Brown Stewed Turkey Neck ターキーネックのブラウンシチュー

Chef Noel Cunningham  シェフ ノエル・カニンハム(左)  Ackee & Salt Fish 美しいプレゼンテーションのアキーとソルトフィッシュ(右)

Maverley, Saint Andrew マーバリー、セント・アンドリュー


Brown Stewed Turkey Neck

Featured in this our tenth interview is Chef Noel Cunningham – a true visionary, a bold trailblazer and a culinary mastermind boldly taking Jamaican cuisine where no one has gone before. Chef Noel is not only a man on a mission in the kitchen, he is also a TV, Social Media and Zoom personality extraordinaire.

Noel hails from the western part of Saint Andrew, Jamaica. Noel was born and bred in Maverley in Kingston 20. Maverley-Hughenden is renowned for its football prowess as a powerhouse team in the “Kingston and Saint Andrew Football Association” (KSAFA pronounced ”kasaafa”). Back in the heydays, people from all walks of life and every nook and cranny would converge on the Maverley-Hughenden football field on Saturdays or Sundays to watch closely contested games featuring some of Jamaica’s football greats. During these match-ups, the tension would soar to fever pitch high levels both among rival supporters on the sidelines and the competing teams sweating it out in often super physical encounters on the pitch.

After a very spiritedly contested game with the partisan home team’s supporters vastly outnumbering the visiting team’s supporters, the victors and the defeated would all converge on the stalls extending back out to the Molynes Road and Washington Boulevard intersection in the vicinity of Pete’s Patties and Fast Food Restaurant. These stalls would cater to everyone’s thirst and hunger desires. Here the fares included sugar cane, water coconuts, steaming hot freshly baked peanuts – shelled or unshelled, soup, jerk chicken and a little bit south of Pete’s on the opposite side of Washington Boulevard – the fish man was there with his fish tea and steamed fish. It was a true carnival affair.

The Maverley-Hughenden FC’s promotion to the Premier League was the pride and joy of its supporters and home communities. Naturally therefore every boy growing up in the Maverley, Hughenden, Drews Land, Three Oaks and Glendale communities were all hooked on football. For many of them, having seen how football had changed the fortunes of boys like them in their home communities, landing a professional contract could be a “ticket to their dreams.” So, rain or shine, day in and day out, night and day, many of the boys in Noel’s home community could be seen on the streets or on playing fields crafting and honing their footballing skills. While Noel himself was no exception to this rule, and can still handle himself with the football, his was a different calling.

From an early stage in his childhood, Noel became increasingly drawn to food. An anomaly of sorts. Noel grew up with his affectionate family comprising his loving Mom, Step Dad and Three Sisters. To a large sense, Noel credits his passion for cooking to the women in the formative years of his life. He was quick to point out that indeed, the boys would typically gravitate towards being outside in the garden or sweeping the yard. “Back then, it was almost an unspoken taboo for men to man the kitchen at home.” Noel however, was intrigued by the magical taste coming out of the family’s kitchen. He yearned to learn the secrets of recreating his mother’s revered rice and peas among other her culinary delights. This was further fuelled by his constantly being around his mother in the kitchen.

His mother first taught him the secrets of cooking the perfect pot of Sunday “Rice and Peas.” This was an amazing experience. His inquisitive mind wanted to unearth more of mom’s magic in the kitchen. He fondly recalls his mom teaching him how to cook what was one of her signature dishes – a “Barbequed Fried Jerk Chicken.” His yearning to learn more and more dishes kept mushrooming. He soon learnt how to do many other dishes including fish. He soon made Sundays his day to practice cooking for the family. There were countless days when the dishes were a bit odd, but his family would always encourage him to keep working at it. They were always very complimentary. This small band of cheerleaders gave him the will to go on.



ノエルはジャマイカのセントアンドリュー西部の出身。ノエルはキングストン20のマーバリーで生まれ育ちました。マーバリー・ヒューヘンデンは、「キングストン・アンド・セント・アンドリュー・フットボール・アソシエーション(Kingston and Saint Andrew Football Association、略してKSAFA:カサファ)」の強豪チームとして名を馳せています。全盛期には、ジャマイカのサッカー界の偉人たちが出場した接戦の試合を観戦するために、土日のマーバリー・ヒューヘンデンのサッカー場には、あらゆる分野の人々が集まり、あらゆる場所から集まってきました。この試合では、サイドラインにいるライバルサポーターと、ピッチ上で汗を流しながら戦っているチームの両方の緊張感が熱を帯びていきました。





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