Kingston Street Food and Childhood Memories with Chef Kwame Williams

For our A NIGHT IN pop-up series, Chef Kwame Williams innovated on street food commonly found in Kingston, Jamaica,

Chef Kwame Williams: A NIGHT IN Chef Spotlight

Photo Cred: Chef Kwame Williams

Producing nostalgia in every bite

At our NIGHT IN pop-up series, Williams presented a fantastic three-course menu of Jamaican street food inspired by his childhood memories of summertime in Jamaica.

For his first course, Chef Williams served grilled prawns with cantaloupe, drizzled with honey, forming the perfect combination of savory and sweet.

“Going back to Jamaica in the summers and spending time with family, buying pepper shrimp on the roadside, jerk shrimp or curry goat in the market ….. experiencing the Blue Mountains as it is. I wanted to take people on that journey.”

Following his first dish, he served seared curry goat with long beans, roasted garlic tomatoes, and sweet Asian yams.

Chef Williams prepared the traditional Jamaican blue draws, also known as, Duckunoo, a mixture of coconut milk and cornmeal wrapped in a banana leaf. The mixture is steamed, sweetened, and spiced. Served with a Blue Mountain coffee mousse and rum-soaked golden raisins, Chef Williams allowed guests to experience a journey of flavor.

“That is the transition! You are going from the beach or the port, where you are getting the shrimp, heading to the open-air market, smelling all the spices, and getting the curry goat. Then you head to the mountains and finally taste some Jamaican coffee.”

Chef Kwame Williams: A NIGHT IN Chef Spotlight
Chef Kwame Williams: A NIGHT IN Chef Spotlight
Chef Kwame Williams: A NIGHT IN Chef Spotlight

Family is central to his culinary artistry

When crafting his menus, he produces meals that tie to family and always have his children in mind. Chef Williams develops menus to represent his cultural heritage and to shed light on the comfort of belonging and the feeling of home.

“If people remember me for one thing, I hope they know that food is very intimate. If eating my food might remind you of your grandmother, the first time you went to the island or the first time you experienced a flavor, I would like people to remember me for the feeling.”

Chef Williams hopes to continue to showcase Jamaican and Caribbean food to gain further recognition. With every plate, guests can experience traditional Jamaican flavors without needing a plane ticket.

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