Glazed alligator ribs and the best government job ever
February 16th, 2012
10:30 AM ET
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Ask Justin Timineri what he does for a living and he will tell you that he has the best government job available. It may be difficult to argue with him once you hear that Timineri's office is a kitchen, and instead of paper and pens he budgets for pots and pans.

"I'm the only full time agricultural chef in the entire country," says Timineri.

As the Executive Chef for Florida's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services it is Timineri's job to promote awareness of Florida's agricultural goods. He does this by emphasizing what is in season. "We need to understand the growing seasons," Timineri explains. "We need to go to the market first, find what's fresh, what's seasonably available and what looks the best, buy that and then come home and find a recipe to match what's in season."

Creating these recipes is one of the responsibilities of Florida's Executive Chef. He works with the state's home grown food industry and provides them with recipes that highlight their products. The public can find some of Timineri's cooking ideas on the state website,

"There's over 200 eatable commodities that we have grown here but when people think of Florida they think of citrus," says Timineri, "Florida is way more than that, I mean the amount of strawberries we grow, the amount of blueberries, tomatoes, fresh market corn, it's just unbelievable what we have here."

Let's not forget about a Florida delicacy, alligator; but you have to know how to cook it correctly. Timineri points out that "Most people come to Florida or they go to Louisiana and they order alligator and it comes to them fried and its been overcooked. But when gator is cooked properly I think it’s really phenomenal and it's lean and it's tasty."

It is so tasty that Timineri was willing to pass on one of his favorite gator recipes, and as a good government employee it includes a lot of homegrown ingredients.

Citrus Glazed Gator Ribs


1 cup Florida orange juice
1/3 cup Florida key lime juice
1/3 cup Florida lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 Florida garlic cloves, chopped fine
4 fresh Florida thyme leaves, chopped
4 fresh Florida oregano leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds Florida alligator ribs

Citrus Glaze

1 cup Florida orange juice
4 teaspoons Florida lemon juice
1 cup orange marmalade
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup sweet butter


Prepare a citrus marinade by combining all ingredients except alligator ribs in a glass bowl; blend thoroughly. Set aside 1/2 cup marinade for basting. Pour remaining marinade over ribs and thoroughly coat all pieces; refrigerate in covered bowl or sealed zipper-type bag for 1 to 3 hours.

Remove ribs from marinade and discard used marinade. Heat stove top grill or gas grill to medium heat. Grill ribs for 45 minutes or until tender, basting frequently with reserved 1/2 cup of marinade.

Prepare Citrus Glaze while ribs are grilling by combining all glaze ingredients, except butter, and simmering for 15 minutes or until thickened. Add butter in small pieces; heat until butter is melted. Keep warm at low heat until ready to serve. Remove ribs from grill and baste with Citrus Glaze.

Kimberly Segal previously wrote about the splendor of Jersey subs

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Filed under: Cooking • Florida • Grilling • Make • Recipes • Travel

soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Panties in Texas

    Sounds really Yuckie. Puke.

    February 19, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  2. AndyM

    Im actually kinda shocked no one has complained their tax dollars are going to pay for this persons job. Really? Is this actually a necessary job? He probably makes 100K a year, or more. Has paid medical/dental and an nice big fat pension, to which he can retire at age 50.

    February 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Panties in Texas

      NOT VERY NICE Of You to say all of those things. Your comments are completely off topic.

      February 19, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Rick

      Gee, Andy, you sure have a funny impression about how earnings and retirement age

      February 19, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Becky

      Whoa! Dude! That was one big conclusion you just jumped to.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:55 am |
  3. Porky Pig Jr

    Another Florida dish: roasted Burmese python stuffed with alligator.

    February 16, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
  4. The 99 Cent Chef

    ...or you can tryout an Alligator Po'boy by The 99 Cent Chef – video recipe here:

    February 16, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  5. Joe

    The glaze sounds great. Think I'll try it on chicken.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Charlotte

      Gator tastes like chicken, but it's a bit chewier.

      February 19, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  6. Name*Allen Register

    Gatorama in Palmdale ships all over the country by FedEx. The website is They send other recipes too.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  7. Name*Allen Register

    Gatorama will ship alligator ribs right to your front door via FedEx. Checkout the website at http://WWW.GATORAMA.COM. You will love them.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  8. Fried kicks booty

    Is that recipe for gator or a salad with OJ on the side?

    February 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  9. Rob

    Whoa so pricey!

    February 16, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  10. Aubrie

    Where the heck would you buy gator ribs??? I live in gator county and I've never seen them....

    February 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  11. beenz

    what's the deal with Florida this and Florida that?

    February 16, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Little Susie

      *hands on hips, tapping foot*

      Well it can't be about you all the time.

      February 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
      • CPIP

        Love it! I live in SC and still LOVE me some florida this and that.

        February 16, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  12. Down by the river

    4 thyme leaves? Is that enough to even taste?

    February 16, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • hawkechik

      Really, unless "Florida thyme" is some gigantic mutant. *A* thyme leaf is about half the size of my little fingernail

      February 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  13. Ant928

    Sh*t...if you click on "Gator Ribs" at that store not only are they's the same d*mn picture as above! Nice one ChefZ!

    February 16, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  14. SilentBoy741

    Why not - gators snack on our ribs all the time.

    February 16, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  15. Ant928

    Thank you ChefZ...I was just going to ask before I scrolled down!

    February 16, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  16. ChefZ

    February 16, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  17. HamsterDancer

    I'd love to try this! Is there any way to get gator ribs in the rest of the country?

    February 16, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Little Susie

      Depends on where they relocated to after graduation.

      February 16, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  18. AleeD®

    Whee Doggie! Good think lunch is only minutes away. That sounds fantastic.

    February 16, 2012 at 10:52 am |
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