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Chef Treisha Hall caters with jerk sauce, makes debut in Walmart

Published:Thursday | February 1, 2024 | 12:10 AMKrysta Anderson/Staff Reporter
Chef Treisha Hall began catering a fusion of Jamaican and New Orleans cuisine with a unique take on vegan dishes. The use of the signature jerk barbecue sauce led to the creation of a sauce line, which is now available online at Walmart.
Chef Treisha Hall began catering a fusion of Jamaican and New Orleans cuisine with a unique take on vegan dishes. The use of the signature jerk barbecue sauce led to the creation of a sauce line, which is now available online at Walmart.
Believe it or not, this is Chef Hall’s mouthwatering display of mushrooms.
Believe it or not, this is Chef Hall’s mouthwatering display of mushrooms.
Presented on a bed of purple sweet potatoes and accompanied by corn on the cob and assorted vegetables. This flavourful jerk chicken is a delicious treat.
Presented on a bed of purple sweet potatoes and accompanied by corn on the cob and assorted vegetables. This flavourful jerk chicken is a delicious treat.
Plantains anyone? Pastelón is a Puerto Rican version of a lasagna layered with plantains instead of pasta.
Plantains anyone? Pastelón is a Puerto Rican version of a lasagna layered with plantains instead of pasta.
This jerked shrimp salad is served with black chickpeas.
This jerked shrimp salad is served with black chickpeas.
This tasty Mongolian beef is accompanied by steamed vegetables and white rice.
This tasty Mongolian beef is accompanied by steamed vegetables and white rice.
If you want to go sweet and healthy, this baked apple with oat streusel is just for you.
If you want to go sweet and healthy, this baked apple with oat streusel is just for you.
Meet the Ramell’s Catering Services team. Chef Trecia Hall (right) is joined by Executive Chef Ken Dixon (behind) and administrative assistant Rochelle David, who is also Hall’s daughter.
Meet the Ramell’s Catering Services team. Chef Trecia Hall (right) is joined by Executive Chef Ken Dixon (behind) and administrative assistant Rochelle David, who is also Hall’s daughter.
Say hello to the original ‘BBQ Sauce’, sweet and tangy in flavour.
Say hello to the original ‘BBQ Sauce’, sweet and tangy in flavour.
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Born and raised in the island’s Second City, Treisha Hall attended high school before migrating to the United States, where she attended college. Her dream was to pursue a career in nursing, but she made a savoury and sweet switch to culinary arts, starting her own catering business and creating a signature line of sauces, which are now available online with Walmart.

“Having our signature-line sauces gift set available online with Walmart was and still is a surreal moment. The opportunity to showcase and elevate Jamaica through food on such a national platform all whilst, hopefully, inspiring a young entrepreneur, is just simply remarkable,” an excited Hall told Food.

Hall is no stranger to food. In fact, growing up, she spent a great deal of time with her mother, who loved to cook and who had worked in hospitality at Half Moon Hotel. “Some of my fondest childhood memories include sitting on the kitchen floor in the evenings after school and watching her cook. We had a garden dedicated to produce, fruit trees abounded, and even a chicken coop. I remember tying the goat to feed it, leading up to our house-warming party and ending up with ticks between my toes,” she said while laughing.

Hall added that what wasn’t grown directly on her family’s land came fresh from the market each week. “From quick meals to Sunday dinner. All the flavours and techniques were undoubtedly a part of my palate and upbringing.”

Her love for food remained constant. And the yearning for island seasoning and spices heightened when she began living overseas. This self-taught chef soon worked her way through the ranks of various restaurants and corporate kitchens.

By 2008, she decided to pursue culinary arts full time. “I chose catering due to the flexibility it offers, being able to curate meals for different events whether remote or within our client’s home.” It was there that Ramelle’s Catering Services (RCS) was born.

Some of the signature dishes on the menu include plantain cornbread bite with jerk barbecued chicken and chayote (cho-cho) pineapple salsa, marinated mushroom ‘steak’ with caramelised onions, and chimichurri and cajun smoked beef with wild mushroom medley, just to name a few.

“Our catering company is a fusion of Jamaican and New Orleans cuisine mixed with cutting-edge takes on vegan dishes. Our dishes stand out due to meticulous planning and execution. Ninety-nine per cent of our menus are curated and customised to the dietary needs and restrictions of the client and their guests,” Chef Hall shared.

So far, the response has been amazing, with their culinary creations resonating in the hearts and appetites of the clients. “What I love about food is that food itself can transport you to a time and space. It’s the ingredients, the flavour, the notes, the memories it can unlock from smell and taste.”

Taking flavour one step further, she made the decision to put a delicious line of sauces on the market due to the high demand from foodies. “From early on, our jerk barbecued chicken has been, and continues to be, a staple of our menu. The sauce, Jerk BBQ Hot, always received many compliments for being the perfect blend of sweet with a little heat. Jerk spices and seasoning offer robust, earthy notes, and the Scotch bonnet should just offer a kiss of heat. After a few test kitchens, we found the balance by adding the sweet element of barbecue sauce,” she revealed.

Since then, she has created the tasty trifecta of jerk barbecue sauce both mild and hot as well as the original barbecue sauce, sweet and tangy in flavour.

Staying connected with her roots has always been very important to Hall as it lends to her personal identity. “It’s the passing on of traditions to my children as well as future generations and transporting our clients to the islands through food.”

Her hope is to continue with the growth and development of other products such as the frozen foods line. And her next venture includes opening the Jamaican Mi Creole Restaurant.

“The one advice I always offer to those looking to pursue a career in culinary arts is to seek a mentor. Understanding the industry, understanding of food is paramount to being successful,” she recommended.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com