Flying the T & T flag high in Jamaica, you all know him as the passionate, effervescent, humorous and charming former head of sports and anchor of the Tv6 News and creative presenter of Sporting Edition. Joel Villafana has been a sports journalist for over ten years beginning his electronic media career at I95.5 fm, moving on to the Pro League and then to CCN TV6.
Joel, who continues his journey in sports journalism in Jamaica, can now be heard and seen on the Caribbean sports channel, Sportmax. He is a unique celebrity for Trinicooks as he is a main part of the Trinicooks family, but is putting on the celebrity hat as he gives you a little more insight about his other passion, food and cooking.
TC – How are you settling in Jamaica?
Joel – It has not been easy, but I have been coping, trying to adjust to my new environment. I am missing home like hell.
TC -We know you’re missing your Trini food. What dish are you missing the most?
Joel – Difficult to name one …. Doubles, Callaloo, Roti…. I could on and on.
TC – We know you’ve only been here a short while, but are there any Jamaican dishes that you have tried that have made your favourites list.
Joel – I have tasted real Jamaican Jerk chicken and its fantastic and now definitely one of my favourites.
TC – So how long have you been a “foodie” ?
Joel – Well I would quicker describe myself as an “amateur foodie” but to be honest, my stomach was always important to me, but it’s since I met my lovely wife that my interest in food has gone beyond just satisfying my hunger.
TC – Can you cook ?
Joel – I would have to proudly say yes! …. I have made dishes that other people can eat and actually enjoy! … It surprises me everytime.
TC – Who taught you to cook?
Joel – No one really, picked up basic principles from my mother and my wife and one of my hobbies now is actually reading recipes and trying to break it down for the ‘lay cook’, ….. LAUGHING
TC – What is your favourite dish to cook?
Joel – I really enjoy making Callaloo, trying different things with it, tweaking the taste all the time. When people saw me put cheese in my callaloo on TV, they were surprised and called me mad … don’t knock it, until you try it! Trust me.
TC – What dish you cannot make, but would love to learn how?
Joel – Baking intimidates me, but I would love to learn to bake a rich, creamy cheesecake.
TC – What are some of your favourite dishes?
Joel – Oh my God …. I am not a ‘fussy’ eater, I will experiment with almost anything and I just love food and love to eat, but my favourite dishes – I am a meat mouth, so anything meaty, but I would have to say callaloo, I think I can drink callaloo from a wine glass and thoroughly enjoy it.
TC – Is there anything you don’t like to eat?
Joel – As I said I am willing to experiment with most things, but I have had difficulty with digesting black pudding.
TC – Have you had any disasters in the kitchen?
Joel – Quite a few, I think everytime I am in the kitchen I have a disaster or two, remember when I cook, I experiment, so let us just say things don’t always go to plan.
TC – What is your eating pattern? For instance do you ensure you have a good breakfast…………..drink plenty water …..?
Joel – I usually have a light breakfast, a good lunch and then a light dinner. I eat very little carbohydrates of late, and a lots of fruit and protein.
TC – So you watch what you eat?
Joel – Yes I do, since doing the Rev Reshape reality series and doing the Romano programme, it has opened my eyes and I tend not to overdo eating as much as I used to and that is why I have cut out regular carbs and lots of sugar and dairy from my daily diet.
TC – What is your favourite place to eat out?
Joel – It’s difficult to name just one, depends on what I’m feeling for, and I always like to try new restaurants.
TC – Who would you love to have dinner with?
Joel – thinking …. thinking ….. thinking ……Wow! Too many to name.
Joel willingly shared his recipe for his infamous Villa’s Calalloo with his twist of added cheese. Click here to try.