Chef Jeff

Chef Jeff

Jeffery Simon

Jeffrey Simon had the opportunity as a youth to develop skills in a number of areas. He always aspired to high standards so when he became involved he excelled. He is an experienced: Auto Mechanic; Trade Unionist; Steelband Musician; Calypso – Singer/Composer; Master of Ceremonies. Jeffrey also developed skills as Chef; Caterer and Business Owner. These formed the basis of his professional development in England where he had and grasped the opportunities to establish a business; maintain a high standard of Product and Delivery and build a positive public image of the product and business entity in the Communities of engagement.   

 Jeffrey was born in Cochrane Village, Point Fortin in South Trinidad, his family migrated to San Juan when he was a very young person. He grew up in this town that was famous for having a long History of Steelbands. It was in this tradition of Steelband in San Juan that Jeffrey made a name for himself as a: Player; Section Leader; Administrator and Chef. He has performed for audiences in Grenada; France; Italy; Switzerland; Japan and many towns and villages in Trinidad. In 1992 he played Six Bass with Mangrove Steel Orchestra, of Ladbroke Groove, London, for Panorama and on the Road Carnival Day.

We met when he came to join the Finland Steelband, for Carnival 1977, in the San Juan area where we all grew up. He played Tenor Bass for Panorama and on the Road on Carnival Days. He came from the community of Santa Cruz Old Road and Ramkisson Trace where he was involved in the community-based football team, Old Road United, as a player. He also engaged with others to promote Sporting and other Community-based activities in the area.

After leaving Secondary School, Jeffrey worked at several business entities in Trinidad. He developed skills as an Auto Mechanic at Mootilal Moonan Transport Company and later joined the Caribbean Packaging Industries (CPI) in the Engineering Department. Here he became involved with the representative of the workers the militant Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU). The experiences he encountered at these institutions impacted on his understanding of the Principles of Business.

Jeffrey went on to open up his first business place, a Community Restaurant that served popular local dishes and attracted a good clientele. It was also a regular meeting place for members of the community who would dine and chat about issues. This was the beginning of his professional career as a Cook.

Jeffrey went on to work as a Cook aboard the Inter-Island Cargo Vessels, “Jasper Orange” first and later on the “Edith Neilson”. He traversed the Caribbean Islands on these vessels and developed relationships with nationals in many of the territories where the vessels did business. These experiences impacted positively on Jeffrey’s personality as he encountered people from throughout the Caribbean and Central America.

By this time Finland had merged with another Steelband in the community, Marsicans, to establish Pamberi Steel Orchestra. Jeffrey was a founding member of this Steelband and he now played Six Bass on a year-round basis on the Stage Side and Section Leader for the Panorama/Carnival Band. He was also a Committee member attending meetings and participating at the highest levels in the Administration of the Steel Orchestra.

In 1983 Pamberi toured Grenada for the Carnival Celebrations there. This represented the band’s first overseas trip. In 1991 Pamberi began a seven-week tour Europe: France; Italy and Switzerland where the band performed at Festivals; Concerts and other activities in more than thirty cities in France and one each in Italy and Switzerland. The following year we performed in France and Italy during a six-week tour and from 1993 we began touring Japan.

While we were on Tour, Jeffrey was the person, because of his experience and knowledge, responsible for the meal arrangements for the band in all the towns we visited in France, Italy and Switzerland. There were occasions when the band had access to resources to prepare meals for ourselves and guests, Jeffrey was in charge and introduced Europeans to Caribbean Cuisine. He took pride in his product and delivery. He established his portfolio as the Official Cook for Pamberi Steel Orchestra at home and abroad.   

In 1995 Jeffrey migrated to England where he has established himself as a Chef who specialised in Caribbean Cuisine. He operated a Restaurant called “……………” on West Green Road, in mid-1990’s. From this humble beginning, Jeffrey went on to establish businesses with solid reputations for quality products, services and customer satisfaction.

 He set up Northern Range, a company providing: Food Service; Catering and related activities. These services were delivered at major shows like: Glastonbury Festival; Carnival; Excursions to the Beach Front; Private Parties; Community Events; Dinners; Weddings; Christenings and The Trinidad and Tobago High Commission Events.

 He later set up the Restaurant, “Guava Leaf”, in Tottenham. This establishment functioned for several years supplying Caribbean and other cuisines to the people of that community.

Uptown Cuisine is his latest venture into the Food Service Business and he is excelling. This Restaurant is located in his hometown of Tottenham and is developing into the main hub providing: Food; A Cultural Space and a Community-based Centre for the Arts. Here he is at home in the business of the delivery of Food and Cultural enrichment to the people of his community.