This week we had a chance to speak with Bermuda-born chef, Michiko Campbell. At 24 years old he talks about the inspiration behind Chiko’s Smokey Rub, the product that has the media talking; he gives his thoughts on the Island’s current food industry and even shares a delicious take-home recipe for Bermuda Baked Fish.
BYP: What inspired you to start Chiko’s Smokey Rub?
MC: While attending Johnsons & Wales University in North Miami, I took a mixology course and had the opportunity to mix different seasonings together. The feedback from family and friends was extremely positive. They said it tasted awesome - so I decided to start selling it.
BYP: How will this rub make our lives better?
MC: It has two great benefits: It's tasty and healthy -- No MSG, no sugar, low salt and best of all it's completely natural. It adds a great twist to your dish.
BYP: In whose kitchen did you find the perfect recipe of Chiko's Smokey Rub?
MC: I started experimenting in my own kitchen actually.
BYP: Coming back from the bustling food industry in Miami must have taken some adapting. How would you compare it to Bermuda?
MC: To tell you the truth, I’d actually give the food industry in Bermuda an 8 out of 10 compared to Miami. The quality of food is good and it seems to keep up with consumer demands in the 21st century. The only aspect that is discouraging is the difficulty with which most Bermudians have with stepping out of their comfort zone. They like to stick with what they know.
BYP: What would you say to create a more creative industry?
BYP: What's your favourite aspect of cooking?
MC: My favorite aspect of cooking is meeting the expectations of the people tasting my food. It gives me a great feeling knowing that someone has truly enjoyed something that I’ve created. I also love contributing to the diversity of the culinary industry.
BYP: Where do you see Chiko's Smokey Rub in the future?
MC: My goal is to bring out more seasonings by the start of next year (2015). My vision is that Chiko's Smokey Rub will become the #1 seasoning in Bermuda and also to become known all over the world. I dream big no matter what.
BYP: What words would you give to encourage an aspiring chef or entrepreneur to also dream big?
BYP: What can we find you watching on television after a hard day in the kitchen?
MC: The fishing channel! Fishing is one of my most important hobbies. It’s something I’ve been doing since I was 8 years old.
BYP: We hear you're pretty good at cooking fish; can you give our readers a recipe that they can take home and try?
MC: I prefer cooking baked fish. The following is my recipe for Bermuda Baked Fish with Sweet Chili Roasted Potatoes and Stir-Fried Vegetables.
For the fish you will need:
Any fillet of fresh Bermuda fish
Chiko's Smokey Rub
Butter (melted), Fennel
For the potatoes:
Potatoes (desired cut), Jalapeno pepper, Garlic, Clarified butter, Cilantro, Brown sugar, Soy sauce
For the vegetables:
Any fresh vegetables (cut julienne), Salt, Pepper
1) Place fish on a piece of foil (big enough to close); 2) Gently rub melted butter on fillet; 3) Generously rub fillet with Chiko’s Smokey Rub; 4) Add fennel, onion, and rosemary on top or cut open and place in stomach cavity of the fish. 5) Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees until fish is cook thoroughly.
1) Dice potatoes; 2) In a large bowl mix together potatoes, jalapeno peppers, garlic, clarified butter, cilantro, brown sugar and soy sauce; 3) Place on a baking pan and bake at 350 degrees until potatoes are slightly brown.
1) Julienne all fresh vegetables; 2) Cook in a frying pan on medium heat while adding salt and pepper to taste.
BYP: Other than at Harbour Nights, where can we find Chiko’s Smokey Rub?
MC: You can find it at Carole Holdings (both locations), Bermuda Linen & Gift Shop in St. George’s, and Portraits Barber Shop on Cox Hill Road in Pembroke. You can also call 441 704 4556 and I will gladly deliver.
Michiko will be at Harbour Nights on Front Street every Wednesday from 7pm to 10pm until September 3rd. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or on check him out on Faceboook at ChikoSmokeyRub.