Caribbean Homemade Food
Traditional & Authentic Carribean Food From the Islands: As Told By Our Local Shefs!
“We have the curries from India, we have all the staple ingredients provision ingredients like yams and plantains from Africa, we have spices from China.”
On What Makes Caribbean Cuisines Unique
Caribbean cuisine is life, it’s joy, it’s togetherness, it’s family and friends enjoying life together — it brings our community together and everyone has a role to play. On our islands, we take time to prepare our food, it’s a process, a labor of love. In most Caribbean kitchens, our meats are seasoned or marinated at least a day or two in advance so the flavors seep into the meat itself. We cook with a lot of parsley, celery, scallions, hot peppers, curry, ginger, turmeric, thyme, and of course, garlic.
The Caribbean is one big melting pot, we have cooking techniques and flavors from so many global diasporas. We are a region that adopts flavors and makes them our own. And we grow everything, I always say, if it can be eaten, we’re going to grow it! This trait prevents us from buying things that are artificial or frozen and keeps our food fresh and healthy.
The Caribbean Dinner Table
The dinner table varies by the days of the week; in most Caribbean households people are busy working so weekday meals are very simple: one meat, one starch, one vegetable. On the weekends, especially on Sundays (the non-work day for us), you will get a little of everything, some rice, some baked mac and cheese, low mein, red beans, beef, fish. In every Caribbean fridge, you will find a bottle of blended or pureed herbs and spices and jar of hot sauce — we love our food flavorful and spicy.
“Our Sunday meals are an event — friends and family will gather in the yard with their plates on their laps, eating, talking, telling stories, and just enjoying life.”
On What Sharing Caribbean Food With the Community on Shef Means
Cooking is my passion and when you are passionate about something and love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. Feeding people gives me the ultimate joy, I could just sit down and watch people eat my food for hours. Being on Shef and being able to share some of that cooking with clients makes me feel accomplished, it makes me feel amazing to know that they are experiencing and learning about true Caribbean cuisine.
Last year, Padma Lakshmi ordered my food and gave me a five star rating. My goodness! To have a celebrity chef and judge try my food and love it was an unreal and gratifying experience. It is a memory that keeps me motivated to always put my all into each dish I prepare and meal I deliver.