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We’re Hiring! Calling All Chefs!

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

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 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.

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 want 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!

Rhythm Kitchen is Six!

Now we are six! Can’t believe that the years have flown by so fast – so many good times, friendly faces and of course big-time Jerk! We’ve been here through the London Olympics, seen Stratford blossom in ways we’d never thought possible, gone through tumultuous times shoulder-to-shoulder with all of London and come through stronger.

The one thing that has never changed is the way we do our food. Jerk cooking is a way of life and of all the restaurants in Westfield Stratford you’ll not find any which take it as personally as we do. It’d because we’re a family-run place with just one outlet, not like all the chain places and franchises all around us. The reason it tastes like home cooking is because that’s what it is – there’s no big corporate development kitchen with a team of chefs working on our dishes, we work up our dishes at home in our kitchen! We take what we know, what we learnt growing up and the old recipes from our family and friends and turn them into what we serve up at Rhythm Kitchen. There’s a lot of love in there and it’s all designed to be but one thing – tasty as hell.

We look a likkle different to how we did when we started out, gave ourselves a refresh earlier this year as you might have notices. We took what we’ve learnt over the years and mixed it with our heritage to make something which is just us and just for you – no stereotype of some jerk shack in the Islands which never existed, but a representation of our shared culture and cuisine. We’re proud to be independent, proud to be who we are and where we are and we may be likkle but wi’ tallawah!

Big love to everyone who has joined us over the last six years, it’s only going to get better!

Jamaican Independence Day with Rum Punch and Jerk Chicken

The 6th of August is a serious day – Jamaican Independence Day! 1962 seems like a long time ago and not long at all, 55 years of Jamaica making its own way in the world as a sovereign nation, longer than many of us have been around but no time at all for a country…
It’s also been 51 years since the Festival was started by Edward Seaga, showing off some of the amazing art, music and culture the island has to offer. You can see some footage of the first one here. It was put together to bring together – to showcase to a people newly independent that they made (and continue to make) amazing things and to bring people together through the power of that idea.

The song contest has always been a big part and it’s sad that it’s not happening this year – they promise it back next year though so in the meantime, we raised a glass on Sunday and having a listen to a few of these. The winners over the years, especially the early ones, read like a whos-who Jamaican talent with The Maytals winning three times, Desmond Dekker once and the legend that is Eric Donaldson bagging SIX titles…!

So do yourself a favour and get the tunes on, the rum punch out and of course some serious Jerk cooking on the go. Don’t fancy cooking yourself? You know where we are…

Usain Bolt’s Last Home Race

There are some men who, though when they are born they are the same as every child who comes into the world that day, have within them the power to break the mould, transcend the mundane and let the world know their name. Close to 31 years ago in Sherwood Content Usain Bolt came into the world. That was the last time he was ordinary.

Fast forward three decades and has announced his retirement from professional competition at the end of the current season, Usain ran his last home-crowd run at the Racers Grand Prix in Kingston, Jamaica earlier this month. It was always going to be a special occasion but even the most hardened fan of the fastest man on earth could be forgiven for being surprised by the sheer scale of the emotional outpouring. Opened by prayers and a celebration of the greatest athlete in Jamaican history, from the moment it opened it was no longer the Racer’s Grand Prix but Salute to a Legend.

As a farewell tour for a jubilant home crowd, Bolt did not and could not disappoint – he may have had a terrible start, as usual, he may have run the 100m in an average for him) 10.03, but he played to the stands, shadow-boxing and running through his usual pre- and -post-race routines to give everyone there a sense that they had truly seen him in all his beautiful pomp and circumstance. And of course, he won.

With a tougher line-up by far than the 29 athletes in Kingston when he comes to London this August for his final World Championships, Usain will have to work as hard as he ever has to go out on a high. For an adoring crowd, however, it will be enough to see him do what he does best – own an entire stadium with easy-going grace.

Muller Anniversary Games

Can it really have been five whole years since Stratford first became the centre of the world and the Olympic waggon rolled into town? It was then we first opened our doors to serve up the best Jerk cooking in Stratford – that’s why we’ve kept on serving it!

Time flies but we got the best of the world here again on July 9th for the Muller Anniversary Games. It’s going to be a brilliant day of top-class sport with too many great ones to mention but it’s Mo Farrah’s last season – we don’t want to miss the last chance to see one of British sport’s all-time greats.

If you’ve got tickets and need a little something to keep you in the mood to cheer on the best in the world, we know that there are plenty of restaurants in Stratford but only one Rhythm Kitchen! We’ve been told* that Jerk cooking is the food of champions! Seeing as it’s over the weekend we’ll have a couple of specials on just for you so you can fuel up just right. See you this weekend!

New Kitchen, Same Great Rhythm

We opened our doors for the first time as a part of the opening crew for Westfield Stratford – we’ve been here as long as it has and we’ve loved serving up fresh Jerk cooking here for the last five years. That is quite a long time though and we thought it was time to take a fresh look at ourselves, give the place a bit of a make-over.

We know ourselves and our cooking even better now so we wanted to reflect that as well as references the heritage of Jerk cooking in a more subtle and refined way than some other Caribbean restaurants do. It’s not just the look, we’ve been working hard in the kitchen too – we’re stull serving up classic Jerk with secret dry-rub and marinade recipes, but we’ve got some new favourites too – Pepper Prawns and a special Jerk Salmon.

The Jerkfather says: “This refresh reflects the way we feel about our cooking and how it relates to both British Caribbean heritage and the Britain of today. We’ve taken the traditions of great food and hospitality and brought them bang up to date. We’re so proud of all the work that’s gone into it from a great team and are looking forward to serving up fine Jerk to the people of Stratford again!”