Style Observer

SO Cocktails With — Christina Simonitsch

Sunday, October 22, 2017

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Second City resident Christina Simonitsch is an early riser, and true to form, she's up and at it to meet us for early-morning discourse to talk career and life reflections. The amiable Simo's Breads and Catering frontwoman, who just a week earlier wowed guests at her Trelawny family abode with her joint culinary undertaking with Stush in the Bush's co-principals Christopher and Lisa Binns, billed Simo's and Stush's Moveable Feast, is as good at easy conversation as she is at whipping up tantalising fare.

What a-ha moment prompted the pursuit of a culinary profession?

I always enjoyed cooking with my mother and grandmother but never saw myself working in a professional kitchen. I was always working in the service sections/front of house of hotels and restaurants because of my “ability” to be able to sell a “fridge to an Eskimo”, as my father likes to say. I have seen how a lot of professional kitchens operate and it's hard — I like working hard but unfortunately my back doesn't take well to the professional kitchen life. I was “pushed” by a good friend of mine to start my own business so I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, in my own quiet kitchen. And it has worked out so far. I love being in the kitchen every day — if it's not my own kitchen, it's at someone's house or villa training their staff, helping them design and buy equipment or just cooking for friends in their home. It's never easy but nothing good ever is.

You are hosting a dinner party with a dream guest list of invitees. Which four people would you want seated around the table?

Only four, no fair! Definitely Marco Pierre White, Daniel Humm, Massimo Bottura, and Gordon Ramsey for even more entertainment!

Being chef/caterer for your own business, what's the most rewarding and burdensome aspects of being boss?

The most rewarding is the appreciation people have for what I do — and the “burdensome” aspect are little things which, seen in the larger picture, are not burdensome at all.

The Harvey Weinstein scandal in Hollywood brought to fore the issue of sexual politics and male dominance in the film industry. While women in that particular instance stepped forward to directly confront the issue, do you believe here in Jamaica women are still subjugated by the same old rules of male power?

I think I would have to say yes and no. It's a difficult question which can be answered in more than a few ways. But that I will leave to another day and a cold margarita!

Where and what was the most unexpected meal that excited your palate?

At Eleven Madison Park in NYC with my mother. The service, food, atmosphere — above and beyond!

Downtime outside the kitchen finds me...

playing with my puppy Charlie, playing cards with my daddy or watching food shows! Its the perfect combination of a strict yet understanding personality which allows me to be a realist! If that makes sense.

Never in my wildest dreams would you find me...

Bungee jumping.

Who are your sounding boards?

My parents of course; Lisa Binns; and my good friend Kirk.

Introvert or extrovert? Who makes you decidedly comfortable in their company?

Both. Growing up in the hotel business I think I know how to get those introverts to open up and the extroverts to “calm” down! I'm definitely a crazy extrovert. The more nerve-racking a situation, the more I enjoy it!

The best laugh I've had all year happened when....

I met up with Lisa and Chris Binns and Anna Kay and Kathy from Uncorked and we let our hair down and just laughed it out! It's the little joys in life which mean the most!




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