Living Your Passion
If you are living your passion can the quality of your life be questioned?
It is a good question that many should stop to think about. My passion is the ocean, fishing, relaxing, the art of cooking, eating, good beverage; all in the company of friends and family.
I was born and raised a Key West Conch (Key West native) and left to the mainland looking for a better life only to eventually return to what I love. There is a belief of the Conchs that anyone who catches island fever and leaves will soon return.
I have worked in restaurants in Key West and other parts of Central and South Florida since the age of fifteen. I also left the kitchen once or twice only to return to my passion - creating and enjoying great food.
Key West provides all to be desired; great boating, island beaches, and a beautiful coral reef great for spearfishing and diving. Out past the reef there is amazing sportfishing where record size fish are just waiting to be caught.
You can spend the day on the ocean and provide dinner for days with all the many species of fish, crab, lobster, and shrimp. When I was a boy riding my bike with friends, there were fruit trees all over town that provided us with all we needed for a day. Sour sops, sapodillas, mango, avocado, Spanish limes, multiple types of peppers and tomatoes. All of these and more grow abundantly on the island. So when I say Key West provides all to be desired, from an island fever Conch boy I mean it. So am I living my passion? I think so!
Guava Sherry Glaze Tuna
Guava Sherry Glaze:
- 1 yellow onion diced small
- 1 table spoon chopped garlic
- 1 small can guava shells or 3 fresh guavas small dice
- 2 cups sherry wine
- 2 table spoons honey
- 1 cup water
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
In a hot small sized pot add your onions and garlic. Sauté onions and garlic in a small pot with olive oil until soft onions will turn transparent. Once onions are transparent turn the burner to a medium heat and add guava and sauté for about 20 seconds to caramelize natural sugars. Once guava is caramelized add sea salt, pepper, honey, water and sherry wine and continue to cook on medium heat until liquid has reduced by half. If you have a food processor you can puree the sauce until smooth but it is not necessary.
- 6 oz portions of fresh tuna
- Sea salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Fresh cilantro leaves
Heat a sauté pan until hot. Season the tuna loin portion with sea salt, and black pepper. Sear quickly on each side until you reach desired temperature. Once cooked slice very thin and drizzle with guava glaze. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves. Hope you enjoy!
Chef Martin Liz
Culinary Author, and Chef, Martin Liz is a 3rd generation native, Key West Conch. He is classically, French trained and specializes in Key West's fresh seafood. Spearheading the 'Ocean To Table' movement, Chef Martin makes an amazing array of truly unique, Key West and Caribbean delicacies, utilizing local seafood and exotic, indigenous flora and fauna. His natural creativity, coupled with classical training and a desire to preserve the largely lost, culinary traditions of his heritage, meld an exotic mix of Cuban, Asian, Afro-Caribbean and French-West Indies with tastes that are exclusively, undeniably, Key West. Famous for his "Caja China" (Cuban, China Box) Pig Roast, Key West-Fresh Paella, Island Style Smoke and a passion for upscale, Beach Barbecue with indigenous wood flavors, Chef Martin's mission is to bring back the traditional flavors of Key West, that have been lost in time. Chef Martin is also an accomplished, "Gastronomical' Columnist and Published Author, who has been featured in many TV shows, magazines and periodicals including HGTV and Travel Channel's 'Bizarre Foods America', to name a few. He has also conducted seminars, educating guests on the thing he knows best - Conch Cuisine and Culture, at the Atlanta, and Key West Food and Wine Festivals. His culinary accomplishments have landed him, working alongside such well known, chefs as Top Chef Judge, Michael Shwartz, Culinary Author and Chef, Kevin Graham and Norman Van Aken. Chef Martin Liz is currently focusing on a few key, consulting projects, and enjoying keeping Key West Conch Cuisine and Culture alive, through private parties, classes and educational seminars. Chef Martin is available at 305.896.2087 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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