Every week our guests have been enjoying the Shop and Cook Tour which is hosted by our Executive Chef – Chef Maurice. Feedback is wonderful and the Tour is getting more and more popular with guests reading about it here and booking as they check in.
This past week we were unable to get to the Market due to some rain, but Chef Derrick stepped in and handled the Cooking Demonstration part of the Tour as Chef Maurice was on a well deserved day off. Derrick is the Sous Chef at Jamaica Inn and has been working in this position for just over five years.
Chef decided to keep it light and vegetarian as it was the day after Thanksgiving to which the hotel had served up a fabulous Thanksgiving feast the night before. The order of the day was fresh callaloo and bammy – a very “Jamaican” style dish that is simple yet lovely. It can be eaten as a snack, breakfast, a side dish with dinner or even a light lunch.
Chef demonstrated how to soak the “bammy” – which is a traditional Jamaican flatbread made from cassava and descended from the simple flatbread that was first eaten here by the Arawaks – Jamaica’s original inhabitants. Read all about bammy more right here.
Chef explained all about our “callaloo” – which is a vegetable that originated in West Africa centuries ago. The main ingredient is a green leaf vegetable, and some people like to compare it to spinach, but it has a thicker consistency. Callaloo is traditionally served up as a side dish, main dish with our famous national dish “ackee and saltfish” or served like this recipe with bammy.
Chef Derrick showed the participants how to soak the bammy which was previously purchased and kept in the refrigerator. He explained that is only needs to be soaked at this point for five minutes in milk – it can be fresh milk, coconut milk even almond milk for those that do not eat dairy.
– Soak bammy in milk (fresh milk, coconut milk, almond milk) for five minutes before cooking.
– Wash and prepare callaloo for cooking – strain and set aside.
– Use a small tomato, half a small onion chopped finely, two cloves of garlic chopped, two small bell peppers diced (any color), salt and pepper to taste and if you want your callaloo spicy, then add a scotch bonnet or a small cutting of scotch bonnet (take out before serving!)
– Prepare cooking pan with oil (extra virgin, coconut or corn oil) and get the pan very hot. Gently ease the pieces of bammy into the frying pan being careful of splatter.
– Sautée for one and a half minutes to two minutes on each side, until golden brown.
– Take out bammy and rest on a plate.
– Sautée onion and garlic in olive oil, a dab of butter or coconut oil, and then add the callaloo for a minute – add salt and pepper, bell peppers, tomato and continue to cook on medium heat…cook for about four minutes and add a tablespoon of water to help keep the callaloo smooth and sweet tasting. You can add your scotch bonnet now or spice as needed. Take off heat and serve up on plate with two to three small pieces of bammy!
Chef Derrick and Chef Maurice work very well together in the busy kitchen – and Chef’s main function is to provide the support needed to Executive Chef Maurice for all meal prep and logistics. He works for the breakfast shift ensuring all is on par there, and also prepares for the lunch shift. Derrick is also on hand in the evening’s helping with the dinner service and he is very passionate about food – therefore preparing Jamaica Inn’s dishes are his passion.
Chef has three children ages 8 and 5, and looking forward to owning or operating a restaurant one day in the future where he can bring to the table a new “fusion” of Caribbean food with new flavors.
Make sure you book the Shop and Cook Tour on a Friday to catch more recipes like this above and one of our very able Chef’s demonstrating and answering your questions – the Tour also includes 40 minutes walking around the Farmer’s Market nearby and chatting to local Farmers, tasting lovely fruits as well as sipping fresh coconut water!
For more information please contact Jeanine @ firstname.lastname@example.org.