Tue | Jul 7, 2020

Guess Hoo: Taste the Delicious

Published:Thursday | June 11, 2020 | 12:21 AMKrysta Anderson/Gleaner Writer
A scrumptious view of a Jamaican fave: ackee and saltfish.
A scrumptious view of a Jamaican fave: ackee and saltfish.

If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then Sean Hoo has found a creative way to cater to the palates of food lovers everywhere.

He discovered his love for the culinary arts during his formative years, courtesy of his grandmothers. “I used to watch how my paternal grandmother cooked with the passion and love for her family. Simple things like plain rice, she would cook with just water - no salt or butter - but it was the most amazing thing I have ever tasted. My maternal grandmother, who showed me the art of how to joint a whole chicken effortlessly when I was just eight years old, was a major eye opener.”

After pursuing tourism and entertainment management at Excelsior Community College, Hoo went on to work for four years at Sunset Beach Resort, now called Sunscape Splash. Back in Kingston, he was the chef du partie at the Knutsford Court Hotel for a couple of years before he was asked to join the Cafe Blue team to expand the franchise by helping to create a diverse menu and train the staff in customer service and proper barista techniques. “I was instrumental in opening two locations, one in Kingston and the other in Montego Bay,” he added. For the next couple of years, he was supervisor for the deli at the then Michi Supercentre and functioned at Chez Max Catering as head chef.

While the progression was an amazing journey, friends and family encouraged the good chef to be his own boss and start up his own catering business. But fear crippled him. After a brief illness five years ago, he decided that life was too short. This gave birth to Guess Hoo Catering. “It started in my parents’ small kitchen in Portmore by baking bread puddings and giving them out to friends at their offices for their co-workers to sample to get feedback. Because of that, I got a contract from a major company to do a weekly lunch catering.”

Four years later, the reception has been amazing. He has been receiving really good reviews over the years, and when he misses the mark, his clients, who have now become like family, will not hesitate to let him know that something was not up to the high standards they know he is capable of.

Chef Hoo’s heavenly rum and raisin bread pudding spread like wildfire on taste buds, and as a result, he shipped the sweet treat to customers in Cayman, Canada, and the United States of America. Over the years, some of the clients have craved his signature merlot braised oxtail while others loved his beef lasagne with plantain and herbed tomato sauce and secret cheese blend. “Recently, my revamped trio mac and cheese has my customers in a food coma. But one of my favourite meals is curried chicken with fresh turmeric, jasmine rice, and fried plantain, with a glass of coconut water, which is always my drink of choice.”

For Hoo, the best thing about being a chef is the limitless possibilities there are when it comes to food and the joy great food brings out in people. So if you want a taste of a delicious gastronomic experience, try Guess Hoo Catering today.

He can be contacted via Instagram and Facebook: @guesshooscatering; email: guesshooscatering@gmail.com; or WhatsApp: 876-873-5490

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com