By: Nikia Wells
Since Lesanna Simon, Vainete McCoy, Rayanna Watkins, Kristianne Thompson, and Alexa Hunter joined Ravell Rollins in the Showman kitchens, the intern team has been getting a hands on education about the ins and outs of working in a professional culinary environment.
The next several posts in the Showman…. The Next Generation Series will highlight their experiences, as young culinary minds, in their own words….
Meet Lesanna – Dreaming of Cooking Her Way Around The World
“Accidents are the mother of invention. With cooking, you can accidentally add the wrong ingredient to a dish, but when you taste it, it actually tastes amazing. I like that even though there are rules to cooking, there is still so much creativity and art to it. Cooking and thinking up new dishes and new ideas gets my adrenaline going. And, I love experimenting with different ingredients, seeing how they can be used, and seeing how they can be completely transformed.
My mom, she loves to cook. That’s who I learnt from. I always found seeing her cook fascinating, and it really got me interested in the kitchen. I always wanted to know what she was making, why she was mixing this with that, why she was doing this, or why she was adding that. My imagination would just run wild when it came to food, and I just remember thinking – I really like this.
Being Guyanese, but growing up in The Bahamas, I think I had the advantage of learning and experiencing two different cuisines. But, I still want to see more of the world, and learn about foods from different countries.
I love travelling! I would get on a plane at any time. I enjoy experiencing different cultures, and seeing how other people live, and how they cook. Being at Showman has taught me a lot about so many dishes from around the world. I love all of the different sauces and herbs, spices and seasonings that I’ve been exposed to. It’s so much more than just using salt and pepper, and I find diving into new experiences and foods fun.
From a logistical side, I think Showman is very different from the traditional restaurant operation. It has given me a look at a different way of doing things.
My favorite thing to cook, for myself, is a Guyanese dish called bora as well as anything with seafood. I love cumin, curry powder, cassava – they are all popular Guyanese flavors,
We made pepperpot early on in our internship, and we used cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and orange peels to enhance the flavors, and I’ve really enjoyed learning how to layer flavors, and ingredients, and spices to build depth and richness. I’m learning that you just have to be bold, and try different ingredients to expand your culinary knowledge.
I have family who are in the culinary industry, and they love to cook, but I always wanted to go further. I always wanted to create something that was my own. My goal is to one day open my own restaurant – or even several restaurants. Not just in The Bahamas, but around the world….”