Portland chef, Rushawn Lindo, intent on bringing finesse to flavour
Chef Rushawn Lindo has always known his way around the kitchen. When he wasn’t busy indulging in dishes like pork and boiled dumplings, courtesy of his great grandmother’s cooking, he was honing his skills in the kitchen and the classroom. Although he made plans to serve and protect in the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), the proud Portlander took a delicious detour instead, to serve and protect palates with the authentic union of herbs, spices, and winning secret ingredients.
Bringing a unique finesse to flavour as a chef at Geejam Hotel, the food-trepreneur also makes culinary house calls with the private catering company he started alongside his sister. “My dishes stand out because each time I cook, it’s always with love,” he said, adding that food is his ultimate comfort place. “I turn to food to find the solution to every problem.”
Creating waves with his natural talent, his fascinating journey into culinary arts has armed him with the tools and the techniques to create exquisite memories on a plate. Dishes like chicken roulade, marinated grilled lamb, jerk lobster, deep-fried stuffed chicken breast, and grilled fish with jerk chicken kebab floating on a bed of sweet mashed potato and assorted vegetables will have you drooling at the thought and beckoning for seconds at the taste.
Chef Lindo attended Titchfield High School, where he studied and developed a liking for the art form. After not signing up with the JDF as planned, he went on to complete level two at HEART Trust. An enthused Lindo jumped right into the profession in 2015, making his mark at Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort and Spa. Then, the certified chef went on to work at Geejam Hotel in December of last year, where he’s currently employed.
“My time at Geejam so far has been great, I have cooked for a lot of celebrities like American basketballer Udonis Haslem and dancehall artiste Skeng,” he revealed. To see the smile on people’s faces after eating something I’ve prepared and the connections made when I meet new people from a different country makes the job worthwhile.”
The young chef had a tough time navigating through the rough waves of the global pandemic. With the tourism sector greatly affected by the global pandemic, his sister came up with the brilliant idea of going into private catering. They would prepare food from home and deliver it directly to customers’ doorsteps. “It was really my sister’s idea because she is also a chef. She wanted to do her own thing and I was in full support of the idea so we named the catering company Sadifab Catering. So far, it has been going well,” he shared.
He aims to put his name out there as a recognisable and reliable brand. To further his goals, he plans on going back to school and getting some international experience. “If you want to be a successful chef in this industry, you have got to be mentally prepared, very creative, and willing to take the risk, since the industry is always evolving.”
As for his stance on the hospitality sector in his parish, he believes that talent is present but more needs to be done to improve visibility among locals and foreign tourists. “I think the sector needs to do a lot more in terms of marketing Portland as the destination everyone would want to come to. My skills, training, and experience will contribute greatly to international visitors and locals on a personal and professional level.”