Mélange Travel & Lifestyle Magazine July 2018 - Page 138

Chef Sean Kuylen shared with Mélange . . . About his cuisine “I have coined the term ‘Inspired Belizean Cuisine’ where I take learnt French and proven cooking techniques and apply it to cultural dishes and indigenous ingredients of the country. This includes Maya Yucatec, Maya Ketch, Maya Mopan, Creole, Garifuna and East Indian Cultures. The cooking style will always use traditional techniques and ingredients, but presented in a more contemporary way. About his favourite dish My favorite dish to prepare is Sere Lasus with Hudut which is a rich seafood broth of freshly squeezed coconut milk, garlic, onion, wild basil and fish served with and enjoyed with a dumpling of mashed green plantain called Hudut. This dish is of the Garifuna Culture. About the difference between Belizean cooking and others Belizean Cuisine and cooking is differentiated from other countries from the simple fact that the ingredients are simple and fresh, because there is no other way! The value added term of Farm to Table and Organic is a way of life and not a marketing tool in our cuisine. The freshest seafood comes ‘line and wild caught’ from the second largest barrier reef in the world, coconut, plantain, cassava, chayote squash, herbs, corn, annatto spices, heart of palm, turmeric (yellow ginger) and game meat all come from literally our backyard and never imported or frozen or with a barcode! Again, our food is not made with marketing appendages like organic and sustainable for profit, but rather it is simply truly a Way of Life! Cooking Tips My number one cooking tip is to always cook from the heart using connotation of childhood and mom/grandmother and what feels right. Often times we go and try to replicate recipes from foreign cookbooks and we get frustrated from the unavailability of ingredients like Saffron, Foigras and galangal! When, if we would stay true to ourselves and cuisine, all that we want is right here and the smell, feel, taste and sight will always evoke sensory connotations and memories of childhood. This powerful intangible tool and tip to me is the most powerful ingredient there is! About his other interests My other interest beside cooking is definitey music. As a matter of fact, before becoming a chef, I was a musician with the now famous Garifuna Bands and Genre of Belize which is now celebrated worldwide. I have learnt to transfer the Rhythm into cooking and the result is a beautiful symphony of flavors!” Panades “Belize is a wonderful country with a strategic location that I like to say makes us dual citizenship. We are considered both Caribbean & Central America because of our location bordered to the North by Mexico, West by Guatemala and South by Honduras. Because of our Colonial past, we are the only English Speaking country in Latin and Central America making traveling and communicating easy. The number one advantage of my Belize is that you can sleep in the jungle and wake up to lush dew kissed rainforest and the orchestra of wildlife sounds in the morning, and within three hours, explore a Mayan Temple or be on the Barrier Reef snorkeling and fishing and then back for dinner by evening just in time for a refreshing rum cocktail and even have the chef prepare your catch of the day paired with local ingredients and traditional cooking techniques!” - Chef Sean