June is Caribbean American Heritage month where we recognize the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States. We all know that food tell us about culture so I had the pleasure of interviewing Celebrity Chef Patrick. This well recognized chef is notorious for his marriage between Caribbean spices, Southern cooking and an American flair. Learn how he got his start in the culinary industry, being able to cook for Barack and Michelle Obama and what’s next for him.
Tell us how you got your start in the culinary industry?
I got my start as a high school intern at Club Caribbean hotel where I was offered a job immediately after graduating.
How does your background influence your cuisine?
When I was growing up in Jamaica, often when it came time for dinner, my mother would be away working. Despite not having food in the fridge, I cooked up dishes for my sister from whatever I could find, and that’s when I discovered flavoring with spices and making sauces.
Who influenced you to push forward being a chef?
Early on, those that believed in me at school and as a sous chef at the resorts on the island, gave me the chance to learn enough about cooking to set my sights on becoming a real chef. By then my understanding of the culinary arts had changed and I started looking up to other guys in the field like Gordon Ramsay, Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri.
How have you overcome obstacles in your journey?
Many of my dishes have a zest drawn from life experiences to include the times that were extremely tough. I mentioned food insecurity as a youth, but my struggles didn’t end there. Even in Jamaica, I was faced with having barley enough money to survive and ended up crashing in the utility room of one of the hotels I worked at just to make ends meet before I could get back on my feet again. Once I was in a position to help other aspiring chefs back home, I seized the opportunity to do so.
How does it feel to be able to share your culinary flair with entertainers and politicians?
It’s an incredible feeling to prepare food for high profile guests. I have had the pleasure of cooking for many people I respect and admire including Michelle + Barack Obama. It’s also really fun when other talented personalities are brought together through the experience of eating my food. I’ve had the occasion to do so with Mary J Blige, Rick Ross, Snoop Dogg, and Jamie Foxx, among others.
Is there any advice you received in your younger days that still motivates you today?
To work hard and dedicate yourself to your craft and to keep creating opportunities for yourself. Also to help others along the way, because when you do that, you help yourself too.
What are some ways you plan to leave your culinary stamp on the world?
What started as necessity evolved into a passion that gave way for tapping me to be able to explore my craft while also making it possible for others to pursue similar dreams.
What experience do you hope to provide to the people who enjoy your food?
For people to say that it’s fresh and flavorful!
What is your favorite dish to prepare?
Seafood, often seafood + steak, good with sauces + asparagus, charred tomato, mashed potatoes, and complemented with grilled caesar salad.
What impact do you think the Caribbean culture has had on American cuisine?
I strongly believe that Caribbean cuisine play a big role with the American Cuisine. It allows you to do Fusion cooking crossing over Caribbean and soul food American. For example jerk chicken with collard greens and macaroni and cheese.
What makes you a Quintessential Gentleman?
I think I’m a quintessential gentleman because of my upstanding personality and my impact that I make daily to uplift and inspire the youth of tomorrow and teach them the do’s and dont’s of life. Also to be successful and staying out of trouble.
What can we look forward to from Chef Patrick?
This is just the tip of the iceberg for Chef Patrick, looking forward to the grand opening of my culinary school in Jamaica to take some of the youths of the street and give them a Fighting Chance career, my cookbook release, my cookware, multiple cooking TV show, my motivational tour to multiple City, and so much more that I will be bringing to the culinary world to make my mark…
Make sure to follow Chef Patrick on Instagram.