Post demo, serving citrus cured salmon on the beach in Naples, FL, photos by Donna

Yes, it was a vacation, but I’d offered to help out at benefits for University Hospitals (where I was born!) in Naples and Palm Beach by doing a short demo and getting on my soapbox about cooking for yourself in your house (or, in the case of Palm Beach, hiring somebody to do so; seriously, I honestly don’t care WHO is cooking, only that someone is cooking in the house). I normally hate doing demos.  It takes real skill, it’s a different form of cooking. But Derin Moore, a bonafide certified master chef (see Soul of a Chef!), executive chef at the Ritz Carlton hooked me up big time, had me completely and thoroughly prepped out with an ace sous chef, Justin Shoults, himself a protege of CMC and competition animal Hartmut Henke, to prevent my making a fool of myself.

CMC Derin Moore, exec chef of the Ritz in Naples, reviews recipes for demo

I did the ceviche (“OMG, I can’t believe that’s all there is to it!), demoed how to cure salmon (“That’s it?!  Twenty four hours?!”—yes! Contrary to what the food companies tell you, cooking is not hard!), and the following chimichurri shrimp. As I mentioned, I hate demos because something always go wrong.  (Last fall I did a baking demo at the Cleveland Food Show and the ovens didn’t work! For a baking demo.) I didn’t want to do shrimp, but the party planner wanted me cooking something over fire on the beach so shrimp was the choice and I asked Chef Derin to set up his preference. In Palm Beach I did a curried shrimp that I love. Derin’s chimichurri was awesome as well. The point was to show how easy and delicious shrimp are.  They’re all about the bite and the flavor you give them. Whether curry, chillis, or the following chimichurri, a staple in South America, essentially an herb vinaigrette.

Checking demo mise with sous chef Justin Shoults (it was perfect)

And nothing went wrong in Naples, thanks to Justin, who did all the work.  And the only thing that went wrong in Palm Beach was that I made fun of Snackwells again and called Kraft an evil giant, only to meet the former head of marketing for Kraft later at the bar. Lively conversation!

My new rule: Only do demos on beaches!

Derin Moore’s Chimichurri Shrimp
This couldn’t be easier.  Just blend the ingredients, pour over the shrimp and grill. Derin served the shrimp over a simple slaw of shredded cabbage, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime, salt and pepper—you don’t need a recipe, mix to taste!

1 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 shallot

juice and zest  from 2 limes

1 tablespoon chopped oregano

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 ancho pepper, seeded

salt and black pepper to taste

20 large shrimp, on skewers (5 per skewer)

Combine all the ingredients except the shrimp and blend till smooth. Pour the sauce over the shrimp and rub it all around so that the shrimp is evenly coated. Let it sit for 15 minutes, so the sauce can get its grip on the shrimp.

Grill the shrimp till it’s cooked through.  Serve on the slaw, or just stand around the grill and eat them there with cold, cold beer.

Serves 4


38 Wonderful responses to “Demo On the Beach!
Chimichurri Shrimp in Naples”

  • rockandroller

    “And the only thing that went wrong in Palm Beach was that I made fun of Snackwells again and called Kraft an evil giant, only to meet the former head of marketing for Kraft later at the bar.”


    • ruhlman

      imagine, just imagine, my surprise. most fascinating part of conversation was how they sold philly cream cheese to france

      • luanda

        Well…. don’t leave us hanging. Or is this some marketing secret? I just assumed France had their own version of cream cheese.

    • Ivy

      Ceviche is definitely one of the easiest and most delicious ways to serve fish. What fish did you use for ceviche in Naples? We’re involved in a ceviche competition next week in partnership with Ocean Wise – a Sustainable Ceviche Smackdown! Really looking forward to it.

  • JB in San Diego

    Yeah too funny. The “former” head of marketing for Kraft… I’m curious if he/she agreed with your assessment of Snackwells and Kraft, or not?

    • ruhlman

      didn’t say. but did say it was wrong that i should have been fired from a magazine for saying what i did. he seemed genuinely to think that was a wrong as it actually was.

  • Tags

    “The only thing that went wrong in Palm Beach was that I made fun of Snackwells again and called Kraft an evil giant.”

    The only thing wrong with that sentence is that there was nothing wrong except saying that what you said was wrong.

    • ruhlman

      good point! (in fact it was one of those lucky wonderful circs that make being alive a mysterious pleasure

  • Bob

    Again, the illusion of difficulty with cooking shrimp is that peeling and deveining them is something only a culinary Houdini is capable of doing, when the truth is – this is an opportunity for parents to teach their kids skills in the kitchen and connect them to the food they eat.

    (My mom used to parcel out tasks like this, and they were simple, achieveable things like washing the rice, peeling carrots, etc.)

    Pry Johnny away from the X-Box and put him to work.

  • Susan

    That took some chutpah to get on the soapbox after being all prep’ed out for this demo! take a shot at Kraft for prep’ing us out. Yes! I get it. We all need to learn to cook. Failure is part of learning.. And, yes, it’s different as a presentation than in your own kitchen for a daily meal. Still pretty nervey, though!

    • ruhlman

      come on susan, for the most part, all my recipes and prep instructions that i do all the time myself. being a little harsh, no?

      • Susan

        No! I don’t think so. I said I understood your position at the demo. What was harsh? Perhaps I should have said “Bold” rather than nervey. Is that the rub?

        • Rhonda

          Susan, for clarification purposes, are you standing up for Kraft?

          If so, and you are a representative of Kraft, you should know that the products are absolute SHIT!.

          • Susan

            Rhonda, I don’t work for Kraft. I like Kraft’s Velvetta in my grilled cheese sandwich. I guess I eat shit.

  • Rachel (Hounds in the Kitchen)

    I’m doing my first demonstration on live TV this weekend, no sous chef in sight. Thankfully they’ve scheduled the spot for 7:50 am on a Sunday when all reasonable people will still be sleeping. 😉

    • Bob

      Break a leg!

      Is this on a set in a studio, and have you had the chance to look it over?

      Know your key points. The CBS Early Show rushed Michael when he did his bit on Ratio, and it didn’t do the subject justice.

  • caroline

    Thank you! I’ve been looking for a good grilled shrimp recipe, and this one looks promising. Do you prefer to keep the shells on when grilling? They keep the shrimp from shrinking and give them more flavor, but they’re messier for guests and you lose all those wonderful grill marks. Also, how do you tell when the shrimp is cooked through? Do you pull it off as soon as it looks uniformly white on the outside?

    • ruhlman

      i like shrimp out of shell but they cook better in. I tell when their done by touch, and then I eat one.

      • jaybee

        So in your recipe here are the shrimp supposed to be cooked in the shell or out, or either way?

  • Natalie Sztern

    When you say Palm Beach my question is not Who Cooks, but Who Eats…cause lemme tell you Prada doesn’t make clothes for women with hips…:))

      • Rhonda

        Ruhlman, this is the most fantastic thing you have ever said.

        I love it! I love you for saying this!

        We both know the answer to this question.

  • Carri

    What a great story, Michael! Thanks for sharing it and good on ya for doing the fundraisers, they are a big part of what we cooks do to further their philanthropic and I suppose in your case philosophic views). I have learned that very lesson the hard way working in an open kitchen in a popular establishment in a small town….lively conversation indeed.
    p.s. Did y’all catch no reservations on monday?…all about this subject you speak of, michael, even Keller was there roasting chicken, it was a great show.

    • Rhonda

      Sister Carri,

      I am in the great White North and won’t get the show for two years at least. yes, this is obviously retarded but if you happen to know of a link that I can view it from — much appreciated. Hulu and others are not available here.

      – R

      • carri

        Damn, Sam! I’ll see what I can do for you, Rhonda.. Crazy what effect borders can have on that situation.
        best-est to ya…in the meantime, are you ready for some jam? I still have a lot left and am guessing your ready for that care package I promised you long ago! (dm me your address 😉

      • lila

        I live in Canada too and I watch no reservations on YouTube. look for the channel ARCAPEX, I think… hope it works

  • Victoria

    I love this story. Definitely, the beach is the place for The Man.

    I’m still laughing at your last beach story. “Alice told me.”

  • Jeff

    The post was amusing, but the comments were even funnier!

    @Rachel I would also suggest bringing two of everything you need for your demo, just in case; and if there is a host to the show have something for them to do (it makes them look good).
    I do love shrimp like this… quick marinade… quick cook…eat. I posted a Spanish style shrimp a few weeks ago which is similar and great.

  • Romona

    Everytime I read your makes me so hungry. have to head to the fridge for a snack!

    I have learned a lot and keep up the wonderful posts.

  • Casey Angelova

    Very funny about he “Kraft” incident. It is not like you weren’t speaking the truth!
    Oh… and thanks for the recommendation. I am completely engulfed with McGee’s On Food and Cooking, which I only heard about through reading your books! I am getting some raw cows milk today and going to experiment with dairy 🙂

  • Tenina

    Well it’s tough, but I guess someone has to do it! What a job you have young Michael! Would love to see the recipe for the citrus cured salmon!

  • Jaden

    Demo on the beach! I think that’s the way to go from now on. But where’s your cocktail?