Cooking With Chef Sian: Savouring The Flavors Jamaica

To some a night out savoring the flavors of Jamaica at the prestigious James Beard House  in New York could be considered downright patriotic. Driving 300 miles round trip for dinner might seem a tad extreme to others.  For this Caribbean Chef/ Writer attending such a unique event at this American culinary institution seemed almost like a professional obligation. Having career aspirations  that include a James Beard Award meant attending this event could only serve as inspiration.  The fact that 2 of the featured chefs Noel Cunnningham and  Hugh ‘Chef Irie’ Sinclair are good friends made it personal. So. After a 3 hour drive I settled into my room, showered and set off for… Read More

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Cooking With Chef Sian: Pass The Dutchie

“Pass The Dutchie” For a country gal like myself those words are more than just the title to a catchy reggae tune. They are words to live by.  Countless times I have heard and said  ‘pass the dutchie’ while on a quest to whip up something or another. As of this writing I own 5 dutchies not counting the cast iron ones, in varying sizes. In my defense I’m  old-fashioned way so for tough to cook dishes like curry goat and braised oxtails a varied selection of Dutch pots are a must in my line of work.   Cast iron ‘pots’ come in various shapes and sizes so they get their… Read More

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Cooking With Chef Sian: Cutting It Up

A Dicey Matter If you have ever seen a recipe and wondered, what the difference was between chopped and diced you should read this. The way you cut your foods before final preparation not only affects the final appearance of the dish. It can also have a great deal of impact on quantities used and the finished flavor of your dish. The smaller your cut the more  your vessel holds.  Tastefull Speaking As an inexperienced cook, one of the thing I used to wonder is, does it matter how I chop it as long as I use the right amount?  Well, imagine biting into  something like the conch salad pictured below… Read More

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Cooking With Chef Sian: The Heat Is On

The heat is on To say the heat is on for ‘brand name Chefs’ all over the USA is like saying we have an unpopular President. Awash with the recent wave of sexual harassment/ sexual abuse claims it’s only logical that a couple chef’s would fall victim to the storm. Still, I have been taken aback by numbers and the names. Food addict that I am, I have savored many eyefuls of John Besh and Tom Collochio and Michael Symon and.. you get the idea, over the years. Having worked in a few kitchens over the years I have also come to accept that sexual harassment in some form is… Read More

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Fresh herbs and veggies

Cooking With Chef Sian: Caribbean Herbs & Spices

Caribbean Herbs and Spices (the essential list) Be warned. This will be gonna be along ever evolving list. Once upon a time, some years ago I had an epiphany. Cultural cuisine is define by taste and technique. Not exactly a life changing revelation but a significant one nonetheless. I mean chicken is chicken in any country. But add some curry or a little masala and you’ve suddenly embarked on a culinary journey. The flavors in authentic Caribbean cuisine comes from the use of fresh produce, herbs and spices. Following is a list of essentials for any Caribbean cook.  Regardless of where in the world you are many of the ingredients… Read More

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