Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A baker’s delight

Local chef publishes book on baking


LOVE FOR FOOD: Chef Kwesi Selvon and his new cookbook, The One Baking Book. —Photos: AYANNA KINSALE

Mark Fraser

You too can make sumptuous desserts like any chef and have your friends and family wondering if you ordered your treats from a high-end bakery said, chef Kwesi Selvon.

Selvon has been a chef and lecturer for the past 13 years. With a profound love for food, Selvon is just as passionate to teach others many of the culinary tricks he has learnt over the years in his new cookbook, The One Baking Book.

He said, “The One Baking Book is designed to allow the home and professional baker the opportunity to prepare sweet and savoury items. Not only that but you would also be able to take one recipe and make at least ten baked items out of it.”

“The idea for the book came about in 2007 when I was in Tortola. I worked there as a pastry chef for a year and a half for three establishments; and demands were very high. I would make breads, cakes and pastries and at times still had to cook food and prepare breakfast meals. It was difficult to do all that in a timely manner so I realised in order to meet the ever increasing demands, I knew I had to find an easier way to do my job and that’s when the idea for the book started to come to life,” Selvon said.

The book, though small in size provides wonderful recipes to make hundreds of mouth-watering desserts. There is a section in the book on custards and from that recipe I made ice cream, crème caramel, crème brulee and even pancakes, he said.

“This book differs from other cookbooks. For example, in a regular cookbook you could probably find a recipe for black cake, a recipe for fruit cake or a recipe for pound cake. This book would provide one recipe and show the individual that by just adding or removing certain ingredients you can get all the items previously mentioned without having to follow two and three different recipes,” he said.

The One Baking Book has a wide array of sweet and savoury desserts that even a novice cook can do. A mix of local and foreign recipes, Selvon assured that all of the ingredients in the book could either be made from scratch or could be found on grocery shelves in Trinidad and Tobago.

“This book is not just for recipes but it was also done as a teaching guide. For example, if you are doing pastry dough or cake, the book will teach you what is a creaming method or a folding method. It is a book to teach and to also make baking easier. I  also plan to do two follow-up books.” Selvon said.

“If you are making pie you can either make the filling from scratch as it is outlined in the book or buy something store bought. This is just a few suggestions I have in the book for those who truly enjoy baking,” he said.

Apart from the cookbook, Selvon is also planning to launch his new business called Youu Chef. Youu Chef covers cooking and baking classes, consultancy, baking and cookbooks and spoons, he said.

He said, “People often wonder why the extra “u” in the name—well it is to stress that we want “u” to be the chef.” 

The programme will teach participants various aspects in baking and culinary. There would also be Sunday health classes and that day would be specifically geared towards vegans and vegetarians; diabetics and those that suffer with hypertension. Participants would not only learn about these areas but also learn how to cook for them.

Classes begin September 1, #4 Harold Street, Boissiere No. 1 Maraval next to Superb Printers.

He said, “Under Youu Chef I plan to launch a new concept called Spoons. We can only cater for eight persons at one time. Spoons are basically where we will do live cooking and the food will be served in just spoons. From appetisers all the way down to desserts, it will give the diner the opportunity to taste four different dishes for each course all done at one location.”

For more information on bookings call - 491-2049 or 

392 -1791.