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Web Posted - Tue Nov 11 2003
Mango and guava mousse with black pepper ice cream, tamarind and balsamic sauce, or West Indian curry ice cream and rum and pineapple tart.
While one might not readily associate some of the aforementioned ingredients with dessert, local chef Ezra Beckles does not hesitate to be adventurous, and hopes youngsters, especially males, would follow his lead.
“Some people look at the sweetness, but within the sweetness you can add a little. With the ice cream you can go a little further... I think we have a lot of things on the island that we can use to make ice cream with,” explained Beckles, who admits experimenting with various ingredients during his leisure hours away from his job as executive pastry chef for Turtle Beach Resort.
“The products that we grow on the island...that really have flavour and taste, once you work on them you can get the flavour and taste out of them,” stated Beckles in an interview with the Barbados Advocate.
For example, he cited a local grape commonly found near the beach. This berry-like fruit can be processed and its acidity broken down.
Tamarinds, dunks, soursops and carambola or “five finger” fruits were also cited as under utilised for desserts, preserves and other edible foods.
“There are plenty soursops now around Barbados that are falling on the ground and people don’t use them in their restaurants or hotels. They need to get out there and get these products,” stated the 43-year-old St. James resident. Beckles would also like to see more young males learn and eventually teach the culinary arts or as he termed it “home economics”. In the specialised field of pastries, the chef stressed that having patience was a necessity.
Having a “passion for something” also made the time spent on perfecting your skills easier to handle, added Beckles, who was keen on sharing his culinary knowledge with students at the Pommarine Hospitality Institute.
“Yes, it’s a lot of work, but you can reap the benefits from it and you can have fun in it,” said Beckles, whose skills recently helped Barbados earn team silver in the Taste of the Caribbean culinary competition in Jamaica.
Compliments of the Barbados Advocate
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