Chef Celeste Gordon is set to infuse the Jamaica Observer Takes Style Out with a serving of culinary chic. Gordon has teamed up with The Best Dressed Chicken and the experts in style at SOHO to create a modern tasting menu for shoppers this Thursday. The menu includes a Best Dressed Chicken Salad nestled in a bite-sized tortilla basket and Best Dressed Chicken Lollipops. TSO shoppers can indulge in great taste and fab style at SOHO for the start of the shopping weekend. Here, Chef Celeste shares her style vision.
How important is style to cuisine?
The importance of visual appeal is unquestionable. Even though some meals are delicious, having them without the right presentation can take away a great deal of pleasure.
Which fashion designer would you cook for and why?
I'd love to create a meal for Tom Ford. I admire his aesthetic, which is essentially modern classic but served up with a dollop of funk.
What trendy ingredient or cooking style are you excited about?
Coconut: it can be used in both savoury and sweet. I do a fair amount of baking, so it's a flavour that I'm playing with a lot now. I use grated coconut, shredded coconut, coconut milk, coconut powder; so many different things.
How can home cooks incorporate stylish presentation into their meals?
Placement is important, and so is colour; for example, don't make everything all brown. So you don't want roast chicken with other brown food items. You need to add colour, like mixed vegetables, string beans, carrots and bell peppers. Play with side dishes and textures, as well, to create a better presentation and to add a different taste.
What inspired your menu for SOHO?
We decided on trends that would be eye-catching, in keeping with the vibe and feel of SOHO. Take, for example, our Best Dressed Lollipop Chicken, which is a chicken ball on a long skewer. Our twist makes it more dramatic. It gives better visual appeal, and our presentation will include different jars with lots of coloured items, so it will appeal to people's eyes first. The chicken salad is in a tortilla cup, which I like because of the textural crunch.
What are your favourite kitchen accessories?
I would have to say my chef's knife and my rubber spatula - I can't live without them. The chef's knife is like an extension of the hand; it doubles as every kind of knife, so if I always have that one, it would be fine. And I love my rubber spatula because it's a multi-purpose tool.