Sunday, October 30, 2011


the first day of the big event at the jean pierre complex/hasely crawford stadium was as unexpected for us as one of kes the illusionist's tricks to an unsuspecting patron. why?

well we expected a great show from iron chef garces (yes english, i did see him chop up the nuts with his knife like he was slicing paper or something). after all, he's an iron chef...

we expected to stumble upon some of those fine products that pop up at events like these...

we expected to see some friends of the blog, like Brian from the tobago blue food festival entry...

we even expected some good entertainment like the ever comical, ever lyrical nuts landing...

steel pan... check.

and tambu bamboo... check.

but we didn't expect to be that moved by the young culinarians competition. i mean, the excitement, the passion on display and the performances by all the teams involved was out of this world. and this is just the semi finals.

it was really nice to see the students making the most of the iron chef's presence.

surely a once in a lifetime opportunity that any motivated, aspiring chef would love.

of course we're going to show you the recording, but seeing it live is a whole different ball game.

check out the video below, but come down today to the finals and check it out live:

Friday, October 28, 2011


so, 1 day before the big taste t&t international culinary festival, we start to get the questions: "so when de iron chef comin?" "de iron chef reach yet?" "yuh know if de iron chef comin still?" yuh know trinbagonians. we have to see it to believe it... myself included. so we went up to the airport to see it for ourselves and to reassure everybody that iron chef jose garces will really be at the event judging the cooking competition and doing some demonstrations live.

we weren't disappointed. the seemingly omni-present chef debra sardinha-metivier did the formal welcoming in the TDC booth at piarco (quite a snazzy spot actually), while we looked on thinking "aye look the dude from tv right here."

chef debra didn't come with her hands swinging either. as part of the greeting, the iron chef received a "trini to the bone" bag, along with an explanation of the anthem that made the phrase a national i.d.

he also got a cool chef's jacket with the event logo on it. i looked around to see if there was another one that i could beg for, but no such luck or jacket was to be found.

talking on camera to ann-marie ganness of cnc3, the ecuadorian-born chef said that he was looking forward to working with the local produce and giving lots of what seems to be the patented jose garces bear hug (sounds like he's famous for it or something). he seemed intrigued by ann-marie's suggestion of the top 2 must have local foods, roti and bake and shark. for the first time it dawned on me how awesome it must make us sound when we tell visitors "yo... we eat SHARKS down here. it's our thing!"

anyway, fear not. the iron chef is here in the flesh and would be at the taste t&t international culinary festival saturday 29th october and sunday 30th october. we're not planning to miss this one... we think you shouldn't either.

check him out in motion:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


really, this year's edition of taste t&t is no joke. the international culinary festival started off with workshops featuring chef claus meyer (in front) and chef bo frederiksen (behind the work station) at the trinidad hilton. in case you haven't opened the new tab to pull up the google page as yet, chef meyer is the co-owner of noma, a nordic gourmet restaurant that holds the title of "best restaurant in the world 2010". in other words, he's kind of a big deal.

not to sound like a line from a batman comic, but the dynamic duo hosted a very interesting discussion called "a conceptual approach to indigenous ingredients". they put forward some interesting ideas that fused their nordic style with ingredients that are locally available.

like this drink made with cabbage, celery, apple and pear, which they identified as a method they use to give their children the benefits of cabbage in their diet.

and a cheviche inspired dish made with carite. it was a favourite with the chefs, so by the time we switched lenses, there wasn't enough on anybody's plate to shoot.

but we were in time to catch this light appetizer that featured steamed cauliflower, a creamy cauliflower puree, a shadon beni sauce and some crispy bread.

and this blue crab soup which the chef described as crab and dumplin without the crab and dumplin. obviously somebody gave them the grand culinary tour.

most interesting was chef meyer's message, which wasn't to try and imitate nordic cooking, but quite the opposite. his was a message of harnessing the power of local ingredients. inspiration to cook with not just what you have but with who you are, thus making a connection between caribbean culture and caribbean cooking. he went as far as to suggest that we don't need to order fancy italian wares because it's the in thing, but use local art and craft to enhance unique culinary experiences. as a lover of local food, that sounded great to me.

from all accounts, taste t&t international culinary festival is something that shouldn't be missed. but don't take my word for it. listen to the passion in the voices of the chefs themselves:

Monday, October 24, 2011


not to be confused with our doubles quest soon to come, we had to clear the air about how difficult it is to eat a doubles in public before the TASTE T&T INTERNATIONAL CULINARY FESTIVAL coming up next weekend. we don't want people heading down there and missing out on the doubles because they don't know how to handle de scene. so we did this video to help out. take it in:

now yuh good to come down an eat one.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


we go to the market often. it's the real place to get good quality produce, seasoning and some serious kicks. characters galore! i'm not quite sure why we never captured the experience, but this opportunity was the push we needed. a chance to go to the market with culinary professionals both local and international.

what's happening is, the taste t&t international culinary festival is beginning this monday with a workshop for culinary students, run by danish master chef claus meyer, affiliated professor and gastronomic entrepreneur. so to get the best local produce to use at the workshop, his sous chef bo frederiksen (the dude wearing the sweater. somebody could have warned the guy about the heat) accompanied by chef debra sardinha-metivier (the lovely lady with the all-important black book) and hilton trinidad's executive chef israel calderon (the cool guy in the long sleeve shirt) went to NAMDEVCO's northern wholesale market at macoya. we would never say no to tag along on that.

i knew the chefs would have a great time among all that fresh produce while sharing insights, describing flavours and giving examples of the usage of the products. it was great to listen in.

i think our variety looked impressive. quite a decent showing.

and quality was good too.

of course they sampled stuff to get more acquainted with the flavours.

including our most illustrious ingredient shadon beni.

but they really got some good stuff. not just good quality, but good quantity too.

ah mean... was the first time i've ever seen somebody buy 23lbs of provision...

and a bag of cucumber. "ok, i'll take one bag." what?? fun times.

all in all, it was a fun experience. what we really enjoyed was seeing the event generate revenue for some of our local suppliers and understanding what a great channel for information and exposure it will be for our culinary students and professionals alike. if this was any indication of the kind of experience the culinary festival will bring to the table, we're definitely not missing out on that. you shouldn't either. keep posted at the tdc facebook page. you don't want to miss this one.

check out the experience in motion:

Sunday, October 9, 2011


we've been following TDC culinary events for quite some time now and they've been a lot of fun. but we think that this version of TASTE T&T might be the biggest thus far. it's the INTERNATIONAL CULINARY FESTIVAL happening at the Hasely Crawford Stadium & Jean Pierre Complex on October 29th & 30th.

we're not just excited to head down and sample food from mexico, jamaica, grenada, antigua, anguilla and of course our local street food, but we're looking forward to checking out the demo kitchens hosted by the international chefs that are coming. and speaking about chefs, we're getting to see an IRON CHEF in the flesh. Chef Jose Garces is coming to be a part of it. i mean... as iron chef fans, we have to be there.

but you don't have to be a food network junkie to come down. all you have to do is be hungry.

check the TDC facebook page to stay in the know.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


we've been hearing about fanatic friday for a while now, so when our friends at FKS invited us to our first one, there was no way we were going to say no.

like most of the events in this unique space, this was an interactive affair that featured cocktails and tapas with mixologist hans crosby and chef shelton alexis 'the orgasmic chef'.

so in one corner, hans mixed up some tasty cocktails and refilled drinks all night.

we couldn't decide which was more fun. having the drinks or looking at hans make them.

but he wasn't just making drinks. while he poured his magic, he was giving us a step by step demonstration. an education in mixology.

and of course, he brought some volunteers up to practice what he was just preaching.

as it turned out, the crowd was full of quick learners who got it shaking in no time.

meanwhile, tapas were coming along on chef shelton's side. he had a lot in store for us.

tasty little bites like this fried plantain with spinach and feta cheese that were as delicious...

as they were beautiful to look at.

lots of different little things to dip like fried breadfruit.

and lots of things to dip them in, like this tangy white fish sauce.

and this tangy pommecythere dip.

not to mention these conch fritters with this spicy sauce.

anyway, back on the cocktails side, it became apparent to the crowd why hans was giving all the instructions. there was a cocktail competition and guess who was one of the 3 judges? that's right, this lovely lady in white.

oh yeah, i was also a judge. fun times.

so basically there were 4 contestants who were free to use whatever ingredients they wished to concoct their unique cocktail. the ladies went first.

then the guys stepped up to the plate.

the submissions were actually good. the winning submission (2nd from the right) tasted like something i would order at a bar. grapes and kiwi with vodka for the win. it was a fitting way to bring the evening to a close though. all in all, fanatic friday was a lot of fun. i'm sure this isn't going to be my last.