How to keep your dinner date from breaking your budget

Restaurant Photography UAE Waldorf Astoria Lexington Grill-11

When my twenty something brother updated his Facebook status recently, I had to stop and take note. The question grabbed my attention, but what held it was the 203 comments in response to the status within a very short period. Surely he was on to something. Curled up sick in bed, I kept on clicking”Load more comments” on my phone so I could start from the very beginning. This was a saga I could not miss.

So what’s the question you wonder? Continue reading

How to Roast a Jamaican Jerk Turkey to spice up your Christmas or holiday table

Authentic Real Jamaican Jerk Turkey Recipe by Chef and Steward -1

Just in time for the holidays, here is the antidote to yet another boring turkey on your table. Whether you love or despise the popular holiday bird, your palate will be dancing to the beat of the Caribbean with these spicy, flavourful notes. Be prepared to have a Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner like no other.

Neither of us used to be crazy about turkey, to be frank. It’s really just a boring bird. Well that is how we have thought of the popular American holiday main dish for most of our years. After all, seasoned with little more than salt and pepper, most of the turkey we have tasted has made chicken look like foie gras.

The Jamaican holiday table is packed with spicy notes that add bang to every bite. We love complex flavours and don’t tolerate bland. Over the years it has become popular along with the staple cured ham at Christmas in Jamaican home. Even though Thanksgiving is not a traditional Jamaican holiday, as a spiritual people, we are happy to share in the spirit of being thankful for whatever our cups have been blessed with. Here’s how to ‘Jamaicanize’ your turkey and have a irie jamming Thanksgiving or Christmas. Continue reading

Chef and Steward’s Jerk Turkey on Design*Sponge

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We suggested it recently but now, we want to actually share the whole thing. If you are really big on blogs, you would have come across Grace Bonny’s mega million pro blog, Design*Sponge.

When their Entertaining Editor, the talented Kristina Gill invited us to submit a recipe, we were gobsmacked. We came up with the recipe together, but I was left to cook, style and shoot on my own (the story of out lives).  The top photo was actually shot a few days after as I was waiting for Chef Lij to demonstrate how to carve the turkey and I had to wait until his day off.

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I am proud to say that the allspice used in the recipe is from our family farm in the hills of Trelawny, Jamaica, farmed by my hard-wording father and we now have limited amounts on sale in the UAE. Contact me for details.

Trinidadian Ponche De Creme | Boozy Caribbean Homemade Eggnog

Ponche De Creme Jamaican Trinidadian Caribbean Egg nog chef and steward-3

If Karyn Williams-Sykes only knew the real reason I look forward to her annual Christmas Party. Yes I quite fancy her company and that of her hobbyist photographer hubby, Phil who gets all nerdy with me about photography and their charming daughter J’Ouvert who leaves me in stitches with her older than her age humour, but my motive has nothing to do with these lovely people. It does not even have to do with the Trini Parang  Christmas music. Instead, it lies in a bottle.

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Fuss- Free Entertaining | Organic Tomato & Salted Fish Salad Recipe

Jamaican Saltfish Salad and Roasted Garlic & Spring Onion Mashed Potatoes-2

Holiday or entertaining meals and side dishes do not have to be all drama and headache. It’s tomato growing season in the Middle East, southern hemisphere and in the tropics where these succulent red orbs thrive all year. If you are cocooned in a real winter somewhere, bookmark this recipe for when you get your hands on fresh seasonal cherry tomatoes.

The organic greenhouses at Greenheart Farms were bursting with a variety of sensationally delicious, ripe, red and even purple tomatoes. As I bit into each of the wide varieties they were growing, the distinct flavours and textures flooded by senses. It took me back to the heirloom tomatoes that my paternal grandfather and his brothers grew in the hilly interior Mocho Mountains in Clarendon, Jamaica. Prento, who had just started solids, and was only used to breast milk, was also covered in fresh tomato pulp and loving it. You can tell the difference with real organic tomatoes and these ones are the real deal.

The local Greenheart tomatoes are in their prime now and are so sweet, succulent and flavourful that they are best eaten in the raw. This salad celebrates tomato in all its glory and is a homage to my Caribbean roots.

This recipe was developed, styled and shot by Kari Heron for a commissioned assignment for Gourmet magazine. 

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