Chef Adrianne shows us how to beat the heat with fresh Mahi Mahi ceviche with Watermelon and Yellow Tomato


Ceviche is the refreshing, no-cook fish dish you need this summer

It’s summer, and it’s sweltering in many parts of the country. In addition to taking cover indoors with face pancaked flat against the AC unit and bags of frozen peas stuffed in places bags of frozen peas should never be, you might be wondering what and how am I supposed to eat in a moment like this?

When the weather gets hot, most people think about firing up the grill. While a barbecue is a popular summer pastime, standing over a fire in the summer sun is not actually all that fun. The good news is that it is not necessary to slave over a hot surface to put delectable food on the table. For the best inspiration in summer food, it is time to consider ceviche. Peru has a wide variety of distinctive dishes, but the most notable type of Peruvian cuisine will always be ceviche. The thing that makes ceviche so special is its unusual preparation process. Peruvian ceviche is usually a seafood dish, but the fish is never cooked. Instead, it is marinated in citrus juices, which allows the acid to cure the meat. This creates a unique flavor that defines Peruvian food, making ceviche the most famous dish to be offered in this South American oasis. Despite its growing acclaim, many people may be reluctant to try ceviche. However, since this dish does not require heat to cook, it is perfect for those scorching summer days when the thought of turning on the oven is just too much. On top of this, ceviche is actually not as complicated as it looks. Basic recipes are simple to follow, which means that ceviche can be an easy summer recipe for just about anyone. Another reason to think about ceviche in the summer produces. Although ceviche is made primarily with seafood, it is accented by any number of vegetables and tubers. Since most vegetables are harvested in the summer, there are wonderful options to create even more distinctive flavors. Peppers, onions, cucumbers, and watermelons can all be added to the mix. “Quality and freshness is the key,” Chef Adrianne says of the seemingly endless combinations that go into ceviche.

Completely transparent and generous, Chef Adrienne has been sharing her tips, secrets, and ingredients with her restaurant clientele and fans around the world through Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms for many years; the collection is now in her book. I didn’t realize it at the time, but one particular little social media habit I kind of fell into really became a signature tool for me to get into the minds (and palates) of my restaurant guests, she said. As social media will do, followers transcended geographic boundaries and she has grown to an international level along with the demand for her Maximum Flavor.

Chef Adrianne Bio My story begins in 1984 in my hometown of Chicago Illinois, a food-obsessed city with a big culinary personality. As a kid, I wasn’t running home after school to kick around a ball or check out the latest video game, I was running into the kitchen to help my mom put dinner on the table! What I would learn later in life is these countless days spent watching her sprinkle a little bit of this and mixing in a little bit of that into delicious dishes my family and I relished in together is what inevitably started my drive to become a chef.

After a scheduling mistake in high school that landed me in a cooking class rather than a journalism course on the day hospitality giant Johnson & Wales University came to do a presentation, my professional journey began. And yes…I do believe in fate! I call that day the lightning strike. I entertained my competitive side with a slew of cooking competitions and was fortunate enough to be called upon by the Florida Marlins to cater the 2003 World Series. After graduating from Johnson & Wales University, I took a position with the Five Diamond Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Miami. It was at the Mandarin Oriental where I learned first-hand from Executive Chef Patrick Lassaque the good, the bad, and the ugly of the restaurant business. 

Shortly thereafter, I landed in Napa Valley to stage with the great Chef Thomas Keller and Chef Cindy Pawlcyn. I still pinch myself that I was able to glean even a sliver of knowledge from these remarkable chefs. While some people thought a teenager had no business writing a cookbook, I had so many ideas, recipes, and food memories I wanted to make a reality since childhood that a book seemed like a natural next step. I mustered together what I could and self-published my first book, Maximum Flavor. Then, as fate would have it, the phone rang and a Montell Williams Show producer claimed to be on the other end (though I was convinced I was being pranked by a friend). They were preparing an episode on inspiring young entrepreneurs and wanted to invite me, as the youngest cookbook author, on the show. I was blown away and humbled beyond belief. Thanks to that appearance, I sold enough books to make my restaurant dreams a reality.

We opened Chef Adrianne’s in 2007 in a Kendall strip mall. As a 22-year-old just starting out, my resources were limited, and this was where I could afford the four walls I needed to realize my dream. There were the obligatory naysayers that quipped about the location, but as people started to eat my food and taste my passion on a plate, it was their opinion that mattered most. Soon, Chef Adrianne’s was being labeled as a “hidden gem” or a “destination dining must”, which certainly was good enough for me. We guided the restaurant through the recession with just my trusted Sous Chef  Eglis Siu (now Corporate Executive Chef) and I in the kitchen and successfully came out the other side. Next year, we celebrate Chef Adrianne’s 14th anniversary! I still don’t know how some of these went from idea to printed word, but I now count five cookbooks under my belt. I have many people to thank, including my hard-working team and my incredibly supportive friends and family. 

Chef Adrianne Books:

  • Maximum Flavor (2005)Chef Adrianne: Driven by Flavor Fueled by Fire (2008)
  • #MaximumFlavorSocial (2014),
  • Play with Fire (2015)
  • The A-List Vol. I (2018)
  • The A-List Vol. II (2018)

Chef Adrianne’s Restaurants

  • Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Bar         
  • Cracked Eatery
  • Redfish
  • Forte