EntornoInteligente | iphone 11 Victor Gill Ramirez// Kizzy Joseph's food flavours the Sunday Experience » EntornoInteligente
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Imag­ine hav­ing a Sun­day spread of turkey with corn­bread stuff­ing and sor­rel con­serve, cin­na­mon-baked plan­tains and ap­ples in a cran­ber­ry glaze, and mixed greens with caramelised pecans and cran­ber­ries, com­plete with black cake and sor­rel on your din­ing ta­ble in Ju­ly, with­out hav­ing slaved in front the stove un­til 3 pm. Can­dice Thomas-Hen­ry did just that af­ter she and cater­er Kizzy Joseph crossed paths in late June…and the busy car sales agent and moth­er is look­ing for­ward to be­ing spoilt with Joseph’s culi­nary de­lights over and over again.

Victor Gill Ramirez

Un­able to hide her en­thu­si­asm about Joseph’s food of­fer­ings in a re­cent tele­phone in­ter­view with Guardian Me­dia, Thomas-Hen­ry said when it comes to food, Joseph and her team bring an ex­pe­ri­ence.

Victor Gill

“The first time I had it, it was good. She did it a sec­ond time, the food was ex­cep­tion­al. The third time she did it, I said this girl is amaz­ing!” Thomas-Hen­ry said

She was re­call­ing the “Sun­day Ex­pe­ri­ence” of­fered by Sep­a­rate Ta­bles, a fam­i­ly-run food cater­ing com­pa­ny which serves up gourmet cui­sine with a Caribbean flair. Thomas-Hen­ry, who lives in Ch­agua­nas, found out about Joseph af­ter a friend who had used her to cater a brunch bragged on­line. She or­dered one of Joseph’s salmon pack­ages for Fa­ther’s Day and a few weeks lat­er, asked whether Joseph could de­liv­er a spe­cial meal to her home on a Sun­day be­cause she was so over­whelmed with bal­anc­ing work­ing from home, ex­tra stud­ies, teens and their on­line class­es, and house­work dur­ing the cur­rent pan­dem­ic pe­ri­od

The ex­haust­ed moth­er re­quest­ed food that could be laid out on the ta­ble as if pre­pared at home. Wowed by the cater­er’s skills, Thomas-Hen­ry en­cour­aged Joseph to ex­tend the for­mat to oth­ers and post­ed about it to her close to 15,000 Face­book fol­low­ers and 5,000 on IG. Soon, Joseph was al­so post­ing on IG and more and more peo­ple were call­ing. One client even came from as far as Guayagua­yare to meet up at a Trinci­ty de­liv­ery point for the Sun­day Ex­pe­ri­ence

Apart from the meals on Sun­days, Thomas-Hen­ry was im­pressed with a brunch Joseph did for her moth­er and friends. She said Joseph’s flavours were unique and con­sis­tent and the ser­vice top-notch

“There was one Sun­day when she did a To­ba­go spe­cial. She sent sweet­bread and co­conut ice-cream too. Who does that?” Thomas-Hen­ry laughed

She was sure to men­tion the gen­er­ous por­tions which she said last­ed her fam­i­ly of five; in­clud­ing two teens, her mum and hus­band, at least two days

The pop­u­lar sales agent was al­so struck by Joseph’s will­ing­ness to em­brace a new idea

She was so vi­brant and so will­ing. I brought an idea to this young la­dy and she nev­er ob­ject­ed. She didn’t say let me call you back; she was ready. That’s what we need now; we need to learn and un­learn. We need to ad­just,” Thomas-Hen­ry said

With a lull in de­mand af­ter the ini­tial lock­down of the coun­try in April, Joseph said pro­vid­ing busy fam­i­lies with a home-made meal, cooked with love on Sun­days was a great means of sus­tain­ing the busi­ness

“Week af­ter week it’s been pret­ty well-re­ceived and peo­ple are as ex­cit­ed about it as am I,” she shared

Pre-COVID-19, she catered for a few pri­vate com­pa­nies, prepar­ing pre-or­dered lunch­es for ex­ec­u­tives Mon­day through Fri­day. She has al­so done small pri­vate events like tea par­ties, girls’ days and birth­days

Ac­cord­ing to Joseph, the Sun­day Ex­pe­ri­ence be­gins on a Tues­day when she posts a new menu for the up­com­ing Sun­day from which clients can choose. There are usu­al­ly three meat op­tions like chick­en, lamb, salmon or shrimp de­pend­ing on that week’s theme; along with an as­sort­ment of sides and a dessert, and some­times a spe­cial drink

Prices are stan­dard, even if lob­ster or ex­tra meat is added in, Joseph said. The Love Birds spe­cial for two is $400, while the cost is $600 for a fam­i­ly of four

She has done Ital­ian, and a Ja­maican theme which she said was “a huge hit.” She catered to meat lovers two weeks ago and there was even a “Christ­mas in Ju­ly” theme when she first start­ed. Last week­end she treat­ed clients to seafood —in­clud­ing this re­porter and fam­i­ly. Let’s just say, Thomas-Hen­ry did not ex­ag­ger­ate. Sep­a­rate Ta­bles can throw down

Joseph still cooks for clients dur­ing the week. Grilled fish with pineap­ple sal­sa, roast­ed pork loins with a de­mi-glaze, roast chick­en in rose­mary cit­rus sauce, veg­etable rice and Caribbean coleslaw topped with pineap­ple squares and toast­ed co­conut are just a morsel of one of her Tues­day menus

Born in Que­bec, Cana­da, Joseph has lived in T&T for the past 12 years. She fol­lowed her Trinida­di­an-born par­ents who re­turned home af­ter their re­tire­ment. She re­called spend­ing her grow­ing years in Toron­to, feast­ing on the Tri­ni-in­spired cre­ations of her moth­er, Sheila. She’s no stranger to coo coo, callaloo or pro­vi­sions she in­formed, since Caribbean soul food fea­tured heav­i­ly on their home menu, with the roast beef and roast chick­en with pota­toes typ­i­cal of Cana­da al­so be­ing sprin­kled in

Joseph grad­u­at­ed with a Mar­ket­ing de­gree from Cen­ten­ni­al Col­lege, Toron­to and was an ex­ec­u­tive at Bell Cana­da when she joined her moth­er’s orig­i­nal cater­ing busi­ness as the large clien­tèle was be­com­ing too much for the old­er la­dy. She lat­er picked up culi­nary cours­es at George Brown Col­lege, Toron­to

With Toron­to’s di­verse cul­ture, she and her moth­er spent many a day sam­pling cuisines, from Ital­ian to Greek and Thai—not on­ly be­cause they were food lovers, but al­so in an at­tempt to ex­pand their culi­nary reper­toire. They built a name as Toron­to’s wed­ding spe­cial­ists and were al­so pop­u­lar at Toron­to Car­ni­val events

On her moth­er’s re­turn to Trinidad, the re­tiree start­ed tak­ing on small cater­ing jobs and when she jok­ing­ly sug­gest­ed that Joseph join her here to help deal with her bur­geon­ing clien­tèle, Joseph, who was four months preg­nant at the time, jumped at the op­por­tu­ni­ty

“One day she said she had a job to cater for 600 clients. I was like mum, that’s way too many peo­ple. She was like why don’t you just pack up and come to Trinidad. I’m a spon­ta­neous per­son and I said why not. I mean, I wasn’t go­ing to miss win­ter…at all. I love it here.”

A con­cept of her mom based on an old movie, Sep­a­rate Ta­bles rep­re­sents the idea that even though we sit at sep­a­rate ta­bles, we are still one fam­i­ly. The busi­ness is lo­cat­ed in San­ta Cruz with Joseph and her moth­er as the main cooks and her broth­er, Nigel, as the grill cook. They are as­sist­ed by two oth­er kitchen em­ploy­ees

Sun­day Ex­pe­ri­ence de­liv­er­ies have spanned Port-of-Spain and en­vi­rons to Trinci­ty in the East and as far as San Fer­nan­do in the South. There are three dri­vers who meet most clients at par­tic­u­lar drop-off points by 11:45 am

De­spite their hec­tic sched­ule, her fa­ther who was heav­i­ly in­volved years ago now helps with small­er er­rands. He said his job now is a full-time grand­par­ent to Joseph’s son, Hezeki­ah and to five oth­ers abroad, Joseph laughed

She and her team do not plan to take a break any time soon. She in­tends to do Christ­mas bas­kets of ponche-de-crème, gin­ger beer, black cake, home-made bread and pastelles and is of­fer­ing Christ­mas meals to go from De­cem­ber 22 to Christ­mas Eve

Of course, Thomas-Hen­ry will be first in line


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