What happens when you put a greedy girl, a spicy diva and a sexy foodist in the kitchen? If this question was posed to me, the good sport that I am (if I do say so myself) would answer, “The greedy girl would cook, the diva would make demands and the sexy foodist…(pause)…what the hell is that, anyway?”
But I digress…meet them below and find out for yourself then bookmark their blogs so that quick entry into their kitchens is always at your fingetips.
THE GREEDY GIRL – CHANTAY CAMPBELL
Chantay Campbell is a dichotomy and we love it! She’s a greedy girl who loves to share. Chantay is of the belief that “if you can’t cook, you shouldn’t eat”. But to ensure that non-cooks do eat, she spends alot of time in the kitchen sharing cooking sense through her brand Greedy Girl Cooks, in the form of instructional videos on her blog’s YouTube channel and even free cooking lessons on e-learning site Curious. In her kitchen, she combines curiosity and creativity with availability and out comes some of the craziest or rather adventurous combinations you’ve ever heard of!
We have to ask, why the name Greedy Girl Cooks?
I can’t say that I’m greedy per se, but I do love food, love eating and I’ve always enjoyed cooking. It was really a name that my sister and I came up with while discussing my idea to start a food blog. We wanted something short, sweet and catchy.
What would you say is your specialty, your type of cooking?
This is a hard one, because I’m not sure I have a specialty or that the food on the blog or what I cook on a regular basis falls into any one category. I’m a Jamaican living in Jamaica and in my over 300 recipes on the blog I don’t think 15 of them are traditionally Jamaican. I cook whatever I feel like at the time. It does help that on the blog each month has a specific theme to adhere to; pumpkin month, seafood month, etc. so that also guides what I cook. What I can say is I love things that are easy to cook and I love to combine unconventional things that most persons would not even think to make.
Tell us about your “greediest” moment.
My greediest moment has nothing to do with my cooking. I actually can’t even eat food that I cook right away but I love snacks. Actually, when it comes to snacks – Lays, banana chips, Ti-Gaz, jalapeño poppers, especially Doritos – I’m very greedy and I will polish off an entire bag/bags with ease. I try not to buy them at all because I will eat them all in one day…it’s a problem! Lol.
You have some very adventurous combinations and dishes on your blog, how do you come up with them?
All my recipes and flavour combinations are formed in my mind first. I just think of something, decide what I want it to taste like and go for it (I sometimes type it in in google to see if anyone else has done it before). However, the ultimate determining factor for my blog’s recipe creation is the market and grocery store availability. Most times I will have an idea for a meal but when I get to the store they don’t have it or they have something even better and I switch it up.
Which of the dishes on your blog is your most adventurous creation?
I really can’t remember all the recipes I’ve done but I do know that my craziest concoctions usually arrive in January, which is chocolate month. I always try to do at least one recipe where I pair the chocolate with a meat. I made a Chocolate Fried Chicken Tender with a Maple Ketchup that was really good, or Cocoa Maple Grilled Wings, or the Chocolate Fig and Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich, which was absolutely divine; yes figs, jalapeno cheddar, Parmesan cheese, chocolate and bacon!
Describe Jamaican food in 5 words.
Hearty. Aromatic. Spiced. Comforting. Flavourful.
THE SICY DIVA – NITA RAGOONANAN
Isn’t it obvious? If you put a spicy diva in a kitchen…you’ll get a diva in the kitchen! No? Just corny? Ok.
Beyonce may have sang the lyrics first but she’s certainly not the only diva who “got a hot sauce in my bag, swag.” Tastes Spicy’s head diva in the kitchen, Nita Ragoonanan, also loves her some spice and lots of flavour. With her blog, she shares her love for cooking and spice, mixed in with some personal anecdotes. A Trinidadian living in Minnesota, you’ll also find many non-Caribbean inspired dishes on her blog but even then, they’re served with a Trinidadian bent.
How do you describe a ‘Diva in the Kitchen’?
I love how the term ‘Diva in the Kitchen’ relates to me because not only do I have a passion and love for cooking but I also love getting dressed up in heels and dresses with my nails painted bright red!
Tell us about Tastes Spicy. When did you start it and why?
The name Tastes Spicy came from my love of all things spicy. In Trinidad I grew up eating very spicy food and my grandparents would plant their own peppers. In Trinidad at most restaurants, one of the normal condiments at any table is pepper sauce. Here in Minnesota, that is not the case. I have a little bottle of hot sauce in my purse and I never leave home without it!
Tastesspicy.com was born about 5 years ago. It started as a hobby and a way to share my recipes with everyone who would ask for them. It has since evolved into something beyond my dreams! If I am stressed I turn to cooking, I love being able to talk about anything and everything on my blog, whether it is food related or about exercising.
What has the journey been like so far?
It has been a rollercoaster of a ride! Tastes Spicy is known worldwide thanks to sites like FoodGawker, Pinterest and other social media. It is a labour of love and happiness for me. It’s my own little corner where I get to share what I love doing the most, with others I love getting feedback from my followers, I love seeing people eat my food and I love sharing what I do with others.
What are the 3 most ‘diva-licious‘ dishes on your blog?
That’s a tough one, as there are so many that I love and have gotten rave reviews for. If I had to choose I would say my Coconut Curried Shrimp, Halibut with a Thai Curry Sauce and my Chocolate Rum Bread Pudding.
What are the tastes and flavours that define Trinidadian cuisine?
Trini food is like its people and culture! We are a spicy, vibrant, beautiful people that is made of so many different countries. Trini food is spicy, it is tasty, it has Chinese, African, Indian and French flavours. Where else can you go and be excited to eat a totally vegetarian dish called Doubles, standing on the street and eating with your fingers? Where can you find people who get excited about BBQ Pigtails? Trini’s can take any ingredient and turn it into an amazing dish!
THE SEXY FOODIST – CHEF LEIGH-ANN MARTIN
So if you didnt already know – there is actually a thing as ‘sexy food’. And thats what’s cooking in Chef Leigh-Ann Martin’s (just call her Chef LAM) kitchen. Through her blog Gasparillo Junction she offers assistance in cooking for one and shares her food memories from growing up in Trinidad. She also shares stories about her food adventures and new experiences – all written in a tone that makes you feel like you’re talking to an old friend. Over a delicious meal (sexy food), ofcourse and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
What are you aiming to accomplish with your blog?
I aim to have readers understand how easy it is to prepare meals for themselves. Delicious homemade food presented beautifully – simple.
Describe your style of cooking in one word.
Okay, let me see. Effortless.
What do you love about Trinidadian cuisine?
Trinbagonian cuisine tells the story of a people. We’re a proud, happy people, even when being ‘wutless’, it all comes out in the myriad of flavours, colours and stories in every dish.
So you have a very sublime and tantalizing lead in for your blog “… the creation of sexy food designed and portioned for this amazing single life cooking.” what is sexy food?
I’m doing away with the idea that cooking for one is uneventful or uninspiring. With thought and preparation, it feels so good to cook global cuisine and re-imagined Trini food for myself. Served up right in charming and sometimes mismatched dinnerware, ain’t that sexy?
What’s the difference between ‘single life cooking’ and ‘cooking for many’.
‘Single life cooking’ to me is preparing and cooking two to three servings of a meal. I work over fifty hours a week at times and having food to last a couple of days works with my schedule. When I cook for friends it’s expected to have enough food for two servings a person and a little for them to take home.
What’s your go-to dish?
My go-to dish has to be Saltfish Buljol. OMG, I can have that all time for breakfast with bread or a good coconut bake and a cup of tea. Drizzle a bit more olive oil over it and eat it for lunch (I’ll top a salad with virtually anything) and I love to make croquettes with the leftovers.
What can readers expect to get when they visit your blog?
I’m so thankful for my readers. Firstly, they can expect stories from my childhood. Easily replicable recipes: cooking on a budget/limited resources, tips & tricks. Details of cooking techniques used, references to past, post or external sites for more detailed information. Through my pictures, I hope to spark plating and tablescape ideas so we all can be on this journey of creating sexy single life cooking. They can also look out for fun cooking videos soon too!
Do you have any sexy kitchen utensils? What are they?
My mandolin. I cook with lots of vegetables and with its sharp blade, it brings out the beauty in them. I can get different shaped vegetables for whatever meal I decide to cook and I don’t have to ruin my manicure!
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I grew up kneading doughs by hand and today I still do it. When making biscuits or scones I run cold unsalted butter on a box grater (once done, I stick it back into the fridge to stay chilled) so I don’t risk the butter getting warm if I were to rub in the flour with my fingers.
Topmost image by Chef LAM