Simon levy has made a name for himself as the master of the art of charcuterie. One of the hottest food trends, it is the artisanal skill of curing, salting, smoking and preserving meat. Considered to be the oldest form of meat preparation for many cultures, including Jamaica, it was really the French, Spanish and Italians who brought it into the realm of haute cuisine.
Describe your perfect dinner?
A chef is never well-fed in the same way a gardener’s garden is never well kept. But for me I don’t go for an array of courses, I prefer a quick and easy one plate, even one pot meal. Pasta or lamb chops. Simple things.
what are your thoughts on how our local food culture evolving?
Our local food scene is booming. There is so much influence out there now with social media and the many food-based shows on television. Anyone with the interest can experiment and develop their cooking skills via avenues as simple as YouTube. We are seeing a lot more local chefs starting out, most don’t go the restaurant route but do catering for private and corporate functions due to the lower overhead and operational costs, whether it’s an intimate dinner party or catering for over a hundred. What’s good about it is that you get immediate feedback, you quickly get to know what works and what doesn’t.
You are participating in the Jamaica Food and Drink Festival this year, What can we expect?
I am running the sponsored CB Foods booth at the Launch event. For Pork Palooza I will also be managing the CB Foods sponsored booth there roasting whole hogs alongside a few porchettas, which is basically half a hog rolled up and tied then roasted on a spit… I am also involved in the Crisp event this year doing a Tapas board with assorted toppings.