CONVERSATIONS WITH THE BARBADOS CULINARY TEAM
Conversation with Team Manager - Henderson Butcher
How long have you been a chef?
In excess of twenty (20) years.
Why this profession?
My mum inspired me as I always wanted to do everything she did in the kitchen.
What was the first meal that you prepared for your family?
Every weekend my mum baked bread for me and my siblings to take to school. One Sunday I told her to rest and I did the baking – cake and sweetbread. I also prepared my first meal of rice and fish but forgot to add salt to the rice. I was twelve or thirteen at the time and enjoyed cooking outside - preparing breadfruit to be roasted etc., as much as I enjoyed being in the kitchen. During that time I would also go to my mum’s cook shop in town and would assist with any meal she was making. I never thought that I could outdo her in the kitchen though. Everyone loved her cooking – it made people happy.
For me, food is like music to the soul. I like to cook in a way that make flavours dance in the mouth - “cook like Granny and plate like a rock star.”
What is your favourite meal?
I like to prepare Bajan meals like macaroni pie, souse etc., but I like to make it different, not the way persons would expect. For example, I have prepared pudding and souse in numerous ways including pickle as foam or as a cream.
I enjoy pushing the envelope with my cooking. Experimenting with local cuisine and creating dishes that can compete with any international fare is my passion.
I also enjoy preparing healthy meals, for example I remove the animal fats from my conkies and I like to prepare eddoes, yams, and sweet potatoes without using animal fats.
Would you continue being a Chef until retirement?
Yes, but from the Food and beverage management side, as I would like to find ways to sustain the industry and maintain the authenticity of the local cuisine.