Fri | Jan 27, 2023

Country 'chefs' whipping up good food

Published:Thursday | March 18, 2010 | 12:00 AM
In the Bog Walk community of St Catherine, John Williams is known as the man who cooks the best curried goat and here he is doing what he does best. - photos by Colin Hamilton/freelance photographer
Leroy Green, chef at Trade Winds Citrus preparing a cup of chicken soup .

Keisha Shakespeare-Blackmore, Staff Reporter

John Williams is employed to Trade Winds Citrus Limited, makers of the Tru-Juice brand, as a driver. But when there is an event he and 'partner in crime' Leroy Green are called upon to whip up some good food.

Both men are from the small community of Bog Walk in St Catherine and when there is a nine-night, get-together, or any party, once cooking is involved, these are the ones for the job.

Williams is reputed to cook the best curried goat in that area. During a recent tour of Tru Juice's orange grove by The Gleaner's Food team, Williams and Green prepared lunch. Williams said his skills in the kitchen were self-taught from the days when he cooked in a milk can.

"You see, my father, Cecil Williams (otherwise called Uncle Tom), was a butcher and he would take home the goat head and belly. I used to 'run soup boat' every Sunday and, as time went by, I got better at it," said Williams, sitting on a stone enjoying a plate of his curried goat and rice.

There is no doubt that he loves to cook and though just a hobby, he might one day go into the business. But for now, he just enjoys the little he does.

Changed hands

His partner Green has been working with Trade Winds Citrus since its inception. He has been with the company for 40 years, even before the company changed hands from United Estate to its current name.

Green said he started cooking when he was about 13 years old and he loves doing it. "My mother, Ruby Vincent, is the one who taught me how to handle myself in the kitchen," said Green.

He noted that the first meal he attempted all by himself was some of the popular salt fish rundown, which he said turned out pretty well.

Since then, he has improved from cooking rundown to curried goat and stewed corned pork. While he never received any formal training, he has become very good at what he does by constantly being around a stove.