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World of M

Chef Collin Brown of Trident Port Antonio

November 12 2014 | Article Type: Leisure

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“Being a chef is not as simple as cooking food, you are being an ambassador.”

Chef Collin Brown was born and raised in Jamaica, and while most of us at age 8 were playing with toy cars and video games, Collin was in the kitchen cooking for his family of six, including his grandmother, granddad, brother, sister and mom. As the oldest of three kids, it was his duty to do all the cooking. But you won’t hear Brown complaining about his upbringing. In fact, he is incredibly grateful, “I enjoyed making dinner and seeing the expression on my grandmother's face with each meal.”

Today, Brown has his own restaurant at the prestigious Trident Hotel in Port Antonio, Jamaica where using locally grown food comes second nature. The restaurant, Trident Port Antonio, is a Marteino favorite for its delicious dishes and organic philosophy - its dishes are made with produce grown right on the hotel’s property.

“We raise the chickens, we raise the hens for eggs. This is farming country. Everything is fresh. Nothing is from a bag. Fresh peppermint, fresh lemongrass. Leaves from the coffee tree. If you want tea, we will boil a leaf to make it. Jamaicans don't appreciate this because growing and cooking their own food is how (Jamaicans) were raised.”

Brown isn’t the only chef to lean toward using only locally grown food. One chef from the industry who can relate is Raymond Blanc, who, according to Brown, “makes something out of nothing. It’s not a gimmick with Raymond.”

Brown isn’t about keeping his cooking secrets to himself though; he also trains people outside of the restaurant. Visitors fly to Jamaica from all over the world to learn from the talented chef. During the Prince of Saudi Arabia’s visit, Brown taught him how to make chocolate straight from the bean. “We used soy+coconut milk, fresh vanilla, fresh nutmeg, fresh everything. It makes the chocolate taste more pure. It blew his mind,” the renowned chef said of the experience.

You may ask why such a sought after chef would choose to open up shop in such a small country like Jamaica, but for Brown, the answer is simple. “Jamaica is one of the most diverse places on the planet.” That’s not to say Jamaica was his first choice. Brown has been all over Europe and found inspiration through his experiences. To Trident’s benefit however, timing and chance forced him to start his own restaurant in Jamaica. Today he gets to do what he loves in his home country. “The most amazing thing about growing up in Jamaica is learning to live off the land. You don't get to realize these things until you go abroad and come home."

 

Chef Collin Brown’s Favorite Dishes

 

CALLALOO

Recipe

1 tin of callaloo
1 small tomato or 4 cherry tomato
1 small onion
2 tablespoons of oil
1 ring of scotch bonnet pepper
1⁄4 of red pepper
1⁄4 of green pepper
2 sprigs of spring onion
1⁄2 tablespoon of water
1⁄2 teaspoon of vegetable seasoning
1⁄2 teaspoon of Caribbean seasoning
1⁄2 teaspoon of black pepper

Method

Pour oil in a pre-heated saucepan, add onion, tomato, scotch bonnet pepper, red & green pepper and spring onion. Sautée for about 3 minutes then add callaloo and butter. Season with Caribbean salad seasoning, vegetable seasoning, black pepper and a bit of salt. Simmer for 2 minutes and serve.

ESCOVITCH FISH

Recipe

1 snapper fillet
1 teaspoon of all-purpose seasoning
1⁄2 teaspoon of black pepper
A sprinkle of salt

For sauce:

1⁄2 of onion
1 carrot
1⁄2 of red pepper
1⁄2 of green pepper
A sprinkle of salt
4 tablespoons of vinegar

Method

Season fish with black pepper, all-purpose seasoning and salt. In a hot frying pan add oil and fry fish for 3 min on each side.

Method for sauce

In another sauce pan add oil from the fish, onion, peppers, carrots and scotch bonnet pepper and sauté with vinegar for 3 min. Put fish on a serving plate and pour sauce over the fish with the vegetables. Garnish and serve.

SALT MACKEREL

Recipe

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 salted mackerel
1 small onion
1 spring onion
1⁄4 of green pepper
1⁄4 of red pepper
1 tomato or 4 vine tomato
2 rings of scotch bonnet pepper
2 tablespoons of vinegar
1 teaspoon of black pepper

Method

Wash salt from mackerel and cook in boiling water for 3 minutes. Wash again in cold water and boil for 2 more minutes.
Add oil to a frying pan, then add spring onion, onion, scotch bonnet pepper, red & green pepper, tomato and sautée for 2 minutes.
De-bone fish and add to the vegetables. Season with black pepper and vinegar and serve.

ACKEEE

Recipe

1 tin of ackee
1 onion
2 sprigs of spring onion
1 medium tomato
2 tablespoons of oil
1⁄4 of red pepper
1⁄4 of green pepper
1 ring of scotch bonnet pepper
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt

Method

In a saucepan add oil, onion, spring onion, red pepper, green pepper, tomato and scotch bonnet pepper and sauté for 2 min.
Then add ackee and season with salt and black pepper. Simmer for 2 min and serve..

GARLIC LOBSTER

Recipe

Cooked lobster tail
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon of chopped ginger
1 tablespoon of butter
1⁄2 of onion
1 sprig of spring onion
1⁄4 of green pepper
1⁄4 of red pepper
1 tablespoon of cornflour

Method

Chop garlic, onion, spring onion, red & green pepper and ginger. In a saucepan add butter and all chopped vegetables and sautée for 2 minutes.
Add lobster with all-purpose seasoning with a little water and fresh thyme. Then add corn flower and serve.
In a bowl, mix flour and salt into dough by adding water. Roll dough into small balls and add to the stew.

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