What were your experiences of food growing up and do you have one particularly memorable dish as a kid?
The most memorable dish from my childhood would have to be the national dish of the island of Montserrat which is a curried goat stew called ‘Goat Water’. It was called ‘Goat Water because it was more lumps of goat meat in a thin broth than stew but it tasted like heaven. It was a dish saved for a family get together or some other special occasion and was served in a paper cup with winged handles alongside a chunk of fresh bread and a funny story from an uncle you never knew you had.
Things changed when my brother, my sister and I moved back to London. We were poor and had to make do with whatever was in the kitchen, if there was anything in the kitchen but this made me a very savvy chef able to knock up a three course meal from two ingredients.
How have your Caribbean roots influenced your cooking?
Well I’d love to say that they have had a lot of influence, however, I seem to have my mother’s palate and since she hails from Cornwall that means that while my father can eat chilli peppers by the hand full, I start to shed tears if there’s too much cracked black. Consequently I have developed a taste for cuisines like Italian which rely less on spice to play with taste.
Have you got any favourite food bars in music?
Favourite would be by Jehst:
“Don’t ever hand me a dead mic, hand me a light and a red stripe. “
But that’s more beverage related huh. How about this…In an English man in New York, Sting says….
‘I don’t take coffee I take tea my dear, I like my toast done on one side.’
While I’m not sure about the coffee I find I must respect a man who is adamant about how he wants his toast to be cooked.
Quick Fire Round:
Pad Thai or Ramen noodles?
Ramen noodles (but only if they make their own noodles. Any place else is a soup bar.)
Whisky or Rum?
Rum the thinking man’s whisky (although Japanese whisky filled my glass for a while)
Double cheese burger or Lobster roll?
Double cheese bay bay (think I over did it on sea food as a kid so I don’t have much of a taste for it now I’m all grown up.
Are there any eating spots in Hackney or around the world that you wana give a shout out?
Tonkotsu East off Kingsland high Road is the Ramen joint I spoke of before. Noodles made fresh in house in a windowed noodle room so you can see them being made.
Roti stop in Stoke Newington. No trip to hackney would be the same without a boneless chicken roti with channa (chick peas) and just a little tamarind sauce.
Of course I need to shout out my little brothers place too. My brother ‘Stranger’ is a ridiculously good rapper but also head chefs at Brewdog in soho. Get down there and get your burger on.
Food Bar Round:
Can you finish these food bars from a fellow Hackney emcee – Klashnekoff?
“As we travel through Trial and Tribulations Avenue
Destination Xanadu, smokin’ a zoot, drinkin’ …”
“Jack dans and malibu” mmmmmmmmm
Heights, gold and green noodles.
Okay so the deal here is to get the good stock Rasta colours into your dish. Variations are welcomed but here is my original recipe. For it you will need:
Noodles (packet per person more or less)
1 sweet potato
1 broccoli (what is the singular here? 1 broc?)
1 red bell pepper (capsicum as some might say)
1/2 red onion
1/2 veg stock cube
To start bring a large pan of water to the boil.
Add a pinch of salt and then once boiling chuck in your peeled and chopped sweet potato. It wants to be chopped fairly small so it takes less time to cook. I like mine rustic so not too small if I’m coming to dinner.
While that’s bubbling away you want to throw in that half a stock cube and get started on your chopping. First, cut the broccoli into small florets and then cut those in half or into bite size chunks. Next chop up your onion and red pepper. Dice the onion up real nice and leave the pepper a little bigger. Once done, throw your broccoli in with the sweet potato and warm some olive oil in a large frying pan. Pinch of salt and a fair bit of cracked black pepper and some herbs added to the frying pan then onions and pepper follow. Once you got a little flavour in the pan, lower the heat a bit and strain your broccoli and sweet potato but keep the water! This is important as it’s what’s going to make your noodles pop. Veg strained, add them to the frying pan and stir it up. Meanwhile cook your noodles in the water from your veg for the recommended amount of time. Once done, strain and dump them in with the rest. Turn it over a few times and it is ready to serve. Plate up and grate a little bit of your favourite cheese on top. (Mine’s Cheddar) and Boom! There you have it folks, a filling and comforting meal that also serves to celebrate the rastafarian mindset.