• Stacks Image 643
  • Stacks Image 646
  • Stacks Image 649
  • Stacks Image 709
  • Stacks Image 711
  • Stacks Image 715
  • Stacks Image 717
  • Stacks Image 713
  • Stacks Image 719
  • Stacks Image 721
  • Stacks Image 723
  • Stacks Image 725
  • Stacks Image 727
  • Stacks Image 729
  • Stacks Image 731
  • Stacks Image 733

Welcome

Welcome to the 17th year of Cré Olé (pronounced, “Cray Olay”), the Guide to Dining in Trinidad & Tobago.

Click on the Cré Olé picture or on the links and you can download it and have with it you on the go! Our ePub / pdf magazine is here!

Cré Olé has always understood that Trinidad & Tobago’s most attractive tourism product is its rich, multi-ethnic population, whose indomitable spirit has always been reflected in its inventive and delicious cuisine – which itself has roots in every part of the world. We taste Trinidad & Tobago best in our food – like the Maracas Bay shark-and-bake the New York Times called, ‘the best fish sandwich in the world’.

We know that 100 per cent of visitors, whether on holiday or business, will want good food in a variety of settings. They can find them all here.

You can find everything you need to know about a prospective restaurant quickly and easily at Cré Olé’s website.
- Download full menus
- Locate on maps
- Read reviews
- Make a reservation - touch call or email

We sincerely hope you love every bite.

But we leave you with this warning: if you’re not hungry when you come Cré Olé, you’re very likely to be very shortly after.

Bon appétit.

BC Pires
Editor

My Image

This Week’s SpecialJaffa at the Oval

Every fortnight we choose a restaurant and what we love about it. Give you some insight from the Chef. Our first restaurant for the year is Jaffa. Trinidad and Tobago lost the Chef and major shareholder of this restaurant Joe Brown. Joe was truly larger than life and you can read our tribute to him here.

His restaurant Jaffa lives on and is now being run by another chef who is also a shareholder Paul Mowser.

Jaffa Broadens the Horizon of Unique Upscale Dining

In cricket, “jaffa” means “the perfect delivery” and Jaffa at the Oval – the home of Trinidad cricket – illustrates the concept. The Jaffa culinary team, continuing the dedication to perfection of founder chef, the late Joe Brown, serves up perfect deliveries over and over. Jaffa’s renowned daily lunch buffet serves exquisite cuisine from Asia, the Middle East and Europe and the Caribbean, including a continuously changing daily meat carvery and weekly sushi presentations. Jaffa’s cold station and salad bar’s choices are outdone only by the Jaffa dessert display. Jaffa serves the only genuine British high tea including scones and real clotted cream in Trinidad. Jaffa is the ideal venue for all business, personal and family celebratory events. Special event menus can be created on request.

Get more details about Jaffa here…

My Image

Rum Appétit Bon Appétit Becomes
RUM APPÉTIT

Trinidad’s premium rums reach their best as the most apposite complements to fine dining
Cré Olé editor BC Pires considers himself very lucky to have attended just one of the five Rum Appétit dinners put on by the House of Angostura® during 2018 in partnership with chefs Nick Hardwicke of the
Seahorse Inn in Tobago, Josef Habr of Josef’s in Maraval, Joe Brown of Jaffa at the Oval, Khalid Mohammed of Chaud and Dominique Beens of Krave in Marabella, San Fernando. BC offers his own opinion on the notion of sipping good rum with each course – he approves highly – while reporting on the facts of the dinners.

My Image

Nowhere is Trinidadian self-loathing more evident than in the preference for blended scotch of often dubious quality ahead of the many fine rums made in Trinidad. Last year, the good people at the House of Angostura®, led by master distiller, John P Georges, chief mixologist Raymond Edwards and brand manager Lawn Davis, fought for the cause of national pride with a broadside from the most formidable weapon in the national gastronomic armoury: our own rum!

And not just rum, but four of the best rums ever made here: Angostura® 7 Year Old rum, aged in once-used bourbon casks; and the three excellent rums named after years with particular resonance in the local rum history: Angostura 1919®, the vanilla-influenced, multiple award-winning rum that, after a fire in 1932, were found in charred casks that had been filled in 1919; Angostura 1824®, a hand-blended rum re-casked after a minimum of a dozen years in American oak bourbon barrels (apparently best enjoyed with a cigar); and the Angostura® 1787, the super-premium 15-year-old, the pride & glory of the Angostura® family.

My Image

The series of rum-themed dinners marketed as “Rum Appétit” – a play on the French mealtime expression, “bon appétit”, roughly, “enjoy your meal” – challenged five of Trinidad & Tobago’s most popular chefs to prepare fine dining dishes that either used the rums as ingredients or were designed to be eaten with each course.

“I’m always stunned,” says master distiller John P Georges, “when I find a cocktail menu at a function in Trinidad and there are no Angostura® rums or any Trinidad rums by name on the list. Why do we do that?”

Why, indeed. Especially when the rums of the House of Angostura® are so full of taste as to almost demand the attention of fine dining chefs.
“Rum as a spirit was widely created throughout the world,” says Georges. “Anywhere there was sugar cane, there was some form of rum. But Caribbean rums properly claim to be the best because the development of rum has taken place more in the Caribbean than anywhere else. Caribbean peoples have elevated rums far higher than anyone anywhere else and the world recognises our claim. There’s a rum in Papua, New Guinea, actually named, “Jamaican Rum” – because they recognise proper rum comes from the Caribbean.”

My Image

Indeed.

And in the fact of taste.

The chefs, given the chance to prove the Angostura® assumption that rums could pair just as easily and as well with fine food as the best wines, made the job look like a walk in the park. Just reading their menus induces Pavlovian mouthwatering… and makes you reach for your glass of Angostura 1919®. The cocktail served at every dinner was the rum, lime and Angostura® aromatic bitters-based Queen’s Park Swizzle, first concocted in the 1920s at the hotel on Port of Spain’s central park, the Queen’s Park Savannah.

The very best gastronomic news of 2019, so far, is that more Rum Appétit dinners are planned!
What They Served… and Why…

My Image

During cocktails at Seahorse Inn, proprietor chef Nick Hardwicke served curried potato & green pea pastry puffs in tomato & rum chutney, rum-cured salmon graylax on cornmeal blini and crostini of chicken liver parfait in a cranberry-rum compote. Starters were jumbo Gulf shrimp, chicken satay in a sticky tamarind-rum sauce and minted melon balls. The four main course choices were: rock lobster tails in lemon-rum butter, served with fettucine Alfredo dusted with herbed breadcrumbs; crab-stuffed grouper fillets grilled in a citrus Angostura® 7 Year Old rum sauce; slow-braised beef in a rum & red wine sauce and “calypso” jerk-seasoned chicken with smashed potatoes. The dessert choice included fruit salad, rum & raisin bread pudding with vanilla ice cream in a salted rum-caramel sauce and pineapple & rum cheesecake.

Nick Hardwicke: We were delighted to represent Tobago for the second year running to showcase the natural affinity of world-class premium Angostura® rums with high-quality restaurant food. Over four courses, we did not want to overpower the senses and risk diluting the enjoyment. We did not want to just present dishes that go with rum. We wanted to innovate dishes incorporating rum into the recipe, dishes where rum could feature subtly, enhancing and amplifying the high-quality ingredients. We wanted people to understand that rum is a dynamic product, not just for sipping and making cocktails, but also as a natural ingredient for great food. In each dish we sought to create a harmony between the natural characteristics of the dish and the unique flavour profile of the particular rum. Both occasions were sold out with many turned away. Clean plates and long waiting lists of repeat customers for the next dinner in the series seem to indicate that we succeeded.

My Image

At Josef’s, during cocktails, Josef Habr served fish kibbeh, Helenitza shrimp, mushroom caps and hand-rolled lamb “cigars”. His salad was a beetroot carpaccio including carrots, spinach and mozzarella in a rum-mustard vinaigrette. The main course of lamb eye was served with herb-roasted potatoes and buttered carrots & string beans in a kiwi-and-peppercorn sauce. He closed the meal with baklava stuffed with three different nuts, candied pistachios, cinnamon-almonds and cardamom-walnuts.

Josef Habr: I started with shrimp, a Greek dish, not Lebanese. Greek people put in sweet alcohol so I decided to use Angostura 1824®, that rum’s sweetness gave it a nice flavour. For the beetroot carpaccio with a vinaigrette sauce, I chose the Angostura® 7 Year Old because it is a soft rum, not very heavy. People, when they hear the dish name, ask, “But how can you serve lamb eye?” But it is lamb tenderloin, like rib-eye. I chose the Angostura® 1787 rum for that because it is just a little heavy. I can’t put too much rum in the sauce but I put enough. For dessert, I chose Angostura 1919® for my Lebanese baklava, filo pastry filled with honey and chopped nuts. My daughter, our pastry chef, did it three ways, one with pistachio, one with almonds, one with walnuts and we served it with Angostura 1919® rum & raisin ice cream. Angostura 1919® is a little bit sweet, good for dessert, give it a good flavour, and the vanilla is superb for dessert. For the cocktail appetizers, I used the Angostura® 7 Year Old. Fish kibbeh. I make kibbeh almost every day of my life but, for this dinner, for the first time, I add some rum, Angostura® 7 Year Old in my stuffing. Absolutely I can tell you it is fantastic. I used the Angostura® 7 Year Old for the mushroom caps, too. For the lamb cigar, I cooked the lamb with some rum, lovely feta cheese.

My Image

At Krave, cocktails were accompanied by sugar cane-grilled Angostura® 1787 shrimp with mango chutney, pate campagnard with Angostura® 7 Year Old glazed onion marmalade, Angostura 1919® tomato bisque and salmon & spinach spiral in an Angostura 1824® rum buerre blanc. Main courses included tuna timbale with avocado (Angostura 1919®), lemon-crusted grilled salmon in an Angostura 1824® Belgian white chocolate sauce and “the super premium 15”, duck breast marinated in sugar cane and Angostura® 1787 rum served on plantain-mango chutney with sautéed new potatoes. Dessert was Krave’s own house-churned Amaro di ANGOSTURA® ice cream with the flavours of Angostura® 7 Year Old.
Dominique Beens: The Angostura® rums are very nice, very flavourful, especially the Angostura 1824® – that is really a nice-nice rum to cook with – but all the dishes really came out really well. I used Angostura 1919® rum with the tuna timbale because the Angostura 1919® has more of a softer vanilla flavour to combine with the tuna. For the lemon-crusted salmon, I chose the Angostura 1824® because, with the chocolate, the flavour was a little more pronounced, and it could bring down just a little bit the strongness of the rum. For the duck breast, there we had soft flavours, we needed a rum that was a little stronger to bring everything together. I loved the Rum Appétit as an event. I hope we can do it again because people really enjoyed it – and I did, too.

My Image

At Chaud, waiter-passed canapés accompanying the Queen’s Park Swizzle cocktails included short rib ragu with gnocchi & blue cheese fonduta, seared diver scallops with apple, caper-raisin puree & cauliflower crema and truffle polenta. Main courses were: Atlantic salmon mi-cuit (roughly translated as “half-cooked”) with yogurt panna cotta in an orange Angostura 1919® mustard vinaigrette; wild mushroom soup with Angostura® 1787 truffle cream and reverse-seared filet mignon with chilli-coffee rub, beluga lentils, pearl onions, heirloom tomatoes and baby carrots in an Angostura 1824® rum-tamarind demi-glace. For dessert, Chaud served La Reunion Estate chocolate-banana crème brûlée and passion fruit cremeux with Angostura® 1787 rum-burnt honey ice cream and petit fours.

Khalid Mohammed: For sure, I started the Rum Appétit menu with the rum foremost in mind, not the dish. Starting with a dish in mind, like, say, pork, because you have a leg in the freezer, is cooking backwards. You’re not going to create anything. You can do a prix fixe lunch like that perhaps but not a rum dinner. It wasn’t my first rum dinner – not even my first Angostura® rum dinner, but my second – and I have my box of rum tricks. In everything I do with food, I kinda have a loose understanding in my brain of how I pair things. An au povire sauce, e.g., is made with cognac and black peppercorns and an aged rum and a cognac are not that far apart. With rum, smoky flavours come to me. So I think of rich, reduced dishes, like risotto or short ribs. And then I tweak. If there’s something interesting me at the moment, a cooking technique I’m using, or something seasonally fresh, like if I’m getting beautiful organic cherry tomatoes that taste amazing, I’ll find a way to put the rum in that, or use that technique. I think shellfish and rum is a great pairing. The smokiness in shellfish and seafood is perfect for the rum. I think smoked salmon, rich and fatty, will go great with something strong and spicy, like a good rum. For that same smoky reason, if I’m doing a meat main course for a rum dinner, I’ll think of a beef, rather than a lamb.

During cocktails, Jaffa served Angostura 1919® -infused lobster ragout, dill-marinated swordfish graylax, kale & duck comfit samosas and Gorgonzola bisque. Main courses were: shrimp & scallop “panna cotta” with cured Tuscan ham served with poached grapes and apples; sun-dried tomato chowder, rosemary granite and slow-smoked beef tenderloin in a molasses-rum sauce served with Tex-Mex black bean salsa and cornmeal croquettes. Dessert was frozen caramel soufflé with a pear relish.

My Image

“Like anything else complicated, you have to be guided through the process of appreciating rum. I appreciate the challenge to reeducate, used in the non-Communist sense. Rum Appétit is part of that. Educate yourself about rum and every sip becomes a journey in history and sociology, a remarkable experience. The French and the Jamaicans made rum differently. The Guyanese have a story all of their own. Trinidad and Central America have their own story and history. The more you know about any artistic endeavour, the more you appreciate it. Understand just how it came about and your appreciation of that art goes through the roof. There are mass rums out there. Call them “hotel art”, for want of a better phrase. But, if you want the museum pieces or the stuff you hang in your own home, rums with colour, texture, the whole experience, our rums in Trinidad are rich.”
Master distiller John P Georges of the House Of Angostura®.

Sweet, Sweet, T&THow We Love Up Trinidad & Tobago’s Excellent Chocolate at Cré Olé

For centuries, Trinidad & Tobago’s figuratively best-kept and literally dark secret may well have been our superb chocolate, made from the indigenous, world-beating Trinitario cocoa bean used to flavour premium chocolate by such leading global brands as Lindt and Green & Black. In 2017, luxury chocolates made using Trinidadian Trinitario beans even found their way into Harrods, probably London’s most famous luxury department store! The expensive Trinidadian Trinitario beans were used for flavour, with cheaper bulk beans from other parts of the world constituting most of the cocoa solids; it’s an old and necessary trick for even the best of luxury chocolate brands. There may be a genuinely great chocolate that does not use Trinitario beans at all but we haven’t heard of it at Cré Olé. Local artisanal chocolate is usually made entirely with our own beans, with the best coming from single estates. It would not be misleading to describe Trinidadian - & Tobagonian – dark chocolate as “pure flavour”. Here are Cré Olé’s own favourites from a surprisingly wide field of excellent chocolates made by hand, with love, and grown from our own, our native land. Taste one of these and you’ll know, at once, that chocolate really is the food of the gods; dark secrets of love, indeed.

Stacks Image 596

Cocobel - Isabel Brash, the pioneer of modern artisanal chocolate in Trinidad, is an architect by qualification and a chocolatier by vocation – and her chocolate is very clearly “designed”. A Trini of European ancestry who went to a Hindu primary school, all of Trinidad & Tobago finds its way, through her, into her creations. From the mango-pepper through the ginger-rum to the pineapple-and-chadon beni marmaid’s kiss, these are luxury single estate (Rancho Quemado) chocolates that let you bite into Trinidad itself. To list Cocobel chocolates – 25 flavours so far, and counting – is to chronicle the world of taste and culture that is Trinidad: cashew coco crunch; tamarind; rum & raisin; dark sorrel; Tobago love; the marmaid’s kiss is even named after Maracas Bay! There can hardly be a more Trinidadian chocolate than Cocobel. It’s no surprise Brash was a finalist in the Chamber of Commerce’s Emerging Entrepreneur 2016 competition.
Click here to call us! 622 1196


My Image
Stacks Image 610

The KAIRI Chocolate Company – The Native Trinidadian name for Trinidad was rightfully bestowed on this exquisite, single estate chocolate from the La Carlota Estate, which supplied 100% fine cocoa to European and North American chocolate makers since the 1800s. In 2017, the Jagroo family began creating their own Trinitario bean dark chocolate gems. The La Carlota Estate/KAIRI Chocolate Company approach respects the land and the Cunapo River that waters it by ensuring their process is organic: no chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides are used. It takes six days to handcraft a KAIRI chocolate bar (some infused with only natural flavours to complement the bean’s own flavour, such as chai spice, passion fruit, guava, lemon, ginger and coffee). Eat them slowly. If you can.
EMAIL: kairichocolatett@gmail.com
FACEBOOK: KAIRI Chocolate
Click here to call us! 752 1083
Click here to call us! 681 4845

My Image
Stacks Image 617

Si Bon – Joanna Landreth-Smith, a qualified chocolatier (Cocoa Research Centre, University of the West Indies, Professional School of Chocolate Arts, Vancouver) crafts her 70% artisan dark chocolate by hand, from bean to bar, in small batches from single estate Trinitario cacao beans, the brilliance of which is developed without any artificial ingredients or preservatives. Joanna’s own personal love of premium chocolate led to Si Bon’s range of local fruit (sorrel, tamarind-guava) and mixed caramel bonbons & minibars and its five 50-gramme bars (one 70% dark and four caramel flavours, salted, orange, mocha and coconut). Si Bon’s Valentine’s Day gift package includes a mini-Prosecco, four bonbons and a bar. Si Bon’s offers the ideal bachelorette party gift in a naughtily-shaped chocolate! Si Bon is available at Starlite Maraval, Diego Martin and South Park, Blooms Maraval and Malabar Farms. ADDRESS: 43 Brunton Rd, St James.
EMAIL: joannnls@gmail.com
FACEBOOK: Si Bon Chocolat
INSTAGRAM: SiBon Chocolat
Click here to call us! 620 7988

My Image
Stacks Image 600

Cafe Mariposa –The fussy gourmet might want more to justify the half-hour, winding drive into the Lopinot Valley than the 19th Century residence of the Comte de Loppinot – and would find it in Café Mariposa’s chocolate! Every dish on the menu in the Guerrero family’s restaurant contains chocolate or cocoa but the chocolate alone is worth the trip. From the hairpin bends along the road the lucky diner rises to real heights of taste. “Guerrero” translates from the Spanish as “warrior” and the Guerrero siblings – Brenda, Marcia, Bianca, Hyacinth and lone brother Arthur – could be said to fight the good fight for local high-end, single estate chocolate, except that, like Café Mariposa’s cocoa-tea, the chocolate is as soothing as it is delicious. Exceptional.
ADDRESS: 58 Lopinot Settlement Lopinot
EMAIL: info@mariposalopinot.com
WEBSITE: mariposalopinot.com FACEBOOK:cafemariposagardens
Click here to call us! 669 8647


My Image
Stacks Image 614

Omarbeans Organic – A family passionate about the environment and quality chocolate combined both in its tree-to-bar, small batch, single estate artisan chocolate. From its 90% cocoa “extra dark health bar” to its 65% and 70% flavoured bars, Omarbeans Organic respects the Earth as much as its customers – although the planet can’t taste just how well local flavours are used. Sample the Omarbeans Organic hog plum and the “Trinidad” in the chocolate is undeniable! Flavours include coconut, ginger, sorrel, Guinea-pepper, cocoa nibs, orange and plain and the mochaccino uses Trinidadian coffee beans – of course! Omarbeans might successfully patent their “ChocoNanas” – dried sikiye or silk fig bananas dipped in 65% dark chocolate and coated with home-made muesli.
ADDRESS: Brasso Seco Village, Paria
EMAIL: omarbean.organic@gmail.com
FACEBOOK: Omarbeans Organic
INSTAGRAM: omarbeanstt
Click here to call us! 685 3457

My Image
Stacks Image 623

Philippa’s Garden – A small family business, Philipa’s offers a continually expanding range of chocolate (from 100% dark to white) with something for everyone. Philippa’s creations include cocoa tea, hot chocolate, rum nuggets (chocolate, Trinidadian rum and powdered sugar) and granola. Philippa’s even uses local inputs, such as sorrel and ponche de crème, in their bonbons and mello-bites (home-made marshmallows covered in chocolate). Philippa’s cocoa-flavoured mello bite and home-made cocoa bread (from cocoa pulp, chocolate, cocoa nibs and cocoa butter) both won the Cocoa Research Centre's Innovations in Chocolate Cuisine competition. Philippa’s also makes chocolate-based skin care products including body soaps, butters and scrubs.
ADDRESS: 3 Sanchez St, Arima
FACEBOOK/ INSTAGRAM: philippasgarden
WEBSITE: www.philippasgarden.com
Click here to call us! 789 9186

My Image

Owed to Joe

Sadly, the top story of the gastronomic year in 2018 was the untimely and completely unnecessary death of Joe Brown, proprietor chef of Trinidad’s first fine dining restaurant, Solimar, and prime mover of Jaffa at the Oval. His is one of those losses that leaves, not a gap, but a vacuum. Below is our tribute to him.

Cré Olé – and Three of His Friends – Toast the Man Who Created Our Fine Dining Industry
In Trinidad & Tobago, there are often cantankerous arguments over which individuals define their fields: did Eric Williams, the country’s first prime minister, determine the nature of politics – or was it Rudranath Capildeo, the opposition leader? Which Nobel Literature prizewinner is more authentically Trinidadian, VS Naipaul or Derek Walcott? Trinis would beat one another with sticks in arguing whether Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, Robbie Greenidge or Andy Narell is the ultimate steelpan-man.
Despite Trinidad’s aggressive bias against “outsiders”, though, no one denies that English-born Joe Brown, who wore his Three Lions shirt at the World Cup proudly, is the undisputed father of the fine dining industry here; indeed, he was its single parent. Joe Brown’s Solimar was Trinidad & Tobago’s first proper restaurant.
Long before the tourism authorities saw its potential, Joe Brown understood that our cuisine could attract foreign and local visitors alike. The success of Solimar – and the ongoing success of Jaffa at the Oval, which serves a fine dining version of banqueting devised by Joe Brown – reflect the depth and accuracy of Joe Brown’s vision.
But it is Joe Brown’s life itself that measures the man. He was president and vice-president of the Trinidad & Tobago Hotels, Restaurants & Tourism Association and a near-permanent member of its board of directors. He led and coached the National Culinary Team. In everything dining, he was at the forefront of the avant garde.
Joe Brown gave his life to Trinidad & Tobago and was killed here, struck by a car while cycling. His subtraction will be felt for as long as anyone who knew him lives. Without him, fine dining will never be quite so fine. When we say we mourn him at Cré Olé, we do so with heavy hearts and bowed heads. But we raise our heads to the future and a glass of premium rum or cognac to our old friend.

Khalid Mohammed: Until Joe Brown died, I never really understood the expression, “larger than life”. I couldn’t even think of him for a month after his death, tears would start rolling down my eyes. That never happened to me before, with anybody, not family, nobody! It’s no overstatement to say Joe Brown singlehandedly created the fine dining industry in Trinidad, and not just through Solimar. You could open a great restaurant without thinking about the country it’s in. Joe did Solimar while captaining the National Culinary Team. The void he left, nobody could fill. Joe was a rock star. My mother used to send me clippings about him when I was in New York. He started this amazing thing – it was all his thing – called “the apprenticeship programme”, like what they do in Europe, with the hotel school. Chefs went to culinary school one day a week and worked in restaurants the rest of the week. When I think of what “culinary” has taken out of me – culinary has taken my life! I’d love to have helped out the TTHTI but I have not one moment left after my day at Chaud! For me, there was no time! But, for Joe Brown, there was time to sail, to play rugby, to work at the highest level as a chef. Two weeks before he died, he came to Chaud to talk about something quickly. Though we both had busy days, we had lunch together and sat and talked. Four bottles of wine later, we realised it was six o’clock! Now, I look back and I’m so thankful for those three hours! That was the last time I saw him. His death was so sudden and so abrupt. I find it very hard to accept the reality that Joe and I will never talk to one another again.

Paul Mowser: Almost 40 years ago, I met Joe Brown, then the Hilton Trinidad executive chef. I remember thinking I had just met one of the most intense, arrogant, confident and outspoken people ever! Little did I know that Joe would become a life changing friend, sports teammate, mentor, confidant and business partner throughout the evolution of my career. I was part of a very successful family business swashbuckling my way through the food-service and hospitality industry, as Trinidad knew it. Then came Joe. One man who pretty much singlehandedly changed the face of culinary Trinidad & Tobago. Joe introduced Trinidad to what real dining is all about. Although gone, Joe made sure he will never be forgotten!

Jason Huggins: Joe was the first person I worked for in Trinidad. His culinary knowledge was immense. Many people passed through Solimar and Jaffa and they left with a lot more knowledge. Any night Joe didn’t cook, he closed Solimar. He never trusted anyone else to cook. One night, after about nine months, he said to me, “I’m going to Tobago for sail week in May and you are going to keep my kitchen open.” As a young chef, aged 28, Joe Brown telling me that was like getting a new car.

My Image
Stacks Image 640

YOCUTAThe Cream of the Crop

Nestlé Professional

Invests in the Next Generation of Chefs

Nestlé Professional skills-enhancing Young Culinary Talent (YOCUTA) programme began in 2015 to help Trinidad & Tobago Hospitality & Tourism Institute students land their first jobs. YOCUTA’s externship offered hands-on work experience under chefs as renowned as the late Joe Brown, Khalid Mohammed and Adrian Cumberbatch. The 2016 co-winner of YOCUTA’s Ultimate Iron Chef Competition, Rondell Thompson, was the 2018 National Junior Chef of the Year. Thompson, and three of the YOCUTA beneficiaries – Jenelle Alexis, Tyree Campbell, Danica Francois, Sheridan Francois, Anusha Hosein, Zaria Isaac, Neisha Mohammed and Ruth Robinson – told Cré Olé editor, BC Pires, about their experiences.

My Image

Rondell Thompson: I grew up in Cocorite, where people don't naturally assume they’re going to become a chef. While other boys were outside playing, I would be inside watching my mother stew chicken, picking up little tricks. At age eight, I started browning the sugar by myself. I finished my food & nutrition CXC and was accepted at the TTHTI. Nowadays, the guys on the block say, “That is the chef fella.” They may not know my name but they know I’m the guy who represented the country.

I used to do track and field in my younger days when I was skinny but I have chef’s disease now: I'm a big foodie and you can see it. I want to brand myself as a chef who uses local ingredients and takes fusion dishes to an international standard. I’ll take an Italian dish like ravioli and do a chicken curry ravioli. I learned early that it was okay to fail because failure was a part of growth. I'm gathering as much experience as I can, locally and internationally, and learning how this whole big world of food operates.

I'm not the biggest church person but I have a big-big belief in God. Even if something happens to you that you don’t like, God has a plan for you.

Whenever I'm worried about where my life is going, I look back at the stuff I've achieved as a 21-year-old and ask myself whether there are other young people doing the same thing. And then I get like a, “Ding!!!” And I feel better.

My Image

Nothing comes easy. You have to work hard, no matter what you do. The YOCUTA programme was great for me. I got to work in a lot of different food establishments with great chefs. I learned about marketing, sales, human resource management, a full mixture of everything.

Ruth Robinson: Working hands-on with godfathers of my culinary world, such as chefs Gregory Arrendell and Khalid Mohammed, was an honour. On my very first day at Chaud, I got to assist on the hot line! From the T20 Caribbean Premier League games to the Angostura Bon Appétit dinners, I learned the best tricks and tips. This is what I want to be a part of – making people happy through food. I have definitely learned how to promote myself, be creative, stand out and become a better chef through YOCUTA. I am really happy I chose Nestlé for my externship.

Anusha Hosein: YOCUTA was an unforgettable experience. At Nestlé, we learned the functions of the factory and each of the different departments. I especially enjoyed the farm tour where Nestlé 100% full cream milk is made. Chef Sonja Sinaswee taught us how to use the four types of Minor’s sauces in marvelous different ways. We also worked with the Hyatt Regency’s head pastry chef and our very own past TTHTI student, chef Rondell Thompson.

Sheridan Francois: The eye-opening YOCUTA programme made me feel welcome and appreciated. I had no idea I was going to be given a chef jacket, a complete knife kit and more.

My Image

That gave me a sense of identity and self-confidence. I was treated like family in the Nestlé community. Chefs Gregory and Rondell taught me that being a chef is about cooking from your heart to create something special and show who you are. Every moment was truly touching.

Chef Sonja Sinaswee used the intriguing blend of “heat-and-sweet” in Minor’s new “Caribbean Style” sauce in her amazing Caribbean style pork meatball lettuce wraps.

Below - Nestlé Professionals team: Left to right Collin Sammy, Althea Pandohie, Daniel Pena and Shanna Singh

My Image

Caribbean Style Pork Meatball Lettuce Wraps

Makes: 10 lettuce wraps
Ingredients (all peeled, seeded, finely chopped, ground or grated)

Meatballs
1lb minced pork
5 strips streaky bacon
Half a small onion
1 2-inch piece ginger,
3 garlic cloves
1 – 2 red chillies or jalapeños
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp chadon beni
1/3 cup Nestlé Minor’s
Caribbean Style Sauce
1 tbsp fresh citrus juice
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp – 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
Dipping sauce:
(whisked together)
1/2 cup Nestlé Minor’s
Caribbean Style Sauce
1/4 cup fresh citrus juice
2 large chadon beni leaves
Paprika, cinnamon, cloves,
black pepper, salt to taste
Wraps
10 large lettuce leaves,
washed and patted dry
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 cup fresh pineapple diced
2 medium tomatoes diced
1 large cucumber diced

Method:

Combine ginger, garlic, chillies and herbs.
Add fresh aromatics, Caribbean Style Sauce and 2 tbsp breadcrumbs to the pork and bacon until well combined. Cover and marinate 30 minutes. Makes 20 small meatballs.
Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Bake evenly spaced meatballs in a foil- or parchment-lined baking tray for 25-30 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Coat well with 1/4 cup dipping sauce.
Meatballs may also be cooked in a frying pan or skillet with the fat from the streaky bacon preventing sticking.
Place shredded cabbage on a lettuce leaf, top with 2 meatballs and some diced pineapple, tomatoes and cucumber.
Drizzle with dipping sauce and serve.

My Image

My Image
Stacks Image 820
Stacks Image 828

“Wherever I travel to in the world, or even in my own kitchen, Angostura® Bitters is the nucleus of my culinary creations. After all, it’s the taste that changed the world.”
Chef Jason Peru

Stacks Image 824

Try Angostura Bitters in any of the dishes below
to add a new twist with love

Broiled lemon-garlic shrimp
Angostura burgers / sliders
Apple crumble with Bitters
Be-devilled eggs
Bitter honey ham glaze
Mac & cheese bites
Pulled pork sliders
Better biscuits
Sweet-salty-bitters glazed nuts
Roasted vegetables with Angostura mayonnaise
Rum coffee French toast with Bitters maple syrup
orange coconut rice

ANGOSTURA® bitters Infused Tandoori Wings



Yield: 1 Dozen Wings

Ingredients

12 Wings
1 ½ Tbsp of salt
1 Tbsp of black pepper
1 ½ Tbsp of minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced ginger
2 Tsp minced chadon beni (cilantro )
4 Dashes of ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters

Tandoori Spice Marinade

1 Tsp grounded roasted cumin
(geera )
1 Tsp of turmeric powder
1 Tsp chilli powder
½ Tsp of grounded fennel seeds
½ Tsp garam massala spice
½ Cup of natural yogurt
6 Dashes of ANGOSTURA® orange bitters

Method

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut wings in halves to yield the flap and drummetes.
In a bowl add the wing pieces together with the salt, black pepper, ginger garlic, chadon beni, ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters and massage the seasonings into it properly.
In another small bowl, add all the other spices for the tandoori spice marinade with the exception of the yogurt. Mix these spices to combine and then add them to the wings and rub liberally on the inside and outside of the flesh of the wings.
Add yogurt and the ANGOSTURA® orange bitters to the seasoned wings and gently mix in to coat.
Let marinate for at least 2 hrs to overnight.
Place wings onto an oiled baking sheet pan and place in oven for 35 – 45 minutes to cook uncovered. You can also place wings on a hot grill at 350 degrees F. and grill on both sides until cooked and lightly charred. When done, place your wings onto a platter and serve with biryani rice or spiced potatoes.
Stacks Image 895
Stacks Image 914

“Wherever I travel to in the world, or even in my own kitchen, Angostura® Bitters is the nucleus of my culinary creations. After all, it’s the taste that changed the world.”
Chef Jason Peru

Stacks Image 918

ANGOSTURA® bitters Infused Tandoori Wings



Yield: 1 Dozen Wings

Ingredients

12 Wings
1 ½ Tbsp of salt
1 Tbsp of black pepper
1 ½ Tbsp of minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced ginger
2 Tsp minced chadon beni (cilantro )
4 Dashes of ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters

Tandoori Spice Marinade

1 Tsp grounded roasted cumin
(geera )
1 Tsp of turmeric powder
1 Tsp chilli powder
½ Tsp of grounded fennel seeds
½ Tsp garam massala spice
½ Cup of natural yogurt
6 Dashes of ANGOSTURA® orange bitters

Method

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut wings in halves to yield the flap and drummetes.
In a bowl add the wing pieces together with the salt, black pepper, ginger garlic, chadon beni, ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters and massage the seasonings into it properly.
In another small bowl, add all the other spices for the tandoori spice marinade with the exception of the yogurt. Mix these spices to combine and then add them to the wings and rub liberally on the inside and outside of the flesh of the wings.
Add yogurt and the ANGOSTURA® orange bitters to the seasoned wings and gently mix in to coat.
Let marinate for at least 2 hrs to overnight.
Place wings onto an oiled baking sheet pan and place in oven for 35 – 45 minutes to cook uncovered. You can also place wings on a hot grill at 350 degrees F. and grill on both sides until cooked and lightly charred. When done, place your wings onto a platter and serve with biryani rice or spiced potatoes.

Try Angostura Bitters in any of the dishes below
to add a new twist with love

Broiled lemon-garlic shrimp
Angostura burgers / sliders
Apple crumble with Bitters
Be-devilled eggs
Bitter honey ham glaze
Mac & cheese bites
Pulled pork sliders
Better biscuits
Sweet-salty-bitters glazed nuts
Roasted vegetables with Angostura mayonnaise
Rum coffee French toast with Bitters maple syrup
orange coconut rice

Stacks Image 926