This week we interview Therese Morris, Founder & Owner of Flavour du Jour a Jamaican based culinary arts company. Therese has a passion for Caribbean food fusion. She hopes to educate Jamaica and Jamaicans about our rich culinary heritage. Flavour du Jour is passionate in presenting the best of Jamaica alongside the gastronomic novelties from the rest of the world.
Q: Why did you start your Flavour du Jour?
After quitting my job in Montego Bay as an English as a Foreign Language Tutor & Liaison for the UWI/PDVSA Programme, Latin American Caribbean Center Department of UWI, Mona, I returned to Kingston and found I was unable to secure a steady job. Eventually I turned my passion for food and knowledge into a career, registered Flavour du Jour as a business and became my own boss. Moreover the food education scene is quite limited throughout the island so I think of it as teaching, just in a much larger classroom.
Q: On your site you mention “driven by the need to expand Jamaica’s culinary views”. Can you explain on what you mean by expanding Jamaicans culinary views?
While safeguarding the culinary traditions of Jamaica which the world has come to know and love us for, our aim is to expose Jamaicans to the various types of cuisines and to develop an appreciation for different tastes & cultures .
Q: What is your vision of Jamaican and Caribbean food as it relates to our culture?
For us (Jamaicans & Caribbean people) to love and respect what our land gives us no matter what instead of an “either or” compulsion between local and foreign items.
Q: Do you think we do a good job promoting Jamaican food to the world?
Hhhmmm yes and no. Yes, because we’ve established Jamaica right across the board as a desirous brand to be a part of (or owned). No, because we have allowed others to exploit our national brand with little noteworthy attempts to regaining control of the benefits generated through brand Jamaican.
Q: Will you be writing a cook book in the future?
Yes, in due time I think a cook book would in order. I treat food as art, something to be experienced through the senses so I strongly believe the colour and scent of everything directly tells you what they pair well with and how best it should be prepared.
Q: How can Jamaicans expand these views during restaurant week?
The obvious answer would be to try something different, go crazy, be a little wild… but I’d also suggest they try something familiar prepared in a totally new way, reacquainting themselves with old favourites while appreciating the diversity of local chefs. Remember foreign doesn’t always mean better.
Q: Will you be reviewing restaurants that week?
That’s the plan for sure!
Q: Did you have a favorite restaurant from Restaurant Week 2009?
I didn’t participate much in RW 2009 as I was in Montego Bay, but Twisted Kilt on Gloucester Avenue (aka “The Hip Strip”) is one of my faves
Q: What is the best Jamaican fusion restaurant you recently ate at?
Coral Cliff in Montego Bay… there’s also a quaint little restaurant in Kingston named Chez Maira that I like – it’s more Lebanese/Mediterranean but it’s nice.
Q: What is one of your favorite fusion recipes?
Donnie Bunting’s 2004 Observer Table Talk award-winning Herb Stuffed Tilapia in Banana Leaf. I had the pleasure of dining at Bunting’s Longville Park farm recently. Unfortunately I’m not privy to his award-winning recipe but I took pics 🙂
Q: My favorite guilty pleasure is…
OMG cheesecake, chicken steak fried rice and jerk pork yummm lol
Q: Thanks for the interview, any closing thoughts?
Passion is the key to greatness of course but more so in any art. You have to cook for the love of it because your most genuine emotions are translated into every dish you prepare so be honest and love your craft. Also the best chefs read globally, absorb techniques, ask questions, experiment and deliver nothing but the best.
For more info check out the Flavour du Jour