Sun | Oct 13, 2019

Johnny 'Jaminates' with Cheesecake

Published:Thursday | August 9, 2018 | 12:00 AMKrysta Anderson/ Gleaner Writer

Who doesn't love living on the sweet side of life every once in a while? Pleasing foodies and novices alike, from both yard and abroad, with authentically epic treats is none other than Johnny cheesecake.

Chef Johnny Baldwin, who has been in the culinary field for almost three years explained that as long as he has known himself, he has always been a fan of food, "I enjoy exploring different types of cuisine all over the world. But as far as the culinary field is concerned, desert is my one and only passion."

Currently residing in Montclair, New Jersey, Baldwin has been taken over the dessert game by sweet storm, staying true to his Jamrock roots when it comes to flavour. "The cheesecake business has been around forever, so I'm not here to reinvent the wheel. I'm just here to put my special twist on it, here to take it to another level, I'm here to Jaminate the cheesecake game."


Uniquely Jamaican Flavours


There are over 20 uniquely Jamaican flavours, so far, to choose from, and there are many more in the pipeline waiting to be released. Some of the festive favourites include: Blue Mountain Coffee Cheesecake, Green Grotto Pistachio Cheesecake, Trelawny Yellow Yam Cheesecake (Usain Bolt special), Sorrel Cheesecake, Blue Lagoon Blueberry Cheesecake, Kingston Dragon Stout Cheesecake, Jackfruit Cheesecake and authentic Jamaican Rum and Raisin Cheesecake.

Then there is the combo of triple threat - Sorrel Cheesecake on top, rum and raisin in the middle, fruit cake as the base and one love - rum and raisin cheesecake with fruitcake at the base. Just to name a few.

"Our cheesecakes are specially hand crafted and infused with the highest quality Jamaican flavours and the baking techniques with our sweet decadent secret crust will you tasting the love in every bite," Baldwin advises.




Some of the obstacles encountered, so far, for the pastry chef include not being given a chance to showcase at restaurants and catering events, because he was new and had a small company, compared to larger established cheesecake companies who could offer lower prices on their product, he noted.

"I had to do extensive marketing on my own and free sponsorships and donations. For instance, I'm a sponsor for team Jamaica bickles at Penn Relays, where I provide desserts cheesecakes to all Athletes. The exposures from that event has been huge and fruitful."

Baldwin is looking forward to opening his first cheesecake boutique and some day expand globally and return to location in Jamaica. "My advice to others, once you find your passion, never give up. Work hard and stay hungry. There will be obstacles: it won't be easy at first. You have remain steadfast and focused. Keep knocking doors, it only takes that one door to open to get you next level. Remember failure is not an option."

You can follow Chef Baldwin on Instagram @johnnys.cheesecake.