Four Generations of Cooks
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The expression 'Families that eat together stay together' is an apt description of the Baugh/Howell clan. The family's love of preparing and bonding over food has interesting dynamics such as four generations of daughters around the dining table, and each member of the family with a specialty dish they take pleasure in presenting.
As Kimberlee Howell tells it, she had no choice but to love food, as every member of her family has a genuine love for it.
“Growing up, from my mom, grandmother, to my brothers and sisters, cooking and baking [are] a family tradition for us. My mom does a mean chilli; she loves meat-based dishes and that's where my love for lasagnes came from. My favourite is preparing Italian dishes. One of my two brothers is into Jamaican food and the other is into international cuisine, and my two sisters are also really good cooks. So, special occasions like Sundays, Mother's Day and Christmas dinner see all of us throwing down; all our specialties will be on that dinner table,” Kimberlee explained.
“This love of food saw me pursuing culinary arts in school, up to a bachelor's level, and [then] I changed paths by pursuing a master's in International Human Resources. But fast-forward and I'm back to my first love! We had a restaurant called the Soup Kitchen on Barnett Street in Montego Bay and during my breaks from school I would spend my time working in it. It's this initial love for food that paved the way for us, my mom and I, starting Alessandro's Catering Services (named after Kimberlee's son) in 2015,” Kimberlee explained.
Kimberlee and mom Robertha Howell have been serving up dishes since, and their services have been extended to weddings, cocktail and all-inclusive parties, and major events such as Reggae Sumfest.
“Being in business with Kimberlee has been loads of fun. This is because we have the same high standards and we believe that if we won't enjoy it, our customers won't, either. I couldn't have asked for a better business partner,” said Robertha.
“For me it has been fun, as well, a little stressful at times, as you are working with a parent, and Mom wants the absolute best. We get to bond together in another way though, and I get to see different sides to my mom. She's a people person; she gives insight on the food to customers and it's really a joy to see her in her ackee,” Kimberlee added.
— Text & Photos by
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