STAR of the Month: Shauna takes control of the kitchen
Declaring that ‘country people’ cook the best, STAR of the Month Shauna Controlla seemed ready to take on the kitchen. The Portland-born entertainer told the WEEKEND STAR that everything she knows about the art of cooking was taught to her by her grandmother.
Reminiscing on days when the family matriarch used to prepare meals for her on the coal stove outside, Shauna said she wanted to recreate those days. She did just that as she setup kitchen in the backyard of the Frens For Real studio on Olympic Way, St Andrew.
“The best cooking gwaan pan coal stove das why me say me can’t go inna nuh stush kitchen, me affi deal wid it the right way, das why me a deal wid it yah so,” she said.
All dolled up and wearing a crop top, matching tights and well-manicured nails, the artiste said that as an entertainer, she has to maintain her image at all times.
“As long as a nuh knead me a knead flour, me good enuh. Mi fingernail dem clean, me never do nothing bad before,” she laughed.
The Controlla Button artiste then threw on her apron and begun to manoeuvre her kitchen.
Steamed fish served with green plantains was the meal of choice on the day. Although capable of handling things herself, the artiste got help from Cassandra ‘Lisa’ Pommells, who prior to the STAR’s arrival, washed and seasoned the fish.
“A she feed me everyday, she know her stuff. why yuh think me bring her fi help me?” Shauna said.
As soon as the vegetables (tomatoes, scallion, thyme, pepper, sweet pepper, Irish potatoes and pumpkin) were diced and ready to be sautéed, Shauna Controlla turned her attention to the coal stove. The wind was not her best friend and so lighting the stove proved to be a task. However, the entertainer channelled her ‘inner country girl’ and had the fire up and running in no time. She then proceeded to put her dutch pot atop the stove and poured a little bit of oil inside to begin the sautéing process.
When the oil was hot enough, the entertainer added her diced vegetables and stirred for approximately three minutes before adding water and leaving to simmer. When the liquid was brought to a boil, the entertainer then added the seasoned fish and some more fish seasoning, to taste. While the fish was left to steam, the artiste turned her attention to the green plantain.
Again, the expertise of Pommells was brought in to play. The artiste was shown the proper way to peel the plantain and then instructed to slice them in halves for frying.
“Don’t throw away the skin,” Pommells told Shauna. “A it we a guh use and press the plantain before we fry it again.”
By the time the two had finished preparing the plantains for frying, the aroma coming from the pot with the steamed fish filled the air. The scent drew men from the front of the yard to the kitchen area, all indicating that they would not be leaving until they got their share.