The Café at Books & Books at The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts



Featuring chefs 

Chef Todd Erickson, Chef Dean Max, and Chef Allen Susser

Wednesday, January 8, 7:30pm


 The Café at Books & Books Inside the Historic Carnival Tower

Tickets: $92 per person + tax and gratuity (Includes a copy of Chef Allen’s new cookbook, Green Fig & Lion Fish)


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

The Café at Books & Books (@booksandbooks) on campus at the Adrienne Arsht Center (@arshtcenter) is proud to present CHEF ALLEN’S HOOK, CATCH & COOK: AN EVENING OF SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD in partnership with Slow Fish Miami. James Beard award-winning Chef Allen Susser and Guest Chefs Dean Max, and Todd Erickson will come together to illuminate South Florida foodies about ocean conservation through scrumptious dining. This edition of the dinner also celebrates the publication of Chef Allen’s new cookbook, Green Fig & Lionfish: Sustainable Caribbean Cooking (Books & Books Press, $34.95) that raises awareness with delicious recipes that address the invasive species of lionfish.

 Chef Allen has been a longtime advocate of sustainability, going back to the days when he took swordfish off the menu at Chef Allen’s because it was endangered. “The basic goal of the sustainable seafood movement is to make sure fish and other seafood aren’t taken from the ocean faster than they can reproduce,” explains Chef Allen. “That means not overfishing and minimizing harm to ocean habitats. Sustainability requires accountability — from when the fish is caught to when it’s consumed. We have to think about it sustainably, for the future, because if we don’t, we won’t have fish.”

 Susser, a member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force, will go on a fishing expedition the day before the dinner with Captain Mike Puller to “catch and hook” the seafood that will be “cooked” during this special night. Together, they will sustainably and responsibly catch all of the fresh seafood that will then be prepared and presented by Chefs Susser, Max and Erickson during a delectable five-course dinner. 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.

 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. 

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.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Captain Mike’s non-profit foundation, The Fishing Experience and Slow Food Miami.



Chef Allen Susser is a winner of the prestigious James Beard Award. He is the culinary director of The Café at Books & Books. Under his direction, the Café at Books & Books serves locally caught and sustainable produced fruits, vegetables, fish and seafood products. 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.





Dean James Max is the chef and president of DJM restaurants, a company that specializes in restaurant concept development and ongoing management, and has been an established leader in the culinary world for many years now. He has celebrated the launch of numerous destination restaurants all over the world and is based out of Deerfield Beach, Florida. The newest venture is chef Dean’s return to his flagship city with the opening of a unique seafood concept called Even Keel Fish and Oyster with two of his longest running chefs. DJM has created brands like the award winning 3030 Ocean restaurant in Fort Lauderdale: Latitude 41, AMP 150, Parallel Post, Watertable, and reinvented the Cheeca Lodge Resort in Islamorada. The restaurants are all based around farm to table concepts and are deeply involved in grass roots marketing programs that develop them as destination locations. Chef Max has a laundry list of accomplishments from multiple James Beard nominations for Best Chef, crowned “King of American Seafood” in 2010, wrote an amazing seafood cookbook in 2006 called “A Life by the Sea, and holds many restaurant accolades from multiple properties.






Todd Erickson is the executive chef and partner of GLAM Vegan Miami, Society Ft. Myers and Huahua’s Taqueria South Beach. Erickson’s approach reflects his passion for both travel and regional cuisines, and has earned him a following with respected critics and food novices alike. He has rapidly become a recognized name in culinary excellence and flavor inspiration and has earned dozens of awards for his menus, including’s “Hottest Chef,” Seed Food and Wine & Burger Battle’s “Best Plant Based Burger in America.”