Modernized Caribbean Fusion Cuisine
The Mohammed’s parents come from humble beginnings. They immigrated from the sweet islands of Trinidad and Tobago and came to Winnipeg with ambition of giving better opportunities to their families. They have truly succeeded and many thanks are given to them for their sacrifices.
Growing up in The Mohammed family, there was always a focus on food. Celebrations of birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, baptisms, major holidays and achievements. Richard’s mom would always go above and beyond when throwing her famous “Trini Parties.” From a young age, Rich would always be in the kitchen with mom, watching her work, and helping out when he could. She is a very talented lady in the kitchen, and he was influenced by her. Emulating and replicating to the best of his ability; he noticed she was cooked with passion and love. This contributed into everything she cooked and he came to realize that this was also his motivation. He got a start in the restaurant business at the young age of 15 as a dishwasher at a mom and pop restaurant.
A couple years later, he then worked his way up to a line cook, which was new and exciting for him. Rich was learning new techniques/methods and enduring the high stress of an intense short order cook position. He found it challenging, but enjoyable. A few years later, he accepted a position at another restaurant. This role was completely different and at a larger scale. At the time, it was the busiest restaurant and kitchen in Winnipeg! Chef Rich met his mentor at this establishment. The mentor evolved his passion and love for the kitchen. He taught Rich everything about being a chef. Not only the cooking, but other aspects of kitchen management. Richard apprenticed under him and successfully challenged The Red Seal Exam. From here, he endured highs and lows in his professional career as a Chef as he moved around to a small bistro, a sports bars and then to an Executive Chef position at large hotel chain. There were points where he was really enjoying it and other times where he thought he needed to re-think his career. He felt he was may have been at the pinnacle of his career. He then decided he needed a break; he was losing the passion and drive that he worked his whole life to achieve. He needed to take some time off to rethink his career path.
Chef Rich knew he had to return back to work at some point but needed the right venture to inspire him. He realized that the passion and love came from seeing the enjoyment of people eating his creations. During his time off he returned to spending time cooking with his mom. Rich also cooked for friends, throwing his own unique parties and it triggered something that regained his spark. During this time his cousin Derek had been travelling and experiencing different restaurants. He also enjoyed going to local restaurants in Winnipeg and trying new places, always making sure to give Rich feedback. He followed all the latest trends and all the new restaurants popping up. He is always watching The Food Network! Derek approached Richard with a business plan to bring Caribbean food to the people of Winnipeg but in a new modern and innovative way. The cousins decided to launch Island Fusion in 2014! It originated with a few recipes that belong to Chef’s mom. Again, Richard was working side by side with her, cooking with that passion and love that she had originally instilled. Rich and Derek have added Caribbean creations of their own and continue to have positive feedback.
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