Its in my bio; the way to my heart is Trini Chicken Dhal Puri Roti. It melts my heart everytime. Maybe its the heatweave but I’ve been craving authentic Trini flavours this summer. There’s something about eating island food on a sunny day, the colours and flavours are out of this world.
A friend recently told me about Trini Caribbean Catering. Their food looked sooo good ! I had to find out more and share their story with you. I contacted Sharon, the founder and ta dah! This is her interview.
TTT: Tell us a bit about yourself.
SRS: My name is Sharon Ann Ranghel-Smerdon. I was born in San Fernando. I grew up in Trinidad!!! I came to the UK in 2000 to seek new opportunities. I met my husband in 2001 and as they say “the rest is history”!!!
We have three beautiful children ages (15, 12 and 6). I worked for local government for 12 years before starting my own business.
TTT: What was the catalyst for starting Trini Caribbean Catering?
SRS: In 2009 my family and I went back to Trinidad and Tobago on holiday. We had a lovely time and one of the things we enjoyed most was the food. Previously, I always had parties and invited friends over and would cook up a storm. They always said we should open a restaurant.
I love food and the taste back home made me feel like we were missing the link in the UK market…. There are lots of Caribbean places and food but what I wanted was truly authentic food with all the Caribbean seasonings and spices.
We started small by catering for small parties. I did courses in food hygiene, health and safety and did everything that was required to register our company and get the paperwork that was required. My husband is a Web Designer and he took on the task of designing our website.
The business grew from there but I was still working full-time and doing the business on weekend. In 2011 when my last baby was born I decided to give up my full-time job and put all my efforts into making Trini Caribbean Catering a success!
TTT: What’s your most requested dish? Why do you think it’s so popular?
SRS: It’s hard to choose a dish as there are so many favourites however Curried Goat, Mutton and Lamb closely followed by roti and fried plantain! I think it’s popular because we cook our curries with Chief Curry Powder imported from Trinidad and we keep all the authentic flavours; so we use fresh onions, garlic, and scotch bonnet peppers.
The rotis are popular as you can’t find authentic Trini rotis everywhere in the UK. The Fried plantain is just what everyone loves!
TTT: What has been the most rewarding complement you’ve received about your work, to date?
SRS: That we made their wedding day the best ever and that they want to do it all again so they can have our food (haha!).
We also have Trini Mums tasters and then say it’s the best food they have eaten even back in Trinidad! Now that is a compliment because we all know how Trini’s hard to please!!!
TTT: Finish the sentence, ‘yuh is ah true Trini fuh true if…’
SRS: Yuh eat doubles by de side of de road in Debe and yuh drink coconut water and eat corn soup around de savannah!!
Images Courtesy Trini Caribbean Catering