Tyrone, Head Chef of the fabulous new Blue Smoke on the Bay restaurant is very comfortable cooking on wood. It reminds him of large family cook-outs with his Grandma back home in Jamaica. He gives us a little insight into his journey to becoming a Chef the UK and what it is like in front of the grill at the newest Low Wood Bay eatery.
This is What I Want to do with my Life
I started working for a catering company after school when I was fourteen years old. Sometimes I would work into the small hours, grab a couple of hours sleep before heading out to school. This was my first experience of kitchens and where I knew that this was what I wanted to do with my life. From then on my wages were saved to put myself through catering college.
Growing up in the beautiful port town of Ocho Rios, a fishing village on the north coast of Jamaica, family get-togethers were always on the beach. We’d call it ‘Run a Boat’ when everybody would contribute something to the barbeque feast. Fresh fish were plentiful so usually took centre stage. What transformed the cooking was always the spice. My first signature dish, which is probably fairly predictable, was Rice, Peas and Jerk Chicken, but it was made special by the Scotch Bonnet Rub that we had perfected as a family recipe.
My Place Kitchen-Side
Back at the catering company I started doing a little side-line in Christmas Cakes and Wedding Cakes and loved the pastry section of the kitchen. I applied to college when I was nineteen and had to wait for a year to get a place. During that time I tried my hand as a Waiter and Barman, but that only confirmed that my place was kitchen-side.
After college I had various jobs - Chef de Partie at an Italian Restaurant, Head Chef at a local restaurant and then for a time I ran my own restaurant serving international cuisine. In 2001 I spread my wings and worked for the Sands Hotel in Australia which was just on a different scale to anything I had seen before. Five years later I was heading for the UK and started working for English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues in 2006.
10 oz TOMAHAWK PORK
I did some further training locally at Kendal College and after a fairly intense cook-off became their Chef of the Year in 2008. We still have very strong links with the College and I keep in touch with Yannick Lequitte, one of the tutors there.
Blue Smoke on the Bay
GOSLING’S RUM, CHILLI AND MUSCOVADO SUGAR CURED HOT, WOOD SMOKED SALMON
In the first few days of Blue Smoke on the Bay opening, when the team was being established, I was asked to do a shift to help out. As soon as I got in front of that grill, strong memories of cooking Chicken Back with Green Papaya with my Grandma came flooding back. Cooking on wood felt instinctive and very natural. I knew this was where I wanted to be.
A Great Team
We’ve got a great team at Blue Smoke and we work together, both front of house and the kitchen team. I was brought up to lead by example, so if the KP is struggling to get cleaned up after a busy service, we will all lend a hand and I certainly don’t mind picking up the mop. I am fairly laid back and respect is high on my list of priorities, so we call each other by our first names.
I love it when our guests like to have a chat and are interested in what we are cooking. A couple from Liverpool had brought their young son and he was delighted that we cooked his favourite lamb skewers just for him. In fact, they stayed an extra night to have it again.
Book a Festive Lunch
Blue Smoke on the Bay takes Festive Lunch to a new wood-cooked level. It’s a great opportunity to come along experience our superb new menu and meet Tyrone and the team. Book a table by calling 015394 33338.
Lunch: 12.00pm - 2.30pm | Dinner: 6.30pm - 10.00pm