Revamped. Renewed. These are the common terminologies used by many people when a product is changed or by a paradigm shift in society.

The need for modernization is necessary especially in our current technological era of Facebooking, Tweeting and Googling where information is bombarded at such rapid succession that is it hard to keep track of our daily activities. The 2.0 is more than just the evolution from the beta stage but it goes beyond a rudimentary upgrade of a Gourmand.

Food is the common denominator in every society and one can experience instant gratification through the human senses. Who can resist the sight of a molten double chocolate lava cake, the smell of a luscious green herb garden sprinkled with newly showered raindrops, the seductive taste of a freshly baked blue cheese souffle and of course, the decadent contrasting taste of a creme brulee. The process of cooking is always upgrading, not limited to one’s imagination.

A year can make, but better yet, has made a difference to this Gourmand. After my international culinary studies, coming back to Jamaica to make a significant contribution to the local culinary landscape has been an arduous road but with a positive, can do (if not persistent) attitude & a glass of wine in the Riedel, i’ll surely kick ass & will leave my mark in the industry.

So, here it is: JAMAICAN GOURMAND 2.0

Le Cordon Bleu Graduates from Left: Anita Chin, Taylor Erickson, Craig Fleming


Hello my fellow gourmands,

My apologies for the delay in posting. The past few weeks have been unexpectedly hectic but now that has been sorted out, I give you NOT one entry to appease the appetites but THREE mind-blowing, simple meals that can be prepared in one pot and does not use too much water. The water crisis here in Jamaica has been nothing but thorny and inconvenient. All you need for this meal is to wash up one pot, one cutting board and a knife. Each of these meals can be prepared for breakfast, lunch and dinner respectively. So no matter the lack of water from the National Water Commission (NWC), you can still prepare and serve a meal platter without compromising on taste or quality.

Here are some hints for cooking in a water crisis:

  • Plan a meal schedule for the week so that you can allocate resources and ingredients ahead of time.
  • Prepare meals ahead of time, so that there is less washing to do
  • If you own a dishwasher, load the dishwasher completely with the plates, utensils and pots used for the day and turn it on in the evening/night. (This is both an energy and water saving benefit) 
  • Integrate leftovers in the next day’s meal.
  • Use disposable plates, forks, knives, cups and napkins to conserve water
  • Ensure that when ordering from a private water trucking company, the water is from a sanitary source
  • Invest in either a whole house filter (available at Appliance Traders Limited – ATL) or a freestanding water filter pitcher for drinking purposes
  • Ensure that before consuming water from the tap, sanitize it with a few drops of bleach and/or boil water before use.
  • When buying bottled water, look on the expiry date (yes, water has an expiry date because it is packaged in plastic bottles and chemicals from the plastic can taint the water after a long period) and buy in bulk to save on costs

For more water conservation tips log on to:

Here are some recipes below that can be done easily for breakfast, lunch and dinner respectively. 





2 cups    Watermelon, cubed

2 cups    Cantaloupe, cubed

2 cups    Honeydew, cubed

1 cup      Pineapple, cubed

1/2 cup  Walnuts


In a large bowl, combine watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe and pineapple. Stir to combine. Add walnuts and gently stir. Serve with dollops of honey vanilla yogurt and freshly squeezed orange juice. Serves 4. Enjoy!

Fruit Salad served with Orange Juice



1 cup   Plain unflavored yogurt

1 Tbsp.  Good natural honey

1 Vanilla bean*

1 tsp.  Vanilla extract

1 tsp.   Cane sugar


In bowl, place all ingredients except vanilla bean and whip until completely combined. Cut vanilla pod in half. With the back of a knife, scrape out the vanilla seeds and add to mixture. Whip to combine. Ingredients can be adjusted to taste. Can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 month. Enjoy!

*Vanilla bean pod can be placed into a container of sugar and will infuse to make tasty vanilla sugar which can substitute for cane sugar. The seeds are the primary flavorings and are more commonly used. The beans are are typically VERY expensive but a little goes a long way.



1  Romaine Lettuce (mesculin mix can also be used)

2  Plum tomatoes

6   Dates, pitted

4 slices  Beef slices*


Cut the bottom off of the lettuce and separate the lettuce leaves. Cut tomatoes into wedges by cutting in half lengthwise, then cutting each half into thirds. Cut dates in half. Place all ingredients in salad bowl and using two spoons, gently mix. When ready to serve, cut and place beef strips on top of salad and pour Red wine dressing. Enjoy!

* Leftover ribeye steak sliced. Can be substituted with cooked and sliced chicken breasts or baked ham. 



1/2 cup  Extra virgin Olive Oil

1/4 cup  Balsamic vinegar

1 tsp.  Dijon mustard

1/8 tsp. Freshly cracked pepper

1/4 tsp.  Kosher salt

1/4 cup  Red wine

1 anchovy fillet, finely chopped (optional)


In bowl, add vinegar, salt, pepper, red wine, anchovies and mustard. While stirring, slowly add olive oil and whisk until combined and has emulsified to a purple-red tint. For a vinaigrette, leave out the Dijon mustard. Pour into bottle and store in refrigerator until needed. Can be stored for up to 3 months. Enjoy!






3   1″ thick Ribeye steaks

1 Tbsp.  Kosher Salt

1 Tbsp.  Freshly Cracked pepper

1/2 cup   Red wine

1 Tbsp.  Parsley, chopped

1 Tbsp.  Butter

1 tsp.  Flour


Preheat oven to 400°F. Pat steaks dry with a paper towel and place steaks on a plate. Sprinkle and pat down salt and pepper mixture onto steaks until completely coated. Place into oven for 8 – 10 mins for medium rare or until desired doneness. Turn steaks over halfway during cooking process. Place steaks onto a plate and cover with tinfoil. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Pour red wine into baking dish and scrape off the bits off the bottom. In a small pot, add butter and flour and stir until a light-colored roux* is formed. Add red wine pan drippings and stir to combine for 1 minute. Stir constantly until thickened and the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Add parsley and pour the sauce over the ribeye steaks. Serve with mashed creamed potato and blue cheese salad. Enjoy!

Ribeye Steaks served with white rice and a classic salad with blue cheese dressing

So there it is, a complete day of delicious, olfactory stimulating cuisine to quell the current water woes.

– The Jamaican Gourmand

The 80’s was well-known for Cyndi Lauper, John Hughes movies, Madonna influenced fashions, neon colors, curried chicken salad and new wave music. While listening to music artist, Toto, famously known for their one hit wonder “Africa”, my culinary senses started to tingle. Most Jamaicans and general Westerners are typically either indifferent and/or dumbfounded on African cuisine. According to the Betumi website  (, the culinary history of sub-Saharan African cuisine has not been fully explored and are “intensely frustrated over a general failure…and biased, distorted popular media coverage [sub-Saharan African cuisine]…(Osseo-Asare, 2003).” Being tremendously influenced by these articles posted, I realized that Africa has been underrated for its vast use of spices, simple cooking instruments and tasty culinary treats. North African cuisine like Mediterranean cuisine makes use of different combination of spices and herbs. They primarily use products such as olives, apricots, dates and nuts since the country has middle eastern influences. Their cuisine is known for being a mixture of sweet and spicy which is none like any other.

Try these recipes below for a luxurious gourmet experience without the hassle and without breaking the bank.






4    Lamb Chops*

1 cup  Pineapple Juice

3/4 cup  Orange Juice

1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

1/4 tsp. Freshly cracked black pepper

1  Onion, minced

2 cloves  Garlic, finely minced

4 sprigs  Rosemary

1/4 cup  Good white wine (use only what you would personally drink, AVOID “cooking wines” as they contain salts and other harmful chemicals plus they are horrible tasting to boot!)

2 Tbsp.  Olive Oil

1 tsp. Unsalted butter


In a resealable plastic bag or glass (Pyrex) container, place the lamb chops in a single layer. Add each rosemary sprig underneath each chop. In a separate bowl, add the pineapple juice, orange juice, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Reserving 1/2 cup of the marinade, add the rest of the marinade to the lamb chops. Refrigerate for 2 hours, turning the lamb once halfway. In a wide frying pan on medium heat (Gas 4), add olive oil and butter until melted and coating the bottom of the pan completely. Remove lamb chops from marinade and pat dry, leaving the onion and garlic pieces on it and add to pan. Cook for 4 minutes or until blood seeps out from the top layer. Turn lamb over and cook for another 4 minutes. Remove lamb from pan and place on a plate. Cover plate completely with foil and rest it for 5-8 minutes. Pour the reserved marinade into the pan and add the white wine. using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan and gently stir the sauce. Stir until it boils and reduce heat to low. Let sauce reduce by half, stirring occasionally until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Take sauce off heat and pour over lamb chops. Serve with toasted french bread sliced lengthwise and spread with garlic aoili. Serves 2.

*Lamb chops are available in the meat section of your local supermarket and locally grown organic lamb meat is grown at Longville Farms in Clarendon. Make friends with your local farmer and butcher since they will notify you firsthand when fresh meat and specialty cuts are available. Getting the best cuts of meat will certainly make a significant difference in your meal preparations.




4 Tbsp.  Olive oil

1 clove  Garlic

1/4 tsp. parsley, chopped

1/4 tsp. Butter


In small saucepan on low heat (Gas 1), add oil and butter and heat gently. When heated, add garlic and parsley. Stir for a minute, ensuring that the garlic does not burn. Take pan off heat and leave for 10 mins for flavors to infuse. Pour desired amount on toasted french bread. Enjoy. 

Lamb chops with a Citrus Rosemary sauce served with garlic aoili crostinis

Lamb chops with a Citrus Rosemary sauce served with garlic aoili crostinis


Tomorrow, the Gourmand will post another Moroccan recipe, Apricot and Date couscous. For more North African recipes and culinary tips, check out . So take a trip to the sandy, sub-Saharan oasis of North Africa without having to leave the comfort of your home.

– The Jamaican Gourmand

Atkins. South Beach Diet. Weight Watchers.  Nutrisystem.

All of these dietary systems have a single thing in common: they are all for the most part premium fads that distinctly take advantage of the average consumer’s body image. I personally believe that for optimum health and beauty, the best diet and the most guaranteed diet is a BALANCED diet with daily exercise. The other dietary programs prey on one’s self-esteem and fail to account for other factors such as an exercise regimen and portion control. We all desire to be either a muscle-bound Adonis or a toned, curved and lean supermodel but this CANNOT be achieved without a plan and systematic routine.

There are other ways in which we can get our daily recommended vitamins and minerals without having to break the bank or starve ourselves. The shake or smoothie is the most ideal way to intake these important body building blocks since it is in a liquid form and can easily be absorbed. It is only a healthy route if fresh produce are used. They are easy to do and in conjunction to exercise can make our bodies feel optimized and recharged and all that is necessary is a blender or juice extractor. It’s simple, economical, portable and does not take more than 5 minutes in the day. To further cut the prep time, the fruits/vegetables can be cleaned and cut in advance. Smoothies and shakes can also be kept cold by freezing the fruits if you prefer a colder drink. Although smoothies and shakes are healthy, a substantial meal must be eaten at any time of the day.

Here are 2 recipes below which can be used to fuel your brain and your body to manage the daily situations and hectic corporate environs. The ingredients can be interchanged depending on what is currently in season. Ensure that your blender has a powerful motor as the consistency of the smoothie/shake is better the more powerful the motor is.



1 cup     Strawberries*

1 cup   Blueberries*

1 cup    Raspberries*

2    Bananas

1 cup       Orange/Pineapple Juice

1 cup        Yogurt (Plain or any flavor available)

1 Tsp.     Good Natural Honey


Place fruits at the bottom of blender. Pour orange/pineapple juice. Add yogurt and honey. Blend until combined and of smooth consistency. Pour into glass or portable bottle*. Chill in refrigerator. Enjoy.

Serves 3.



2   Carrots**

2   Cucumbers**

1/2 cup  Pineapple

1 cup    Papaya (Paw-paw)

1/4 cup   Apple Juice

2   Bananas

1 tsp.   Good natural honey


Using a juice extractor, extract carrots and cucumbers until 1 cup of each is yielded and stir to combine. Add pineapple, banana & papaya into blender. Add the apple juice and carrot-cucumber mixture. Add honey. Blend until completely combined. Chill in refrigerator and enjoy.

*Frozen packaged berries can preferably and economically be used if not readily available fresh.

**A juice extractor is ideal to extract the juice of fibrous and tough vegetables and fruits. The skin and other remaining parts can be recycled and used for compost (which is natural homemade fertilizer)

Savoring the delicious & nutricious Mixed Berry smoothie

Power up and fuel your day with delicious and healthy smoothies and shakes.

– The Jamaican Gourmand

Hello my fellow gourmands,

My apologies again for the 2 days of foodie withdrawals, The Jamaican Gourmand is back with a vengeance.

For all the fellow gourmand followers in our beautiful isle of Jamaica, we are appreciative for the sea blue skies and intimate exposure to the tanning & bronzing UVA/UVB rays of sunshine. Notwithstanding our other international gourmands, no need to be bummed as this gives you another incentive to take that long needed, relaxing trip to the island. Absorbing the flashbulb intensified sunshine onto the reflectively glistening skin, our throats begin to parch, longing for the cool wintery sensation only satisfied by a refreshing glass of lemonade. The lemon and lime are universally appealing fruits that are used in various parts of the world and is one of the few fruits which can be both savory and sweet. From the leathery pores of its exterior sheltering its citrus-influenced oils to the melange of sour & sweet liquid stored in its many raindrop inspired “pouches”, both diminutive fruits possess a sensation unlike any other.  It is said to have holistic and palatable qualities. The skin can be grated and used in many pastries, pastas, main course dishes and even candied to eat. The bitterly rind (the white layer between the skin and the pulp) can be used for cosmetic and fragrant purposes and is a common ingredient in many products such as potpourri and  skincare. The pulpy palpitating center is the most commonly used and delicious portion of the fruit and fulfills it role as being delectably acidic. Here is a recipe below for a quenching Lemon Iced Tea which is both simple, mind-blowing delicious and takes advantage of the excess amounts of limes, lemons and the ever rare Meyer lemon in season.


From left: Jasmine Tea Leaves, Lemonade, Honey, Lemon, Limes


2 cups      Freshly brewed Jasmine tea* (2 packets/2 Tbsp tea leaves)

2 Tbsp      Organic Honey** (best retrieved fresh from a local bee farm/vendor)

8 cups       Freshly mixed Lemonade

2 Tbsp       Cane sugar

1                   Lemon***


In a glass pitcher, pour cooled tea and lemonade and stir until combined. Add honey and sugar into pitcher and stir until the sugar has dissolved and the honey thoroughly mixed. Cut lemon/lime into thick circles and place into the pitcher. Stir to combine all ingredients. Chill for at least 2 hours. Pour into an iced filled glass. Enjoy.

From left clockwise: Mayer Lemon, Lemon, Lime

*Best method to cool tea is to brew it with hot water and let it steep for 30 minutes at room temperature (the tea needs to be a very strong brew especially since other ingredients will be added).

** The best way to test for genuine honey is to place into the refrigerator and see if any sugar crystals are formed at the top of the bottle. Good quality honey should NOT crystallize nor have a thick, hard white layer.

***One Lemon is the equivalent of 4 Limes. More juice can be extracted by rolling the fruit on a flat surface in a forward/backward motion. As shown below:

So rejuvenate and lounge in the sweltering heat (or pretend to) with a cool, refreshing and spine tingling glass of homemade Lemonade.

-The Jamaican Gourmand



Today is a day unprecedented in Jamaica, regarding the weather. We are still experiencing a water shortage but that does not mean that we can’t savor the chilly breeze and cuddly weather currently being experienced. To all the guys & girls, it is the perfect day to surprise your significant other with a warm, tasty soup to tantalize the senses. Ladies, the old adage still speaks true: “A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” and bringing your boyfriend/husband/date something hot to eat or drink for lunch is a sure-fire way to score major sexy points.

Basil Plant in Garden

Crank up your BTUs or plastic today and bring your man/woman a warm lunch or piping hot soup and the heat will surely rise later tonight. I now leave you with a recipe for a delicious and flavorful Roasted Tomato Basil Soup, especially since tomatoes are now in season at the peak of their ripeness. 

Heirloom Tomatoes currently in season





2 stalks Celery, chopped   

4 carrots, peeled and chopped   

1 onion, chopped   

4 cloves garlic, minced   

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil   

1/2 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar   

4 cups Chicken Stock (preferably homemade)   

1/4 cup White Wine/ Chardonnay   

2 teaspoons Kosher salt (1 teaspoon separated)   

1 teaspoon Freshly cracked black pepper   

1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper   

1/8 teaspoon Paprika   

1 tablespoon Tomato paste   

2 Charred Red Bell Peppers, rough chopped* (can substitute for 1 can Fire Roasted Red Bell Peppers)   

8-10 Ripe Tomatoes   

1 cup Fresh Basil leaves, julienned   

1/2 cup Fresh Parmesan cheese, grated   


Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut each of the tomatoes into half and place on a half-sheet baking pan forming a single layer. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and pour 1 tablespoon olive oil over the tomatoes and using hands, gently mix to coat the tomatoes. Place into oven and bake for 45 mins, turning once. Using the large side of the box grater, grate 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and set aside.  In a medium stockpot on medium heat (Gas 4), pour 1/4 cup olive oil into heated pan. Place onion, carrot and celery and cook until onion are translucent and carrots are carmelized (approximately 10 mins). Place minced garlic  and stir for 1 minute. Add roasted tomatoes, red peppers, basil, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, and tomato paste and stir to combine. Add chicken stock and lower heat to low (Gas 1) and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add white wine and balsamic vinegar to sheet pan to deglaze the pan and pour mixture into the soup and stir. When soup has reduced, turn off and remove from burner. Using a blender or preferably, a food mill**, pour soup in batches and puree until it is of a chunky texture. Reserve 1/4 of the broth in the pot and pour pureed mixture back into the pot and on medium-low heat (Gas 3), stir for 3 minutes. Check for seasonings and ladel soup into a bowl. Top with parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy.   

*You can make fire roasted red bell peppers by placing the peppers directly on the flame and turn each side until the skin is charred black. Peel off skin and chop. It can alternatively be done by placing the peppers in the oven and broil for 6 mins. per side until fully charred. 

**A food mill is a specialied hand-cranked tool for mashing and sieving small food. It can be purchased locally at European specialty store, Ambience, located in the Liguanea Post Office Mall 

– The Jamaican Gourmand

“Which came first? The chicken or the egg?”

Chicken vs. Egg (c) Glen McCoy


This age long philosophical question has been on the minds of every single person at least once. Which truly came first? The Chicken? The Egg? It is one of those questions that we will never solve. The egg represents not only birthing and reproduction but they are also very delicious for a very carnal, if not simplistic reason. Some sociologists may argue that our love for eggs is psychological and stems from an oedipus complex. Even radical feminists may argue that we are all solely dependent on the egg for genetic continuity, but that is a discussion for another time. The egg has exclusive nutrients such as protein and choline (the same item that is present in breastmilk) which is good for muscle development and of course healthy brain development. The most popular eggs consumed worldwide are from chickens (with duck, goose and quail eggs close behind) and as such are present in a lot of popular dishes and desserts in a variety of countries.

Eggs are EXTREMELY delicious but one can run into a variety of problems in the preparation of this oval shaped delicacy. The most common problem experienced is overcooking and burning, which can result becoming tough and inedible. The smell and taste alone of a badly prepared egg would make anyone become INSTA-VEGAN.

Here are some tips and a recipe for the preparation of a perfect omelet (omelette for all those P.C. people):-

  1. When baking, use room temperature eggs for a lighter and airy batter. It WILL make a difference.
  2. To check for a bad egg, place the eggs in a bowl of cold water and if it floats to the top, DISCARD IT IMMEDIATELY or you’ll surely have an instant rancid air freshener!
  3. Store eggs in the coldest section of your refridgerator and it will last longer (saves mucho dinero, which pleases anyone in the financial recession).
  4. When frying eggs, do not turn the temperature any higher than medium low, otherwise you’ll have a rubber poultry offshoot for dinner (plus, burnt egg smells horrible and taste even worse!!!!)
  5.  Organic farm eggs are ALWAYS superior to liquid egg solution /substitute, no matter what any advertisement may otherwise state (BECOMING A MUTATED DISEASED G.M. ALIEN WILL NOT WIN ANY ATTRACTION POINTS).
  6. To crack an egg without any egg shells in the mixture, slightly tap egg on a hard surface. Then place both thumbs at the slightly cracked section of the egg, push in slightly until the the thin layer between the surface and the albumen (the clear, transluscent section of an egg) and open moving both hands away from the center.
  7. A quick & easy method of separating the yolk from the egg whites is to pierce the top of the egg with a pin or tip of an ice pick and the egg whites will run out while the yolk stays inside the egg.


Ham & Cheese Omelette


2              Eggs

1 tsp.      Flat leaf parsley

1 slice    Deli ham or baked ham

1 slice    pre-sliced Cheese (or if desired, 1 Tbs. grated cheese)

1    Tomato

Unsalted Butter

Pinch of salt

Pinch of freshly cracked black pepper

Crack 2 eggs in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper and beat eggs with a whisk or fork until combined. Cut a small amount of butter and place in a heated shallow frying pan (even if it is non-stick) and swirl around until it forms a thin layer around the bottom and edges of the pan. Place egg mixture into the pan. Wait until the edges of the omelette are white and using a silicone spatula, run it around the edge of the omelette. Lift a section of the omelette and tilt the pan so that the excess egg may go underneath. Continue to use the spatula to run around the edges. Take the pan off the heat and shake it gently in a circular direction until the omelette moves freely around the pan. Place ham slice and cheese in the center of the omelette. Use the spatula to fold over both edges towards the center. Slide omelette off the pan directly onto a plate. Sprinkle chopped parsley onto it and serve with 2 slices of tomato. Enjoy!

– The Jamaican Gourmand