I recently took a trip back to my homeland of Trinidad & Tobago to get back in touch with my culinary roots and was I in for a surprise! After 25 years, of course there were a myriad of changes, and I was happy to see how far the country had come but I was not prepared for the changes I experienced, especially in the culinary arena. The emergence of real supermarkets, farmers' markets and the plethora of high-end restaurants and other food outlets blew my mind, but more importantly, showed me how the new breed of chef artisans are using the humble local produce to produce fine dining dishes. I was particularly impressed with Chef Khalid Mohammed's No.1 rated, fine dining restaurant, Chaud. I made it a point to get a reservation at Chaud to experience Chef Khalid's sublime creations. His take on a local dish, called a Breadfruit Oil-Down served with the local Grouper and garnished with crispy fried okra (real down-home food) was transformed into a 5-star dish. He uses mostly local spices and marinades to season his dishes, but his techniques are classical French; the results are amazing! I cannot wait to revisit some of the dishes I grew up with and incorporate them into my brand of Global Cuisine and introduce them to my clients. The lesson I learned is that sometimes what is old can be new again, and deliciously so. I feel so blessed to have made the trip "home"! Stay tuned for more information on my Culinary travels!
- Chef G.