Jamaican-Canadian Chef Nicholas Stennett excites taste buds with jerk marinade
Jerk chicken and curried goat: what do they have in common? They’re distinctly Jamaican and are two signature dishes for Chef Nicholas Stennett. The culinary creative’s migration to Canada gave him the opportunity to spread his wings and provide authentic and all-natural taste on an international scale. His secret weapon: jerk marinade.
“I am well known for jerk chicken. I came up with recipes that relate to my culture and my new home, Canada. My jerk chicken is the recipient of numerous awards, like Jerk Festival, Jerk Wars, Celebrity Chef Men Who Cook and Chef of the Kingdom in Canada, to name a few,” he told Food.
Born and raised in Westmoreland, Stennett attributes his culinary interests to his mother, who he explained played the role of a stay-at-home mom and freshly prepared some amazing dishes for her family.
“My love for food began when my mother passed away in 2006. From that day until now, I haven’t stopped cooking,” he confessed.
His chef apprenticeship experiences include working with two hotels on the island: A La Carte Restaurant at Beaches Negril and The Royal Decameron Resort in Runaway Bay, St Ann.
By 2013, Stennett migrated to Canada and began a tantalising journey. In that same year, he launched TricNic Catering.
“When I migrated to Canada, I couldn’t find some of the ingredients I used back home (Jamaica), so I started to import my herbs and spices like All-spice or pimento, jerk seasoning, and Scotch bonnet pepper,” he shared.
Always up for challenging himself with new ingredients, the self-taught chef never abandoned his roots. In fact, he did the very opposite, fusing his rich past with his progressive present to carve out a solid future for himself and his family.
“I have come up with recipes that relate to my culture and my new home, Canada. And Canada is very diverse, so it wasn’t hard to incorporate Jamaican cuisine and flavours,” Stennett said.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the good chef was left with no choice but to pivot on his business efforts. This unprecedented era gave birth to the creation of TricNic Jerk Marinade.
‘With the pandemic, I had to pivot, turning my catering recipes into sauces and marinades and start selling them to the public,” he highlighted, adding, “I believe consumers are looking for the highest quality authentic Caribbean or Jamaican products, filled with the best natural ingredients. And we have created that for our customers.”
Once his products hit the market, they did really well in the sales department. So much so that in 2020, he resigned from his part-time job to work full-time with his company.
Since branching out, he has released a new recipe book, Got Da Flava, in a bid to return the love he has received thus far. “I wanted to give back to the community for all their love and support. The response from readers is good. Everyone who gave feedback had good things to say.”
With high hopes of one day having his own production facility so that he can distribute his products all over the world, Chef Stennett remains true to his passion of sharing his love for food and preparing various dishes that people of all cultures will enjoy.