Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando Heart Clinic cardiologist passionate about his role as chef


There's a new doctor in town, and when he's not wearing scrubs, he wields a mean spatula. Dr. Michael Scott Fenster, 46, is an interventional cardiologist. He has run clinical trials for stents and blood-thinning drugs. If you have a little chest pain, he's your man.

In March, Fenster relocated from Dublin, Ga., to Hernando County to join Dr. M.P. Ravindra Nathan at the Hernando Heart Clinic. He began seeing patients in April.

But those suffering from hunger pangs might also benefit from the good doctor's advice. When he's not saving lives, he's blogging at What's Cookin' with Doc and recently wrote a book with the same name. He calls it a physician's prescription for culinary survival.

"Mushy risotto should just be illegal," he tells would-be chefs in a recipe for Saffron Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms and Sweet Peas. "Add just enough liquid to keep the rice from burning."

Fenster grew up watching Julia Child's cooking show with his mother.

"I would play hooky and pretend I was sick, but I'd be well enough to watch when it came on," Fenster said, laughing. "In retrospect, she probably knew I wasn't really sick."

When he was old enough to work, he started as a dishwasher at McDonald's. Throughout college, he worked in restaurants and continued to hone his skills in the kitchen.

"I enjoyed cooking so much, but my first focus was medical school and being a physician," he said.

Fenster does the cooking at home and keeps up with his blog, posting new recipes and dispensing advice about the latest health research.

Energetic and talkative, Fenster will tell you that he loves to eat. His blog includes tidbits of his wisdom: A little wine can be good for you; don't follow a new fad super food diet; have your fruits and veggies and a nice protein as well.

A certified wine expert, he occasionally prescribes a wine to go with a dish. The grilled pork chops with roasted vegetable medley go well with any cool rosé, the doctor says.

But don't let his gregarious wine-touting side fool you. He's serious about patient health, and his blog includes research he's read closely. Fenster loves research.

He has served as an assistant professor at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, and has served as an investigator for numerous studies and clinical trials of blood-thinning drugs and drug-coated stents.

"The general consensus is that stents are very safe, very helpful," Fenster said. "When you have a blockage, it's usually full of cholesterol. You put this mesh in, and it helps the artery stay open."

Fenster, who is married and the father of three, also loves to learn. In addition to a bachelor's degree in chemistry and a medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia, he graduated summa cum laude last year from Auburn University's physician's executive MBA program.

Having focused intensively on medicine and cooking, Fenster felt he was weak in the area of business knowledge. Plus, this was an MBA focused on health care.

"It turned out to be an invaluable investment," he said.

When he was finished, he could look at opportunities through new eyes. And Hernando County provided what Fenster called a great opportunity.

"I liked the opportunity here, working with an outstanding cardiologist who has been here for 30 years," Fenster said.

Nathan was equal in his praise.

"I was looking for a partner," Nathan said. "He is a wonderful interventional cardiologist with a lot of experience. He's very young and vibrant. He will be a really good asset to this community."

Shary Lyssy Marshall can be reached at

>>Easy and tasty

Blackened Red Fish Tacos

(from Dr. Fenster's What's Cookin' with Doc blog)

Tacos are an easy fix, and are delectable when served with some salsa and guacamole salad. If you cannot find redfish, any light white fleshed fish like tilapia will work. Make sure the pan is hot and let the fish blacken otherwise the fish may stick to the pan if you try to turn too early.

2, 6-8 oz redfish fillets

Emeril's Creole Seasoning

1 cup buttermilk

Flour tortillas

½ cup shredded lettuce

½ cup diced tomatoes


Guacamole Salad

Soak the redfish fillets in the buttermilk for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove and pat dry. Season both sides with Emeril's Creole Seasoning. Heat the cast iron skillet with a little oil until smoking. Place the fillets on the skillet, cooking 2-4 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the fillets. Remove the fillets and place ½ fillet on lettuce in a tortilla and dress with tomatoes, salsa and guacamole salad. Makes 4 tacos.

Dr. Michael Scott Fenster's blog can be found on the Web at

Hernando Heart Clinic cardiologist passionate about his role as chef 05/15/10 [Last modified: Sunday, May 16, 2010 11:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trigaux: How Moffitt Cancer's M2Gen startup won $75 million from Hearst


    TAMPA — A Moffitt Cancer Center spin-off that's building a massive genetic data base of individual patient cancer information just caught the attention of a deep-pocketed health care investor.

    Richard P. Malloch is the president of Hearst Business Media, which is announcing a $75 million investment in M2Gen, the for-profit cancer informatics unit spun off by Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. Malloch's job is to find innovative investments for the Hearst family fortune. A substantial amount has been invested in health care, financial and the transportation and logistics industries.
  2. A boat lays on its side off the shore of Sainte-Anne on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, early Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, after the passing of Hurricane Maria. [Dominique Chomereau-Lamotte | Associated Press]
  3. 7.1 magnitude quake kills at least 149, collapses buildings in Mexico


    MEXICO CITY — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 149 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped.

    A woman is lifted on a stretcher from of a building that collapsed during an earthquake in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. [Rebecca Blackwell | Associated Press]
  4. FHP seeks semitrailer truck driver that left fiery wreck on I-75


    TAMPA — The Florida Highway Patrol is looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an Interstate 75 crash that left another car burning on Tuesday afternoon.

    Troopers were looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an accident scene on Interstate 75 in Tampa on Tuesday afternoon that caused a car to catch fire. [Courtesy of Florida Highway Patrol]
  5. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.