Ben grew up in Miami Florida. Boating, diving and fishing those many years on Biscayne Bay, Key Biscayne, and the Florida Keys, Ben has been a fisherman most of his life starting with his 8 foot dingy and 9.9 outboard. Almost every weekend was spent with his dad and the family fishing or diving. Of course the dinner was their catch, where all had their turn cooking. Stone Crabs were also a big part of the family dinners.
Mike Gordon of the famous Mike Gordon’s seafood restaurant and close friend of the family invited a very young high school Ben to work in the kitchen to peel and devein shrimp, help grade out the fresh stone crabs that were brought in daily and watch this old fish monger clean and portion whole grouper brought to the kitchen door. In the ear-ly 80’s thru today, Chef Ben’s family spend the summers in Maine. Chef Ben was now learning and experiencing deep, cold water seafood, like haddock, steamers, lobsters, mussels, and cold water Oysters. Clam bakes down on rocks of the island residence near BoothBay Harbor, young Benny was always there helping prep and select the many seafood items, cooking and keeping the fire rip-roaring under the four foot square steel steam box to cook some hundred pounds of seafood items. An old Mainer friend would always put a dozen eggs into the seaweed covered clambake. This is when Ben was told when the egg is cooked the lobsters are ready. Well after thirty years the eggs never failed, the bake was perfect.
It wasn’t until Chef Ben opened the first Benedetto’s in 2000 that he started building priceless relationships with the captains and fisherman in Maine, Miami, Tarpon Springs and Tampa. Many of these fisherman remember that young Ben from over the years. These folks have been more than happy to continue in assisting Chef Ben to bring Florida and Maine seafood directly from the local fisherman and many areas of both states and Hawaii too!. Chef Ben continues his visits to Maine and the lobster-man. The experience to pull traps with them at 5AM is knowing the lobster served to you here at Benedetto’s is from the clean, cool and deep waters of New England and Maine Coast.