Whether you are already a big fan of Caribbean cuisine or just fancy something new, Caribbean Delights can cater for you and your guests with some superb authentic cooking. Explorer spoke to Janet who with her partner Jeff are the driving force behind Caribbean Delights.
To provide healthy nutritious food ethically. That means we only use free range and organic ingredients where possible. All our animal products are organic and free range and we also try to use local products to cut down on CO 2 footprint. So we get vegetables from Cambridge farmers market, dry goods from Daily Bread, and also fair trade goods again where possible. We will not compromise these values for an increased profit margin. Our menu is based on whole foods, low in dairy and wheat, high in vegetables, lean meats and fish.
What is your aim with the business?
To introduce people to quality West Indian food really. There is such an interest in food now in the UK with so many different ethnic groups, food celebrities, food shows on TV like Come Dine With Me etc. and yet it’s almost impossible to get good quality West Indian food unless you happen to eat at someone’s home. We believe that West Indian food is as yet relatively undiscovered. It is hearty healthy and very tasty and, in common with all traditional cooking, it is based on good quality ingredients cooked with the right balance of seasoning an understanding of the correct blend of vegetables and seasoning which is based on hundreds of years of history. You cannot disguise bad ingredients with good cooking and good ingredients can also be ruined by bad cooking. The secret is to combine excellent quality, fresh seasonal ingredients with the correct seasoning and cook them with an understanding of their nature so that flavour and texture are in the correct balance. This is where the skill and genius of the cook comes in. You cannot find Jeff’s recipes in a book as they have been passed on through the generations, and through his unique experiences.
Jeff was raised in Barbados and learnt his cooking skills from his mother and father who were well known in the Caribbean Community of Coventry for their cooking skills where they settled in the early 60′s. Jeff went into the army at 18 and came to Cambridge where he is a well known personality. He saw active service in Northern Ireland and eventually gained a place in the kitchen and learnt how to cater for large numbers. Jeff is a Rastafarian and so has a spiritual belief in keeping the body healthy and being ethical. Rastafarian cooking is based on simple vegetarian food, where the ingredients speak for themselves.
So what services do you offer?
We will cater for any event from 4 people to 500 guests. So far we have catered from small community events, New Years Eve at the Labour Club, pub lunch barbecues, corporate entertaining, dinner parties, take-aways when you’re too tired to cook or fancy something different, as well as local festivals including Fordham and Ely Folk festival. We will also come and cook for you in your own home and or show you how to cook West Indian food. Many people may have sampled West Indian food at Strawberry Fair or other festivals where the quality leaves a LOT to be desired. Gristly goat curries, which are overpriced and dried out jerk chicken which has been on the barbecue too long. We aim to show people that West Indian food can be far more sophisticated than this
What kind of dishes are on your menu?
We have flying fish and snapper, jerk chicken, curries (Vegetarian, goat, chicken), stews and rice like you’ve never tasted it. We also have fresh salads and delicious vegetables. But we will also tailor make a menu according to your needs whether it is with no hot spices, wheat free, entirely vegan or based on English food.
Caribbean Delights, T: 07975676998 www.caribbeandelights.uk.com