As a chef I think it's important to pass on part of our rich culture. If on top of that I can delight my guests, well, that's what I call perfect.
Tropical Fusion, Tortola
Five questions for Kenneth Molyneaux
What was the key factor that inspired you to become a chef?
Kenneth Molyneaux: My inspiration to become a chef was my mother. It was always a thrilling experience to have all my senses sparking at the same time, smelling the herbs and spices, seeing the colours of the rainbow, hearing a sizzling pot, feeling the textures of different ingredients and of course the end result – tasting delicious food. However, the key factor was the way food brought family and friends together.
In 2017 you won the gold medal in the "Taste of the Caribbean" competition. What does that award mean to you?
Kenneth Molyneaux: Winning the gold medal was a validating experience. It is one thing to be recognised at home and another thing to be recognised internationally. The award confirms that you must always feed your passion and not give up, regardless of any failures or obstacles that may arise.
Why do you think it is important for you to pass on part of your culture through your cooking?
Kenneth Molyneaux: With the influx of migration, the BVI has become a melting pot of different races and cultures. It is understandable that immigrants will bring the food of their countries with them wherever they go. However, I have noticed that the BVI food culture is being blended with different cultures and slowly losing its indigenous qualities. This is why it is important for me to keep the BVI food culture alive by showcasing it in my cooking style and by making myself available to teach, train or speak in educational forums when requested.
What would you call the perfect meal?
Kenneth Molyneaux: As you know, my love for food started at a very tender age. That said, a perfect meal would be a meal that reminds me of my upbringing – good old comfort food.
If you were a spice or a herb, what would it be and why?
Kenneth Molyneaux: I would be an onion. Though there may be different opinions as to whether an onion is a herb, spice or vegetable, all parts of an onion plant, such as the bulb, root, leaf and flowers have herbal qualities and are used as medicine for several remedies. At the same time, an onion can be considered a vegetable, even though it's hardly ever eaten on its own. In my opinion, similar to me, I believe that an onion belongs in a category all on its own.