Kitchen Talk 2018

Saturday, January 06, 2018

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Welcome to 2018. There's lots to celebrate this year and no better place to start really than in the kitchen with our beloved chefs. Thursday Food asked a few of our favourite men who cook to divulge the ingredient/s that they'll be making the most use of this year.

Our first stop was at the multi-award-winning Restaurant of the Year, Sugar Mill Restaurant of the Half Moon Resort Hotel where Chef-de-Cuisine Christopher Golding revealed his 2018 ingredient: Coconut milk

Christopher Golding, chef de cuisine, Sugar Mill Restaurant

In the past few years we have seen where Jamaican cuisine has been elevated. Chefs are using local favourites in innovative ways while still honouring their traditional uses. One such ingredient is coconut milk.

Coconut milk is very versatile, packs a powerful punch and has great nutritional value to boot. It is a perfect substitute for egg and dairy products, eg it may be used in fruitcake for those allergic to eggs or even as a coffee creamer. It adds texture to soups, sauces and stews.

The Sugar Mill Restaurant is known for its unique twist on Jamaican cuisine. Coconut milk is used in our smoked pumpkin soup (gluten-and dairy-free) and our breadfruit gnocchi is served with coconut tomato sauce.

For 2018, think: bean stew simmered in coconut milk and wrapped in wilted pak choi.

Executive Chef Ravi Anne – Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort & Spa/Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort & Spa

I will be using a lot of tamarind in 2018 and the reasons are:

- It's a very underrated fruit which has outstanding natural benefits for health

- Sweet, sour, acidic, very tangy and so very versatile

- I grew up on a tamarind plantation and would love to experiment more based on the qualities it possesses.

Executive Chef Mark Scott – Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort...

Will be using: Powders, ground turmeric and matcha in my sauces, soups, dressings and desserts. They are easy to incorporate in any recipe.

Flavours of different floral essence - hibiscus /rose petals and lavender will be used in ice creams, dressings and cocktails

“Root to Stem” vegetables and fruits. Too often there's so much waste created in the food industry. To play my part in reducing food waste, vegetables such as carrots/beets/broccoli etc will be used to create stem slaws/ pesto / various pearls, the use of fruits such as jackfruit / watermelon rind in creating various stews, soups, dessert options nothing goes to waste.

Executive Chef Steve Sowa Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa...

Jamaican ginger and turmeric, for their wonderful flavour and health benefits!

The health benefits of ginger/turmeric are numerous — it may increase lifespan. It has anti-inflammatory properties. It can help manage diabetes. It has anti-cancer properties. It boosts brain repair and prevents Alzheimer's. It aids digestion, nausea and vomiting. It improves heart health, prevents stroke and heart attack.

Some menu ideas that we will use throughout 2018 include:

Sweet Potato, Ginger and Turmeric Soup

Ginger-Turmeric Cauliflower “Steak”

Coconut Turmeric Pie

Hot Ginger-Turmeric Latte

Fried Rice with kale, ginger and turmeric

Turmeric-Ginger Chicken Soup

Crispy Skin Salmon with Turmeric-Yogurt Sauce Honey-Ginger-Turmeric Roast Pork Ginger-Turmeric Salad Dressing

Stefan Spath, corporate executive chef, Couples Resorts, Jamaica

Honey! Will be my go-to-ingredient. I love it as a natural sweetener which gives food a lot more flavour and depth than regular sugar. It's very versatile and is so easy to use to sweeten natural juices, desserts, salads and dressings as well as glazes for savoury foods. What's better than natural honey and cheese? Honey has many proven health benefits such as anti-inflammatory, a natural flu fighter, and helps prevent heart disease. As an environmentalist I also want to support the local beekeepers and create awareness of the fact that bees are dying at an alarming rate. In Jamaica we have superb quality honey and I feel it is underutilised and undervalued.

Executive Chef Dennis McIntosh

“I will be making more effort to find and use locally grown products from fresh herbs to lettuce, cherry tomato red skin potatoes, goat cheese and lamb in order to further cement links with the farming community plus support the ongoing drive to eat what we grow.

From Farm to Plate

Mark Cole, executive chef, Jamaica Pegasus Hotel

Throughout 2017 my focus was cooking with a unique Jamaican accent.

For 2018, I intend to continue introducing even more bold new flavours. Menus will be created with an emphasis on fresh Jamaican ingredients with high nutritional value and indigenous flavours. I will continue to create dishes with the harvest from our rivers like mullet, bussu, oysters and janga. Things we reaped in our country gardens as children like coolie plum, garden cherries, jackfruit, dasheen, yams and 'seville' orange will appear at some of the finest banquets that we will host. The focus will be on developing Jamaican gastronomy using modern cooking methods and presentation styles.




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