Chef Garfield Seivwright Jr ignites culinary scene with crEATe sauces
At the tender age of 16 years old, Garfield Seivwright Jr became the creative force and head chef of one of the hottest weekend spots in the Corporate Area, the Sky Dweller Ultra Lounge. With his mentor, friends and family behind him, Seivwright became one of the youngest and most revered chefs in local food.
Looking back at his journey, the now 24-year-old veteran says at one point his journey could have taken him to music or even athletics.
“I was into music. I loved music, I actually played the drums and bass guitar at church and I was also an athlete before I changed into cooking. During high school I was doing music and athletics and I got an injury, and that kind of pushed me over into doing the whole cooking thing so I had to make choice.”
While noting he has no regrets switching gears, music is still his solace.
He told Food, “I can straight up say that I miss music because it was something that I enjoyed and still enjoy because music is my therapy. But I think sometimes in life there is a direction that is mandated and sometimes you think you choose your direction on your own but it’s really our destiny. So, I think that cooking is my destiny and that’s why I’m in it.”
Taking that destiny into his own hands, Seivwright’s journey with food has taken him from strength to strength, even allowing him to traverse the culinary spaces of the Caribbean as well as becoming the resident food director of Estate Weekend, a three-day party experience highlighting cocktails, wine and food.
While the Kingston native has worked primarily in spaces where he was the junior among his colleagues, he says respect has always been the cornerstone of his kitchen.
Remembering the earlier days of his career he said, “At 16, [with] the experience level that I had, persons in the kitchen were always curious about how talented I was and they respected me. The kitchen was just run off of respect, to be honest.”
Speaking about his mentors, he continued, “I am super grateful because my mentors are like in their 30s or 40s and these people trust me enough to say ‘here is this amount of cash as an investment for your business’. You will hardly find persons like this so I am beyond grateful.”
Adding another column to his already stacked résumé, Seivwright has caved in to the demands of his fans and is now manufacturing his secret sauce, CrEATe.
“I always used this sauce,” he explained. “It wasn’t named, it wasn’t labelled or anything like that. It was just a sauce that I used for protein when I was cooking. At events I always had the sauce available and I always got great reviews for it.”
He continued, “During COVID, I started to look into myself because the pandemic did everybody hard. So I was looking at myself and thinking, ‘what do I need to do to gain more passive income and [how] can I use it to reach others. How can I get into other persons’ kitchens without being at the same place’, and the sauce is where I got that motivation. It is me being multiple places at once.”
Making dozens of batches from home and just giving them away, Seivwright officially started the company on his birthday in 2020 on January 30.
Ten months later, after winning the Jamaica Observer Food Awards, he says he is now just trying to build a brand that is trusted.
“We are the first and only sweet Scotch bonnet sauce. I use Lasco and Walkerswood as my little guide. Lasco started out with just vanilla before it started doing strawberry, creamy malt and stuff like that; and they built on the vanilla for years and became trusted. It’s the same thing I want to do for CrEATe. So we only have sweet Scotch bonnet sauce, we have a mild and a spicy version and I am working endlessly to try and maintain consistency. I want persons to know that every time you take up a bottle of CrEATe, even though it’s a handcrafted product, we’re not mass-producing it, you are trusting us and you are appreciating the craftsmanship and the labour that we put into it.”