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Q & A

What do you enjoy most about cooking?

I enjoy being able to satisfy the people I serve. Working with Sodexo staff, it is nice to hear people say things like “That’s the best I have ever seen that dish prepared.” They usually have more experience in food service so their appreciation is really cool.

What influenced you to become a cook?

My mother cooked a lot of soul food growing up and my dad was always cooking Jamaican food. … He’d make oxtails, curry chicken and a whole bunch of other dishes. I also took culinary arts classes in high school.

What’s your favorite type of dish?

I love Jamaican curry. The spices and the way the onion and peppers show up in the pan give it a visual appeal which I am big on. We eat with our eyes and it is a very colorful dish. I really like playing around with different sauces and seeing how I can make them my own.

What’s one thing people should have in their kitchens?

Onions, peppers and seasoning. Find colors that add to your product. I also really enjoy garnishes so make sure you grab some fresh parsley and other visual parts for the dishes.

Do you have any advice for amateur chefs?

Do not be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and try a new cultural dish. Also be willing to mix things up and make it your own.

What do you like most about the recipe you’re providing?

The color. The spices. The flavor. It is kind of a sweet and heat type of taste. I love the way the yellow curry works with the greens and the reds of the peppers.


Jamaican Chicken Curry

INGREDIENTS

  • • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • • 1 onion, chopped
  • • 1 tomato, chopped
  • • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • • 2 tablespoons Jamaican-style curry powder
  • • 2 slices habanero pepper (optional)
  • • ¼ teaspoon ground thyme
  • • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • • 1 cup water
  • • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook and stir onion, tomato, garlic, curry powder, habanero pepper, and thyme until onion is golden, about 7 minutes.
  3. Stir in chicken and cook until chicken is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour water into the skillet and reduce heat to low.
  5. Cover and simmer until chicken is no longer pink at the center, about 30 minutes.
  6. Season with salt.

Yields 4 servings