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Author: DaveMemo

Mother’s Day is coming up…

Mother’s Day is coming up, which got me thinking about my mum. As someone who owes so much to his mum, I love the excuse to treat her to something nice. And in our house, what that really means is good food. My mum is the one that taught me how to cook, and now it’s something we can do together.

My mum moved from rural Jamaica to England in the early 1960’s. She settled in East London, worked night shifts as a catering assistant at the Ford Motor Company in Dagenham and raised seven kids – that’s a hero if ever there was one. She had some early struggles raising a big family as a single mum, but she never let hard times get in the way of her devilish sense of humour.

I learned to love cooking by watching my mother cook at home. As a little boy, I asked many questions about the dishes she made and what she ate back in Jamaica. I now own my own restaurants, but her homecooked meals are still my favourite things to eat.

My mum isn’t just a mother of seven anymore – she now has 12 grandkids and 17 great grandkids too. Although a lot has changed since I was sitting in her kitchen watching her cook, she has stayed the same strong, independent woman that she’s always been.

This Mother’s Day – whatever you do – treat your mum to something nice. You can never go wrong with a good meal, and if you book for our place, her meal is on the house.

One love,

Delroy

Event Hire – Your Very Own Rhythm Kitchen

Looking for a place to get the whole crew together and celebrate a big day? Maybe it’s a birthday, maybe a graduation, maybe just a really excellent Tuesday – whatever the case we’ve got the place for you and if you bring the people, we can bring the Jerk, the curry goat, the fish fry and all other kinds of delicious authentic Caribbean food. Also, in case this sways you, the Jerkfather has put together a selection of more than 60 of his favourite rums and he always enjoys it when people come exploring…

If you want to know more about how we can make your next party, work away-day or excellent Tuesday even more excellent, get in touch by calling 020 8520 6112 or emailing on e17@rhythmkitchen.co

Speak soon, Del & the team

We’re Hiring! Rhythm Kitchen E17 Needs Part-Time Waiters & Waitresses!

Part Time Waiting Staff

If building exceptional customer relations comes naturally to you. Come and check out Rhythm Kitchen E17.

So, what will you be doing?

Greet customers warmly and direct them to their tables

Giving customers your undivided attention

Take food and beverage orders and enter them into our system in a timely fashion

Memorise our food and beverage menus and make recommendations to our customers

Provide attentive service to customers by refilling drinks as needed and checking in during meals

Present menu and provide detailed information when asked (e.g. about portions, ingredients or potential food allergies)

Promptly address customer service issues and refer customers to management when necessary

Check customers’ IDs to ensure they meet minimum age requirements for consumption of alcoholic beverages

Follow all relevant food safety regulations

 

What do we offer?

Competitive salary

Family discounts

Minimum Requirements

1+ years’ wait staff restaurant experience

Able to keep up in a fast-paced work environment

Excellent written and verbal skills

Willing to work a flexible schedule, including nights and weekends

Allowed to work in the UK

 

To apply, get in touch with Delroy Dixon with a copy of your latest CV and a few words about why you’re suited to the job – info@rhythmkitchen.co

Rhythm Kitchen Walthamstow

Calling All Chefs!

If you love to cook, we love to hear from you.

We are looking for Full Time Chefs to cook a range of Caribbean dishes at our restaurant located in East London.

Who are we looking for?

A dedicated hard and fast worker who is passionate about food and who has previous catering experience in commercial kitchens. You will have a good understanding of professional cooking and knife handling skills. You will have good communication skills and be available to work day, evening and weekend shifts. You will have the ability to work well under pressure and be able to use your initiative.

Principle responsibilities include, but not limited to:

  • Experience working on a grill
  • Experience cooking Caribbean cuisine
  • Be able to respond to high customer volumes with a sense of urgency and professionalism
  • Preparation, seasoning, and cooking of Caribbean recipes, salads and vegetables
  • Follows recipes, portion controls and presentation specifications as set by the restaurant
  • Following the Rhythm Kitchen cleaning standards including cleaning equipment and cookware in a timely fashion
  • Assisting with the cleaning, sanitation and organisation of kitchen, walk in fridges and all storage areas
  • Perform additional responsibilities although not detailed as required by management

Salaries Negotiable

Uniform provided

As a Chef you will receive

  • Free staff meals
  • Discounts for family members

Minimum criteria

  • Understanding and knowledge of safety, sanitation and food handling procedures
  • Experience cooking Caribbean cuisine in commercial kitchens
  • Good knife handling skills
  • You must have at least a minimum of 1 years previous catering experience in commercial kitchens
  • You must be eligible to work in UK

To apply, get in touch with Delroy Dixon with a copy of your latest CV and a few words about why you’re suited to the job – info@rhythmkitchen.co

Rhythm Kitchen is coming to Walthamstow!

That’s right, the Jerkfather is coming home, bringing a new rhythm and brand new kitchen this May!

We’re honoured to be taking over from Martin Rigg, one local legend taking over from another, to carry the Jerk torch for a new generation at 257 Hoe Street! Where The Jerk Hut used to serve up charcoal-grilled goodness will soon Rhythm Kitchen Walthamstow and you can take away or stick around to enjoy it with us.

If you like what we do in Stratford, you’ll love what we’ve got planned for Walthamstow: the same home-made Jerk goodness but with new special dishes, an epic charcoal grill to give that authentic flavour, all served up in a warm and inviting space which we can’t wait to call home.

Alongside the food, our new place gives us the chance to put together a proper bar, serving up a selection of beers, wines and of course hand-picked selection the Jerkfather’s favourite rums from around the Caribbean and beyond. 63 of them at current count, though we reckon he’ll have a few more by the time we open the doors…

We’ll have more news for you soon so keep your eyes peeled and roll on May!

Valentine’s Day Competition!

Valentine’s Day is coming up and it’s got us thinking about love. The sort of love you don’t find every day, the sort of love you have for something you just can’t do without – like fine Jerk cooking!

So we’re going to give a meal for 2 to the person who shows their love for Jerk the best! Share a picture with us – email us, tag us in on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts – which shows how much you love it, and our favourite gets the meal! Closing date is the 12th of February so get snapping!

Jerkfather: The Interview

This interview was originally written by Andrew Gott, Community Manager at the International Quarter in Stratford.

 

Hi Del. What do you do in Stratford?
I own and operate Rhythm Kitchen, an authentic – and independent – Caribbean eatery at Westfield Stratford.

Where are you from, and where do you live now?
I was born just down the road in Forest Gate, and I now live in Walthamstow. I won’t tell you my age – a good looking man like me doesn’t reveal his age.

Of course. So what journey brought you to Rhythm Kitchen?
When I left school, I trained as a chef at hotels across London, including the Park Lane Hotel. I moved into all sorts of oddjobs, which lead to a job in television. I started off as a sound recordist (the boom guy), then in 2000, a friend brought me into his production company where we made television for channels like Bravo, the Discovery Network and National Geographic.

And how did that lead to opening a restaurant in Westfield?
Back in the 1980s, where Westfield and International Quarter London sits now, was a railway yard. In February 2010, Westfield was under construction and I thought there should be a Caribbean food presence. We pitched, submitted a business plan and were open in September 2011. The Olympics arrived in 2012.

What’s your fondest memory from being part of the Olympics?
It has to be meeting people from across the world, and showing off East London, London and Caribbean culture to them.

Your fantastic recipes – tell us a bit about the development behind them.
We tested everything on our friends and family, which was mutually beneficial – we would receive honest feedback, and they would be well fed. At first, they weren’t impressed. My brother told me “You’ve made better food than this before”, so we knew we had a lot of work to do.

Eventually the feedback gradually become overwhelmingly positive, so there wasn’t a light bulb moment as such, more of a total lack of negative feedback or suggestion. Our recipes for jerk pork, jerk chicken, jerk wings, the dry mix, the curry – they’re all original, developed by ourselves and secret.

For someone who has never sampled it, what is ‘jerk’?
Jerk is both a seasoning and a method of cooking. The seasoning varies based on region and family in the Caribbean but essentially always contains Scotch Bonnet pepper and pimento. If it doesn’t, it’s not jerk. The method involves a lot of smoking to produce succulent, tender meats.

What should someone sample at Rhythm Kitchen for the first time?
The ideal meal for beginners is jerk chicken, or curry goat – they’re the two big ones. I would serve them with rice and peas, and plantain… or coleslaw. They all work. People don’t think coleslaw would work, but it really does.

The ‘peas’ in rice and peas are actually beans, as when Caribbean migrants moved to the UK and couldn’t find the Gungo peas they used back at home, they began using red kidney beans. Just don’t do it like Marco Pierre White and use green peas. Ever. No garden peas.

Tell me what yourself and Ann (Del’s business and life partner) are most proud of, from the last 6 years?
The marinades that we created in our home, we’re now able to feed to people in Westfield, Stratford and beyond. To carry on the legacy of our British and Caribbean heritage. Without the love and support of the East London community, we wouldn’t still be here.

So… what’s in your secret sauce?
Well obviously that remains a secret, but we may give you the recipe to our most popular cocktail if you ask nicely – rum punch.

Reviewing the Kitchen

We work hard to make tasty food to our own special recipes – our Jerk is the way we do, not anyone else’s and we’re a small family-run place in a big shopping centre, up against all those chains and groups So when people them leave reviews for us, we take them serious. Some of them good, some of them great! We goin’ leave the false modesty aside for one minute and share a few of our favourites from the last few months.

First up, Desmond John Hamilton said:

This gem of a restaurant has nothing but beautiful authentic Caribbean cuisine. As a person of Caribbean origin I can’t praise the chefs in this establishment enough. Caribbean food is meant to be tasty spicy, & not the type of food where you need the fire engine nearby to hose you down, that’s exactly what the chefs in this magical Caribbean establishment achieves! Their lamb roti is succulent & beautifully made. The mark of good Caribbean restaurants can be seen when the chef has taken the time to blot away the excess oil of their fried plantains, very nicely done & never too oily. Damn it the Guinness punch is nearly as nice as mines!!!
If you have never ate Caribbean cuisine & your shopping in Westfield Stratford, then you should treat yourself because I’m sure you deserve the best food after your shopping!

Desmond, you’re welcome any time! Not everyone write as much as that, most people just leave a few words, but here are some others we can’t help but share:

“This is a great place to grab a bite when you are shopping. The food is delicious and reasonably priced, great vegan options, that are filling and a nice relaxed atmosphere to eat your food in! The staff are really nice too.”

“The food and flavors are amazing! I’m always satisfied when I eat here. They never disappoint! The jerk ribs are something I would suggest. The plantains are really good, too!”

“Authentic and great tasting food, and value for money. We are very selective about where we eat, and Rhythm Kitchen exceeds expectations in taste & fast service. It’s a welcoming oasis in a busy centre.”

“Great real Jamaican food ! As a Jamaican myself I was very impressed with the food and the quick service. Big up Rhythm Kitchen!”

“Pleasant experience! Very nice authentic food. Cora the server was especially helpful, patient and professional I will recommend this restaurant and make it my regular haunt. Prices reasonable portions good.”

Big smiles, we can’t help it! If you join us and want to share your experience, hit us up on Tripadvisor or Google, we always love to hear from you!

Rhythm Kitchen Catering – Review

We don’t like to toot our own horn too much but every now and again you get a review which puts a smile right across your face and just wants to share. This happened the other day when the rather lovely Femi Keeling, whose wedding we were lucky enough to cater for recently, posted this on Google. Our thanks again to Femi for letting us share her big day and for taking the time to talk up out Jerk skills – we loved it! Here’s what she had to say:

I wanted Caribbean food at my wedding but all of the quotes I received were way outside of my budget. I was pulling my hair out and was very close to having to abandon my plan and do something else. Then I remembered Rhythm Kitchen where I always eat when I’m in Westfield Stratford (BBQ chicken, rice and fried plantain, as you’re asking) and thought I’d see if they do catering. I was so happy to find that they do!

On the wedding day we had BBQ chicken, curry goat, escovitch fish, rice, macaroni pie, fried plantain, coleslaw, and salad. We ate well! Everyone got their belly full! Everyone we talked to on the day (and since) commented on how delicious the food was, and many of them had seconds. Truth is we always remember the food at a wedding (good or bad), and Rhythm Kitchen ensured my guests’ memories will be happy ones. In addition to delivering wonderful cuisine on the day, Rhythm Kitchen were nothing but professional throughout the process. It was stress-free, and I knew I was in capable hands so didn’t need to worry. If you’re in Westfield Stratford, there is only one place to eat, and if you’re looking for a Caribbean caterer for your event you really won’t find better food at a more reasonable rate. I highly recommend them!