Chef Jason Howard took part in a social media discussion for the CTO via Twitter/ Periscope regarding this year’s Caribbean Romance theme looking at the romantic delights of Caribbean food and drink, where he was joined with mixologist Dameain Williams.
They were both posed respective questions in line with their professions.
Q1. As this is CTO’s year of romance, what are some of your personal favorite dishes that set the right romantic mood?
For me one of my dishes that could work would be my red cabbage cured salmon dish,
due to its colour, and it can be either a starter or main.
Q2. What are some of the foods that couples normally request?
This will depend on the couple as some will have differing preferences as someone maybe vegetarian and others may like fish over meat. My refined jerk chicken is a definite hit, as people want to try it out.
I also have some vegetarian and vegan dishes such as a mixed green salad with root vegetables. For those who like seafood, I have a green mango & crab salad, plus a vibrant coloured and flavored seafood medley.
Q3. Is there a differing favorite dish among men and women?
There is not so much a favorite with couples, but they are definitely into sampling my refined jerk chicken.
Q4. What are some of your favorite authentic Caribbean aphrodisiac ingredients?
For me, it has got to be the Scotch Bonnet pepper and my Scotch Bonnet oil. The pepper or chili as it’s referred to, has some amazing properties the heat being one of them, as it creates a sensation in the mouth and on the lips with pleasurable warmth. Otherwise eating a nice ripe juicy mango in the sun is a nice sensual pleasure in its own right.
Q5. Are there any other ingredients you use as an aphrodisiac in your dishes?
As I’m in England I suppose asparagus is meant to be an aphrodisiac and I’ve created a ‘Green Envy Asparagus Salad’.
Q6. We had Mixologist Dameain Williams create some cocktails, what kinds of foods do you think go well with these two list of cocktail ingredients?
With the first cocktail Dameain Williams made using lemon, mango, basil with passion fruit juice, this I would turn into a sorbet, otherwise it could work with my saffron poached pears.
Looking at the second cocktail ingredient list of apple juice, yellow bell peppers, mint leaves, lime and simple syrup.
I would opt for my sweet potato crème brûlée. The apple juice, lime and simple syrup would bring out sweet and acid elements in the cocktail and the mint leaves would be aroma with bell pepper adding a slight freshness with the mint. With my dessert I could contrast the chilled cocktail with the warmth of my dessert together with mandarin segments that could be glazed or poached in a rum and cinnamon syrup.
Q7. What are some of your MUST HAVE ingredients to make the flavor of certain dishes “pop”?
Definitely good seasoning especially with meat and seafood dishes, aromatics and flavors such as the spices of nutmeg and cinnamon always work well. And I mentioned before my Scotch Bonnet I use it in range of both sweet and savory to give it that pop.
Ann-Marie Brooks via twitter asked – @Chefjasonhoward What’s a good non-alcoholic cocktail for a dinner party?
I think anything with a virgin mojito base and something sparkling will work, but that definitely is a Dameian Williams question as he’s a master mixololgist.
Otherwise you could try my dessert cocktail that is definitely alcohol free, fruity and fun served in a martini glass. When I posted this during the twitter discussion Dameain did like the look of it.
About Chef Jason Howard:
Jason Howard has been making for himself as a chef from the Caribbean to the UK as well as online with an Instagram following of more than 85,000 on his ChefJasonHoward account. He’s appeared on UK radio, television and the newspapers passionately promoting Caribbean cuisine. When he appeared on BBC’s MasterChef:The Professionals, he was praised for being the first ever chef to display Caribbean food with refinement in the show’s history according to one of the judges.
Aside from this he’s involved in mentoring other chefs and has set up the Caribbean Culinary Collective, a showcase of talented chef’s in or from the Caribbean putting flavour, skill and taste from the islands on the international map.