Chef James serves up taste of the Caribbean in California

June 05, 2017
Chef James shows off a ready to eat serving of ackee and saltfish with dumpling, yams and green bananas.
James covers his finished meal.
Dumpling, yams and green bananas are on the menu.
James preparing ackee and saltfish.
Chef Bernards' brother Carlton James carefully removes some jerked chicken from the jerk pan at the temporary outside kitchen.

"It is a new era ... People are eating with the eyes," says California-based chef Bernard James, who has been serving up Caribbean food in the western US state.

James was spotted recently in the Cathedral City, where partygoers went for the BRT weekend.

The Guyana-born James, who operates the Taste of the Caribbean L.A. Restaurant, danced while singing the words "time to partyyyy" as soca and dancehall music echoed in the background. And not missing a beat, the chef skilfully stirred a pot simmering with Jamaica's national dish, ackee and saltfish. To go along with the 'salt thing', served in generous portions, persons are able to choose from yellow and white yam, green banana, which was boiled in its skin, and dumplings.

"We don't have the fresh ackee here, so we have to use the canned ackee," he said. "What I do, I use my garlic, my thyme, my pepper ... every single fresh ingredient you need to add to the ackee to give it that flavour, to bring it to the way it should taste."

James also does a mouth-watering jerk-roast fish, which is stuffed with freshly chopped okra, thyme, ginger, sweet pepper and other traditional veggies. To prepare, he wraps them in aluminium foil and rests them in a jerk pan.

Also on James' Taste of the Caribbean menu in Cathedral City was jerked shrimp, curried shrimp, jerked salmon, among other dishes, and to quench the thirst of those left parched in the boiling sun, a drink of ice-cold coconut water.

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