Style Observer

SO2 - March 30

Sunday, March 31, 2019

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For Starters...

Rousseau sisters' book a hit with gastrophiles... leads to lectures

Michelle and Suzanne Rousseau reckoned their great-grandmother, Martha Matilda Briggs, a pioneering restaurateur, would have been proud of their sophomore cookbook Provisions: The Roots of Caribbean Cooking (Da Capo). What they could not have imagined was the adulation, from the culinary cognoscenti no less. “It's quite stunning actually,” says Michelle. “We set out to tell the story of food from the perspective of our female ancestors, and the result is that we have a connecting point with industry-leading chefs, cookbook authors and food thinkers.”

The book has carved a space on the best cookbook lists of storied publications, among them The San Francisco Chronicle, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Epicurious and Serious Eats, making this hands down one of the best-reviewed Jamaican books.

After not one, but two New York City tours that included lectures at the Museum of Food and Drink and the 92 Street Y, the sisters will again soon take a bite out of the Big Apple, this time at Cherry Bombe Jubilee, introducing global food luminaries Padma Lakshmi and Madhur Jaffrey. “This is like the Super Bowl of food. If you are a woman working in food today, this is the definitive experience,” explains Suzanne. “The wonderful thing is that both Padma and Madhur are our sheros. I had just finished reading Padma's memoir, and Madhur's cookbooks have pride of place in my kitchen. It's all just surreal.”

The Rousseaus, whose restaurant, Summerhouse at the Liguanea Club, is designed around the concept of Modern Heritage Dining, are determined to reframe the narrative of Jamaican, and indeed Caribbean, food. And there is an eager audience for their signature energetic discourse. The result is a dizzying schedule of press interviews and podcasts. “I think this is a significant moment in the evolution of Jamaican food. The arbiters of what really matters in the food industry are taking note that you don't just slap it on a grill with Scotch bonnet pepper and a pineapple slice and call it Jamaican,” explains Michelle. Suzanne adds, “There is a wave of curiosity for understanding the heritage of the cuisine and that allows us to have a higher level of engagement. We are honoured to be leading the conversation.”

Cherry Bombe Jubilee takes place on Sunday, April 7 at Brooklyn Expo Center, Brooklyn, NY. For information: www.cherrybombe.com

 

 

Plus...

Rousseau Sisters to speak at TEDxColumbus Circle

“We're doing TEDx!” That's the word from Suzanne Rousseau who has told SO2 that she and her sister, Michelle, will be among 15 speakers invited to present their ideas at TEDxColumbusCircle on Thursday, May 2 at National Geographic Encounter, New York City. Themed “The Bold and The Brave”, the independently organised TEDx event is designed to spark conversations about empowering the superhero within. “We are deeply moved by how the New York food community has embraced us,” said Michelle. “Now this TEDx invitation allows us to share our philosophy about the heritage of Caribbean cuisine with people who are not just interested in food, but also motivated in discovering ideas that can change the world in everything, from human behaviour to science.” The sisters' book Provisions: The Roots of Caribbean Cooking (Da Capo) is on the best cookbook lists of several prominent publications, among them The San Francisco Chronicle, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Epicurious and Serious Eats. Their Kingston restaurant, Summerhouse at the Liguanea Club, is designed on the concept of Modern Heritage Dining.

 

And...

Safaree Sanuels and Erica Mena at Destiny Villa

American rapper Safaree Samuels and his reality TV fiancée Erica Mena have been for the past fortnight soaking up Rock-style awesomeness at Destiny Villa. Their immersion included a Jamaican night house party with Dance Xpressionz teaching them the different genres of dancehall.

 

Etc...

Rihanna Drive here we come. Caribbean Airlines has now introduced twice-weekly direct flights between Kingston and Christ Church, Barbados. How's that for impeccable timing? While the carnival lovers amongst us will be making plans to chip side by side with Rih Rih at Crop Over, we'll be happy to lounge in the shade at Sandy Lane.

 

 

 


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