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 Andrea's caribbean

Dinner Parties

Andrea!

I was born in London to Barbadian parents and emigrated to the Caribbean in the 70’s with my parents, this was where I really discovered my love for Caribbean food.

I recall images of my mother in the kitchen back in London cooking meals. The times I especially remember were when we would prepare for weekend excursions to the seaside.

It is Caribbean culture to hire coaches and take a trip to the coastal spots- Brighton, Margate, Clacton upon sea, Bath and others and we’d hire a hall and a DJ and sit together, around 150 people kids and all to eat the food that we spent half the night preparing.  This was not just a few sandwiches it was a feast of hot and cold dishes in large thermos flasks and tupperware: - fried jerk chicken, fishcakes, beef stew, souse, sandwiches and cakes, all sorts of colourful tasty goodies wrapped in foil and newspaper to keep it warm.  

We would start cooking the Friday nights before the trip on Saturday. The kitchen would be a hive of activity, chopping, peeling, stirring and of course the obligatory cake bowl licking. We’d usually start with the cakes: Bajan sponge cakes, corn or cassava pone (like a flapjack) and of course mum’s sweet coconut bread, then chop and hack the cucumber, onions and parsley for the souse (pickled pork belly). The herbs and the spring onions would be collected in from the kitchen garden then washed and chopped ready for the jerk seasoning, home made of course to stuff into the marinated chicken ready to fry. The peas and the rice would be picked through for the bad bits then the peas put on to boil with a piece of salted pork, mum would say “to season the rice” and of course the beef went into the pressure cooker for a moist and tender stew.

Sweet potatoes, salt fish cakes, plantain a cacophony of colours, flavours, aromas and textures. Sweet, savoury, spicy all packed up and ready to go in numerous bags with home made sour sop and rum punches and drinks galore.

The atmosphere in the kitchen would be buzzing, mum delegating and making sure I was watching her every move, no scales, all hand and eye measurements.

Picnics and home entertaining were the same, time for family and friends. We would cook, share, laugh, play games and eat together.

 

My love for entertaining and cooking still plays an important part in my life. The warmth of sharing and socialising, combined with basic ingredients and the delight of mixing spices easily and quickly to create classy but simple, colourful, tasty food all made for some wonderful times.

I have now decided to embark on a new venture and use the skills gathered over the years to launch my Caribbean Dinner Parties, where I will come to you in your house with your guests and we will cook up a storm and have fun.

Bring the fun of preparing and cooking the food together with the warmth of home hosting.     

 

Cook it Up! Caribbean Dinner parties

A fun way to learn to cook a wide range of Caribbean dishes with friends and or family. Then sit together, eat drink and be merry.

 

  • You host a party at your house

  • You invite up to 10 people who like to or want to learn to cook authentic Caribbean food

  • It will cost minimum £25pp

  • You choose your menu for the night

  • I will shop and supply all of the ingredients

  • I will coach you and your guests a step by step guide on how to prepare your chosen 3 course menu

  • We lay the table

  • Dinner is served

 

I will visit the host at home to plan the menu and check facilities and equipment. I will have spare equipment and utensils.

 

This also works as a great gift or surprise for Birthdays, Anniversaries, Hens, Stags or just a fun night in with the girls or boys

 

Decorations available on request

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