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Thursday, May 26, 2011

yes, I have been a slacker, so to get back on track i've posted some quick grilling tips in the new blog post @ www.chefiriespice.wordpress.com check it out. Food on Fiyah Baby!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

From Doubles to Chicharones..From Machel to Low Cash Cowboys. My stop at Calle Ocho, Miami's Latin Fiesta


Grilling Meat kabobs at Calle Ocho

As many of you know and hopefully been reading in my previous blogs, I am fresh off my first Trinidad Carnival, and yes it was an experience for the ages.  So here it is, a week later and another festival abounds here in Miami, Calle Ocho. Well, just like Carnival in Trinidad this visit to Calle Ocho was going to be my first. Man, seems like I have been getting my cherries popped all over the place these days. Didn't even know I had more than one to get popped, who knew. With Soca music still on my brain, tip of my tongue and on the ready in the cd player in the car I was warned not to expect the same kind of revelry and WOTLESSness at Calle Ocho. Well, this set me straight so I was well intentioned in my focus which was going to be the food, Latin street foods of all kinds. Here at Calle Ocho I have to switch my palette from doubles to Chicharones. Have you had some crispy pork skin lately doused with some hot sauce? No? What da hell is wrong with you? and don't gi mi that I don't eat pork thing..face it, pork rules, period. Several things are evident to me upon reaching the street fair, this after fearlessly parking my car for a $5 fee in a lot that belongs to someone I'm sure manned by three youths with skateboards and music box perched on a wall by the fence at the gate..I'm not skerred!! There are lots of folks here and the food smells are intoxicating. Food smells representing Mexico, Columbia, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Jamaica, Argentina and more. Grills and steam tables lined the streets offering up food fares like Pintos (meat skewers, smaller than regular kabobs) from Brazil, Arroz con pollo, carne asada, grilled meat kabobs, grilled sausage dogs, chicken Paella, barbacoa on a lazy spindle (Columbian I assume), barbacoa on stick over the pit. 
Meat grilling over the pit

meat grilled Colombian Style 

Moros, boiled Yucca, fried Yucca, Alcuperias, boiled corn, and so much more. Surprisingly enough though I can;t seem to recall seeing any Mofungo (smashed plantain seasoned with garlic, adobe, herbs with shrimp or other meats) dishes or Mondongo for that matter. I would have forsaken all for some good Mondungo (tripe soup). What!!! If you don't know you better recognize. I know I wasn't going to eat my way through this festival but I was going to be very selective..hell, I was trying to avoid colic, did a good job of that in Trinidad.  Rounding out the scene were several food trucks that were parked in several locations along the route offering choices from sushi, sliders, sandwiches, ceviches and some of the more popular Latin fares  If you walked through the maddening crowds and couldn't find something to eat you deserve to drop dead from hunger. Either that or drink a Presidente beer or some guarapo (cane juice) which I had from a Jamaican dred. I've had this before but never mixed with pineapple juice. Most delightful and refreshing it was..tiefing that for sure.
Gurapo Stand
(Fresh Cane juice)



Papi on the drums, happy as ever

Being of African decent, It's hard to to be at Calle Ocho and not recognize the soulful African beats of the drums in the music whether it was blaring through speakers on stage or from speakers set up in the booths of the vendors to the Congo drums beating as singers and dancers in the crowd moved up and down the street. I may not understand most of what is said in the Spanish language but I do understand beats and rhythm. This obviously translates to movement in the hips and feet. You could hear it all over the place coming through in the Salsa, Bachetta, Meringue, Reggae and even from the Hip Hop stage which was packed by the youngsters. I found it rather interesting that Low Cash Cowboys, a Country and Western band was there rocking it out even sampling from Vanilla Ice, Salt & Pepper and the Beastie boys. There was something for everyone.  If you even owned up to a dash of Hispanic culture you were out rocking your colors for whichever country you represented. There was a deep sense of pride that filled the streets. This I know all too well.
Okay, so it wasn't J'ouvert or MAS carnival but I felt that all that were there were having a good time even if you were walking along aimlessly looking at beautiful faces and bodies..yes, there was lots of eye candy around. Security was evidently present all around...Gang Task Force, hmmmhm. Once again, if crowds aren't your thing well, a refreshing glass of lemonade in the back yard playing dominoes can suffice as the smoke hits you from the barbecue grill. See you next year maybe?
 


Last Lap - The wrap up to my first Trini carnival

Well gentle folks, needless to say I am still coming down from my carnival high. I think I left a part of me on the streets of Trinidad and probably on someone's costume as I whined mi waistline wid no behavior on them. It has taken me this long to finish jotting my thoughts down as I was slowly recovering and feeling totally WOTLESS. A week a go this Monday I was recovering from J'ouvert, buzzing form the high I felt then. It was magical for me...I must return to the scene of the scintilating madness, where the the crime of insanity played itself out as I and my fellow revellers rolled behind the "Big" truck where we whned, gyrated, jumped, imbibed on brown liquor concoctions - Rum, Hennessy, Johnny Walker Black etc. etc. - pranced and chipped our way to carnival Nirvana.  But Alas there is still one day left. I wana kno if you playing MAS..Did you? Well I didn't really play mas, but like a lot of people I was able to cross over. Yep, this J'ouvert rebel crossed the stage even though I wasn't with a band..get to that in a second.
Tuesday before Ash Wednesday is the big MAS - Masquerade if you're wondering - and the day will start quite early for most especially if you have to meet your band someplace to begin the street procession and eventually crossing over the stage to be judged hoping to take the title of best carnival band. Unfortunately for me my ass did not roll out of bed till 9.30 only to find out that two of the bands that I wanted to see in full regalia had already crossed stage and was heading to some park to have breakfast, can you believe that..pissed I was. Carnival and fun waits for no one here in Trinidad. Oh well, after getting dressed it was off to the Savanah to see the rest of the bands and enjoy myself some more. I believe this is one of the few times if any other exists where at 11am I am downing a cold beer - Stag or Carib mi deh barkeep (beers from Trinidad) - this is insane even for me but when in Rome bra. .Bright colors and feathery plumage can be seen all round. Short tings, tall tings, big tings, small tings all kinda tings and gents in impy skimpy costumes carrying on wid no behavior, being just plain WOTLESS. And you know I am right there on the sidelines getting on just as bad..Si ya, not a soul out deh know mi so it's di perfect place and time fi let loose cause I an I jumping pon a plane di next day. Bands are rolling through, DJ's are killing the carnival songs, old and new and hyping the masqueraders as they chip their way to the stage. Large floats, individual pieces and individuals are getting last minute checks to make sure nothing is falling off after being on the road all day. The noise is deafening as big trucks - I counted 50 speakers on one truck powered by a huge generator - pass by.You just can't help yourself, you are whining like a lego beast. Time for another beer, may I just say it's 2pm and I still haven't eaten a bite yet..hmmmhm, pacing myself I was..lol..
So as I am here watching the madness, The All Stars Steel Pan band - Winners of this year's Steel pan Panaorama at carnival - is on it's way through accompanying one of the bands and I get totally lost in the music and my video taping that I realized I was behind the security check point. Well, no one stopped me to check for wrist bands and funny thing was I was dressed in similar colors as part of the band and I found myself getting powdered and readied. Who would have thought, and I said to myself we crossing di dam stage here come what will. Just then, Kwame, cousin of Marcia, Nicole and Gigi comes up and taps me on the shoulder. Turns out he's jumping in this band with his dad. I borrow a sneak from his hat to complete my blendage and I continue to render myself camouflaged..lol..ahhh boi, the things we do away from home. The Stage is in front of us time to get advantageous (song by Machel Montano-this was played mostly as bands got ready to cross the stage). Time to roll, we are about to cross over. This is so exhilarating, I feel like a nerdy and naughty school boy about to bruk his ducks (lose virginity, if you wanted to know). Yep, out come my flags, all six of them representing: Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, St. Kitts & Nevis. Haiti and Antigua. What the hell we all kindred spirits..this was amazing, I found Kwame my hype man and danced together as we did at the Fete on Saturday night like brothers in arms, all in front of the stage's cameras recording for all to see. I was having a ball. We crossed over and I received I guess what would be a celebratory drink from Kwame's dad, Johnny Walker no doubt poured from a flask. Alas, this was not to be the end of the procession for the band now continued to link up with other bands that were in route to cross the stage later..Madness I tell ya..Real quickly, we stopped to get some boiled corn. God a Lawd, what a sumptin sweet. I haven't had boiled corn like that since I left Jamaica. I lament on this because of the type of corn I'm eating. A far superior variety if you ask me found here in the Caribbean than the softy we get in the States. Nice firm kernels on the cobb cooked in a flavorful broth. So tasty that after sucking the juice from the cobb one must proceed to Powda (chew) the cobb to shreds. Damn it's soooo good.
Okay, back to Carnival. Well after burrowing our way through ram jam packed streets, witnessing the line security (guys with ropes for the bands keeping people like me out :-)) trying to maintain order, seeing a thief trying to snatch a girl's chain from her neck, seeing a masquerader trying to fight with his own band's security...Guess what? I am back where I started several hours ago. By this time I had several beers and drinks along the way. It was time to feed this hungry beast and I could think of nothing else to have myself but a Shark & Bake. I couldn't leave here and not tear one up. I found a stall and ordered me up one and a bake and fried chicken for Kwame...Lawd Jesus dis sanguige ya is di bomb. Fried shark meat, with crispy cole slaw, lettuce, tomato, chadon benin, hot sauce..sclaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!!! I tink I need bout dozen a dem..I may have to get a purge when I get back to the States...just saying..
I spent the rest of the evening watching and dancing, dancing and watching..and drinking some more beer of course, camera snapping away capturing my experience..God mi poor bladders (I feel like I have two now), liver and kidneys must all be crying bloody murder. I have seen what I came here to see, indulged like a midnight robber, had the time of my life. Time to head back to the hotel and chill. This has been a WICKED experience, you should check it out next year..See you in Trinidad next year perhaps..or Rio, or Jamaica :-).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Check out the the new blog post on www.chefirie.blogspot.com J'ouvert madness indeed..

J'ouvert Morning - The madness continues

I realised from early when I started to write the blog that this has been a wicked experience going down to Trinidad for carnival and that my mind and fingers if left to themselves would write for days..Sensory overload. It;s three days later and I can still hear the pulse of the music in my head..Gosh I was so WOTLESS in Trinidad..Hey you there, I need a rum drink. What, no rum, no rum!!! Man is you mad crazy? Then how about a Stag or Carib Beer or yes, a Guiness and Puncheon?..ummm, withdrawl symptoms it must be I tell ya, yep I'm still on that high. The bands, the people, the music, the vibes..It was all intoxicatingly insane. Now back to J'overt morning.
Amidst all the madness I am checking out the costumes from people mingling and mungling. Blue devils, red devils, guys in diapers, guys in drag, painted faces and bodies ready to roll with the bands. Did I mention that the alcohol is flowing? Flasks in pockets or bags were coming out pouring carnival spirits from Vodka, dark rum, white rum - Puncheon (75% proof Trini rum), Hennessey, Johhny Walker Black, you name it was flowing  - I was pissed that I left my flask at home but I improvised so don't worry uself one bit. Didn't have a flask, screw it just bring di whole bottle and shoob it in a pocket or your waistline for this soon would be gone too anyways. It's 5am and we push out with two liquor vans and two semi-trucks packed with speakers blaring all the soca hits I've heard since being here and then some. I was getting ready to be truly WOTLESS and be a Palancing fool that felt like he just won a Million Dollars who now had the power to tell everyone to go weh from me, MOVE!! :-) So when you pay your money to jump with any band or group, line men or security is there to kick any wayward interlopers out of the midst. No one should interfare with you 'chipping' - It's like a Charlie Chaplain like walk with ridim and intention, a shuffled dance that allows you to exert just enough energy to pace yourself through the procession . A god send for mad fools like myself who want to carry on bad like a merry Ninja throughout the whole thing.. I must say that when you do J'ouvert, good clothes is not a neccesity for keep in mind that you might just have to part ways with them after J'ouvert is done. Now, if yu too stoosh, and gwaan like u too nice better stay you ass home. Don't like crowds, don;t even waist you time come a Carnival. Don't want some strange man or woman grinding up on ya, give me you costume and money. Don't like Soca and can't wine, Cho I wi wine fi ya. See, wining is a true necessity if you are going to be a part of the carnival experience and showing off your wining skills is true bravado. Sorry, no time for teaching right now :-) What, what's that I see? Yesssss, out comes the paint, the baby powder, the water..We are getting dirty this morning and of course I'm not shy. Paint me up baby. I bum some from a new friend and lather that stuff all over my face and my head and some on my arms like it's Jergens lotion. I came for this and I was not going to be denied, I LOVE it!!! We are engaging in the ritual of carnival whereby you get dirty be cleansed and transition into prettiness of MAS, costumed glory, beautiful the Saints are on their way to Ash Wednesday.
J'ouvert for me is the ultimate rebel rousing adventure among newly found friends. Chip up to a girl and jus wine pon dat ting. Big ting small ting I'm wining up on all tings, Short ting tall ting I'm wining up on all tings..Ting Ting Ting Ting Ting Ting..Dats how we roll at carnival boi.  I guess all of Port of Spain must be out this early in the morning because if that was here in the States and Loud music from big ass trucks, all day and night somebody going to jail. Ahhh bugger off, live a little. Better get those sleepy bunched up draws out of that knot for this is not Kansas for sure. We haved chipped, we have wined, we have behaved scandalously..WOTLESS like nutin else I tell ya. We have wined off di back a di truck and wined up on di back a di truck. We have Palanced. Sadly though this part of the fun must come to an end...ahhhh, wait, not before I have one more beer. WOTLESS indeed!!!..frig, it's 8am in the morning. holy crud. Carnival doesn't happen without side stories and here's a quick one. Our band Jungle Fever has ended it's J'ouverrt tour and now it's time to get some food. We pack into the car and drive to the spot, If I remebered the place I would tell you. I just know it's right next to the Hyatt. We get there and order. I'm having me saltfish and bake with a side of Callaloo - textured soup like dish that's made from the leaves of the Dasheen plant with okra, coconut milk, crab, pumpkin and kick ass seasonings...ummm, damn good stuff, lik off finga bisness dis. Not too long after this it is announced that our ride, the car we drove in, mine and Stephanie's ride back to the hotel: Gigi's and Nicole's ride back to the house has been towed. Bloody hell!!! One would think that this would invoke cussing, threats from the voodo man. Instead, a chorus of laughter insued and breakfast was eaten. A lesson to be learnt here from my Trini friends indeed. We walked nearly two miles in the blaring sun to reclaim the bugger..After this I was fried, I wanted a shower and a hassock.  All I can say at this point is that I thumbed my nose at playing MAS and now I'm a J'ouvert Rebel. Oh, wait a minute, I did play MAS..stay tuned.....lol.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

blog post - episode 1 on J'ouvert morning at carnival in Trinidad. Check it out @ www.chefirie.blogspot.com

Carnival in Trinidad - J'ouvert morning

I will preface this blog by saying that I cannot be held responsible for the island language that may at anytime jus drop out a mi mout..see it deh alreadi..Can't even make through the first sentence. I am obviously writing this piece now that J'ouvert has passed and the Tuesday morning MAS has ended. my apologies, I was busy carrying on bad and jus being plan WOTLESS!!! J'ouvert morning is when we start to jam, carnival again..Iwer George.. Jus doh drag di flag ( Defend It) - Shal Marshall.. J'ouvert morning is here and I feel like a ball of excitement, almost the same way I felt when I was in DC for Barack Obama's Inarguration. Big difference here though, I'm ready to lose my ever loving mind. Oh yo yoy, ay ya yaye, oh yo yoy, ay ya yaye.. After a brief nap it was going too be time head out at 2am to head down to mas camp. Some place on Loius St.. We are jumping with the group 'Jungle Fever". I have been seeing big ass semis hauling ton loads of speakers since I have been here and you know, I want more.I want to have my collective J'ouvert cherry popped, I want to bruk my J'ouvert / Trini carnival ducks, I want my carnival virginity taken tonight, err this morning I tell ya!!. Wine mi dun till mawnin light. Of course I didn't expect the 4am start time to be gospel so when we rolled out at 5 am I was perfectly fine with that so what do we do, go hunting for some food..need to fuel up before engaging in copius amounts of alcohol intake...We trod up the street a bit and already the madness has started from the other bands and also from the wandering revelers. Need I say that traffic is crazy!! cars crawling through the streets, often times being surrounded by marauding revelers gyrating and sexually abusing the poor car. Did I say abuse, I really meant to say they raped that car. When that gal got up on the bonnet - when in Rome, for you non-islanders with no British broughtupsy, that would be the hood of the car..Americans..:-) -and that guy jumped all over her winding and grinding I knew I was in the right place..hmm, just so you know I only watched and filmed it on video..hmmhm...Hyped music pulsating from all directions driving adrenaline to incredible levels is just making me tingle all over.  It was insane I tell ya. It's now 3am and I'm having jerk chicken and fries. Oh yeah, and a sip of my coke concoction. I believe a purge will be in order when I get back to the States.
So I have a question,well rather a few questions for you:
So, if you're going to J'ouvert anywhere, a few things you might wanna take with ya. baby oil, bottle or two or three..oh hell a box of baby powder, a liquor sample in your favorite flask, providing of course you're a drinker..I am a Drinka..comfortable sneakers or some kind of flats. Well If you've never been and do end up going one day, the meaning of all this will be revealed.
Now question for you, seeing as you are reading so intently this carnival bog.
Have you ever been to a carnival of any sort? Have you gotten up from slumber of jus a puss nap to go to a party at 4am not finishing until noon? Have you danced for four hours straight - to soca? Have you gotten up at 2 am and filled a half empty coke/Pepsi bottle with liquor and popped it into a cooler to hit the road? Have you ever just danced up to a gal and jus started wining on her or a man for that matter?  And have you ever thought you were WOTLESS and don't even care? Ask Kes from this year's carnival, he'll tell you all about that one. J'ouvert encompasses this and more so I will not under sell it by no means. Why is that you say Chef? Because when you roll behind the big truck, powdered, painted and just a plain mess, having the water truck begin to hose water in the crowd you begin to understand that anything goes in Carnival. More exciting when we the revelers start begging for water. Mi seh wet mi up to sclaaaat!!! Very quickly a chant develops..wata, powda..wata, powda..wata, powda...wata, powda..It is frenzied like detox vagrants going through withdrawal..I was one of them and loving every minute of it..madness I tell ya, madness. It is now morning light..Hey, don't chastise me for saying it like that. I told you when in Rome heh. Once again, morning light and the party now seems like it is getting ramped up.
video
J'ouvert for me has been one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life, by far. Kudos to me that my first happened in the land of Soca. I couldn't have asked for anything better. It was all I thought it would be and more and I truly enjoyed it all. I have been immersed in Soca Since I landed Friday night. It is now Tuesday and I could still squeeze some more in..Fiyah!! I believe i'll find some way to throw in some food thoughts later too...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

So the second Trini Carnival blog update is up. Check it out @ www.chefirie.blogspot.com J'ouvert tomorrow at 2am, hanging with the folk from Jungle Fever..Should be fun.

My Trini blog Carnival blog - episode II

Alright, so i came back to the hotel last night from the all inclusive fete that i went to last night and I was beat. See, for me Soca music is not just something to listen to. It's a spiritual beckoning, or more directly to the point a true reason for I to get on bad, get insane, gone mad. Maybe they will have a straight jacket for me tomorrow. I hear I need to pace myself. This is gona prove hard for me because my natural inclination when I hear Soca music is to jump up, begin some form of gyration (all in the hips fellows) all of which exert energy..for me, lots of energy. We'll see how it goes....All for broke or tek it easy some..
So day two (Saturday) started for me (not today Sunday, light day today but fete at Hilton later tonight) with breakfast at the Hilton. I had my usual fare of ham omelete, boiled egg, chicken sausage, bbq short ribs,,ya heard me..smoked herring and I had my first doubles..yes, I feel ashamed seeing as Joy's roti in Ft.lauderdale is so close to my kitchen..5 minutes I think. Doubles, has to be the quintessential snack food here in Trinidad. it's expertly seasoned Chana (chickpea) with some nicely spiced Chadon Bene (condiment sauce made with cilantro, garlic, thyme and spices) sauce sandwiched between two  light puffy dough pastry. Deeeeelish. I have always ran away from eating Doubles because it has no meat in it. Hey, what can i say, I'm a carnivore at heart. And I will be remiss if I didn't mention that kick ass bowl of pumpkin Chakra...cooked Pumpkin that is mashed and seasoned I'm thinking with some pepper, coconut milk, Geera, Masalla etc etc. If you are from Jamaica this is where you summon that mash pumpkin and butter memory. damn di ting sweet so till..Fiyah!!!!
Being in Trinidad during Carnival is infectious, it's a different vibe all together. I have been here before but not during Carnival. I remember asking the taxi driver at the time how come i don't hear any Soca music on the radio stations. He said that you won't hear none a  dat till it's carnival time. Well look here bwoy, Soca music deh all over di place 24/7. On every car radio, by the pool at the hotel, Across the Savanah, in the stores you enter..lawd it deh everywhere. I wanted Soca, I have it everywhere. Heavy Afrocentric beats and comedic lyrics in every song you hear. This makes me happy. So much so that I had to go check out the kiddies Carnival. There with Marcia and later in the afternoon finding by accident her cousins, enjoying a thrilling experience. Now I must say this, if I were in Miami I would not be going to kiddies carnival but the curiosity certainly got the better of us. Nope, we were not disappointed. I thought I was already in carnival heaven..well, for small people with parents in tow.  I don't know how many bands there were and I wasn't even counting. Heavy beats and ridims from the big trucks was just blowing my mind. No, there was no Dora the explorer or Sesame Street music being played..Dem kids get broken in real young cause the same music di adults listening to is the same music the kids listening and dancing to..you have to bring dem from dem a baby pon breast my yute..Yes kids will be kids, but they for the most part all seem to have been enjoying themselves. Looking so cute in all their costumes. They were troopers, enduring everything from hot sun, rain, wardrobe malfunctions, tiredness to just plain discomfort and aggravation of not being home to watch cartoons. The costumes were bright, colorful,  intricate, complex to simple as stilt walkers with no shirts on and bodies sprayed in red paint. We were moving through the crowds snapping picture after picture and every chance I got I had to buss out a Soca jump up dance. I was soooo estatic..glad I came.
Amidst all this, and a couple of Caribs and Stag - Local beers here - having a bite to eat is so important..Chicken foot souse..Did you hear me, I said chicken foot souse. I haven't had chicken feet since I was a kid and I tackled that cup of toes like I had been eating it all my life.. Succulent, tasty, vinegared goodness. A chicken foot never tasted so damn good...well, I seem to remember that curry chicken foot  Miss Dinah made when I was a kid, but that's a different story all together. Watching the varying groups and bands cross over the stage - process whereby all bands cross an open stage to get judged on their costumes and energy level to rank who's number 1 - was a far different experience than when I did it at the Miami carnival. Watching kids feeling what I felt was an amazing thrill..I wanted to jump into their costumes and dance with them. Umm, there goes that nasty word that gets me in trouble, Dance.. for this is what I did a lot of at the All inclusive fete (party wid food, nuff "juice, and hypnotic gyrating soca beats - I went to. Soca Monarch finalists such as Iwer, Patch, Blacks (no real names needed here, waste a time) performed some of their hits, mad DJ spins wreaking spontaneous gyrations, bumper crawls and slams and vertical leaping as if one was an Ashanti Warrior. Aside from a brief respit for drink refills and brief conversation interludes, it was all about the dancing, swaying and wine down expertise. You haven't danced till you have gyrated pon a girl's bumper ( backside if you really want to know). Alas, it was time to go..well for one we all had a pick up time from the driver and the damn pawty done..nice rahtid house to you see..Nuff money in a Trinidad still. I really couldn't make it to the other party that started at 4am, Vail. Nope, not a true Soca Jumbie.  May get there one day though. I crawled into bed at 3am. J'ouvert is coming up on monday morning at 2 am..Sunday I will chill...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

So I'm Here in Trinidad for carnival and blogging about it. Check it out the next few days @ www.chefiire.blogspot.com I can't wait to sink my craven mouth on a big fat roti..I say move out di way. Stay tuned..here watching Soca Monarch.

My first Trini Carnival - Mad Bull Fever...episode 1

Yep, I am here in Trinidad and I decided to jot down some stuff while I was here. So from now till when I get back when you are reading the posts just imagine me talking in my best trini accent and it will be coming you live and uncensored (lol, he snickers)..Mash up di place heh. Okay, so got in safe and sound not too much drama if any at all. I must say that I was quite surprised to not see a massive crowd at the airport for this evening's flight being that it was the last flight out of Ft. Laudedale. I think I was late getting there at 3.30pm for 6.15pm flight. Full flight. Look here bwoy, is mus be the fus time a Trini on time heh, it mus be carnival or something.. I love it..And look here, after many crazy stories about the airlines for Trinidad, the bloody flight took off on time. But see ya mi trial. This trip looking to wreck any of my stereotypes ingrained in my head. Yep, we got a snack on the plane..Don't get excited but kudos to Caribbean hospitality, I got a warm turkey and cheese sandwich. can't complain, well only for the company that made that sandwich, the slice of turkey was sooo thin I could see the turkey handing me extra breast slice..But hey,I know when I have traveled to New York on occassions and I have only gotten some dry up chips dat gi man bun chest and almost have to beg for likle water..
Now, if you haven't travelled with island folks especially those of us who were travelling to carnival you know there was soca music blaring through headphones throughout the whole plane..I'm trying to think if anyone was watching that Narnia Movie, bad sales for the inflight headphones..The vibz ready, especially when di plane land and we clap and cheer.."Tell dem wi reach, tell dem wi reach..A mi seh move out di way, move out di way..". Alright, I'm quite certain that most of us who have travelled outside the us often hit up the Duty Free stores when we coming home yeah..Figet dat here bra..Must be the first time I've seen people buying duty free liquor when you land..You damn right I bought me a bottle too, Gentleman's Jack..shoot, I'm not gona be left out of this here party. You think that's crazy, fi you want money exchange don't look for any banks to be open, they are all closed till Thursday. Look here man, dis carnival ting is serious buisness yeh. Be the only time you can go wine up pon u boss and go back to work Thursday like nutin ever happend..A love it!!!Fiyah!!!!
So my dude harry that picked me up made the drive cool. Of course the views along the way was not without a remark or two..Harry says, "Yes, Look at dem young hots (do I really need to tell you now, come on already)..aye, she looking here to no, waan let you know she fine.." Murder..dead!!! A car stops infront of us and four women alight from the car in their short short shorts..Did I say that they were short? And I am not kidding the girl from the back of the car, I think her ass came out the car before she..Mercy!! Insane I tell ya..Yes, I'm on top of the world..well, on top of the Savanah for sure cause my lodgings are up in the hills somewhere. Why you asking me where it is, I don't live here..Beautiful view at night here looking down..Can't' wait for the rest of the weekend..Beach tomorrow, lawd shark and bake anyone? maybe doubles, roti perhaps, oh my!!!..After that, well we'll see. Come back for the rest of the trip..Gawn a mi bed..Well, soon..

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Heading out to the Coconut Grove Arts Festival. Doing Demo @ 3pm in the Culinary Pavillion. Come check oit out.

Friday, February 18, 2011

This Sunday Feb. 20th, Coconut Grove Arts Festival http://ping.fm/xM8TN in the Culinary Pavillion..Cooking demo with Chef Irie @ 3pm, come out early browse & buy some art, munch on festival bites.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

New blog post up. www.chefirie.blogspot.com A Valentines perspective...man to man. lik har finga!!
Happy Valentine's Day Y'all. Keep it simple Cupid..

Cupid says..Gentlemen, Cook it, she'll love it and like you even more..!!!!

Gentlemen, right off the bat this is what I have to say to you. I am by no means a relationship expert (Steve Harvey - umm, may have to rethink that later) so if you're looking to round bases that may very well depend on your game or just getting plain lucky, damn it, on Valentine’s Day. If you are in the dog house I suggest that you be very priest like or learn how to paint toe nails even though I would much defer to sucking them instead. What the hell does Cupid know anyway? All is not lost however as I'm quite sure you are stressing because she's special and you can't really afford Prime 112 or the Setai on South Beach. Face it; you feel silly right now because you just haven't made a reservation anywhere.  You're stressed right now aren't you? Alright so let me ask you this? What was that dish you used to make in college? No, no, no, not the Chef Boyardee in the can. You know the one I'm talking about. Yes, that wicked Shrimp Scampi, that fried chicken with warm maple syrup, that pan fried steak with the onions and garlic. Of course it was good then and I guarantee that with a little planning and a fraction of what you would spend going out Valentine’s Day you will have a more relaxed and enjoyable evening with her by making her dinner - Providing you don't incinerate your investment like a hockey puck and get real cocky by bringing out the Foi Gras - unless of course you can burn like that, go right ahead. But here's a simple tip: Keep it simple cupid! If all goes well and she's still around next year (because neither you nor she decided to fire the other) then you have my blessings to call Chef Irie, he'll hook it up for ya...oh yeah, this one will cost you :-).
I believe that the time spent together, stress free, is best. And lest I forget, do go and get her some flowers for God's sake. Hey, if you just met stay away from the red roses, Tulips or Carnations might be better. Okay, so even though I say keep it simple that doesn't mean it should not be sexy. Sure fire sexy! You need to hand feed her - this would be a good time to polish up those caveman like hands and mannerisms, because rough is unwanted. Tempt her with cheese. No, Kraft singles nor easy Mac does not count here! Use nice international blends; try serving warmed Brie with shaved almonds and grapes drizzled with honey. Oooh gooey, can you say yum? She will!!  Feed her strawberries, chocolate covered strawberries. Peel a banana and dip it in melted chocolate then have her take a bite. Get some chicken tenders from the store, season them as you like then roll them in crushed chili cinnamon corn flakes and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. When they cool, feed it to her. Let her feel spicy biting the warm and crunchy nuggets...Ummm, food porn is in full effect, heh. Why chili? It's an aphrodisiac silly. Does she eat Asparagus wrapped with prosciutto? Aphrodisiac qualities once again mi boy. Even if you don't believe that, you will be feeding her a meaty crunchy stick. Nibble nibble nibble...Fiyah!!! So, are you getting the picture yet? Turn it up a notch if you are actually cooking a meal; have her there in the kitchen as you finish that special dish you've been preparing all evening. Have her taste a spoonful of that sauce for dinner later. I know you can picture it, spoon slides across her lips and into her mouth; those same sexy lips close around that spoon as you slooooowly remove it. With wine glass in one hand and the other under her chin she closes her eyes to enjoy the moment. Wonder what she's thinking? Don’t ask, at least not yet anyway because she could very well be thinking damn that's some good shit...or...that would have tasted so much better if I had licked it off his finger, ssssssttt, ummmm!!!. Enjoy the moment.
Keep it simple cupid!!, sounds crazy but it is true. Man to man, be yourself because if you're forcing romance you only come off as a desperate sorry sap and then you would have blown all that hard work, even if it was just to get a great kiss at the end of the evening. And don't get greedy either, because if you request the entire dish, you may just go home with a hungry belly. As they would say in Jamaica, dawg nyam yuh supppa!!!. Happy Valentine’s Day Y'all.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

new blog post up www.chefirie.blogspot.com check it out. Remember Buss Em Out Wednesday. Breadfuit is up, what will play with it. valentines blog coming up too. Off to Jwoo Alumni breakfast.

All things Vegetarian - Buss Em Out Wednesday!!! Reflections

I am trying to think of a day when I would have conversed with self and made a deciosn to be a vegetarian. Umm, you know I'm not quite sure what that decsion would be but before writing this blog that answer would have been a resounding NO!!!! Sorry, I don't think that was clear enough, OH HELL NO!!! To all my fellow carnivores, no I'm not desenting...I man love eat meat still...nutin sweeter to me than some plump pig tail and salt beef in a my stew peas...Jah know, I have to powda some bone (chew bone to fine mush, thus extracting all the delish juices and marrow) after mi done eat some oxtails..an lawd nuh mention nutin bout di bbq ribs dem or braised short ribs - Guiness glazed anyone, oh my!! Is lick off finga biznis dat man.

Alas, before I digress too much for I wanted to talk a little about 'All Things Vegetarian' on the Buss Em Out Wednesday Series.  I am quite certain that because of the way I am conditioned, doing an all vegetarian meal was always a far away thought. I think meat first and I'm quite certain I am not the only chef that thinks that way. So me thinking of exotic vegetables and casting them as supporting cast members shouldn't really be a surpise, now I'm thinking. What I can say though is that the power of suggestion can be a wicked thing especially when made with love of course :-). It was suggested to me recently that I should really do pieces that focus on vegetarian offerings and to even go a week where I made all vegetarian meals, eat them and write about about it. Ugggggghhh!!!Did you not just feel that twinge of pain in my heart, immediate withdrawl symptoms are upon me..my palms are clamy, I am sweating purfusely..hold on a sec, I need to have a Chimichurri burger right now..Ok, it may not be that serious, but crazy thoughts come up when I think about that. But you know, I'm gona do just that, but I really need to condition my mind. That's like telling me there is no more rum I should drink Gin or Vodka..Nooooooooooo!!! Hell and powda house in a di place mi a tell yuh..
Parsnip Quinoa w/ sauteed Bbeet greens,
Coconut Beet Puree, Coconut parsnip puree
Cactus Prickly Pear & Date Compote
Parsnip crisps
So on wednesday, my main ingredients were: Quinoa (undisputable king of protein, has all 8 essential vitamnins), Parsnips, Long Hot peppers, Cactus Prickly Pear, Red Beets and Dates supported by parsley, green onions, coconut milk. Now just to be clear so you understand the selections if you don't already, my aim on Buss Em Out wednesdays is to work mostly with ingredients I don't work with at all or rarely ever. And when I go to the market to pick up the ingredients I don't have too much of a conceived idea of what it is that I am going to make or even how I'm going make it. Nonetheless, the work continues and we fast forward. I came up with a game plan and executed what I contrived in my "creative mind". So here's what I found to be true, at least for me anyway when it came time to putting the dish together. For all presentations the ingredients are assembled to form a cohesive interpetation of the idea of  the chef and I had to think hard about how to assemble everythiung so the dish would say "I want to eat this vegetarian dish and love it". Yes, I make great vegetarian dishes but ask any vegetarian that goes out to dine what their concern usually is and it always comes back that they want to have a full meal and a variety of choices. Treat me like a meat eater damn it!!!! I think I will be checking out Sublime restaurant here in Ft. Lauderdale soon. But what I find in most restaurants, correct me if I am wrong, is that unless there is some ethinic or cultural (Indian, Italian, Meditarreanean etc.) asscoiation with the food, the choices are not many...well as entrees. So unless you're having Mezze and Tapas - all small individual offerings - where you would put them together for a filling meal, then I guess you're having a salad then. Yes there ae now more great vegetable choices because of the involvemnet of local farmers in the organic and non-organic arena. Sustainable foods, farm to table, slow foods movements are providing us with great variety and choices and chefs are getting on board all over.
So exactly what am I saying? Growth of a Chef..sounds familiar?  I am always thinking about food and ways in which I can create new dishes and vegetarian dishes are part of that repertoir. I have even thought about several ways in which I could have done the dishes I made last week differently or even better. The Idea of living a vegetarian or Vegan lifestyle is certainly not new to me. As a child growing up for me that meant seeing Ital Food (no meat and mostly no salt) being prepared by the Rastafarians. I just remember it being an amazing thing to make kick ass dishes with coconut milk, herbs and spices. It's a food tradition I might not have indulged as they did but I'm certainly not invoking ignorance here. My lifestyle of being a meat eater was certainly taught to me as a child and as an adult I continue to follow that lifestyle. As a chef I have always thought of vegetables as sides and I have to say that my exercise during Buss Em Out Wednesday has allowed me to think differrently and I know there is tons of room for more development or just Develop more dishes. Sadly, even as I write this dissertation I find myself yearning for some Mondungo soup - that would be tripe soup - so rich, so decadent...bring that big spoon to my lips and sluping that hot brothv chewing on some soft meat just so I can give my approved satisfaction...BUUUUURRRPPPPPP!!! Tenk yuh Jesas!!!!  Hmmmhm :-) My thoughts exactly!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

So the next blog, "All things Vegetarian - A reflection on Buss Em Out Wednesday will be out soon. Have you read the last blog?..No really, have you? ..I think you should. www.chefirie.blogspot.com Okay, so for Next week's Buss em out wednesday!! one ingredient will be Breadfruit & the theme for the next few wednesdays will incorporate the African Diaspora..Did you all forget, it's Black History Month! send me ideas.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

http://ping.fm/fAuR2
today @ 4pm eastern linking with ma boy Chef Amadeus on blog talk radio. check out the link if you have some time.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Food is Porn - Conversations from within..Part 1.

So many of us have varied relationships with food. Some of us truly enjoy eating and enjoying gastronomic creations from the many events and restaurants that are visited. Some of us enjoy food when it is played with whether on plates or the many food fights we can remember. There are also those that enjoy the eroticism of food not just by eating it to enjoy the orgasmic qualities but also to indulge in sexual fantasies utilizing food objects as conductors for sexual play. Come on, you know what I'm talking about. So which are you? And why do you want to know which am I? I'm the chef damn it.  I just cook it to make you happy and that's one of the stories that I'm sticking with. I don't know nutin bro. Hee he he he he heee hee, ahhhhhh bwoy...

So food porn, you see it all the time. It's a picture, it's a thought, it's whatever you make it providing it conotates and stimulates a delicious gratification. Sometimes even a sexual component can be extracted. Food Porn - the dish looks so sexy it makes me feel all tingly inside...one delicious bite at a time.
Food Porn - just looking at the warm dark chocolate dripping from that ripe... luscious... strawberry just makes me wet...in the mouth!!!
Food Porn - I took a bite from that golden yummylicious peach and the juice just oooozed, running all down my fingers down the side of my lips...heavenly.
Food Porn - ...he decides that the next shrimp I eat he should feed it to me..He says close your eyes and open wide..I comply!! I sit there, my lips are quivering as I wait, wait to devour that shrimp only I feel a hard warm sensory feeling glide across my lips. It's his fingers dripped in warm drawn butter...sooo slippery, so smooth! Then I feel what he is feeding me..that succulent shrimp, so meaty, crunchy, spicy, tasty, juices hitting the back and sides of my mouth as I take each bite..simply orgasmic..It IS Food Porn!!
But what if food had human like personalities and truly enjoyed being with other ingredients, what would their conversations be like. I wonder now...ummm.
Ok, you still reading? Just checking :-) Now here's a flipped script. Imagine what foods paired with each other would say to each other given that they are.. well, you know, so close to each other..touching each other, looking at each other, laying on top of each other..Yes, what would they say to each other..These two are the ones invited to this party. Smooth velvety hot chocolate topped off with fresh whipped cream and silky chocolate curls and sprinkles paired with a chocolate Biscotti ready to be sipped, nibbled and munched. You sure that's all you see?..Really? If you can't picture it, let me do it for ya.Well let's see then....

"...psssst psssst..yeah you, what took you so long? Do you know why they put us here together? Why of course,we're a perfect pair, You with sexy curves, mounds and sweet creamy taste and me..well I'm just the glutenous maximus twice baked hard and crunchy. I'm now feeling a little amorous looking at those steamy puffs.  Well you know I've been looking to have my foamy cream spreaded, poked and prodded. I feel so full, I'm so ready to burst. Hmmmm, long strong and hard  I see and the color of chocolate to boot..ssssst, oooooooh!!! You need to come closer friend, feel my smooth lines and delectable curves. Da hell you say, you know you ain't got to tell me twice boo. Do you know I was hoping to come and snuggle right next to you too?. Sitting over here with your pillowy mounds looking oooooh so sexy. I have a good mind to just..to just..just..oh hell, I just want to dip my pointy head in all that yummy goodness...Well you know I'm not gona be around for long. What you waiting for? Come find your hot wet chocolate surprise while I'm still steamy Mr crunchy.. Oh my, you said that right on time for I'm just getting a lift and it's pointing in your direction. Sooo inviting, sooo exciting.  OMG, I'm going IIINNN...ahhhhhhhhhhhhh...ooooooooo!!!!
Oohhhhhh, stir me monsieur biscotti, stir me till I lose control. Damn, now I'm gona be sipped and slurped in a second here..can you feel me melting all around you? I loved how you just parted my fluffy mounds...so strong, so assertive, so hard..orgasmically erotic....Wait, wait you can't leave so soon... No my love, I'm just backing out to come back in again for more..Dip - dip - dip..It's so devine, sooo delicious. Such a pitty it can't last forever. I can now feel my crumbles all over you..Yep, we both seemed to have lost our heads in all this excitement..But I totally enjoyed it all. Bye boooooooooooo-------------------- crunch, crunch, crunch..sip, sip, sip.
I don't know, that basket of grapes, banana, strawberries and chocolate looks quite interesting. Ummm, part 2 perhaps?
Yep, FOOD PORN indeed!!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

So Buss Em Out Wednesdays started with Mussels, then came the octopus and we rocked it last night with the rabbit. Next week, All things Vegetarian. My oh my, where shall we journey to then. Come check it out and see. Send your ideas in and let's see what we come up with. Thanks for participating, but yuh dun seh, FOOD IS ON FIYAH BABY!!!

Buss Em Out Wednesdays!!! Growth & Soul of a chef.



Chorizo polenta w/
sauteed chrisophene & mussels
 So I started this series on Wednesdays in my kitchen. The concept is simple, I come in and work on ingredients that I don't always get a chance to work with or ingredients that I've never worked with at all. As chefs we spend most of our careers learning about food and everything that goes with that. You name it we've tackeld it: wine pairing, food costs, labor costs, PROFITS, theft, hiring, firing, menu designs, catering, cookbooks etc, etc, etc.. A lot of times you sometimes get in a rut because based on the food environment that you are in might cause you at times to stop growing, a halt on the creative vibes. Enter stage right, ideas for the chef. This can take various forms such as travelling, working on farms, working on fishing boats, teaching, opening a new restaurant, sometimes even a total break from food all together is needed..anything that will stir the creative juices. For me this sense of renewing became the invent of Buss Em Out Wednesdays!!! I must say, that in the three weeks since I have started the series I have felt a new sense of creativty and excitement. There's nothing better than being able to create from scratch by simply using raw ingredients, knowledge, talent and a creative spirit.
Being a chef means hard work, long hours and often times this means being away from people you care about. Yep, family and friends. Thinking about becoming a chef or anything for that matter? Well just make sure you are passionate about what you do or want to do. I was recently with some colleagues in Jacksonville Florida, lending our time and talents preparing good food for a wine dinner benefiting a worthy cause, Culinary Wonders. I met a young lady there - Destiny was her name - that not only inspired myself but the chefs that I was working with I'm sure. Why I mentioned her, well she is a budding chef at the ripe old age of eleven. I don't believe I have seen prouder parents that were so supportive of their child and what she has obviously chosen as her future career. No, she has had no formal training but the soul of a chef is within her. Exactly what were you thinking about when you were eleven? Yeah, thought so, me too. Well Destiny wants to have a chain of restaurants, 100 to be exact. Did I mention she has a rough plan for this conglomerate venture aleady? Umm, I guess I should have mentioned that, but I just did so there. As professional chefs we were all proud of her not to mention speechless at times listening to her. Can we say standing rib roast..yeah, exactly. I believe the birth of any chef never starts in culinary school or prep room in any restaurant. That's a seed that gets planted way before one knows their path, just waiting to be watered and nurtured. Waiting to develop and grow, waiting to grow and learn. We will all watch for the growth of Chef Destiny.
Wine poached golden beets &
Red Chard Stems, sauteed Chard
Heirloom salad, pan seared Octopus
w/ Rum spiced gastrique
Well, Mussels, Chorizo and Christophene started the Buss Em Out Wednesday series followed by our eight tentacled friend the octopus being helped along with Golden Beets, Heirloom Tomatoes and Red Chard. Last night we rocked it with the offereing of rabbit and a bunch of unusual suspects: collard greens, tomatillo, red cherry peppers and celery root. It was goooood. Hey, please refrain from uttering any thumper jokes or whimperings for creativity will not be denied. Next week the carnivore in me will take a short hiatus though. Short, very short. Yep, next week it's All Things Vegetarian. My oh my, where shall we journey to then. Come check it out and see. Send your ideas in to www.facebook.com/chefirie and  let's see what we come up with. Thanks for participating, but jus so u know, FOOD IS ON FIYAH BABY!!!

Wine braised rabbit w/ celery root puree
& sauteed collard greens
So Buss Em Out Wednesdays started with mussels, next came the octopus and last night the rabbit was the star. For next week we go Vegetarian..So what will it be, send me your choises and let's make a list of unusual suspects..Food is on Fiyah baby!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Another Buss Em Out Wednesday is in the books. Some pics are up, check em out on my FaceBook wall. Made two dishes today using Octopus, golden beets, Red Chard and Heirloom tomatoes: 1). Butter wine poached goldenbeets & red chard stems, red chard sauted in black truffle oil, couscous with heirloom tomato salad, golden beet emulsion & pan seared octopus with rum gastrique. 2). Chilled braised red chard, golden beet chips, beheirloom tomato salad w/ pan seared octopus medallions. See what happens for next week. In box me your ingredients and let's play.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

BTW, are you following my blog. www.chefirie.blogspot.com I'm stepping up my game this year. It's on like Donkey kong!!. okay, time for sleep!!
So as I sit here in Jax. pondering the make up of the "Food is porn" blog, do check out the latest blog post, "Tips on Selecting fresh Seafood". Tomorrow I band with Erika and the other merry chefs to start prep for Monday's Culinary Wonders Wine Dinner here at Casa Marina Hotel on the beach. I'm stoked!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tips on selecting fresh seafood

Whole fresh mackerel on ice
"...Fresh fish, buy your fresh fish here: King fish, Snapper, Mullet, Macabak, Goat head fish, fresh Parrot, fresh Mackerel, fresh Butta fish..Hi nice lady, come buy some fresh fish fram mi nuh, taste up di table fi yuh big straptin man a yard pon di satideh ya...."  Damn, I cuda nyam two fry parrot fish wid a piece a bammy ya now to...wait... wait... wait for it i tell ya...to Sclaaaat!!!  Have you been anywhere where you have heard that before? No?  Well damn! So here we go again, back to my childhood. I swear, the memories are endless from this period in my my life. But this piece is not so much about those memories as they are about purchasing what's advertised and knowing you got exactly what you paid for, fresh seafood for your dollars. Now granted, back then just as in most places here with seemingly modern refigerated equipment, if you were not savy in knowing how to select your goods, you would be going home with garbage.  The salesman has a product and he needs to sell to you whom ever wants to buy it. Problem for him is that his product has an exceptionally short "shelf life". Seafood immediately starts to break down once it has been removed from it's natural environment and even more so in terms of fish when it expires. The market of which I spoke of earlier (in Jamaica) didn't have refrigerated systems, just men and women with large wicker baskets or aluminum tubs layered with newspaper, ice, burlap, fish, ice, plastic and more bulap to keep the fish from going bad. Antiquated you might say but it works. Works more in your favor when you know the days the fishermen have brought in their loads. The best time for buying fish will be early morning, often times before the sun comes up or is too high in the sky. You want the freshest and best.
 Well, most of us can't go to a market like such or you probably don't care to involve yourself with such fun activities :-). So like the effecient consumers and expert shoppers we are we hop down to our nearest supermarket to get the goods.  Alas, because of refrigerated technologies, we can get a product sold to us in pretty good condition in "MOST" places. Well here are a few tips for you to not take home someone's damaged goods:
First and most importantly for all seafood:
It must smell like the ocean, not amonia, bleach nor shall it smell fishy unless of course it is being sold to you by BP or some other related conglomerate. What!! You know they would too.

Caribbean lobster tail nice sweet flavor.
can be frozen before use
 Lobster, Crab, Shrimp: If you've bought shrimp 9 times out of 10 it's frozen. Keep them like that until ready for use. Just thaw them in some cold water and drain. Lobsters and crabs can survive a little longer, just put them in a pan and cover with paper. Cook them though when they are nice and lively.
Whole Fish: not slimy, deep red gills, better if eyes are to slightly opaque, very cloudy forget about it. Flesh should be firm and bounce back when pressed. But you say chef, I can't touch that damn thing or I'm not allowed. If homeslice behind the counter works for a reputable store have him or her do the checks for you.

Swordfish steaks: flesh moist &
not gray, bloodline bright red
 Filets or steaks: should not look dried out, no freezer burn, bones bright and fresh not white and dried, flesh should be bright not greyish, moisture on fish should be consistent not in small beads (temperature too high) no slime at all.

Pacific Oysters from British Columbia
 Shellfish: mussels, clams, oysters, scallops
These sexy little devils must be sold to you ALIVE. Eat dem wen dem dead and yuh might get an acute case of mauly gripe and fluxy complaints, yes belly hot. Projectile vomiting and spewing fro both ends..well you get the picture and trust me by then Charmin won't be able to save your ass. In some extreme cases depending on the individual, death can occur. When you buy them it's usually in bulk so I say if your recipe calls for say a pound of mussels, buy an extra half pound. Why Chef? In a second my little Padawan, you'll see. When you get those sexxy little devils home immediately remove them from whatever wrappings they came in, place them in a collander and rinse them with cold water and remove any bearded stuff from them. This allows any sand residue to get washed off and if you are going to cook them immedaitely do your first check. I told you earlier that you always buy shell fish alive so keeping them wrapped up will almost certianly extinguish their sexxy little lives, well before they are ready to be cooked anyways.
Smell them - good, Check.

Mussels Chorizo w/ Mango Aioli -
Buss Em Out Wednesdays!!!
 See any open ones, tap them once or twice. If they are not closing or only half way closed throw that bugger out - check.
Once cooked, the converse is true, if that sucka didn't open sail that bad boy through the window. I wouldn't recommend you do this at a restaurant though, there might be lawyers dining close by.
Now, you walk into any establishment that is selling fish and there's a strong odor of bleach or amonia in the air, be like Usain Bolt and sprint out of there, no time for jogging on this one.
So you buy these like devils and the fish of course and you want to cook it the next day, do this. For the whole fish or steaks, get long plastic dish with with smaller insert with holes. Add ice (crushed is better if you have it) in smaller container then place the fish on ice and cover with paper towel and place at middle or close to the bottom part of fridge. For filet, I would do the same or just leave it in the store plastic wrapped package. If you are not going to use this immediately then just put the damn thing in the freezer unless you have one of those refrigerators that freezes not in the freezer but in the middle shelf. For the shell fish, just keep them in the collander you washed them in with a bowl beneath and place in the fridge. So there you have it, I hope this was somewhat helpful. What's next you ask?  Well you know that seafood you bought and cooked and are about to eat? Ever thought of them saying sexxy things to each other, you know, the same way you express it to others. Check it out:
"..Chil look here, when he dipped that succulent shrimp in that warm velvety sauce, brought it to my mouth with the juices drippppppping all over his fingers, I couldn't do nutin but open wide girl..and he didn't just push it in, he let it dance across my lips, brushing past my teeth and placed it on my excited tongue. All this time my eyes are closed not knowing if I should close my mouth now as I was savoring the shrimp as it languished on my palete, but I closed it slowly only to find that his finger was still attached to the shrimp but was being removed oh soooo slowly before my lips were now pursed together and I started to chew, one sensory explosion at a time..'' Yeah, something like that..Stay tuned for "Food is Porn - Conversations from within"..

Saturday, January 8, 2011

So, are you a fan yet of Chef Irie Spice? No? Okay, come and check us out here for 2011. Looking forward to a stellar year and would love if you would share the ride with us and your new friends. Coming soon: more blog posts, video snaps, cooking classes, recipes, new web page etc. etc. etc.. come join us. Never know when you'll get a fan prize..