June of 2019 and my cousin is about to marry the love of her life. Thirty minutes before the ceremony, I arrived. The wedding cake looks like it encountered an earthquake.
A large portion of the population out there loves coffee. Most of you get up in the morning and cannot function until your mug is emptied. However, some of us cannot drink it because we will feel ill or get the jitters. I happen to be one of those people. My family and I love our tea. There has never been a time where a tea pot stood empty, at least that I can remember. Now, black tea has caffeine in it and I know for a fact that if I have a cup of tea before noon I will get the shakes. Before I knew this fact I would drink my cup of tea and go to my room to write in my journal or work on a short story and my hands would fly all over the place and the amount of typos written were astronomical. So, I experimented and it was the caffeine causing the shakes. Most people after dinner can enjoy a cup of coffee or some black tea and I sadly cannot have either after seven otherwise I will not be able to sleep. I have had friends tell me, “You are so lucky you don’t need coffee”. This is true because I save a lot of money but I have a weakness to Starbucks and their Frappuccino; this is what I call “fake coffee” because it is mostly sugar in there. At one o’ clock in the afternoon I will enjoy a Frappuccino and then I am bouncing off the walls like a child in the years that parents call “the terrible twos.” My mind races and I cannot sit still for the life of me. After the caffeine wears off I fall into a state of zoning out by staring outside of my window and thinking about anything, then when anyone asks me something my mind is somewhere else. Now, I can’t drink straight up coffee, I have tried a sip from a friend once. I felt like I had to puke, it was so bitter and gross that I couldn’t believe people willingly drink this liquid swill to survive through the day. I pity you coffee drinkers. I am writing this article at the late time of 11:24 PM and it is because I had enjoyed a Dr. Pepper at 8 o’clock. Yes, that is how much energy I have and Dr. Pepper contains a caffeine amount of 68 milligrams. A cup of coffee contains 70-140 milligrams of caffeine, which would give me the shakes right now. As a reader you may be wondering, what are these “shakes” she keeps referring to? Well, dear readers, have you ever had gone to the gym and your muscles are shaking from the workout you have just finished? Imagine that feeling and then add the feeling like you need to eat, not the faint feeling but the “hangry” feeling, then add the extreme happiness from when you are drunk or laughing your face off with your friends. That’s what that “shakes” are, it is this uncontrollable shaking and you just can’t stop because if you do stop the whole body will burst into an eruption of flames and ash.
I recently took a 3-hour bus trip with a gluttonous, annoying seat partner who couldn’t keep his mouth shut. It was absolute hell for me. Then it hit me… People are eating all the time, everywhere, which is disgusting. Don’t get me wrong. I love food, but I’m often nauseated by people eating foods with obnoxious smells. I’m actually personally offended when passengers arrogantly dump their garbage on the bus floor as if they are the only people who matter in the world.
It may seem ridiculous that I'm even writing this, but this is something I am incredibly passionate about, and I have no choice but to take a stand. This issue has affected me my entire life, and I really hoped it wouldn't be so prominent as I got older. I mean, it really shouldn't be something that bother me this much. It shouldn't be something that wakes me up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, screaming at my ceiling in hopelessness. It shouldn't be this way. Unfortunately, I was wrong. The issue just keeps popping up in the places I least expect it. To be quite honest, I am sick of it.
Less than a decade ago, Trinidad and Tobago appointed its first female Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar. It’s also been a little less than a decade since Jason Peru created his own journey from culinary school professor to Caribbean celebrity chef fastest.
Noise flooded the air, as inviting as the scents that lingered amongst the particles in the atmosphere, as dense as the complicated harmony of sweet, spicy, sharp, and fragrant that wafted in and out of the night market. Excited chatter from your standard tourists. Couples on a romantic getaway to a place filled with provoking stories etched into the building foundations and street pavements. College students, gap year-ers, early 20s on the lookout for adventure, thrill seekers painting their visions with the first steps they take in this world so green to them. Families that come for the memories, often life-long souvenirs they can cling to, bonding time and a break from school and work. Locals call to each other, know their way around easy enough, and smartly maneuver their way weaving through the usual crowd of foreigners. These rowdy tourists, with their cameras, sandals, baggy elephant trousers, backpacks, fascinated by everything, pressing their faces into the space of each cart, peering at the local food, squinting at the local prices, placing an order with the local hawkers.
I vividly remember the last time I ate a pork chop.
As a chef, I hate how passionate I am about the small details. It’s almost a sick turn on to be a perfectionist, worrying about the small details in a sadistic OCD behavior of everything in its place. Every time I step foot into the kitchen, onto the line to prep, cook, and push through dinner service, I always see service as a formula one race. The operation must be perfect in order to win and not a single person can win by themselves. Down to every little detail that would prevent a kitchen or its service from being absolutely perfect. I began to hate people who didn’t have the same outlook as I did, in the sense that excuses were made to why the job wasn’t done and or jobs were done half ass. I always believed that food needed to be perfect, every time. No exceptions. It was an art form to be respected.
Today, there are so many people starving and hungry in the world, but what does anyone do about it? Nothing. I have recently done some research on local merchant chains who serve food like fast food establishments. Everyone one of them throw their extra food out into the dumpsters and write it off as waste.
There is a saying that goes, "Being a chef is like being in the army. You have to get stuff done, and fast, and it has to be good." These were very wise words by none other than the great Marco Pierre White.
It’s that time of year again—when it’s way too cold but the true magic of Christmas hasn’t kicked in yet despite all the Santa-themed stalls and shops (probably because they began in September!). Cosy high-street cafés are selling way-too-expensive gingerbread lattes when you're trying to do Xmas shopping early, or your local Tesco is advertising Mince Pies for cheaper than Sainsbury’s. But what grabs your eye is the new Christmas confectionery: the chocolate Santa’s or the advent calendars, a jam tart or two, and the large Quality Street box going half price. All guilt-free because it’s December!