I AM VERY GRATEFUL TO MY CARIBBEAN CULTURE
My Grandma taught me that food means pleasure, love and is a way to celebrate life. In our Canadian home visitors were welcomed with plates of food whether they were hungry or not! The house would be filled with the aroma of freshly baked bread every Saturday after I had helped Grandma weigh, mix, activate yeast, and bake enough bread for the whole week. She’d knead the dough mightily by hand creating a taste that was something else. You don’t get bread like that anywhere.
She gave me a patch of garden to grow things in.
I would spend my pocket money on seeds and loved to watch things grow. Today I use organic methods to grow all kinds of things on my two allotments much of which ends up in the mouths of clients.
I began my career as a trainee working for the Marriot chain of hotels. To my joy the head chef took me off vegetable peeling duty after just one day, putting me on various stations saying I had flair.
In 1997 I opened ‘The Creole Kitchen’.
My first event was a Caribbean wedding buffet of curried goat, beef patties, fried chicken and macaroni pie - still a popular choice for clients.
Over the years I have curated an ever expanding repertoire of recipes – some are from fellow chefs, others like ‘Cruickshank Spice’ are my own creation and - yes you’ve guessed it – Grandma's originals make many appearances. This includes the Cruickshank family Christmas cake that has been added to
by each generation.
I have cooked for Pru Leith who is my food hero.
Her cooking looks high class and fancy yet is simply made. I share her belief that you taste with your eyes before you taste with your mouth.
King Juan Carlos of Spain has eaten my salmon with a lemon crust and I have supplied Princess Caroline of Monaco with several croquembouches.
But no matter who you are you will all receive the celebrity treatment from me. What I get in return goes beyond money. My services are an opportunity to express the fruits of my heritage - a passion for cooking and hospitality - and I consider that a real blessing.