Whenever you enter Anchor & Den in the morning, you can’t help breathe in the delicious aromas coming from the Creperie. If you’re a regular at breakfast time you would definitely have seen this delightful face! We sat down for a cup of tea with Kevin this week and asked him why he loves being a part of the A&D community.
Tell us about your journey so far, where did it start for you in this mad, beautiful world of culinary?
It’s actually quite a funny story! I’m originally from Jamaica but always visited Cayman throughout my childhood, I knew the island very well so decided to move over permanently in 2004. Growing up in my household I had my mother and three sisters who just loved to cook, I was never allowed in the kitchen (laughter.) It wasn’t until I was older and moved out of the family house that I found myself in a small dilemma. I had a friend who visited me in my new house and she was absolutely gob smacked that I didn’t know how to cook! From there I said to myself, one day when I get married I want to be able to cook for my wife, so I did!
I studied culinary straight out of school and worked here and there in restaurants as well as being a part time musician in Jamaica. Funnily enough, I actually moved to Cayman for my love of music not as a chef. I wanted to pursue my music career here and I came into the Marriott for a gig one evening and I remember the vibe I got from the hotel, I was like wow I need to work here! Obviously by then I knew my way around a kitchen so I thought to myself, what’s better than being able to pursue my career in music as well as cooking, let’s combine the best of both worlds! I’ve now been in culinary for 15 years now and I gig on the side; I’ve loved every moment of it.
Everyone on island knows you for your smiling face at the A&D Creperie, but how did you become the face of the Creperie?
At the time (before Anchor & Den) I was running the breakfast operation in Veranda - the hotel’s beach front restaurant. Once the concept of Anchor & Den came around, Antony Le Pape (the executive chef at the time) was adamant that I be the face of the Creperie! I’ll be honest when he said ‘Creperie,’ I had no idea what he was talking about (laughter) I can’t imagine doing anything else now; I love it.
Do you come up with the creations for the menu? If so, where do you get your inspiration from?
Yes 90% of the creations I have come up with. I study a lot and when it comes to crepe making I’m always wanting to perfect my craft and also keep things exciting and new! I watch YouTube a lot this is where I get a lot of my inspiration, as well as interacting with fellow chefs in this niche market.
Kevin, you are known for many things in A&D, one of course is your crazy crepe making skills but also you play a part of the music scene in Cayman. Would you say you draw inspiration from your love of music the same way that you do with your cooking skills?
Yes, most definitely, music is an art and so is cooking. I think when you study music you need a lot of mental stability and focus and it’s the same for cooking, they really do go hand in hand. I am a very calm person, this is quiet odd for a chef, (laughter) music does this for me. It’s great being in Anchor & Den because you really feel the atmosphere. The energy of the people around you and also the music playing it’s very soothing for me and helps me focus, even when I get an order for 25 crepes in a row!
Also, what keeps me inspired is that I will do an amazing gig the night before and I come in to work in the morning to the Creperie and I’ll still be on a high. Having the ability to do both of my passions as a job makes me feel truly blessed.
Are you a sweet or a savory kind of guy?
I’m 100% a savory guy; I love the egg white and avocado crepe. It’s also the most popular crepe we have on the menu as its healthy and delicious!
And finally, what is your favourite thing about being a part of the Anchor & Den community?
Anchor & Den has so much to offer our guests in-house and locally. The best part of my job is that I’m not in a back kitchen where interaction is rare, I am in the public eye with a live cooking station. I am a people-person so to have the daily hello and smiles from our guests when I’m cooking is really what I live for. Plus, I’m a musician so I live for the spotlight, (laughter) Anchor & Den is really in my blood, I’m extremely proud to work here.
If you haven’t tried one of Kevin’s delicious crepes from the A&D’s Creperie, swing by every day from 7am–11am or if you want a late night treat our sweet crepes are also available 6pm–10pm!