Tuesday, 27 August 2013


It's my absolute favourite time of year - Carnival.  Its what gets me thru the winter.  Every morning cycling to work in the cold and wet, I'm dreaming of Carnival.  And here it is!!!  I can't believe the magic weekend is finally here.  
To kick-start the celebrations, Sharmadean Reid opened a pop-up restaurant serving classic Jamaican dishes for one week only during Notting Hill Carnival - named "Windells" after her grand father.  

"Windell Stanford Reid arrived in Britain in 1956 travelling by boat from Jamaica. He later sent for his wife Odelyn Victoria Reid and together they had 12 children and over 60 grandchildren, including Sharma. Like many Jamaican men, Windell did most of the cooking in the household, creating soul warming dishes for his large family. Cooked in dutch pots in the morning and left on the stove for his busy family to help themselves from throughout the day, the menu would range from delicious curry goat and brown stew chicken to harder-to-stomach tripe and cowfoot. Fridays were dedicated to cooking, and the large meal would often be supplemented by saltfish fritters which Windell would portion, bag up and drive as a gift to the home of each one of his now adult daughters. His granddaughter would always come along for the ride."

I went down to the opening night with Jamaican girl Marsha Smith who is a connoisseur critic when it comes to Caribbean fair.  We ordered Jerk Chicken served in a dumpling, the saltfish fritters, roasted breadfruit, coleslaw, plantain ......... all served with this tri-colour scotch bonnet chili jam and washed down with daiquiris and cane juice.  Apparently the jerk sauce was absolutely on point, having been slow cooked using an authentic grilling process.  As you can see, Sharma was actually on the tools herself!  Incredible!  Lots of people talk about their pipe dreams, but Sharma is a girl who you never hear bigging-up plans prior to their happening.   You just get blown away by the ventures when they suddenly appear.  From her WAH! fanzine, to her WAH! nails empire, to her NIKE position, to becoming a mother ............ now taking on a casual spot of restauranteering.  Is there anything she's not cracking or conjuring up?!  Many fingers in many pies........ literally in this case.  Its the final night tomorrow, so scoot down to The Dead Dolls Club to wrap up a winner of a weekend!!

22ND - 28TH AUGUST 2013

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