Fine Cuisine Magazine

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C R E D I T S Publisher: VIVIAN-ANNE GITTENS Editor: APRILLE THOMAS Advertising Manager: PAULETTE JONES Editorial Team: OMAR ROBERTSON, CHERYL HAREWOOD, DAWN MORGAN, LYNNE-MARIE SIMMONS Consulting Chef: OMAR ROBERTSON Photography: MARK KING Design/Layout: RANDY PHILLIPS – IMAGEWORX Advertising Executive: DEBBIE BRATHWAITE - TEL: (246) 430-5518 Email: Advertising Coordinator: WENDEY DELANEY – TEL: 430-5517 Printers: PRINTWEB CARIBBEAN LTD (246) 434-6719

Editor’s Note Christmas time is here again, so deck the halls, ring the bells, and of course, lay the table. The season tends to bring out the chefs and bakers in all of us, and as a result we tend to have our ears pricked for a new dish to try. As families gather for the holidays, we know that you will be looking for ways to impress them, whether it is with a Roasted Pork Loin with Oven Roasted Local Root Vegetables, or a White Chocolate Ginger Crème Brûlée. In this issue we hope to grab, educate and entertain you with all things food. Here at Fine Cuisine we stayed on the beat of the recently held Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival to catch a glimpse – and a taste – of what’s fresh and new on the local and international scenes. We linked up with celebrity chef Paul Yellin to find out about cooking with rum. Yes, we said rum! As with all Bajan Christmas gatherings, drinks are also found on the menu. So if you’re looking to experiment in that area, why not check out the interesting recipes from our renowned mixologists? Or even our version of the traditional Sorrel drink. And if you don’t think that mixing drinks is your forte, we will at least suggest what you should have in your home bar, and unique drinks

parties you can throw. There’s something for everyone in our magazine and so we are happy to present options for those of you with alternative diets who still want to enjoy a hearty Christmas meal. And for those with a sweet tooth, why not spoil yourselves with some chocolate? Lastly, we hope to entertain you with a food diary from a foodie just like yourselves, whose aim is to explore all things culinary, one kitchen or restaurant at a time. So sit back and enjoy our fun-filled issue. We hope you enjoy this gem as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you. After your successful Christmas menu, please call or email us and let us know which recipes you loved the most. We look forward to our next issue in the New Year. Happy, hearty and healthy holiday greetings to you from all of us here at Fine Cuisine.

Aprille Thomas Editor

Fine Cuisine is produced by The Nation Publishing Co. Limited; a subsidiary of The Nation Corporation, which is a member of the One Caribbean Media Limited (OCM) group of companies. For General Info email: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained within this magazine is accurate, however, The Nation Publishing Co. Limited cannot be held responsible for any consequences that may arise from any errors or omissions. This publication cannot be copied in whole or in part without the explicit permission of the Publisher. ©2012 Nation Publishing Co. Limited

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C O N T R I B U T O R S OMAR ROBERTSON Roasted Pork Loin with Herb Roasted Root Vegetables by chef Omar Robertson. Photographed by Mark King

Contents My Food Diary 08 Recipes 10 Chocolate: A Healthy Indulgence 14

If I could be cooking for anyone this Christmas it would be for both my maternal and paternal grandparents They all passed before I finished my studies and one of the few regrets I have in life is not being able to cook for them. I’d make a 5-Day Brine Turkey with an Apple Bacon Rosemary Stuffing, Herb Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Caramelized Onions, with a Herb Jus.

MARK KING Of all the places I have lived, Barbados has produced my favourite images. What was an unexpected return to Barbados a few years ago has resulted in my best work to date. Belgium, the United States, and Trinidad are where I have produced some of my most unique images outside of Barbados.

‘Partyquette’ 15 Rum A Tasty Dish 16 Essential Pots and Pans 20 A Toast From The Perfectly Stocked Bar 22 Master Mixoff 24 Entertaining Guests with Special Diets 26 Queen of Greens 29 FineCuisine | DECEMBER 2012 6 6 FineCuisine


FineCuisine | DECEMBER 2012


FQ Opinion

Confessions My Food Diary:

Of a Food Snob


ery early on in life I got bored of the routine baked chicken, rice and peas, and tossed salad. The colours, the aromas, the tastes — they just weren’t appealing to me anymore. I constantly struggled with finding something to eat. Yes, I was the person who would spend five minutes staring into an open refrigerator. At one point it got so bad that I wished my body would be like a car, which I only had to fill up once a week and have enough energy to go work, ‘go hard’ at the gym and enjoy a good weekend out with friends. But alas, about three hours after eating I would hear the inevitable rumblings of a disgruntled tummy. Try as I might to ignore the noisy beast, it was often to no avail. You see, my problem was essentially that I didn’t know what to eat. I often felt like my selections were limited and cliché. I would randomly crave guacamole or blueberry cheesecake and be unwilling to accept any alternatives or substitutions. I was nothing like some friends of mine who could eat anything and be satisfied. One friend in particular would often say, “I don’t understand what your problem is. Whatever you eat, it will still end up the same place.” Blasphemy, I know. One doesn’t simply eat anything under the guise that it will just be registered in one’s stomach as food. A real ‘foodie’ knows that their meal travels a long way before it even gets into their bodies, furthermore reaching their intestines.

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You can’t just put any and everything in your stomach. You have to consider the presentation, the smell, the textures; it’s like a big production of a Shakespeare play. Not all productions are equal, neither are all foods. For me, all of my senses must be aroused. I love the smell of garlic being sautéed, the sizzle of a thick sauce in a pan, and the look of a cheesy pasta sauce sprinkled with parsley flakes. A good meal with leave me satisfied even before I take a bite. When it comes to the actual eating however, it can be a lot like the gates leading to heaven — I’m not letting any underserving morsels past my lips. My taste buds are as picky as an X-Factor judge; if it doesn’t taste good, I’m not eating it. Of course this is a relatively easy fix if I’m at home because I can easily tweak the recipe to suit. However, if I’m dining out, things can get more complicated. But you need to stand firm and hold your ground, a good chef and restaurant manager will understand. Overall, my mission is to find new or uncommon foods and recipes to share with my fellow food snobs. I want you all to know that it’s okay to have food cravings, or to turn up your nose at a less than enticing meal. Most importantly, I want you to be able to find the comfort and solace in good food that I know exists. So join me on my journey and keep up with my food diary for interesting views and reviews on what is going on in the food world.

FineCuisine | DECEMBER 2012


FQ Recipes




Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS: 1 pork loin (bone in, spine removed, 4-5 lbs.) 1 lb. carrots 1 lb. sweet potato 1 lb. parsnips 1 lb. red onions 1 bunch of thyme (chopped) 1 ½ lbs. beets ½ cup whole milk Salt Pepper Vegetable oil





1. 2.


Preheat your oven to 425° F With the skin still on, place the beets, on a sheet of foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for one

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hour or until soft when pierced with a paring knife. Cut the carrots, sweet potato, parsnips and onion into 1-1 ½ inch pieces and place in a bowl. Drizzle well with vegetable oil and season generously with salt and black pepper. Add the thyme and toss well making sure all the vegetables are coated with the oil, salt, pepper and thyme all over. Place the vegetables in a large flat roasting pan and place in the oven. Roast them in the oven for one hour, tossing them around every 15 minutes to ensure they roast evenly. (You can have the butcher at your supermarket remove the spine, and also clean and French the bones for you.) Take your pork loin and cut it into sections at every third rib, and season with salt and pepper. In a frying pan pour 1-2 tbsp. of vegetable oil, and heat on a medium-high heat until very hot. Add the pork loin to the hot pan and sear on all sides until they are golden brown (this helps to seal in the juices). When seared, place in a roasting pan and transfer to the oven for 20 minutes.


9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

When the beets are ready, remove from the oven and allow them to cool a little. Peel off the skin, cut into small pieces and place in a pot with the milk and bring to a simmer. Pour the beet and milk into a blender while hot. Blend on high for 3-5 minutes until smooth. Season the puree to taste with some salt and set aside in a container. When the vegetables are roasted, remove from the oven, and keep warm. When the pork loin is ready, remove from the oven and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes in a warm place. Take your plates and serve one chop of the pork loin with the vegetable and beet purée. Serve to your guests.


INGREDIENTS: 1 ½ 1 1 2

lb. of ham (julienned) head of cabbage (julienned) onion (Julienned) knob of ginger (thinly julienned) tbsp. Sesame oil

1 Tbsp. Soya sauce 12 spring roll wrappers ¼ cup honey ½ cup mustard ½ tsp. ground clove Vegetable oil


2. 3.



6. 7. 8.

Heat your wok with the Sesame oil and add the onion and ginger, followed by the ham and cabbage. Add the Soya sauce and keep tossing until the cabbage is cooked but is still crunchy. Turn off the heat and empty the spring roll filling onto a sheet pan and allow it to cool down fully. Once cooled, take your sheet (it is square in shape) and turn it so that it makes a diamond, with the point of the diamond facing you. Take a heaping tbsp. of the filling and place it at the bottom of the sheet about 2-3 inches from the bottom point, in a horizontal line. Roll the tip of the point up and over the filling and continue to roll, keeping it tight until you reach halfway on the wrapper. Take the points on the left and right hand sides and bring them to the centre so that the width of the spring roll is even. Continue to roll until you get to the top. Brush the tip with a little water to help the seal the roll and place on a tray to keep until it’s ready to be cooked. Do this for all the wrappers until the filling is finished. Heat the oil in your fryer or pot to 350°F. Once the oil is at the assigned temperature, place the spring rolls in the fryer basket or into the hot oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown all over. Mix the honey, mustard and clove together. Cut the spring rolls into two on a bias and serve to your guests with some of the sauce to put over it for a cutter.

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FineCuisine | DECEMBER 2012


FQ Recipes METHOD: 1. 2.




Pre-heat oven to 160°C. Place six half-cup (125ml) ramekins on a cake rack set within a roasting dish. Slice the vanilla bean lengthways and scrape out the vanilla seeds. Place vanilla seeds, milk, cream, scraped out vanilla pod, and crystalized ginger in a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Bring the milk to a boil, then turn off the heat immediately and let the milk steep for 15 minutes. Place chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of steaming water and melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Add the ginger and stir until smooth and glossy. Place egg yolks and 150g sugar in a bowl and beat with electric beaters until the mixture is pale, about two minutes. Place a sieve over the egg mixture and pour half the cream-milk mixture into the eggs (the sieve will help remove the unwanted vanilla pod and ginger). Mix well with a balloon whisk, then add the remaining milk and the melted chocolate. Mix well with a balloon whisk until smooth. Carefully pour half a cup of the mixture into each ramekin. Boil the water and gently pour it around the outsides of the ramekins, to come up the sides to the level

Place chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of steaming water and melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Add the ginger and stir until smooth and glossy. WHITE CHOCOLATE & GINGER CRÈME BRULEE Serves: 6 Ingredients: 1 vanilla bean 2 tbsp. roughly chopped crystalized ginger 1 tsp. ground ginger 4 egg yolks 50g brown sugar, extra 125 ml. milk 150g white chocolate 150g brown sugar 375 ml. Heavy Cream

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of the custards. Cover the entire roasting dish with foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. The custards will be wobbly and soft but also just set. As they cool down they will firm some more. At this stage, you can place the custards – still in their ramekins – and store them in the fridge for up to two days before finishing them off. When ready to serve, pre-heat the broiler in your oven to very high. Sprinkle the custards with 2 tsp. of extra brown sugar in an even layer. Place the ramekins, on a tray, as close to the grill element as you can and grill for two to three minutes. DO NOT walk away, but instead be ready to remove the brulée as soon as the sugar melts and browns. It will continue cooking for a while longer, so you need to act immediately before the sugar burns. As the sugar cools down it will harden. Serve within the hour, before the toffee softens.


INGREDIENTS: 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 ½

lb. Belly pumpkin cups of water (to boil pumpkin) tsp. salt tsp. pepper cup of cream tsp. Curry powder tbsp. sugar cup raisins (soaked in orange juice)


2. 3.


Peel and cut the Belly pumpkin into 2 inch pieces and place in a pot with water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil and cook until soft. Place the pumpkin in a blender and add just enough of the water you cooked it in to help it blend smoothly. Take the blended pumpkin and pour it back into a pot, add the cream, sugar and curry powder, and on a medium heat bring it to a simmer. Season it to taste and serve, adding some of the soaked raisins to finish.

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FineCuisine | DECEMBER 2012



Fine Kitchen


A Healthy Indulgence? BY CHERYL HAREWOOD


ome like them dark, others prefer them white; still they are those who love them with nuts, raisins or Rice Krispies. Among us are many who would have them any which way – on top of tempting ice-cream cones, served with apple pie, cake, fruit or as a stand-alone. Over the years these much sought after forms of desserts have been buried in the heart of some creamy caramel, and paired with sundae in a variety of flavours - peppermint, strawberry, vanilla and even peanut. You name it; chocolates have long been established both as a leading dessert and expectant treat. Children cannot get enough of them and many still look forward to chocolates on ordinary and even special days – wedding anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas and Easter. But what are the differences in the various types of these sweet treats, besides the colours and tastes?

DARK CHOCOLATE Antioxidant flavonoids present in dark chocolates have been found by researchers to positively impact cardiovascular health when introduced into the diet. You may have heard that flavonoid-rich chocolate is good for you, but wonder which types of chocolate are best. The highest flavonoid content is in the darkest of chocolates. Manufacturers of natural chocolates would add to that criteria an absence of heat refinement. Still, a rule of thumb that holds true is that the greater the percentage of cocoa, the greater flavonoid content possible. The highest percentages of cocoa are found first in dark chocolate and then in milk chocolate. The exception is white chocolate; its processing removes all flavonoids. As more and more health-conscious consumers realize that chocolate is good for you, chocolatiers try to optimize the healthy benefits by preserving as much flavonoid content as possible.

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MILK CHOCOLATE Seeing as it is Christmas time, you may be giving or receiving a lot of the ever popular ‘Milk Trays’ for the holidays. Packed with an array of caramel stuffed, jelly stuffed or nut stuffed chocolates, these gifts that keep giving until the last tray is gone are often big hits with everyone. So what exactly are we eating and giving our friends and families to eat? Research shows that in addition to containing cocoa butter and chocolate liquor, milk chocolate contains either condensed milk or dry milk solids. Milk chocolate contains at least 10 per cent chocolate liquor, 3.39 per cent butterfat, and 12 per cent milk solids. Milk chocolates are typically much sweeter than dark chocolate, and have a lighter colour and a less pronounced chocolate taste.

WHITE CHOCOLATE White chocolate is perhaps the least common of the bunch. While it may be marketed next to dark and milk chocolate, white chocolate is actually just a derivative of chocolate. It gets its name from the cocoa butter it contains, but does not contain chocolate liquor or any other cocoa products. As a result, it has no pronounced chocolate taste, but commonly tastes like vanilla or other added flavourings. We get a lot of our chocolate supply from the United States and according to their US Food and Drug Administration, white chocolate must contain a minimum of 20 per cent cocoa butter, 14 per cent milk solids, and a maximum of 55 per cent sugar. There are some ‘white chocolate’ products available that contain vegetable fats instead of cocoa butter. These should be avoided from a taste standpoint, as they contain no cocoa products at all, and are not technically white chocolate. So this Christmas, feel free to entertain your sweet tooth with some good ol’ chocolate, bearing in mind that while it may be good for you, eating five or six Milk Trays may not be the best idea.

‘Partyquette’ BY DAWN MORGAN

Those hosting parties and their specially invited guests can make things run more smoothly by following some of our guidelines: •

• •

• • • • •

• •

If having a sit-down lunch or dinner, be sure to provide a choice of mains (as on some wedding invitations) and have a few extras of each selection. It doesn’t hurt for those with special dietary needs to let their hosts know what they can or cannot eat, within reason. Call or email ahead of time and ask if you can bring something if the host is family or close friend. It is always okay to take a bottle of wine, a cake, cookies, or flowers. Having a buffet style meal enables a greater diversity of choices and those with specific likes or dislikes can find some selections. Guests should be gracious and not make a loud fuss about foods they won’t or can’t eat. Find something you can eat, even if it’s only salad, vegetables, peas, and fruit. Try something new and exotic, be adventurous! Diabetics can have a snack before leaving home to avoid hunger pangs if food is served late! Take small bits of various dishes and then go back for more of what you like rather than heaping everything onto your plate at once. Do not ask what is in every dish unless you have dangerous allergies, and, if so, eat on the low-risk side of choices. If your host does not serve alcohol, for whatever reason, do not quarrel about it! Serving black coffee after meals – especially if alcohol was flowing – is a good way to help guests sober up a bit. Be punctual and leave at a reasonable time. Do not hang about until the last bottle is empty and hosts are falling asleep. Call or email a thank-you after the party, and if possible, invite them over to your place or host them at your favourite restaurant. FineCuisine | DECEMBER 2012



Featured Chef



any chefs will have their specialties, their quirks, and ingredients that they simply love to work with. Paul Yellin is no different. This husband and father of two, spends his days in the kitchen cooking with his favourite ingredient — rum. That’s right; not parsley, coconut milk, or honey, but rum. Paul refers to himself as the ‘Rhum chef’ (he got creative with the spelling), and has taken his trade across the globe. So how did this Barbados bred chef find himself in this position? Well, I got the opportunity to sit and chat with him on a sunny day, overlooking the Caribbean Sea, over my new favourite drink that he introduced me to: rum and coconut water. Paul is based in Charleston, South Carolina, but he journeyed to his hometown to participate in the recently held Barbados Food and Wine and Rum festival, for obvious reasons. I met up with him on his short trip to dish about all things Paul Yellin. His journey began years ago when he developed a love for cooking while he was still a student at the Combermere School. However, that young boy’s hobby eventually carried him across the world, with Paul garnering experience in places such as London, Paris, Berlin, New York, Toronto, Jamaica, St. Lucia

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and of course, Barbados. Paul has practised his art in several capacities including private, intimate catering and large scale restaurant and event catering. “I enjoy bigger events because I really like interacting with people. I love talking to people.” And whenever Paul talks to people, he is sure to represent the 246. His aim is quite simple, “I want to take our food to the world. I think that the story of Caribbean food and Caribbean culture is still not told properly. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I definitely want to be a part of telling that story.” Paul compares Caribbean food to Mexican food, from the perspective that there’s no reason why Caribbean food shouldn’t be just as or more popular. He believes that we have an interesting fusion of cultures in the Caribbean, which is reflected in our food. He cites the examples Trinidad and Jamaica where there are several races cohabiting. “The mixing is what I would like to represent. Wherever I go, I try to bring ingredients from here. I have them shipped. A big part of what I’m trying to do is not just represent Barbados, but represent Caribbean culture. I think the Caribbean islands and the culture is an amazing story.”

I want to take our food to the world. I think that the story of Caribbean food and Caribbean culture is still not told properly. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I deďŹ nitely want to be a part of telling that story.

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FineCuisine | DECEMBER 2012



Featured Chef

RUM THAT INVENTED THE RHUM CHEF “Baking is a science but cooking is more of an art.” Paul’s story of how he began cooking with rum was as simple as a friend at Mount Gay asking him for three recipes that would go well with rum, for a presentation. Following that challenge, Paul had a bright idea and the rest is history. Establishing a brand for himself, he was able to take his art to the next level. What is amazing about Paul, and most chefs, is how they are able to come up with new dishes. However it seems that the process is not as magical as we may have thought. “It’s trial and error. Any chef, who tells you that they sat there and dreamed up something, is lying. Any artist, who has ever created something, got an idea from something else. I go out to eat and I see what other chefs are doing. I collect menus, I have hundreds and hundreds of menus at home from all over the world,” he laughs. The more Paul worked with rum, the better he got. Now, because of his familiarity with certain rums, he is able to immediately decide what will work in a recipe and what won’t. When it comes to rums he isn’t familiar with, he simply has to experiment. “When people cook with wine, I just substitute rum. But everything doesn’t work because wine is more acid. Rum doesn’t work exactly how wine would work so you have to make adjustments.” I know that some of you may have your personal concerns about cooking with rum, and Paul has some advice for you. “Rum burns off when you cook with it; it evaporates. You will still get a flavour but it’s safe. You won’t get drunk,” he laughs. “That will only happen if you cook the dish and pour rum on after, not if you cook with it.” He also advises that you exercise caution when cooking on an open flame.

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You don’t want all of your dishes to look the same, it’s like an outfit—you don’t wear the same outfit every time, you accessorize to make the outfit different.

THE CHEF, HUSBAND AND DADDY If you were to try one of Paul’s creations in a restaurant, you’d be in for a treat. He says that he never sends out a meal unless it’s perfect. He adds that presentation is important, and it’s true because we all love to take pictures of amazing dishes when we dine out. Here’s how he creates his magic. “What I usually do is draw a diagram. You don’t want all of your dishes to look the same, it’s like an outfit – you don’t wear the same outfit every time, you accessorize to make the outfit different. So presentation is very important, it’s not as important as the taste or the execution, but it’s important. The truth is that people eat with their eyes. Dining is not just the food. When you go out to eat it’s the whole ambience – it’s the atmosphere, it’s the music that’s playing, it’s the waiter, it’s everything.” So does Paul’s family enjoy restaurant style dishes every night? Not quite. But he does look after them. He slow cooks his food using a crock pot so that when his wife gets home, there’s a meal on the table. At home he hardly fries or uses processed food; rather he takes advantage of fresh foods and vegetables. He mainly cooks fish and chicken. So there you have it, Paul Yellin the chef, Caribbean representative, husband and father. If you’re interested in cooking with rum, be sure to pick up his cookbook, ‘Infusion- Spirited Cooking’.

FineCuisine | DECEMBER 2012


The Right Stuff Essential Pots and Pans STORY BY OMAR ROBERTSON


’ve always been asked, “What should I look for in a good pot or pan?”, “What are the essential ones I should have in my kitchen?” and “Does it really make a difference?” As Christmas approaches and everyone starts getting ready to cook an insane amount of food, let me answer those questions for you.

WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR IN A GOOD POT OR PAN? The answer to that is easy. I always ask about the material, is it aluminium or stainless steel? Personally I always go with stainless steel because it’s a better material, more resistant to heat degradation, and unlike aluminium it does not have a chemical reaction when it comes into contact with acidic food. However, if you do choose to go with aluminium, anodized aluminum is a good option as it prevents such a reaction from taking place. This is because the

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pot is lined with metal through electrolysis. All of this is not to say that aluminum is bad for you, it’s just that like most chefs, I prefer stainless steel. Another option for material would be stainless steel anodized with a copper lining as copper helps to conduct heat very well. I also look at how the pot is constructed, is the handle bolted, screwed, or spot welded? This lets you know how sturdy it will be over a period of time. I generally go for bolted or screwed over a spot weld, as the spot welded handles tend to wear faster over time and eventually break. You should also look for a pot or pan with a double bottom. This means that there is an actual second plate of metal bonded onto the bottom of the pot as opposed to just one thin layer of metal. This is very important as it allows for a more even spread of heat, and allows the pot or pan to hold the heat better.

Would you drive a Toyota Starlet in an F1 Grand Prix? How about letting your doctor operate on you with a simple dinner knife? The tools of the trade matter and really do help you do the best job possible. Start small and work your way up, but trust me you’ll see the difference. What are the essential pots and pans you should have in your kitchen? If you are a foodie, or just a person that loves to cook, there are definitely essentials you should have. Personally, I love a good cast iron frying pan, there is nothing like it for cooking meats. It holds heat well, it’s easy to clean and maintain once you ‘season’ it and keep it ‘seasoned’ well. Seasoning a pan means you are coating it with oil and warming it in the oven with the oil. As it heats, the cast iron opens up microscopic pores and as it cools, it absorbs the oil, creating an invisible barrier protecting the pan from rusting. A stock pot is also essential; in it you can do anything from soups, to stews to stocks to pasta. In a restaurant, hotel or catering company, we use huge 40-60 quart pots (think 45-65 liters). But at home I have an 11 quart pot and it’s perfect for almost everything. Another essential pan to have is a good non-stick pan. With this breakfast is a breeze – omelets, pancakes, frittatas, scrambled eggs. They come in different sizes but I recommend anything from a 9-12 inch pan. Lastly is the wok, the centrepiece of Chinese and South East Asian cooking, this versatile instrument is used for almost everything, stir-frying, pan frying, deep frying, steaming, boiling, even making soup and roasting nuts. The common utensils used for a wok are a spatula or a chahn, and a ladle or hoak, and with those you can cook almost anything.

Does it really make a difference? The simple answer is yes, of course it does! Would you drive a Toyota Starlet in an F1 Grand Prix? How about letting your doctor operate on you with a simple dinner knife? The tools of the trade matter and really do help you do the best job possible. Start small and work your way up, but trust me you’ll see the difference. So get out there and get cooking and remember to have fun doing it!

FineCuisine | DECEMBER 2012


A toast

From The Perfectly Stocked Bar BY LYNNE-MARIE SIMMONS

he festive season is upon us. It’s the time of year when family and friends come together to eat, drink and be merry. The month of December is punctuated with days (and nights) of abundant feasting and imbibing on a variety of libations! I know that friends and family who claim that I have studiously ignored them for 334 or so days of the year will start to drop by from December 1. I also know that my parents are champions at delegating, so I will end up hosting the Simmons clan at some point before the year comes to an end. For me, entertaining at home has never been a daunting task. Whether it’s a small dinner party for six or a cocktail party for 60, my approach is always the same – start with a well-stocked bar!

The essentials Because December is a cooler, crisper time of year, spirits served either neat or chased seem to be the most popular drink. My core bar is stocked with: an aged Barbadian rum a bottle of vodka a bottle of gin a bottle of Scotch a bottle of cognac chasers (including soda and tonic water) ginger ale, soft drinks juices. In my fridge you will find bottles of red wine, white wine, ‘bubbles’ and beers. Once my basic bar is in place, planning holiday events becomes quite easy.

Holiday drinks make the best parties Christmas time is the perfect time to unleash your inner domestic goddess (or god). With a little planning and creativity, you can become the “Hostess with the mostess”.

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Here are a couple of tried and tested tips for holiday drinks with a difference.

Christmas punch party When I think of Christmas, I think of sorrel. We have always grown sorrel and the recipe I use was passed down by my grandmother who was the culinary matriarch of the family. A spiked and spiced sorrel steeped from freshly picked crimson buds forms the centrepiece of my Christmas punch party. Punch a crème, another Christmas staple, is also served. Champagne punch completes the trio of punches on offer. By simplifying the selection of drinks, ‘prepping’ for this kind of party literally takes an hour.

Non-alcoholic drinks Not every drinks party has to be alcohol-fuelled. One of my most successful soirees was fun-filled and completely alcohol free. My bar was adorned with a jug of Virgin Marys, sorrel (straight up), golden apple punch and ginger beer (also made using my grandmother’s recipe). Even the cocktail shaker put in an appearance and was used to prepare one of my signature drinks – my Grapefruit Zinger. I mixed freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice with a little simple syrup. I then add some ice, soda water and fresh mint and shake, shake, shake!

Guilty-pleasures party Instead of throwing the usual Christmas lunch or dinner, one year I invited my friends over for bite-sized dessert by the pool. I had a chocolate fountain surrounded by fresh fruit waiting to be drizzled in warm, molten dark chocolate. For a savory option, a variety of cheese and biscuits were on offer. And for drinks, I only served liqueurs, dessert wines and Jamaican coffee. My aunt Shelia still raves about that night to this day.

So whether you are hosting or attending parties this festive season, do so with spirit!

Crimson Thirst quencher


t goes by many names, roselle, jamaica, hibiscus sabdariffa. Known to many people as many things, Barbadians around the world can identify with the red plant we call sorrel. Barbadians also know that one of the best things you can do with the plant is to make our most popular Christmas drink. Because it has so long been a staple, there are several recipes out there and all of them can be tweaked to your liking. There’s the option of using dried or fresh sorrel, and everyone will have their preference. However the fresh sorrel is only available on a seasonal basis and as such, will be harder to get your hands on. For the purpose of this recipe we will be using dried sorrel, in hopes that everyone will have access to some. Enjoy!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: 2 cups of dried sorrel 3 whole cloves 1 ½ tablespoons of grated orange zest 1 ½ grated fresh ginger 2 quarts of boiling water 1 cup of sugar 2 ounces of rum – optional

METHOD: 1. 2.

3. 4.

Place the ingredients (except for the sugar) in a large ceramic container. Pour the boiling water over the ingredients and let this steep in a warm, dry place for 48 hours. Strain and add the sugar. Refrigerate for another 48 hours.

Serve with ice. To add some more spunk to this drink you can add 2 ounces of rum.

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FineCuisine | DECEMBER 2012




Master Mixoff 1

2 DAMEAIN WILLIAMS’ RECIPES 1. THE BOLSBERRY 1 oz. Absolut Apeach 1 oz. Absolut Vanilla ½ oz. Island Oasis Strawberry Puree ¼ oz. Blue Curacao 2 oz. Island Oasis vanilla ice-cream Blend ingredients except Blue Curacao. Layer mix on top of the Blue Curacao.

2. ROYAL SALUTE 1 oz. Ciroc ¼ oz. Blue Curacao ½ oz. simple syrup 2 wedges of kiwi fruit 1 oz. golden apple juice 3 oz. champagne Combine ingredients except champagne, muddle and shake vigorously. Double strain into a champagne flute and top off with champagne. Garnish with golden apple sticks and kiwi squares.

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hose who are into drinks know that there’s more to life than a rum and coke, or a vodka and cranberry. Those who consider themselves drink connoisseurs know that mixing drinks can be quite an art, and expert bartenders can make drinks come alive with different ingredients and garnishes. In some bars, putting a cocktail together can be somewhat of a show, with bartenders flipping shakers, balancing bottles on their fingertips and shooting alcohol into

glasses. And for those who haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing this, we wanted to bring it to you. Our Fine Cuisine team took to the streets and found two of the coolest mixologists that Barbados has to offer. We simply told them that we wanted something hip and fresh, and sat back and watched them work their magic. Dameain Williams and Kyle Gloumeau wowed us with their skills and creativity at the Lime Bar at Limegrove, and we captured the treats (and the ingredients) to share with you. Enjoy!


4 KYLE GLOUMEAU’S RECIPES 3. SHRIMP COCKTAIL WITH GOLDEN APPLE CHUTNEY MARTINI 3 green golden apples 1 tsp. Cumin 1 tsp. black pepper 5 oz. simple syrup 3 dashes Tobasco Sauce 4 oz. Ciroc Vodka And a lot of my secret ingredient. Use this cocktail as a dipping sauce for the shrimp and then drink up!

4. CHEESECAKE ESPRESSO MARTINI 1 sliver fresh Lime Bar cheesecake 2 oz. espresso 2 oz. of Mount Gay Silver ½ oz. Baileys 1 oz. Amaretto Enjoy!

FineCuisine | DECEMBER 2012




Entertaining Guests with Special Diets STORY BY DAWN MORGAN


hereas most people will eagerly partake of every delicious food during the party season just around the corner, some prefer to avoid certain dishes. Of course there are several reasons for this, some medical, religious or personal. When preparing for the Christmas festivities, proper communication between the hosts and the guests will help to ensure that at least some offerings are appropriate. If all else fails and you can’t or won’t eat everything, it is best to err on the side of ‘when in doubt, leave out’. For those of you who plan to be hosting gatherings of the ‘food’ nature, we have some options that you can consider for your guests with special diets.

DIET: VEGANS These are the most extreme of vegetarians. They refrain from every form of animal food, and include devout Hindus and Buddhists. Some who follow that path humorously say: “I do not eat any creature with a face or who had a mother.” They do not consume regular cheese, only vegetarian cheeses and clarified butter (also called ghee). Some vegans prefer to only eat organic foods, as fresh as possible, and are therefore happy to eat salads, vegetables,

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peas and beans, nuts, and fruits. Menu Options Starters: Hummus, guacamole and tomato or pineapple salsa served with corn chips or pieces of tortilla wraps make good starters. For a simpler option, try a hearty black bean or mixed veggie soup. Mains: Many types of cooked dishes, some of them exotic, can form part of the main menu. You can serve channa and lentil curries with basmati rice and flatbreads such as roti, pitas and naan made with ghee. Bean chilies with red or pinto beans, corn and brown rice also make for a nice option. If you have a well-stocked crisper, veggie stir fries with a dash of soy, as well as pasta dishes with vegetables and salad greens will also do the trick. Desserts: For dessert, fresh fruit, sorbets, or bananas baked with a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of brown sugar, are delicious. There are also cakes available without eggs.

VEGETARIANS: These are not as strict as vegans, and are living proof that not all veggie munchers are created equal.

DIET: OVO-LACTO VEGETARIANS They consume milk, milk products and eggs. Menu Options Starters: Eggs are often easily acceptable and equally easy to prepare. They make great starters as devilled half-eggs with some grated cheese added, and a tiny bit of celery, or sweet pepper. French onion soup, topped with cheese and a slice of toasted bread and warmed in the oven will wow such guests! Mains: These veggie lovers will be pleased with casserole style dishes such as lasagnes made without meat (use granburger substitute if you wish). They will also delight in stewed lentil and tomato sauce and whatever type of cheeses you wish. Sliced eggplant and cheese pie is yummy, and tofu can be added to any dishes such as chow-mein with soy sauce or veggie tomato sauce with pasta, to give the bland soya food flavour. Lots of varieties of rice and beans or peas; or veggie rice will be pleasing, especially if you use organic brown rice or wild rice. Desserts: This group will accept most desserts, including cakes and pies. A mixed cheese and cracker board with fruit such as small bunches of grapes and sliced red and green apples will be appealing.

DIET: PESCO VEGETARIANS These guys shun meats and poultry but eat fish and other seafood such as shrimp, crab and lobster. Within this group there are those who follow religious directives to shun specific types of fish and seafood. So in addition to the ham, turkey, meat or lamb, be sure to include some fish dish among your offerings. Menu options Starters: There is nothing to beat the delicious crunch of the ubiquitous Bajan fishcake – just make them tiny, one bite sized for starters. Fish strips or tuna spread on small crackers are good starters; and a whole snapper, stuffed and baked, with creole sauce is very attractive. Mains: Shrimp can be used in hot dishes such as a curry or with pasta Oriental style or with tomato sauce.

FineCuisine | DECEMBER 2012




OTHER COMMON SPECIAL DIETS Halal and Kosher Muslims do not eat pork or its products, neither do Jews, and they only consume other meats and poultry if the creatures have been killed according to the methods of Halal and Kosher, respectively. However, they can also eat vegetarian foods; and non-Muslims and non-Jews can eat Halal and Kosher foods.


If battling high cholesterol and eating healthily one should avoid excessively fatty meats and saturated oils, and select steamed, boiled, shallow stirfried or baked foods over deep fried. 28 FineCuisine | DECEMBER 2012

People who have high blood pressure should avoid very salty foods, including cured meats, and those with very low blood pressure need to have some salt. If battling high cholesterol and eating healthily one should avoid excessively fatty meats and saturated oils, and select steamed, boiled, shallow stir-fried or baked foods over deep fried. Diabetics are also advised to avoid a lot of salt, sugar, and simple carbs such as white flour, white rice, and white potatoes. Make more fibrous choices such as whole grains, brown rice and sweet potatoes, other ground provisions, or a bit of breadfruit. Starches and sweets turn to high glucose in the blood. What you can do to allow yourself your guilty pleasures is to choose wisely. For example, if you ditch the macaroni pie and mashed potatoes, you can indulge in a small slice of rich great cake, a delicious chocolate, or some cheesecake. If battling more than one chronic condition, and also trying to lose weight or to avoid packing on the pounds, remember there are calories in sugary drinks as well. So, eat, drink, and be merry ... while sticking to your ‘druthers’ it’s not only possible, but totally satisfying to body, mind and soul. It’s all about the balance!

Queen Of Greens



s children, our parents always tried their best to get us to eat our vegetables. Of course, we always tried to avoid those evil green monsters that stood in the way of ice-cream or chocolate cake desserts. As we get older, and some of our us are now parents ourselves, we are noticing how important those green monsters are. Whether trying to improve our diets with more calcium, more protein, or fewer calories, many of us are finding ourselves turning to the vegetable section of the produce aisle for help. The only problem is that they’re so many! Because we understand the struggle with choosing from such a wide array of greens, we’ve done our research and we found what has been unofficially dubbed the ‘Queen of Greens’: kale. This vegetable is said to have numerous nutritional benefits, packing a lot in its little punch. In fact, kale has three attributes that any health conscious person would love to hear: low in calories, high in fibre, zero fat. Some of the other benefits include the following:

percent of the recommended daily allowance of dietary fibre, which promotes regular digestion, prevents constipation, lowers blood sugar, and curbs overeating. Sulphur is similarly great for detoxification and is also found in kale.

ANTIOXIDANTS Carotenoids and flavonoids are two powerful antioxidants that protect us from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is involved in many diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, heart failure, and Alzheimer’s disease. Two of the key flavonoids which have also been shown to specifically fight against the formation of cancerous cells are found in kale.

CARDIOVASCULAR SUPPORT Lowering cholesterol is an issue that several adults struggle with and they may be on the lookout for butter or other foods that are ‘low in cholesterol’. We have good news, kale, (the super veggie), is also known for lowering cholesterol.

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIGESTION AND DETOX The fibre makes this veggie great for digestion, as well as detoxifying the body. One cup of kale contains nearly 20

One cup of kale is filled with 10 per cent of the recommended daily average of omega-3 fatty acids. These help fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.

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Entertaining IRON Kale has more iron than beef. Yes, we said that kale has more iron than beef. You are all probably aware that iron is essential for good health. It aids in the formation of haemoglobin and enzymes and helps transport oxygen to various parts of the body. It is also responsible for cell growth and proper liver function.

CALCIUM We know about getting calcium from milk and dairy products. But did you know that per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk? This aids in preventing bone loss and osteoporosis, and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Kale is therefore a good option for those who are lactose intolerant and seeking alternate sources of calcium.

Kale provides you with vitamins A, C and K.The vitamin A is good for your vision and skin; the vitamin C helps your immune system, metabolism and hydration; and the vitamin K improves your bone health and prevents blood clotting.

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VITAMINS Who knew that a vegetable could be a little multivitamin? Kale provides you with vitamins A, C and K. The vitamin A is good for your vision and skin; the vitamin C helps your immune system, metabolism and hydration; and the vitamin K improves your bone health and prevents blood clotting. So the next time you’re shopping for celery, broccoli and your other favourite greens, be sure to add this nutrition powerhouse to your basket.

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FineCuisine | DECEMBER 2012