really, this year’s edition of taste t&t is no joke. the international culinary festival started off with workshops featuring chef claus meyer (in front) and chef bo frederiksen (behind the work station) at the trinidad hilton. in case you haven’t opened the new tab to pull up the google page as yet, chef meyer is the co-owner of noma, a nordic gourmet restaurant that holds the title of “best restaurant in the world 2010”. in other words, he’s kind of a big deal.
not to sound like a line from a batman comic, but the dynamic duo hosted a very interesting discussion called “a conceptual approach to indigenous ingredients”. they put forward some interesting ideas that fused their nordic style with ingredients that are locally available.
like this drink made with cabbage, celery, apple and pear, which they identified as a method they use to give their children the benefits of cabbage in their diet.
and a cheviche inspired dish made with carite. it was a favourite with the chefs, so by the time we switched lenses, there wasn’t enough on anybody’s plate to shoot.
but we were in time to catch this light appetizer that featured steamed cauliflower, a creamy cauliflower puree, a shadon beni sauce and some crispy bread.
and this blue crab soup which the chef described as crab and dumplin without the crab and dumplin. obviously somebody gave them the grand culinary tour.
most interesting was chef meyer’s message, which wasn’t to try and imitate nordic cooking, but quite the opposite. his was a message of harnessing the power of local ingredients. inspiration to cook with not just what you have but with who you are, thus making a connection between caribbean culture and caribbean cooking. he went as far as to suggest that we don’t need to order fancy italian wares because it’s the in thing, but use local art and craft to enhance unique culinary experiences. as a lover of local food, that sounded great to me.
from all accounts, taste t&t international culinary festival is something that shouldn’t be missed. but don’t take my word for it. listen to the passion in the voices of the chefs themselves: