THIS MONTH'S CHEF WE LOVE
BY MOUNT SINAI STAFF 2/2023
PHOTO: CHEF ODIAN OF THE COCONUT CUP
GET TO KNOW CHEF ODIAN
We were honored to be able to enjoy a beautiful private dinner with Chef Odian and we got to ask him 16 questions about himself and his love for cooking. Check out his answers below.
1. Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
Born and raised in Clarendon, Jamaica until the end of high school where he later traveled frequently between The Virgin Islands and St. Martin to visit his parents before moving to the US permanently.
2. At what age did you discover your love for cooking food?
I've always been a big eater and so eventually started preparing my own meals as early as age 9.
3. Who was your first mentor?
My mother, Yvonne, has always been my mentor in and out of the kitchen.
4. Where does the name Coconut Cup come from?
Ironically, this started from the repetitive use of dry coconut shells as drink and food plates. Eventually, my friends started calling me Coconut man, eventually when I started to cook for others the name just seemed fitting when I decided to start a catering company.
5. What is your favorite type of cuisine to prepare?
Caribbean cuisine, specifically Jamaican cuisine.
6. What is your favorite food?
No specifics really, I enjoy everything as long as it's flavorful!
7. What are some of the challenges of being a travel chef?
Not being able to travel with all the equipment you need especially when flying which results in having to ship items that may encounter unforeseen delays. Being a travel chef also means you are on the road more than you get to be home which really isn't always been bad.
8. Have you ever competed in any Chef competitions?
No, I haven't as this was not something that ever sparked my interest.
9. What makes your style and presentation stand out?
The entire planning process put into each event, sometimes came to be weeks or months, is always something new, outside the box which I believe my clients look forward to the most.
10. What are your goals for the future?
For now, the goal is to be able to expand my catering business where I can start teaching/training others the things I've learned along the way with the possibility to take on other tasks. Also, look forward to owning an event hall and food trucks amongst other things.
11. Who are some of the people you look up to in your field?
No one specific but I do admire all those around who can always provide insight.
12. Do you have plans on releasing a cookbook?
Absolutely, very soon!
13. What is the farthest trip you have taken for work so far?
Flying, Seattle and driving, Canada
14. What is the largest party you had the opportunity to show your skills to?
A party for 300.
15. Do you have a signature dish? If yes, what is the name?
No I do not at the moment.
16. What do you love about Mount Sinai Olive Oil?
A. Consistency, smell and the multi-uses