Friday 30 October, 2020

Nine things to know about Chef Stone at Picante

Chef Stone (center) flanked by Chefs Rui Sa (left) and David Olson. (Photos: Shawn Barnes)

Chef Stone (center) flanked by Chefs Rui Sa (left) and David Olson. (Photos: Shawn Barnes)

Bright and early Thursday morning, the Loop Lifestyle team trekked through Coronation Market, downtown Kingston with the specially invited guests of the Jamaica Food and Drink Festival (JFDF). There we met live-fire chef David Olson and the Taste Black History culinary personalities Chef Stone and Chef Rui Sa.

Though Olson will only be taking a social angle throughout the festival, chefs Stone and Rui Sa are slated to showcase their culinary mastery using foods, herbs and spices purchased at the market.

Before you taste the magic hands of Stone, the self-described "spontaneous"  chef shares nine personal attributes below...

1 He is Nigerian-born, studied culinary arts by way of the French, and honed his skills over the course of nine years working in Italian restaurants. Talk about fusion!

2 He is passionate about teaching and is the founder of the premier culinary school in West Africa, Red Dish Chronicles.

3 Chef Stone is obsessed with Jamaican Jerk seasoning and cannot wait to incorporate it at Picante. (Spoiler alert: he’s making a spicy grilled chicken tossed in pepper sauce with yam and plantain mash.)

4 Stone describes his culinary journey as “modern gastronomy”.

5 He spends his time discovering and preserving traditional African recipes with the Taste Black History initiative.

6 When asked of his expectations of patrons, Stone responded: “I want them to have an experience and ask questions that will stir up a conversation around my food.”

7 How he stays ahead of trends… “I am an avid reader and I am putting together a culinary library at my culinary school in Nigeria. I have approximately 400 culinary related books. I am also very social media savvy and Instagram especially has changed the speed of getting information and getting accustomed to new trends. I also do a lot of research online and do a lot of experimental test-cooking myself. New trends I have adopted include Molecular Gastronomy, Vapourization and the use of Liquid Nitrogen to create smoother creams.”

8 Italian cuisine used to be a favourite and a specialty of his, but recently “I have been leaning more towards modern molecular gastronomy and Afro-Gastronomy.”

9 I hope to be the first restaurant chef to be awarded a Michelin star.

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