Chef Troy recently hosted his monthly Taste Of Ital Tuesday’s earlier this month at Bellyful Resturant in Brooklyn, NY. I had the pleasure to sample all of his Ital dishes and it was wondrous! Being from the Caribbean, he wanted to showcase a healthier alternative to our meaty dishes.
Chef Troy’s Ginger Moc Giner
Chef Troy’s choice of mocktail was a non-alcoholic cocktail that was sweetened with sugarcane juice. Struck by the sweet taste of sorrel it was balanced with a tangy after taste. Amazingly, I was able to taste all of the different infusions on my palette one at a time within one gulp of the mocktail. The tangy taste was followed by a dainty spice that came from the ginger. Shout out to the bartender ‘Six’ who mixed my drink; he did such an excellent job mixing the flavors together.
If you’re from the Caribbean, you know cassava is one of those things that is just necessary for certain dishes we make. However, I have never been a cassava lover unlike many until Ital Tuesday. Surprisingly, I truly enjoyed the cassava bites that were baked with herbs and served with a cilantro scotch bonnet aioli. The herbs disguised the bland taste of the cassava and the texture of the aioli was excellent. It had a thick but smooth consistency and the fresh cilantro added a boost to the flavors. I can see myself substituting fries for the cassava bites as a snack.
This was my favorite dish out of all of the dishes I tasted throughout the night. I mean if my food doesn’t have any fry plantain then I don’t want it. So seeing how he turned fried plantain into an entire dish, changed my entire life! Ceviche had a mixture of mixed vegetables and mango served with avocado and homemade plantain chips. When I first received the dish, I was very impressed with the food presentation. It was very colorful with vibrant colors from the finely chopped tomatoes, onions, mangos, and avocado. In fact, the unique cut of the plantain chip could have been used as a “spoon” to dip in the vegetables which I ended up doing. Surprisingly, the avocado taste was masked with bursting flavors of the other vegetables which tasted like pico de gallo with a twist.
The raggamuffin salad had a mixture of kale, beets, and fruits that was drizzled with a delectable carrot citrus dressing. Shockingly the finely diced beets absorbed the sweetness from the chopped mango, cranberries, and the drizzled dressing. Chef Troy added in the pico de gallo from the Ceviche dish which complimented the fruits and kale.
Trini Style Pumpkin Talkari
Who says you need meat in curry!? The roasted and herb pumpkin was served with a rosemary yuca chapatti. I thoroughly savored this meal even though I do not like pumpkin. In fact, I’d assume the pumpkin melted in the pot which gave the dish a sweet kick and creating a thick consistency. Due to the thick consistency it superseded the urge for meat. I would recommend pairing this dish with white rice.
Bajan Cou Cou
The Bajan Cou Cou was my least favorite dish. It was a combination of cornmeal, okra, and pumpkin steamed served with a pan-seared a shitaki sprout. Actually, the couscous was pretty good and mimic mash potatoes. Even though the mushrooms were cooked perfectly, I was not fussy for it. To be honest, I would’ve rather the seasoned couscous by itself rather than the mushrooms.
Guyanese Style Pepperpot
Chef Troy definitely dated a Guyanese woman in his past because his Guyanese style pepperpot was very impressive. It was braised with starchy vegetable served with a herb coconut couscous. Although the potatoes did not taste like the native dish, it still had a sweet taste with a slight spicy after taste. What was very impressive about this dish was the couscous. It literally tasted exactly like Guyanese shine rice which is seasoned rice mostly used for stuffing black and white pudding. The flavors were exceptional and well seasoned.
Ital Goddess Cake
This cake is perfect for people who have a sweet tooth but don’t like too much of a sugary taste. The goddess cake was a smooth rich vanilla cashew cake served with a nutty crust and topped off with tropical fruits. In fact, in every bite, you can taste the minced cashew with just the right amount to of crunch. Amazingly, the base of the cake texture was blended perfectly with the right consistency and the strawberry added a sweet taste to it balancing the cashew nuttiness.
Chef Troy’s website: https://www.cheftroystable.com/