredients.

DaSilva, a native of Brazil who has called America home for more than 25 years, has been in love with the restaurant industry since she was a kid. From her early days in Massachusetts, peeling garlic and cleaning vegetables in her family’s Brazilian restaurant, DaSilva was hooked on cooking. After moving to South Florida, her parents opened two restaurants, for which DaSilva assisted in all aspects of operations, though her favorite moments were spent in the kitchen. Following high school, Paula attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, earning an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts.

Paula officially began her culinary career at 3030 Ocean in 2000 and while fine-tuning her culinary skills, she continued to wow industry professionals and foodies nation-wide when she appeared on season five of the popular FOX reality cooking show Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsay. There, she was regularly spared Ramsay’s wrath by virtue of her talent, dedication, passion and lack of drama or attitude, which ultimately led to her near win. Soon after the show ended, she was named “Best Celebrity Chef” in the Broward/Palm Beach New Times 2009 Best Of issue. Later that year DaSilva was honored as one of Broward County’s “40 Under 40” by Gold Coast magazine. Further solidifying her success, the talented young woman scored a national commercial for the International Culinary Schools at the Arts Institute, a tribute to her alma mater.


The Pubbelly Group’s Founding Partner and Chef, Jose Mendin, was born into aheavy food culture,the child of  “food enthusiast” parents and a great-grandmother who was a cooking instructor.Though it wasn’t until Mendin went off to college and needed to prepare his own meals that he realized his adoration for cooking. After graduating from Johnson & Wales University in Miami in 2001, Mendin’s passion for food and learning has carried him gracefully into a successful career. He was part of the opening team at Nobu, Miami and later Nobu, London. With this foundation he then found himself at SUSHISAMBA Miami. After two years, he was appointed to Assistant Corporate Chef, overseeing all U.S. locations,which included the 2008 opening of the award-winning SUSHISAMBA, Las Vegas at the Palazzo. The Pubbelly Group’s collection of restaurants and bars continue to expand on both a national andinternational scale, and now includes: Pubbelly Noddle Bar, Pubbelly Sushi, Food Republic, Pubbelly Station, Pawn Broker, Pubbelly Sushi Market and their latest concept in Mendin’s hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico, named PB Ysla. Chef Mendin has been a recognized semi-finalist of the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef South” for five consecutive years from 2011-2015 and has receivednational acknowledgements from Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, Departures Serious Eats,Departures and The Cooking Channel, among many others. When Mendin is not in the kitchen, you’ll find him spending time with his fiancé Ali and his two sons, Ian and Noah.


Tickets to CHEF ALLEN’S HOOK, CATCH & COOK 2017 are $82 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Please contact Cristina Nosti at [email protected] to reserve your spot. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Captain Mike’s non-profit foundation, The Fishing Experience.

The Café at Books & Books at The Adrienne Arsht Center is located at 1300 Biscayne Boulevard, inside the Carnival Tower. Municipal metered parking available in Lot C; entrance is on NE 2 Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets.