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Men Who Cook: Jay Hill

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Welcome back to our weekly feature highlighting brothers who throw down in the kitchen. Meet Jay, who realizes the way to woman's heart is definitely her stomach.

Missed one? Catch up on all the interviews and recipes of our featured chefs in our Men Who Cook Roundup »

 

Name: Jay Hill
Occupation: Technician specialist at Verizon
Age: 33
City: Booklyn

ESSENCE.COM: So what's your favorite food memory?
JAY HILL:
Growing up I watched my mother and my aunts cook on every occasion and it was always TGIF, S, and S. Friday was seafood night, from dozens of crabs and pounds of shrimp to the fish my uncle would catch out at Far Rockaway. Saturday was just partying and preparing for Sunday's feast, just like the movie "Soul Food."

ESSENCE.COM: And when did you develop your love of cooking?
HILL: The day that cooking became a passion for me was ten years ago on Mother's Day. I got up early and went to the supermarket. I bought everything I needed to prepare Sunday's dinner. I started the day by making a buffet-style breakfast for all the women in the family. While they ate I prepared my cheeses, onions, and greens. Next I cleaned my turkey wings and put bread in the ground beef for the meatloaf. My brothers and male cousins joined in because they totally understood the importance of Mother's Day, being that our grandmother wasn't with us anymore. That day was all about the women in my family and from that point I knew the secret to a woman's heart.

ESSENCE.COM: Do you have any cooking tips that have worked well for you?
HILL:  A good meal is the way to a woman's heart, so knowing how to cook is an important thing and something you work at. My cooking tip is to use fresh spices to bring your food to life. Fresh garlic and scallions work great together.

ESSENCE.COM: Of course we have to ask what has been your worst experience in the kitchen?
HILL: One of my biggest mistakes in the kitchen was when I was trying to school one of my homeboys to the game while making my favorite pasta dish. Grilled chicken and penne with a mixture of red and white sauce. My pasta was done and in the strainer already. My grilled chicken is cooked and sliced up and I got my red tomato sauce and Alfredo sauces on. So I'm stirring both sauces and transferred the Alfredo into the tomato saucepan. Then I picked the pan up to mix the two sauces and before I could get in a mixing rhythm, the screw came out of the handle and the pan turned upside down. My boy tried not to notice and turned the TV on. I was so mad that I got two beers out of the fridge, stepped over the disaster and asked him, who's playing.

ESSENCE.COM: Now, tell us about your signature dish.
HILL: My signature dish is Alaskan Wild Salmon sautéed over fresh garlic and scallions and smeared with a honey and teriyaki sauce. Served with sautéed asparagus and roasted red potatoes.

Find out how you can make Jays Signature dish, Alaskan Wild Salmon »

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