Mon | Apr 19, 2021

Sharicka Clarke making flavourful movements online

Chef passes on Le Cordon Bleu to stay close to home, now reaching foodies virtually

Published:Thursday | March 25, 2021 | 12:12 AMKrysta Anderson/Gleaner Writer
1. Pan-seared chicken topped with garlic-butter sauce is served with sautéed vegetables and jasmine rice.
1. Pan-seared chicken topped with garlic-butter sauce is served with sautéed vegetables and jasmine rice.
Grilled 
chicken is 
accompanied 
by a spicy aioli 
sauce and a 
cucumber salad.
Grilled chicken is accompanied by a spicy aioli sauce and a cucumber salad.
2. A tasty pairing: gluten-free brownie topped with vanilla ice cream.
2. A tasty pairing: gluten-free brownie topped with vanilla ice cream.
3. Tender and juicy jerked pork chops are served with sweet potato mash and sautéed vegetables.
3. Tender and juicy jerked pork chops are served with sweet potato mash and sautéed vegetables.
5. The callaloo-stuffed chicken is seasoned with crushed pimento and served with sweet potato gnocchi in a creamy callaloo sauce.
5. The callaloo-stuffed chicken is seasoned with crushed pimento and served with sweet potato gnocchi in a creamy callaloo sauce.
Jerked shrimp, with a silky pumpkin sauce, Parmesan garlic vegetables and sweet potato mash.
Jerked shrimp, with a silky pumpkin sauce, Parmesan garlic vegetables and sweet potato mash.
4. Chef Sharicka Clarke shows her healthy yet sweet dessert to the camera.
4. Chef Sharicka Clarke shows her healthy yet sweet dessert to the camera.
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Specialising in fusion dishes, Indian-style chicken curry with a host of toasted spices and stewed tomatoes, ranks high on Chef Sharicka Clarke’s list of culinary creations. “I make lots of Asian fusion food as well. If I do a [jerked] chicken, I sometimes add fish sauce, hoisin sauce and oyster sauce just to add a little dimension. Sometimes, I even add lemongrass as well,” she told Food. She is also a big fan of simple Italian meals like ravioli, lasagna and home-made pasta.

Clarke loved food from an early age. Whether she was creating something or just eating a meal, it was all about settling the score with hunger and flavour. Her interest in cooking developed in her teenage years. She favoured both food and nutrition and home economics as her safe subjects. When it came time to graduate from The Queen’s School, she was faced with the decision to pursue her passion in the hospitality industry at the University of Technology (UTech) and HEART Runaway Bay, locally, as well as Le Cordon Bleu in the United States. Accepted into all three institutions, Clarke chose UTech because it was the closest to home.

Majoring in food service management, she kept experimenting with food, with her family standing as taste testers, biggest supporters and biggest critics. A few years ago, after creating her Instagram page @f.o.o.d.with.m.e, she has been receiving tons of love and support from the wider public, who are fascinated by her creativity and zeal for healthy and delicious dishes.

“My sister was the one who inspired me to create the page years ago, and it was last year I said, you know what, just do it. So I was racking my brain, ‘What should I name it?’ I came up with some crazy names that didn’t fit the bill until I said out loud, ‘Food with Me by Sharicka S C’, and boom! That’s where the name came into being.”

Her current speciality: sauce. “I can make a great sauce, whether salad dressing, mustard sauce for a warm potato salad, a rich, smooth tomato sauce, barbecue, cheese sauce or beurre blanc. You name it, I’ll make it,” she added.

When asked to choose between baking or cooking, she replied that the comparison meant picking a favourite child. Baking, for Clarke, is a calm and relaxing experience that requires precision. Cooking has her mind constantly going. Trying this and adding that keeps her on her toes. So she needs both loves to create a good balance.

Hoping to create a wine line using local fruits, she advised young, aspiring chefs to learn the basics, be confident, have the right attitude and a great work ethic.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com