Caribbean cuisine, foodways, food history

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*returning champs (BAR) came to defend this year



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October 18, 2022

Winners of the 2022 Events DC Embassy Chef Challenge Announced​




Events DC Embassy Chef Challenge


Events DC Embassy Chef Challenge

The Return of Events DC Embassy Chef Challenge Brings Delicious Competition
Washington, D.C. (October 17, 2022) - After a two-year hiatus, attendees of the 2022 Events DC Embassy Chef Challenge kicked off the inaugural International City Food Festival , traveling the world with their taste buds, sampling bites and beverages from 39 participating D.C.-based foreign embassies. Embassy chefs showcased the unique flavors, food products and beverages of their home countries in a culinary showdown that was bigger than ever before. Chefs competed to win the coveted People’s Choice Award, chosen by guests’ votes, as well as the Judges’ Choice Award, selected by a panel of influential members of the cultural and culinary communities.

Chefs Xianlong Yang, Yuechao Zhao and Song Lin representing the Embassy of China took home first place in the Judge’s Choice category with their fish flavored shrimp balls and mapo tofu. Chef Alam Mendez representing the Embassy of Mexico won second place in the category with pork belly “tamalitos” with guajillo salsa and nopal (cactus) salad. Placing third, Chef Trevon Stoute representing the Embassy of Barbados served a popular plate of crispy pork mille feuille.

Judge's Choice Award


Judges’ Choice podium, from left to right, Chef Alam Mendez, emcee Nycci Nellis, Chef Trevon Stoute, Chefs Xianlong Yang, Yuechao Zhao and Song Lin (Photo Credit: Events DC)

Attendees of the night had the opportunity to vote for their favorite embassies as they tasted their way around the globe. Chef Erwin Villarias representing the Embassy of The Philippines took home first place with chicken inasal and majin ube. Second People’s Choice to Chef Muhammad Asghar and Cultural Attache Maliha Shahid from the Embassy of Pakistan with chicken tikka and gulab jamun. And Chef Boris Ghazarian representing the Embassy of Armenia placed third with seasoned lamb and vegetables over rice, pomegranate sorbet and labneh ice cream with saffron.

People's Choice Award


People’s choice podium, from left to right, Chef Erwin Villarias, Chef Muhammad Asghar, Nycci Nellis, Cultural Attache Maliha Shahid and Chef Boris Ghazarian. (Photo Credit: Events DC)

This year Mixologist AJ Johnson representing The Dominican Republic took home the Best Beverage Award presented by LIFEWTR chosen by the judges. Johnson shook up the competition with a cocktail featuring Brugal Extra Viejo, Chinola liqueur, sherry, orange, mint syrup and cinnamon
 
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The Remarkable Variety of Caribbean Cornmeal​


Caribbean fungi—no relation to mushrooms—is ready for its stateside close-up.



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October 20, 2022

In Caribbean restaurants across America, patrons have become accustomed to common dishes such as jerk chicken, beef patties, and oxtail. The heat and vibrance of Caribbean food has made a splash stateside, but some of the more home-style, foundational dishes are still struggling to gain attention in the restaurant space.

Fungi—pronounced “foon-ji,” with no relation to mushrooms—is one of them. A staple Caribbean cornmeal dish flaked with okra and laced with butter can be found throughout the islands, particularly in the West Indies and Virgin Islands. The thickened, earthy porridge-like dish has roots in slavery itself, and is one of many dishes that demonstrates the importance of cornmeal in Caribbean foodways.


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Most native Virgin Islanders fondly remember fungi as a part of their childhoods, and as a key element of fish and fungi, a common meal
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But the recipe also represents an important piece of Virgin Islands history. Fungi’s roots extend back to the 18th century when, under colonial rule, food was rationed for enslaved Africans on the islands as part of a 1755 law that required slave owners to provide enslaved persons with corn flour or cassava, as well as salt pork.

In his 1992 book, “Slave Society in the Danish West Indies,” the author and professor Neville A.T. Hall writes that this amount would have been two and a half quarts of cassava or cornmeal per week, a small amount considering the hard labor required during harvest season. To fill in the gaps, enslaved Africans grew their own provisions on land hidden from slave owners. Okra, a key ingredient in West African cooking brought to the Caribbean by the trans-Atlantic slave trade, was likely added to the cornmeal around this time, increasing the dish’s nutritional value, adding an earthy flavor and stretching it into a meal that could feed many.


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Preserving this part of Virgin Islands history is important for Julius Jackson, the chef and manager at the cafe and bakery of My Brother’s Workshop, a nonprofit organization that teaches managerial skills and culinary arts in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.
“When they make it, they usually say their grandparents and the adults in their life eat fungi,” Mr. Jackson said of his students.
The decline in the dish’s popularity isn’t unexpected, as it requires more preparation than other staples like fried plantains or rice and beans. The process of whipping, or “turning” it, is a time-consuming task that prevents lumps and aerates the mixture.
But the appeal of fungi is that it uses few ingredients to create a flavorful accompaniment to a stewed or fried protein.

In the cafe and in Mr. Jackson’s cookbook, “My Modern Caribbean Kitchen,” his recipe for fungi is simplified: Cook the okra until tender before whisking in a steady stream of cornmeal. The goal of his lessons at the cafe — and this simplification — is to encourage a new generation of cooks to make fungi at home.

A staple with synonyms​


Ramin Ganeshram, a journalist, food writer, trained chef, and executive director of Connecticut’s Westport Museum for History and Culture, explains, “We call [fungi] cou cou [sometimes written as “coo coo”] in Trinidad, and it's called different things in different parts of the Caribbean.”

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She explained that cornmeal-based fungi takes a variety of shapes across the Caribbean community. Her first memory eating the cornmeal is the way it’s still cooked in Trinidad: with okra. It’s molded into a cake-like or molded figure or some sort, then sliced and eaten with any kind of stewed dish.


“Corntastic” cornmeal​


Ganeshram went on to say that cornmeal itself makes cameos in various guises throughout the Caribbean, and that the diversity of cooked cornmeal shows the range of Caribbean foodways. Beyond fungi and cou cou, it’s also used for pastelles, which are similar to tamales stuffed with seasoned meats, wrapped in banana leaves, and steamed. (Tamales and pastelles are different from Puerto Rican pasteles, which have a plantain–green banana mash base.) On the islands, it’s also common to see cornmeal combined with flour to make Caribbean dumplings.


“The Caribbean is often seen as this monolith to Americans,” says Ganeshram. “They assume that Caribbean food is the same, and all Caribbean accents are the same, and yet we see these incredible distinctions from island to island.”


Queens native Brittney “Stikxz” Williams agrees. The private chef and caterer describes fungi as something that's more prevalent in the Virgin Islands and Barbados. In her Jamaican household growing up, however, her family ate cornmeal in the form of a slightly sweetened porridge. The chef recalls learning as a young girl that the porridge had been considered a form of sustenance for generations.

“It was something that was always eaten for breakfast to sustain [you] hunger, especially for those growing up on farmland [who] were responsible for attending to the land,” she said.


A cuisine beyond jerk chicken​


Recognizing the more unassuming dishes within Caribbean cuisine gives people the opportunity to taste essential Caribbean history and culture, says Ganeshram, who has tried for years to shift the narrative about what island cuisine is about.


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Chef Williams is likewise eager to bring fungi and similar cornmeal dishes to the Caribbean cuisine story, saying that it’s rarely given full attention and credit in restaurant settings. She's tried to counter the idea that cornmeal can’t be used in creative or refined Caribbean dining (polenta, for example, appears on some of the finest Italian menus in the country), and incorporates cornmeal in her menus.


“I love to introduce cornmeal at my dinners whenever I [have] multiple courses, or anything of that sort, because I want everyone to really understand the gravity [of cornmeal] and how impactful each of these specific ingredients hold true to West Indian culture, and to the Caribbean diaspora,” said Williams
 
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Ghetto Gastro's Black Power Kitchen at The Met​


Date and Time​

October 19, 2022


The Met Fifth Avenue
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Details
Jon Gray, Met Civic Practice Partnership alumnus, author, and Ghetto Gastro cofounder

Pierre Serrao*, author, Ghetto Gastro cofounder and chef

Lester Walker, author, Ghetto Gastro cofounder and chef

Osayi Endolyn, author

Jessica B. Harris, culinary historian

Join Ghetto Gastro for an evening celebrating the launch of their first cookbook, Black Power Kitchen. Ghetto Gastro is a culinary collective that uses food as a platform to spark conversation about larger issues surrounding inclusion, race, access, and how food—and knowing how to cook—provides freedom and power.
This panel conversation, moderated by Jessica B. Harris, PhD, culinary historian, and author of the New York Times bestseller, High on the Hog, centers on Black culinary traditions and food and art as tools for resistance.
 
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On Puerto Rico’s ‘pork highway,’ 4 stops for spit-roasted bliss​

The drive south of San Juan rewards travelers with lechón, pasteles and other criollo comfort foods

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October 22, 2022
An employee of Lechonera Los Amigos cuts up pork to serve to customers.




PUERTO RICO HIGHWAY 184 — The road to roast pork begins 30 minutes south of San Juan’s beaches. Paying the toll for Puerto Rico Highway 52 takes you deep into the interior of the island, past weathered houses, towering palms, bamboo forests and sprawls of banana trees.


Exit onto Route 184 near an area called Guavate, Cayey, and you will come upon La Ruta del Lechón, the “pork highway.”

Lechón is spit-roasted pig. When prepared properly, it is some of the juiciest, most flavorful meat on the planet. Pork lovers from all around the world have visited Guavate’s famous, open-air lechoneras.
Why is there so much roast pork along this road? Search for advice on YouTube, and you’ll hear travel gurus explain that these places were established to serve hungry locals driving from Ponce at the southern end of the island to the capital in the north — or vice versa.
A local's guide to San Juan
Lechonera workers here say many of those commuters were actually in the region because of a penitentiary camp (now closed) just a few miles away. Food historian and professor Cruz Miguel Ortíz Cuadra, author of “Eating Puerto Rico: A History of Food, Culture and Identity,” says the lechoneras benefited from their proximity to the prison, which included a farm that raised hogs for surrounding communities. The local pork boasts a distinctly Puerto Rican taste because pigs on the island consume native fruits and vegetables.


Over time, Guavate became the capital of lechoneras.

“Probably it became a very important place to go as a frugal family,” Ortíz says. On holidays and special occasions, families would come for communal feasts of reasonably priced meat.
Small shacks equipped with little beyond a machete and a scale evolved into sprawling, well-maintained properties with bars and dance floors. As they grew, they held onto the food that made them so popular — and the jungle-style meat cleavers.
When Hurricane Fiona landed in September, it brought flash floods and mudslides while knocking out power to the entire island. Around Guavate, the downpour flooded the subtropical terrain and toppled trees. Most of Guavate’s routes have been cleared, residents say, and power has been restored to most of the population. The lechoneras seem to be back to full service, although some relied on generators to function for weeks after the storm.
The ethics of travel after a hurricane
On Highway 184, there are plenty of lechoneras worth a stop. You could simply follow the aroma of the rotisseries until you land at a place you like. On your first visit, though, you should consider one of the most popular.

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Lechonera Los Amigos​

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An employee of Lechonera Los Amigos cuts up pork to serve to customers on Sept. 12, 2022.


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Lechonera El Mojito​

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Customers order take out from Lechonera El Mojito on Sept. 12, 2022.


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Lechonera Los Pinos​

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Employees serve food at the Lechonera Los Pinos on Sept. 12, 2022.

4

Lechonera El Rancho Original​

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A sign that reads “Guavate” on the roof of Lechonera El Rancho Original
 
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Jason Derulo Enters The Non-Alcoholic Beverage Space With TREO, Functional Flavored Birch Water​


November 2, 2022


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Jason Derulo has acquired a large ownership stake in the only organic line of beverages made with birch water in the United States, TREO, according to an announcement made by the brand today.

Bringing the internationally chart-topping and famous social media influencer on board represents an exciting move for the brand founded to create the next generation of healthy drinks.
Derulo, a fitness enthusiast, will be an active brand ambassador for TREO in conjunction with his first and only investment in the non-alcoholic beverage space. He considers it his mission to share TREO's plant-powered beverages, which provide taste and hydration without added sugar, excess calories, caffeine, or manufactured additives, with his fans and over 50 million TikTok followers. Derulo fell in love with TREO after using it to hydrate and recover from strenuous exercise and performances.

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TREO beverages contain only 1 gram of sugar per bottle, 1-2 net carbs, and 15-20 calories. It is USDA Organic, ROC Certified, and Non-GMO Project Verified, in addition to being caffeine-free, gluten-free, vegan, and keto-friendly
 
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Food writer and cook Melissa Thompson on the flavours of Jamaica​

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Centuries of influences are at play in a cuisine rich in meat dishes and fish in all forms.
Stewed oxtail
By Melissa Thompson

17 Oct 2022

Coronation Market in Kingston, Jamaica’s capital, seems to go on forever, a winding sprawl of streets with vendors selling everything from roasted breadfruit to knock-off branded sports vests. Food is a big draw for people who shop here. Sellers sit under the shade of zinc roofs behind produce stacked high: scotch bonnets, thyme, yams, cling film-wrapped saltfish, pimento berries, ackee fruit — ingredients destined for classic dishes, whose influences spread well beyond the island’s coastline.

Jamaica’s cuisine is tightly interwoven with its history, with roots in both the Indigenous population and those who came here. From the Indigenous Taino to the Spanish who arrived in the 16th century, the British who landed in the 17th century and then the hundreds of thousands of West and Central Africans brought over, enslaved to labour in sugar production, everyone left their mark. To eat Jamaican food — ackee and saltfish, roasted yam, jerk chicken, stewed oxtail and much more — is to partake in its history.

Escovitch fish with a side of bammy reflects the Spanish influence — escovitch comes from the Spanish escabeche, meaning ‘to pickle’, while bammy (cassava bread) originates with the Taino, who were recorded making the dish as early as the 16th century.

Meanwhile, in Boston, on the north coast, jerk pork, chicken, goat and even lobster are slowly cooked on pimento branches suspended over a fire. Shaded from the sun, diners feast on the flavour-packed meat with a side of press plantain and pepper (scotch bonnet) sauce, washed down with a cold Red Stripe beer.

Jerk was created in the nearby mountains by Africans who’d escaped enslavement — known as Maroons — and the few Taino who’d survived the Spanish. They seasoned wild pigs to preserve and flavour the meat, cooking it underground so that smoke wouldn’t give their position away. It’s one of the island’s most famous dishes, and with good reason.
Motherland by Melissa Thompson is published by Bloomsbury, £26.
Melissa  Thompson is a food writer and  cook, and author of new cookbook Motherland.

Melissa Thompson is a food writer and cook, and author of new cookbook Motherland.

Three must-try dishes​

1. Stewed pork
All over the island, you’ll find cook shops — eateries that look simple but serve brilliant food, like stewed pork. Dark and sticky, it’s slow-cooked to perfection and seasoned with pimento, browning (a sauce made by burning sugar) and vegetables.
2. Mackerel rundown
Salted mackerel was a vital source of protein during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. This dish is named after its sauce, made with coconut milk ‘run down’ over the heat until thick, and makes for a lovely breakfast.

3. Soups
Red peas (kidney beans), chicken foot and mannish water (made with goat meat and offal) are some favourites. In Castleton, janga (crayfish) soup is a must-try, gently spicy and packed with vegetables and dumplings.

The iconic ingredient​

With an aroma similar to cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg — hence its British name, allspice — pimento is used in everything, from jerk to stewed chicken and oxtail.
 
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Inside The Winners Of This Year’s Caribbean Rum Awards, Including The World’s Best Rum​


Nov 6, 2022

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As Caribbean rum week wraps up, the world’s rums duked it out to see what bottlings and brands would be crowned the best in the world.

This year, agricole rhum and molasses rums competed for top honors. Rhum Neisson 21 90th Anniversary Edition championed the rum category.

Seven rum experts from across the world judged a spread of rums and new releases. Applicants were limited down to 59 finalist rums across eight categories including VSOP, Hors d’age and several premium categories. Winners of each of the eight categories face off for the honor of being crowned the world’s best rum.

“This was the most impressive field of rums we have ever had,” said Alexander Britell, co-founder of the Caribbean Rum Awards St Barth. “And once again, Martinique’s Rhum Neisson took home the top honors.
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This is the second year in a row the Martinique rum brand has been crowned world champion and the second year Flor de Cana has come second to Rhum Neisson. This year, the aged rhum agricole beat out Nicaragua’s Flor de Cana V Generaciones 30-Year expression.
 
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Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival Makes a Roaring Comeback​

Nov 14, 2022


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MIRAMAR – After a two-year break due to COVID-19, the aroma of jerked food and feel of pulsating reggae rhythms were a perfect combination for Eddy Edwards and his team, organizers of the Grace Jamaica Jerk Festival.
The event made a grand return to Miramar Regional Park with a groundswell of support from fans of arguably South Florida’s most popular live show.
Edwards, who co-founded the festival in 2001, was pleased with the response.

“We are all elated to be back celebrating our 20th anniversary, Jamaica’s 60th, and title sponsor Grace Foods’ 100th. It was a good feeling seeing festival fans back in the park enjoying themselves after a two-year hiatus,” he said.
Throughout the day, patrons savoured a variety of jerked food from vendors, and participated in family activities which included a live show featuring Tarrus Riley, Cham, Romaine Virgo and Christopher Martin.
There were also cameos from Mykal Roze and Duane Stephenson and during a break, Juliet Holness, wife of Jamaican prime minister Andrew Holness.
 
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Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton and his mom are bringing a family recipe to Phoenix restaurants​


In collaboration with Fox Restaurant Concepts, the Ayton family’s Caribbean cuisine will raise money for local charity Helping Hands for Single Moms
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Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (right) prepares one of his mother’s family recipes with Fox Restaurant Concepts executive chef Kenny Woods at a test kitchen in Scottsdale, Arizona.

November 16, 2022

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Chef Kenny Woods watched closely as Deandre Ayton raised his fork to his mouth to eat the familiar special dish of Caribbean sea bass, jerk rice, pigeon peas, coconut lime slaw and spicy mango preserves made to taste just like mama’s.
Cooking amazing meals is commonplace for the renowned executive chef for Fox Restaurant Concepts in Arizona, which serves more than 50 restaurants nationwide. In this special case, however, Woods was challenged to replicate the aforementioned Caribbean dish from the family recipes of Andrea Ayton, Ayton’s mother. And when Ayton smiled after a few bites, Woods knew for sure that he had cooked a meal to the Phoenix Suns center’s liking, a meal that will now raise money for a local charity.

“I was confident that he would like it,” Woods told Andscape. “I knew I got the rice flavor down after testing the recipe 10 or so times. I took so many notes and pictures when Andrea taught me how to make it. I am confident she would love it. After DA’s reactions, he told me the rice tasted identical to his mother’s. He was shocked and blown away.”
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The Caribbean sea bass, jerked spice rice, pigeon peas, coconut lime slaw and spicy mango preserve recipe of Andrea Ayton’s family recreated by chef Kenny Woods

Andrea Ayton has used Jamaican-Bahamian food as a way of not only feeding her family, friends and the less fortunate, but also showing love and family heritage. Earlier this year, Ayton and his mom came up with the idea of raising money for an Arizona charity through her tasty food. Ayton’s representation groups Innovate and WME Sports contacted The Henry, a popular restaurant near the Suns’ practice facility often frequented by the players.

The Henry was ecstatic to team up with the Aytons for the charity opportunity to add the dish to its menu starting Wednesday at The Henry and Culinary Dropout locations in Arizona. With each meal purchased, 10% of sales will be donated to Helping Hands for Single Moms, which assists the families of low-income single mothers. The meal will be on the menu until January before being changed by the Aytons, and the partnership lasts through April, said Bailey Williams, Ayton’s client service representative.
Ayton said it was an “honor” for his mother to not only bring the family dish to Suns fans and Arizona, but to help a charity that she has been passionate about.

“It’s crazy to know that my mom has a whole dish in a restaurant that is so highly valued,” Ayton said. “It is different. My mom never had me in the kitchen, so to be in the kitchen with the chef teaching me how she cooked her dish was different. This is all my mom. She was a giving person when we were back in Nassau and didn’t have nothing. If I’m outside with my friends from around the block playing, she is not just calling me in for dinner, she is calling everyone in for dinner. She’s feeding everyone’s kids and giving them food to bring back home.”
Said Fox Restaurant Concepts marketing director Hayden Wolven: “It’s definitely a winning dish. We think it’s going to be a top seller. We hope that is the case so we can raise as much money as we can for Helping Hands for Single Moms.”

For 20 years, Helping Hands for Single Moms has helped hundreds of single moms to earn college degrees, with a graduation rate of nearly 80%. Helping Hands for Single Moms has helped 335 single moms earn college degrees and 190 become nurses, according to the program’s CEO Chris Coffman.
Coffman hopes that the Aytons’ aid will educate more people about Helping Hands for Single Moms, which may spark more interest in donation and partnership.

Ayton and his mother have worked with Helping Hands for Single Moms for several years now, Coffman said. The Aytons have hosted lunches and dinners and provided grocery gift cards and Puma sneakers for women involved with the organization.



In December 2021, Andrea Ayton was given the My Mom, My Hero award from Helping Hands Single Mom for her charity work. Andrea Ayton was too shy to speak, so Ayton spoke on his mother’s behalf.
 
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Top Chef Canada Winner: Season 10​

November 15, 2022


After numerous quickfire and elimination challenges, season 10 of came to an exciting conclusion in the Cayman Islands. It all came down to Trevane ‘Tre’ Sanderson from Toronto, ON and Deseree ‘Dez’ Lo from Vancouver, BC. In the end, Tre reigned victorious making him the first Black winner of Top Chef Canada.


From the beginning, Tre showed that age is just a number by winning the first elimination challenge with his jerk shrimp. He continued to show his culinary skills throughout the competition, all while staying true to his style and Jamaican flavours.


Tre cooking in the final quickfire challenge.


The final quickfire challenge was to take a local fresh fish and cook it over a wood fire grill, while also creating a Top Chef Canada quality dish. Tre was given triggerfish, a white flakey fish with a sweet flavour. We saw him struggle, as this was a fish he had never used before – but he pulled through and made his way to the final challenge.


In an “old school versus new school” battle, Dez and Tre were challenged to serve a five-course tasting menu for the Top Chef Canada judges. With the support of fellow competitor Camillo as his sous-chef, Tre served a menu inspired by his childhood, drawing influence from his Jamaican heritage.


His second main, a curry chicken breast with yam, Jamaican sweet potato puree and dumplings, did not wow the judges as he had hoped. Judge Mark McEwan also believed that Tre’s dessert – a spiced rum cake with glazed caramel plantains and cashew cream – was playing it a bit safe for the finale. However his other courses including a red snapper escovitch with caramelized shallots and roasted red pepper puree, blew them away and in the end – Tre was awarded the title of Top Chef Canada
 
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*crowd funding pitch video from 2020


Philadelphia’s First Black-Owned Brewery To Open Location In 2023​




November 14, 2022


Back in 2020, we first brought you a profile on Two Locals, and how they were aiming to change the beer scene in Philadelphia. In March of 2021 the brewery released its first cans, and later in 2021 announced they would be available at Eagles games. The time has now come for the two brothers behind Two Locals to find a space of their own!
Two Locals has signed on to build their brewery and taproom at uCity Square, on 37th Street in Philadelphia. This is a mixed-use development building on the Drexel University Campus that’s been around since 2018 and has never had a tenant. The new brewery has an estimated opening of late summer/fall 2023.
We spoke with Rich Koilor, co-owner of Two Locals, along with his brother Mengistu, to find out more about the location, and what beer fans can expect.
“I am excited to get started, brew some beer, and be a legit brewery. We are hoping to get more people in the community into craft beer and brewing.” – Richard Koilor, co-owner of Two Locals Brewing Company
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Two Locals owners Mengistu Koilor (L) and Richard Koilor (R). Photo Courtesy of FCM Hospitality.
The space is about 6,000 sq/ft with a little over 2,000 of that for the brewhouse, and about 1,300 for the taproom. The taproom will have a bar/dining area with a small private area as well. There will be 12 taps at the bar, with seating for about 10. In total, the brewery will have seating for about 80 inside, with additional outdoor seating space on the sidewalk.
Rich told us they want to have murals inside to represent Philly as well as their culture. HE described the future space as having lots of plants, natural light, and open space.
They are installing a 15 BBL brewhouse in the space, with some 30 BBL fermenters. Since they will be brewing it all themselves, Two Locals will end the contracting they have done over the last few years. The two most popular beers they make, Prolific Hazy IPA and Nubian Brown Ale, will of course be made. Rich told us they plan to make a good mix of lagers, IPAs, and stouts (specifically culinary stouts – not pastry stouts) not too sweet but still flavors. The brothers also want to make fruited/tart ales with different types of fruits that represent their culture (they are both Jamaican and Liberian).
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Photo Courtesy of FCM Hospitality.

For the Kitchen, the plan is to have bar food, staple dishes, and weekly specials that are influenced by their Jamaican background. Each month, they plan to feature a new restaurant to give them the opportunity.
 
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*Science journal article about history & local names, knowledge, and usage of BREADFRUIT in four countries in the English speaking Caribbean.
Jamaica, St Kitts & Nevis, St Vincent & The Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.
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November 2022

 
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Omar Tate & Cybille St.Aude-Tate on Celebrating Black Foodways and Building Better Food Systems in Philadelphia​


With Honeysuckle Provisions, co-founders Omar Tate and Cybille St.Aude-Tate are offering something comfortingly familiar but also radically new. Their Afrocentric grocery store and cafe opened last month in West Philadelphia to serve a neighborhood where fresh, organic produce and healthy food options were in short supply. Building on over a decade of experience working as chefs mostly in New York City—with both also running successful pop-ups until the pandemic hit—the couple wanted to create a different kind of food space. Honeysuckle Provisions directly supports Black farmers, dismantles toxic kitchen culture, and celebrates Black foodways with menu highlights like the BLACKenglish muffin (named after a James Baldwin essay), or a cup of the COWPEAcoffee (a nod to George Washington Carver). Throughout their careers, both chefs have used food as an outlet for sparking impactful conversations: Omar is an artist and poet, who was named Esquire’s Chef of the Year in 2020 and was featured on the Time100 Next list in 2021. Cybille has cooked at the James Beard House, appeared on the TV show Chopped, and explores her Haitian heritage through culinary projects like a recent dinner hosted with the family of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. In the last three years, the couple fell in love, got married, had a baby (with a second on the way), and launched Honeysuckle Provisions—but, as you’ll hear, they’re just getting started
 
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