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JIS News

At the age of eight Collin Brown surprised his family by preparing a tasty Sunday dinner of stewed chicken and rice and peas. Now, after 10 years of living and working in London, the award-winning chef has opened one of the most talked about new restaurants there.
‘The Lane’ which was opened in January of this year, has already developed a reputation as one of the best high-end Caribbean restaurants, and also has a celebrity clientele. It is located in the world renowned Brick Lane area of London.
Chef Brown, twice recipient of the Caribbean Chef of the Year Award and a past winner of the Master Chef Award , has developed a uniquely Jamaican/Caribbean menu that includes dishes such as chicken rundown and his signature dessert cognac and rum cake. Born in Ulster Spring, Trelawny, his early cooking influence was his grandmother. He grew up in a close-knit family that included two brothers and three sisters, and as the oldest he had a hand in helping with the younger siblings.
“I think it was this experience, helping to look after my younger brothers and sisters, that helped me to develop my cooking and all the things I know,” he told JIS News.
Mr. Brown said after that memorable Sunday dinner experience, his proud mother told him to keep cooking. His formal training came during a two year food and nutrition course at the Albert Town Secondary School. Afterwards, young Collin honed his skills at the La Roose Restaurant before a stint in the Cayman Island’s; thereafter, he moved to the London in 1997 to further develop his skills.
However, while London has proved a successful move for him, his journey has also been challenging with banks and investors showing no interest in his business plan. Despite these experiences he made a number of useful contacts, including many prominent footballers, and restaurateurs. With the growing success of The Lane, he has now piqued the interest of investors and discloses that there is also the possibility of him having his own television programme. Mr. Brown is particularly pleased that he has been able to highlight Jamaican and Caribbean foods in a sophisticated style and that this has generated great interest in Caribbean cooking. This is another area of keen interest as he is also very focused on bringing traditional Jamaican foods, fruits, and vegetables to a wider audience “I want people to see how valuable our food is and how good it is. I want to teach people how to use it and how to cook it well. But I also want Jamaicans to see how well respected and regarded it is here (in the UK),” he said. The chef is in the process of developing a website which will provide a step by step video guide on how to shop for, prepare, and cook many popular Jamaican dishes.