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This duo will help you step up your Caribbean cooking skills

AUTHENTIC TASTE: Lee Sylvester and her mum Monica Cudjoe are growing their Caribbean food brand, Tan Rosie

A SCHOOL offering lessons to teach authentic Caribbean cuisine in a “fun, safe and friendly environment” is set to open in Birmingham.

The Tan Rosie Caribbean Cookery School, based in the Witton area of the city, is welcoming adults to sign up to half or full-day sessions throughout the week, for absolute beginners and those seeking refreshers and further expertise.

The sessions will be delivered in the new industrial unit it is currently moving into, which marks another forward step for mother-and-daughter team Monica Cudjoe and Lee Sylvester, who founded Tan Rosie Foods eight years ago and operating out of Monica’s kitchen.

The company specialises in dishes inspired by family recipes from the Caribbean islands of Grenada and the island parish of Carriacou within it.

LUCRATIVE
Carriacou is an English speaking island and is inhabited by descendants from Caribs, the indigenous people, former African slaves, and colonialists from Scotland and England.

Meat, fish, vegetarian and vegan dishes all fall within the company’s remit, plus sauces, hampers, chutneys and puddings. Its offerings have also helped it build up a strong customer base which includes several top celebrity chefs, earn them regular slots at food and drink shows across the country and publish lucrative cookbooks.

The family team has made interesting career journeys to date: Monica was a retired midwife, while her daughter worked as a globetrotting sportswear designer, crafting items for the likes of Puma and Umbro during a stellar 12-year career. Their company was named after Lee’s great-grandmother, Monica’s grandmother, who raised Monica until she passed away when the former was just 10 years old.

CONTROL
“I wanted to set something up for myself and regain control of my future,” Lee told The Voice.

“I always enjoyed cooking and mum wanted to start displaying items at farmers’ markets. We got great responses to our products and it took off from there. I supported with the development of the branding.

“The launch of a Caribbean Cookery School in Birmingham is the natural next step for us.

“It’s been a hard slog but it has been so enjoyable. We launched and developed the business organically, using our own money and brought it to a point where we could interest investors to continue to grow the business.”

The school will be launched this autumn and interested parties can express their interest on tanrosie.com. Course delegates will be provided with recipe cards, one-to-one guidance and cooking tips throughout each lesson, with details on where to buy Caribbean ingredients, plus eligibility for exclusive discounts.

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