Tue | Jun 28, 2022

Sean Paul scores spicy collabs

Scorcha sauce, patties propel new album

Published:Thursday | June 16, 2022 | 12:06 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Sean Paul looks satisfied after taking a bite out of a scorching Port Royal-made beef patty.
Sean Paul looks satisfied after taking a bite out of a scorching Port Royal-made beef patty.
A close-up look at the golden, flaky crust of the cocktail beef patties.
A close-up look at the golden, flaky crust of the cocktail beef patties.
Port Royal takes pride in producing tasty beef and chicken patties.
Port Royal takes pride in producing tasty beef and chicken patties.
From left: Edward Johnston and Aaron Johnston, owners of the Port Royal Patties brand, with Sean Paul’s manager Steve Wilson, stand by the ‘patty defender’ which comes equipped with a sound system.
From left: Edward Johnston and Aaron Johnston, owners of the Port Royal Patties brand, with Sean Paul’s manager Steve Wilson, stand by the ‘patty defender’ which comes equipped with a sound system.
The secret of the Scorcha Scotch Bonnet Hot Truff sauce is the melding of the truffle oil flavour and peppery goodness.
The secret of the Scorcha Scotch Bonnet Hot Truff sauce is the melding of the truffle oil flavour and peppery goodness.
Alexa Von Strolley, the woman behind Tooksie Kay Catering.
Alexa Von Strolley, the woman behind Tooksie Kay Catering.
The Scorcha beef patties made by Port Royal Patties based in Wembley are levelled up with more Scotch bonnet pepper.
The Scorcha beef patties made by Port Royal Patties based in Wembley are levelled up with more Scotch bonnet pepper.
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Grammy Award-winning dancehall artiste and songwriter Sean Paul is dipping his hands into the culinary pot with two spicy collaborations. A lover of all things Jamaican, the entertainer knew that a marketing concept around the Scorcha album incorporating something hot, spicy and palatable could only light a fire in the hearts of his fans.

For Alexa Von Strolley, the woman behind Tooksie Kay Catering and the maker of the Scotch Bonnet Hot Truffle Sauce that has been branded by Scorcha, aligning with Sean Paul was “an absolute no-brainer”, and she is both “humbled and honoured” by the opportunity.

“Sean Paul has been influential in placing brand Jamaica on the map globally, and so this partnership will allow brand Jamaica to be seen in a different light – not just the home of extremely talented reggae and dancehall artistes but as a culinary destination,” the chef told Food.

Von Strolley has long had a passion for food. “The culinary industry captured my heart as a bystander watching and appreciating the craft from 2004. I was 14 years old, [and] my TV was always OK Food Network, but I began dabbling in this industry in 2014,” she said.

Nicknamed Tooksie by her father as a little girl, it has matured with her as she created the globally recognised brand, from self-taught chef to culinary connoisseur that has cooked for international A-list celebrities across Jamaica, London, Tokyo, Africa, the Caribbean and the United States. She is known for developing recipes with a ‘likkle’ decadence, spice, and, as she likes to call it, “some sort of mix up”, which is how the sauce came about.

SECRET OF THE SAUCE

Speaking about mix up, Tooksie went for the unique and not always the ‘first-pick’ of flavours for the sauce. “I’m [a] sucker for truffle,” she says, adding that she wanted “to play around with fusing the pungent notes of truffle oil and Scotch bonnet”.

Truffle is a type of fungus and is often confused with mushrooms that are used in stir fry or boiled and baked, but the cooking process has been said to destroy the characteristic flavour and aroma that renders it a delicacy. It has been deemed one of the most expensive foods people can purchase.

Tooksie found a way to incorporate the truffle oil into the sauce in a way that it elevates a Jamaican hot Scotch bonnet sauce while maintaining the flavour profiles of our beloved Scotch bonnet as well as having it retain its diversity and ability to vamp up any dish.

She recommends that anyone trying the Scorcha Scotch Bonnet Truff Sauce to pair it with fried rice, popcorn or eggs.

‘SCORCHA’ PATTIES

Meanwhile, the secret of the Scorcha patties is heavily focused on the pepper itself, said Edward Johnston, founder of Wembley-based Jamaican Patties Limited, more popularly known as Port Royal Patties. The born Kingstonian has invested the past two decades into building the brand, which celebrated its 21st anniversary on May 24 across the United Kingdom.

“I was in Campden at a bar, nightclub, and it was late, there was no real options for food, but I eventually found a kiosk selling patties. Must I say it ... it was not a good patty. In doing my MBA at City University, I was inspired to create a business plan, for which I got an A-plus. So, I approached my father, and Thalia Lyn of Island Grill and the Johnston family put the money together, bought expensive equipment and started this company,” Edward shared.

The company was built with the Jamaican culture as the foundation, he shared, “and we’ve managed to capture that market with a wide range of culinary favourites such as jerk chicken and curried mutton, that we sell as a ready tray, to supermarkets, like Asda and Tesco, and restaurants and caterers too”.

He explained that patties are not as popular as a tray of jerk chicken thighs and rice and peas that people can pop into an oven or microwave, but that whenever Sean Paul would come to town, it became a tradition to send him patties because there’s nothing great about the food in a hotel room bar kitchenette.

“And the beef patties, our best-seller, is the closest to a proper Jamaican patty, with more filling. We don’t have an outlet; we sell them boxed, and it has to be baked. For the Scorcha patties, we upped the level of the Scotch bonnet pepper and put edible stickers on the patties,” Edward revealed.

The culturally inspired culinary businessman shared his deepest respect for Sean Paul as an artiste who dared to step beyond the fences of social stratification to add his voice and talent to an ever-evolving music.

“I respect him for going downtown to perform even when it was not expected. He has a great love for culture and dancehall, and for that, the maximum respect is deserved. His manager, Steve Wilson, is also a very good friend of our family. So, no, though Sean isn’t coming into the patty business officially, we were more than happy to make the Scorcha patties for the album launch and sent them all over to radio stations. You have to be a real pepper lover to eat these ... we delivered on the idea of what a scorching patty would be.”

stephanie.lyew@gleanerjm.com