Justin Timineri loves fresh Florida food. As the state’s executive chef, he shares his passion and spreads the word about fresh food benefits to people across the state, the nation, and the world.
“My mission is to encourage people to rediscover fresh, healthy Florida cuisine,” Timineri says. “We have exceptional, nutritious products – from seafood to tropical fruit, and strawberries to peanuts. I work to educate consumers about how to incorporate them into their diets through fun, fresh recipes.”
Timineri achieves this by putting lots of time on the road, into the media, and into the research and development kitchen. He hosts a cooking segment on the award-winning television series How to Do Florida and makes guest appearances on Emeril’s Florida. He travels to national and international trade shows, from Boston to Belgium, to promote Florida agriculture and aquaculture products. He uses his culinary skills to create recipes that he shares through magazines, websites and in person.
“Food has a direct, instant and long-term impact on our lives,” Timineri says. “What we choose and how we prepare it are such important considerations in our health. Educating people about how easy it is to make nutritious, simple meals is important in helping them make good choices to keep themselves healthy.”
One way he does this is by challenging people to rethink how they plan meals.
“Rather than finding a recipe, going to the grocery store and shopping for the ingredients, I like to get people to think fresh first. It’s better to go to the market and see what’s in season, buy those ingredients, and then find a recipe to suit those choices. That way you’re taking advantage of the freshest ingredients, which enhances the meal, dining experience and nutritional value.”
A former executive chef at a Tallahassee restaurant and in the governor’s mansion, Timineri is certified through the American Culinary Association. He was raised in Florida and appreciates the diverse influences of the culture and cuisine as well as the broad spectrum of the state’s agriculture industry.
“Our farmers and fishermen work so hard and grow such great products,” Timineri says. “I’m proud to support their efforts by teaching people how to cook fresh, nutritious, delicious meals using what we have in the great state of Florida.”