Episode 3: “Chef Artois” Turns Up the Heat with a Jamaican Cook-off

Episode 3: “Chef Artois” Turns Up the Heat with a Jamaican Cook-off

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On this episode of “Chef Artois” we’re heading to Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen. Since opening in 2017, Chubby’s quickly became a place to see and be seen. It’s not just glitterati and celebrities who flock to Chubby’s—locals also love this funky Portland Street restaurant, which serves a mix of contemporary Caribbean fare alongside elevated Jamaican classics such as jerk chicken, oxtail stew and pepper shrimp.

Tonight, Chubby’s sous chef Dadrian Coke joins “Chef Artois” series host Pay Chen to welcome contestants Nic Martin and Deepti Chandrasekharan. Their task: impress Coke with a perfect plate of ackee and saltfish bites.

Growing up in Jamaica, Coke knew ackee and saltfish as a breakfast staple, but on “Chef Artois,” Jamaica’s national dish is the main course. Served with a side of stress. Contestants will have only 60 minutes to make a dish they’ve never tried using ingredients they’re unfamiliar with.

The home cooks will need to figure out how to cook ackee (a fruit related to lychee that begets a buttery egg-like consistency when sautéed), make dumplings (savoury doughnuts) from scratch, and they’ll also need to deliver the heat. That scotch bonnet fire is essential to nailing this Jamaican recipe.

With an hour on the clock, the cooking frenzy begins. It’s anyone’s cook-off to win.

“Chef Artois” is a new limited series that’s inviting diners back inside Toronto’s top restaurants. On this bite-sized cooking show—episodes are a satisfying 12 minutes long—the city’s chefs aren’t doing the cooking. Instead, diners are donning aprons and letting chefs judge their culinary chops.

The series was created in support of Rally for Restaurants, an initiative founded by Stella Artois to help support the restaurant industry as it rebuilds in the wake of the pandemic. In each weekly episode, two Torontonians will step inside the kitchen of a Toronto restaurant to compete for the title of Chef Artois and win a $1,000 prize pack.

How to make Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen’s saltfish and ackee bites

Makes six bites

Ingredients for the dumplings

  • 2 grams unsalted butter  
  • 1 gram salt  
  • 4 grams granulated sugar 
  • 225 grams all-purpose flour
  • 10 grams baking powder
  • Water, as needed  
  • Olive oil, as needed

Ingredients for the ackee and saltfish topping

  • 1 gram thyme, chopped  
  • 2 grams green onions, finely chopped  
  • 2 grams red bell pepper, julienned  
  • 0.5 grams scotch bonnet pepper, chopped  
  • 4 grams Spanish onion, julienned  
  • 2 grams Roma tomato, seeded and julienned  
  • 2 grams butter  
  • 2 grams garlic, chopped  
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 gram black pepper 
  •  200 grams canned ackee, drained and rinsed  
  • 150 grams salt cod saltfish base  
  • 1 gram all-purpose spices

The recipe

  1. Start by throwing the salt cod into a Tupperware of cold water. Leave it to soak in the fridge for 10 hours (or overnight). 
  2. Once the salt cod has hydrated, boil the it in fresh water for 20 minutes, strain and set aside.
  3. In a medium pan, heat the oil and then add the onions. Sauté for two minutes. 
  4.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute. 
  5. Add the bell peppers, tomatoes and scotch bonnet peppers. Cook for another two minutes
  6. Add the butter, allow to melt then add the salt cod and cook for another two minutes. 
  7. Add in the ackee, season with salt and black pepper, and gently fold into the mixture.  
  8. Add the thyme and green onions, and cook for another two minutes. Set the ackee and saltfish topping aside.  
  9. Now it’s time to make the dumplings. In a mixing bowl, add flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and butter. Combine completely.  
  10. Add water to the dry ingredients and mix into a smooth, soft dough. 
  11. Let the dough rest for approximately 10 minutes.  
  12. Once the dough has rested, shape the dough into six golf ball size pieces, flatten slightly with a dimple in the center of the dough.  
  13. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  
  14. Place each piece of dumpling in the skillet and let cook until golden brown on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside in a tray lined with paper to absorb any excess oil.
  15.   Cut each dumpling in half and assemble the bites by placing the ackee topping on each half doughnut.