Foodie gets pre-Independence Day feast on Portland beach

August 05, 2022
STAR foodie Shanel Lemmie (left) and Oshane ‘Chef Oshea’ Williams show off the finished product.STAR foodie Shanel Lemmie (left) and Oshane ‘Chef Oshea’ Williams show off the finished product.
STAR foodie Shanel Lemmie (left) and Oshane ‘Chef Oshea’ Williams show off the finished product.STAR foodie Shanel Lemmie (left) and Oshane ‘Chef Oshea’ Williams show off the finished product.
Williams lays out the ingredients as he makes his tasty dish.
Williams lays out the ingredients as he makes his tasty dish.
Williams cooking up a storm on the coal stove.
Williams cooking up a storm on the coal stove.
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Having not been blessed with culinary skills, I recently enlisted the help of famous Portland chef, Oshane 'Chef Oshea' Williams, of Oshea's 876 Kitchen, to help me create a truly Jamaican Independence Day feast -- ackee and salt fish and roasted breadfruit with fried ripe plantains.

In order for Chef Oshea to work his magic, I made sure to get the best, firmest two dozen ackees I could find in the market, a large ripe plantain and a breadfruit that I was assured wasn't too beaten up to be tasty.

It was then time to link up with the food genius on the shores of Norwich Public Beach in Jamaica's easternmost parish. Not even the penetrating rays of the mid-morning sun could deter this foodie from stepping into Oshea's 876 Kitchen for a pre-Independence brunch.

For Chef Oshea, preparing the national dish for THE WEEKEND STAR was something that came naturally. He said that he has always had a love for food and he learned the basics from a very young age.

The HEART/NSTA Trust-certified chef has tickled the delight of persons from near and far, having worked in the hospitality sector before being forced by the COVID-19 pandemic to change gears.

He now serves up sumptious meals on the sparking white sands of Norwich Public Beach, doing so under his Oshea's 876 Kitchen banner.

On Wednesday, clad in his black head covering and white chef's jacket, Chef Oshea explained the steps we were about to undertake. Operation National Dish Creation was in full swing.

Always one to don my long acrylic nails, I could tell chef was nervous about my handling the knife with my long talons. Well, he was right to be nervous as I almost cut myself several times.

"You take the likkle knife and gimme the big one," he said when I grabbed the long blade once.

Clearly having some ineptitude myself, Chef Oshea made light work of cleaning up most of the ackees, being careful to remove the ones that were spoiled from my path and cut up most of the seasonings.

Before I knew it, the breadfruit, which was on a coal stove, was roasted and set aside, and the boiled ackee was being added to a pot of sauteing seasonings. Chef Oshea easily fried the plantains.

The meal was essentially done!

I am convinced that it was my expert pepper-cutting skills, and that one time that I stirred the pot of boiling ackee, that significantly contributed to the meal being super tasty. To say it was flavourful is an understatement. I couldn't stop eating; like a true foodie.

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