Chef Sharlene Edwards dishes on flavour at House of Cravings
When Sharlene Edwards ventured beyond Jamaican shores and explored the taste of other cultures, she realised ‘nuh weh nuh betta dan yard’. It was with that delightful insight that she created a unique food business module that catered to both local and overseas palates.
“We have international dishes on our menu, but it was also important for me to stay true to my roots. Our traditional Jamaican food is who we are, so it had to be a part of the menu,” she told Food.
House of Cravings opened out of a yearning for something different that could be delivered to doorsteps. “During the pandemic, I wanted to try something I’ve never done before, something I thought was needed; a place you could order or pick up a meal that felt like you were eating out, but also felt like a home-cooked meal. Hence the name House of Cravings,” Edwards shared.
Since approaching the first-year mark, the online restaurant has developed quite a detailed menu line-up, with many gourmet favourites to choose from. “We are known for our pastas, chicken, shrimp and lobster; even our Rasta pasta is a big seller,” she said. The chicken breast stuffed with spinach and cheese, better known in the culinary world as cordon bleu, is certainly an upgrade from the everyday fried chicken. Moist and creamy by nature, it is usually served with mashed potatoes.
“Our lobster, stuffed with cheese and cream on top, is a crowd favourite. It can sometimes be accompanied by shrimp pasta on the side. Then there’s the grilled salmon with creamy herb sauce served with garden salad, fried rice or our sweet potato mash,” the chef added. But then the menu digs into local favourites, like ackee and salt fish, and mackerel rundown.
Growing up, Edwards created fond memories in the kitchen with her parents. “My mom was always festive, and food was always involved. There was something about our Jamaican ackee and salt fish. That was my favourite meal to prepare with my dad back in the day,” she highlighted.
As she got older, her love for food got even greater when she received the opportunity to try varying cuisines and styles of cooking, “I love cooking, especially for friends and family. And I love to make someone feel warm inside by the taste of a well-cooked meal.”
Food is life, she says, and the real beauty lies within the unique ability to bring strangers, families or friends together with ease. It helps that the different flavours blend and marry to create magic in a mouthful. Her favourite meal to indulge in is the savoury Cajun shrimp pasta Alfredo.
Faced with the uncertainty of the pandemic times, she forges on in faith, letting the flavour profiles speak for themselves. “I have found my passion in my business, and I hope to continue providing the best meals to our customers all over, near and far.” Her goal is to make House of Cravings one of the top restaurants in Jamaica, one which food lovers can visit, and wine and dine in class.
The dine-in restaurant is currently under construction, so the dream is already moving its way to becoming a reality.
House of Cravings is on Instagram, @house_of_cravings_. You may telephone 876-429-9304.