It’s hot in Bernie’s kitchen!
While the grill upstairs is warming up, he is whipping a batch of his famous cornbread. “Hold on” he utters with a smile, I have to measure this!” while he pours back the flour into a measuring cup.
Bernie is of those chef who just smell the dough when it’s ready, senses the right heat in the oven by lightly passing his hand near it, and adjusts the seasoning by looking at the exact tinge and vibrancy of the marinade’s color!
“Cooking? It’s just like music, you read the notes, the silence on the music sheet, each section, building up, and without playing it yet, and you understand the intent behind the composition, you get a sense of what will be…. then you go wild, put yourself in the moment and let the sound flow!”
Next to us, is Arto, shaping what has to be the largest, most delicious looking burger I have seen in a while. While generously seasoning the beautiful patties, he recalls:
“StoryVille is, to this date, the only Live jazz music restaurant in the city. Back when the concept was launched, we got a lot of noise, not all positive, from the jazz “purists”. It was not ok to eat or chat while musicians where performing. But we believe that, to the contrary, Jazz is meant to be live and alive! With food, drinks, laughter and dancing if that’s what you feel like doing!”
“cooking, is just like music!”
As we watch them working, I can’t help but recognize something very familiar in their approach to food, music and life. it’s the closest I’ve felt from being home in a long time. with loud laughter, adding dashes of cayenne while hinting at its benefits way beyond the flavor, and genuine passion for flamboyant, unapologetic flavors.
The cooking is Cajun and Creole, with a touch of San Lucia ‘s Caribbean from which Bernie is native from. The concept may look simple, but as I frantically try to note down all the ingredients, as they appear in front of me, I’m relentlessly reminded that to pack so much flavor demands not commitment and work but unabated passion!
Bernie’s Voodoo Chicken Skewers à la Storyville!
This recipe is better made a few days in advance for the marinade to fully take over the chicken, so be patient ….. this marinade can be used many times so if you have extra, just store it in the cold for a few more days.
- Chicken meat cubed into bite size pieces and placed on skewer (count 2 – 3 per person)
- Overnight Voodoo Marinade:
- 1 red paprika
- 1 fresh Chili pepper
- 2 red onions
- 1/2 dl red wine vinegar – 3 table
- 2 limes – juiced and zested
- 1 – 2- habanero chili – (can be found in the K supermarkets…)
- 1 dl olive oil
- 3 cloves of crushed garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 ts brown sugar
- 1ts Salt
- 1 dl of orange juice
- 1 bay leaves
- 1/2 twig of fresh rosemary chopped
- 1 ts paprika powder
- Cut the vegetables in large chunks
- Place in the hot oven to roast (240C) and place all the ingredients into a large kettle
- Bring to a boil for 1- 2 hour ona low heat until all the ingredients are soft
- Leave to cool and liquidize into a paste
- Prepare the chicken skewers (2-3 per person)
- Brush the chicken with the marinade and leave covered overnight to rest
- On the hot grill, take the marinade & oil and as it cooks you brush it as it grill
Served with cornbread and Mango salsa(link)
Trust us though… while the shopping list may give you vertigo, you may want to stick with it, as the results showcase the range of flavor, the excitingment and the pucnh you would expect from the best eateries in the carriebean!
Better yet? Drop by Storyville , and go hang out by Bernie’s grill, say hi from his friends at Hungry In Helsinki and let him show you just how beautiful food can be!
In the Summer time, the place boasts a gorgeous outdoors terrace in the heart of the city, which is the place to hang out for inspired food and live music. From June to end of august, this is the place to be!
WATCH THE VIDEO OF IT ON OUR IGTV AT: https://instagram.com/tv/Bl5pm3_nXlj/