"The Reel Men of Miami" go fishing with Chef Richard Hales
At last November’s March of Dimes charity benefit, my husband was the lucky winning bidder for a day out on the high seas fishing with celebrated South Florida chef and restaurateur, Richard Hales, of Sakaya Kitchen, Blackbrick, Dim Ssäm à gogo and Bird & Bone restaurant.
Bird & Bone, which is located in The Confidante Miami Beach was the host restaurant for the “Catch & Cook” adventure and had donated the insider fishing experience aboard The Spellbound, a 57 foot sport fisherman boat, for a four-hour fishing expedition to take a group up to five (in this case some friends and our son), out into the Atlantic in search of Tuna, Blue Marlin, Mahi-Mahi, Grouper and more.
At the end of the excursion, the group would head back to the hotel for an alfresco lunch on the terrace at Bird & Bone. Chef Hales would give a demo on how to filet the fish and the freshly caught fish would be prepared by the chefs and served as the main course for lunch.
And so, on a sunny Miami morning (7:45 am to be exact) the “Reel Men of Miami” arrived at The Spellbound’s dock at Haulover Park to begin their “4-hour tour”. Cue: Gilligan’s Island theme song.
Captain Jay, who is owner of Deep Sea Fishing Miami has been taking out fishing charters from Haulover for over 20 years and The Spellbound is a custom built USCG licensed 57′ Charter fishing Sports Fisherman “Battle Wagon”.
As the five soon- to-be fisherman climbed aboard, box lunches, snacks, beer, wine and water courtesy of The Confidante team was loaded on.
The two captains in charge lamented that the day before the fishing had not been very good and warned our eager group not to be disappointed if they did not catch anything.
But as it turned out, they were fortunately proved wrong within the first 30 minutes when my son, Mike, caught the first fish. Dolphinfish, or Mahi-Mahi as it is called to not confuse it with the air-breathing mammal Dolphin (like Flipper), is a flavorful and firm fish that lives in tropical or subtropical waters. It is a gorgeous fish, bright florescent green and iridescent yellow in color and delicious any way it is prepared. Think ceviche, Mahi-Mahi tacos, grilled and more.
The captains were especially excited as this was the FIRST Mahi Mahi of the season off The Spellbound and as they helped reel it in, one of our friends felt a tug on his rod, and sure enough another Mahi-Mahi was snagged. Within the hour everyone had caught a fish…except poor Chef Hales.
A couple too small to keep had been caught and thrown back, when suddenly, Chef Hales felt his line catch and sure enough, reeled in his catch of the day.
Upon docking, the “Reel Men” caravanned back to The Confidante where the fresh fish lunch was to be prepared and served on the open-air patio.
Lucky for the wives, we got to join them and even watch Chef Hales demonstrate his mad knife skills in the fine art of proper fileting.
Set up on a long table on the patio was an amazing array of Bird & Bone's favorites including a fresh Fish Dip and ZTB bread and a bright Green Salad with heirloom tomatoes, sunflower seeds and radish slices.
Chef Hales first sent out plates of crispy Mahi-Mahi fish skin that had been deep fried and topped with a chipotle mayo and pickle chips.
Next came battered Mahi-Mahi strips with pickled onions and grilled lemon.
What is a Mahi-Mahi feast without Mahi-Mahi tacos? And these were as fresh as they come. Topped with mango and tomato salsa and sour cream and chives wrapped in a warm flour tortilla.
The Grilled Whole Fish came table-side with grilled carrots, red turnips, onion and lots of lemon.
We were “Spellbound”!
The Signature dessert platter included the best of Bird & Bone: A decadent Bourbon bread pudding with warm caramel sauce and Azucar vanilla ice cream, a gooey flourless chocolate cake, Apple Cobbler and The "Local" key lime pie.
It was a memorable and perfect day and well worth the charitable auction price we paid, but you don’t have to wait for the next March of Dimes event to bid.
If you want to join Chef Hales and The Spellbound crew for your own day of Catch & Cook, the cost of the experience is $1,700 for up to five people and includes the fish course for lunch.
Sides, Beverages and additional items are a la carte. For more information on the deep sea fishing excursion, please call 786-605-4074 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.