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Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015

Cardiologist cooks up blueberry-themed treats


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When Dr. Michael Fenster isn’t saving lives in his practice as a cardiologist, he is in his kitchen perfecting some of the most flavorful and healthy dishes, beginning “at the grassroots.”

The popular interventional cardiologist from the Hernando Heart Clinic also is a well-renowned chef and cookbook author who has taken his culinary skills to a higher and healthier level. His recently published cookbook, “Eating Well, Living Better,” is a compilation of functional techniques and recipes that follow his “grassroots gourmet” philosophies for better health through better eating.

Fenster recently signed with the Health and Wellness Channel to do regular televised segments titled “Just What the Doctor Ordered,” which focuses on healthy fundamental cooking techniques. And he took the concept live, in front of visitors to the second annual Blueberry Festival held in downtown Brooksville last weekend.

During five separate one-hour demonstrations, Fenster prepared several dishes from his e-book, titled “Just What the Doctor Ordered, Live at The Florida Blueberry Festival 2013.” His culinary genius was put to the test on day one with a menu of healthy blueberry-inspired dishes to commemorate the occasion and ending with a brunch menu the following day.

The purpose was to infuse the freshness and health benefits of blueberries into breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes. Along with celebrity guests at each of his demonstrations, Fenster entertained his audiences while giving them sensible techniques for obtaining the most flavor and nutrients of the celebrated fruit through some of the most unusual and elaborate dishes.

“We are all familiar seeing blueberries used in desserts, muffins, pies and smoothies,” Fenster began. “How can we incorporate these little blue beauties into our savory applications?”

The breakfast menu, prepared on Saturday morning, introduced blueberry coconut johnny cakes with a sweet blueberry compote, blueberry and sage duck sausage, which is currently in negotiations with the Home Shopping Network to be available in restaurants later this summer and roasted snapper with blueberry lime salsa.

The morning demonstration was prepared with the help of Hernando High graduate and host of the Daily Buzz, Mitch English.

The lunch segment premiered chicken katsu with blueberry tonkatsu sauce, tai style blue waterfall steak over fried rice, and cucumber salad with vinaigrette alongside special guest, Josh Tolley. Dinner dishes included blueberry cinnamon brewet, herb-and-chevre-stuffed pork tenderloin with a savory blueberry compote and a signature blueberry martini and were assisted by acclaimed guest Esther Edwards.

Fenster’s Sunday brunch menu, delivered at two separate demonstrations, included blueberry wine poached eggs and papaya marinated flank/skirt steak with guest host Chef Ted Dorsey of Boca Restaurants.

Fenster, a board-certified interventional cardiologist in private practice, did extensive research to back his claim that healthier eating is more obtainable, and enjoyable, than ever before.

His cookbook is not only a compilation of creative dishes, crafted by the doctor himself, but an instructional manual to help guide the navigation back to basic healthy food preparation.

“It all comes down to taste,” Fenster said, and making quality-versus-quantity choices.

The doc is animated, approachable and melodic in his delivery of such simplicity. But he’s been around the block a few times, hosting his own television cooking show; “What’s Cooking with Doc,” his newest endeavor on the Health and Wellness Channel, “Just What the Doctor Ordered” and lecturing on the importance of healthier food preparation.

The e-book with recipes profiled at the Florida Blueberry Festival will be available for free download beginning next week for only one month. Visit the website at You also can like him on Facebook at

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