Chefs from across British Columbia will meet in Victoria on November 19, 2015 to compete in the Gold Medal Plates for the BC spot in the Canadian Culinary Championships held in Kelowna in February. We’re heading over to check out the event and as a prequil have interviewed the chefs. Here’s what’s new with Castro Boateng of Castro Boateng Private Catering in Victoria BC.
Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.
I am a private chef who caters to all types of events from small dinner parties, cooking classes, foraging tours, wine pairing dinners, weddings and corporate events. Your vision of your event combined with my food and service, equals a perfect combination!
Modern French technics, influenced by African & Caribbean flavors combined with local ingredients.
Where do you eat in your city?
Stage, relish café, Caribbean Village
What would be your ideal food day?
Breakfast cooked by my wife, lunch at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, Dinner at Noma Copenhagen Denmark, Late night snack of my Mom’s Spicy peanut and Goat Soup especially after a few drinks!
What trend/s do you wish would be next?
Fine dining restaurants of African & Caribbean Cuisine
What ingredient do you always have on hand?
Confit Garlic, Vanilla & Curry oil, home made smoked shrimp & Chili Paste,
What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home?
With the holidays coming up, could you give us something easy to prepare that would impress?
Cinnamon Spiced Cashew nuts
What do you want for food/food equipment gifts this year?
What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?
The Soul of a new Cuisine by Marcus Samuelsson
Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?
My dish is called “Dancing With Spices”, that’s all for now!
I also surveyed my facebook followers (many are chefs as well) as to what questions they would like answered by chefs when I interview them. Here’s some of the answers.
How do you find the work ethics today of young cooks just getting out of culinary school compared to 10-20 years ago?
Not the same as 10-20 years ago but I am sure if you asked Chef’s when I was coming up, they would say the same about my generation!
When did you last cook at home?
I cook on my days off but my kids like my wife’s meals better. She says because her cooking is more bland.
What inspired you to get into this industry?
Art and the life style (late nights, sleep ins, although with kids there are no sleep ins anymore, just late nights!)
Who has had the most influence on your development as a chef?
Chef Colin Watson (my Chef for life).
Braised Oxtail, Root Vegetables & Steamed Rice
3 kg Oxtail (remove excess fat)
2 tbsp ground allspice
4 garlic cloves
1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
6 sprigs fresh Thyme
4 Green onions, chopped
1 tbsp brown sugar
½ tbsp ground Black pepper
2 Scotch bonnet peppers or chili peppers, chopped
¼ cup soy sauce
1 cup tbsp canola oil
1 cup all purpose flour
1 large onion, peeled & chopped
2 plum tomatoes(chopped)
2 cups chicken stock or beef stock
2 bay leafs
1 medium carrot (peeled & medium diced)
2 parsnip (peeled & medium diced
1 small squash (peeled & medium diced)
The day before making the dish, blend together allspice, garlic, ginger, thyme, green onions, brown sugar, ground black pepper and soy sauce & 1/2 the canola oil until smooth, pour marinade over oxtail. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or minimum of four hours.
Remove oxtail from marinade dredge oxtail in flour and shake excess flour off. Place a Dutch pan or a sauce pan over medium high heat. Gently place oxtail in the hot oil to brown on all sides. Remove the oxtail from the pan once the meat is brown all over. lower the heat and add chopped onions, sauté for two minutes, add tomatoes, then add oxtail back to the pot, add the excess marinade, add the chicken stock then bring to simmer.
Simmer on low heat for 2 ½ hour. Add the diced root vegetables to the oxtail, stir together, continuing simmering for another hour or until the meat can fall off the bone and the vegetables are tender. If there is not enough sauce, add ¼ cup of stock and continue to simmer it until thicken. If the sauce is too thin, keep simmering until it thickens.
Alternatively, you can cover the pot after all the ingredients have been added and bring to simmer then place the pot into the oven. Braise at 300* for 2 ½ to 3 1/2 hours or until the oxtail is tender and comes off the bone
2 cups rice
2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 sprigs Thyme
Rinse rice in cold water three times. Combine Stock & Coconut milk, then add to the rice, add thyme and season to taste with salt. Over medium heat, bring rice to simmer then lower the heat to allow the rice to steam & absorb all the liquid about 20-25 minutes. Remove thyme, fluff rice using fork, serve rice with oxtail and root vegetables.
Caribbean style Carrot & Guinness beverage
2 lbs of peeled carrots or 1 liter of Carrot Juice
1 cup Guinness
1/4 cup of condense milk
1 tsp of fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp fresh ginger (finely grated)
½ tbsp. cinnamon powder
2 tbsp. coconut oil (optional)
Using a juicer, extract all carrot juice and strain through a fine mesh strainer.
Combine the carrot juice and the remaining ingredients except the coconut oil into a blender and blend for a minute. Slowly drizzle the coconut oil to emulsify.
Chill for about an hour. Shake well and serve on Ice
In the Caribbean this is considered by most to be a man’s drink!