If you enjoy tasty, healthy and simple meals with a local flavour, call on Chef Edward Inglefield. Not that he can’t be extravagant, he just prefers to keep it simple and promote the foods indigenous to T&T and the Caribbean.The Trinidad and Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute graduate (TTHTI) doesn’t quite recall when he first fell in love with cooking but says it was something that always interested him from a young age. “I would always hover around the kitchen growing up, leaning over pots and helping out with preparation,” recalls Inglefield. He credits his mother, a dessert caterer, and father, a fairly decent domestic cook, as his main influences. Mommy and Daddy might have been Inglefield’s main influences but it was his nanny who taught him a lot about good healthy local foods and ingredients. Always wanting to keep it simple, his first attempt at cooking was a basic egg plate. Was it successful? He can’t say, but he does remember eating it nonetheless.
Inglefield is one of the featured chefs on the CNC3’s television cooking series TASTE. The 27-year-old showcased his talents in episode five which aired last night but those who missed it can catch a repeat on Sunday at 5.55 pm and Tuesday 25 at 9.30 am. He whipped up a healthy two-course meal which consisted of an appetiser and main course. For the appetiser Inglefield prepared a geera spiced roasted pumpkin soup, while the main course was a pan-seared Mahi Mahi fillet with a coconut curry sauce served on a bed of local water cress and garnished with a roasted red-pepper coulis.
Cooking in front of the camera was a first for Inglefield who described the initial stages of filming as nerve-wracking. But as the cameras continued to roll, the shy guy got with the programme and to his viewers it wouldn’t be obvious that he’s new to the experience. Inglefield was selected for the series after one of the show’s producers saw some pictures of a dinner he had catered, and invited him to star as one of the featured chefs on the series. He thinks his decision to take up the offer was a wise one, as he feels that being on the show will boost his career and even encourage the use of more local produce. “I wanted to put forward my style of cooking on the show in order to showcase my passion: Simple, no-fuss food, prepared well, using good, quality ingredients,” says Inglefield. He said he really made an effort to highlight local inexpensive ingredients that anyone can go to the market and purchase.
“We really are blessed as a nation in terms of our available ‘food basket’ and not enough effort is being made to highlight our amazing bounty. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to produce a brilliant meal. A little bit of effort and know-how goes a very long way,” he reckons.
It’s no wonder one of his future goals is to expand the local palette using local available produce.
He says T&T has been spoiled as a nation in regard to the foreign exposure (food, programming) and in some ways Trinbagonians have also began diluting the country’s culinary identity. He believes programmes like TASTE are fantastic forums to promote not only the local talent, but also local foods.
The private chef and caterer says another goal of his is to become successful with his line of bottled products called CrateFoods. He would also like to write a cookbook and open a bistro/gourmet store that promotes local artisanal producers and produce.