Spice

Sweet, sinful and delightful

It’s going to be a melding of minds with an offering of the sweet, sinful, and absolutely delightful cookies, cakes and chocolate confections with two accomplished and veteran chefs as Ron Johnson’s S.T.A.S.H. (Scrumptious. Tasty. Artistic. Sinful. Heavenly.) Cookie Bar and Janielle Fords’ Bleu Esse present a pre-Valentine’s pop-up.

Johnson’s S.T.A.S.H. Cookie Bar has 30-plus cookie concepts mapped out for what he terms will be “an avenue created for tasty, wildly unique and unusual cookies such as mango and caramel, matcha and leche” but for now he’s taking baby steps into the foray featuring cookie flavors – blueberry and white chocolate, strawberry cheesecake, oatmeal raisin spice, butterscotch and toffee, and pina colada at their debut pop up tomorrow at Arawak Cay near the rock oven, between 12 noon and 6 p.m. His cake flavors offered will include banana with cinnamon streusel, guava (chunk) with brandy butter glaze, and pumpkin and spice with cream cheese frosting.

Chef Janielle Ford of Bleu Esse.

Ford’s Bleu Esse will be represented with dark chocolate ganache macaroons, benne caramels, strawberry chocolate chip cookies, chocolate espresso cookies and chocolate covered strawberries. Her assorted bonbons will feature flavors such as soursop, benne dark chocolate, mango passion, stewed spice coconut and salted caramel.

“I’m doing more of our Bahamian flavors that people may not associate with chocolate,” said Ford. “I’m giving people an idea of where we can go with chocolate and native flavors like sour sop which is one of my favorite flavors. I’m sticking with simple, classic Bahamian flavors, accenting the chocolate. It’s a little out there, but not too out there.”

The idea of the pop-up Johnson said came from Ford. The duo has known each other since their primary school years at the now defunct Our Lady’s Primary School, and even attended St. Augustine’s College together. And as Johnson cheekily says, they have an affiliation with the Valley Boys, but have kept in touch over the years as they pursued their individual culinary dreams.

Johnson, found a niche working aboard yachts and as a private chef. He was also a part of the Bahamian team that earned The Bahamas its first Team of the Year title at the Taste of the Caribbean, and has appeared at the Culinary Olympics in Germany.

Ford has worked at the Four Seasons and Albany and formed a partnership opening a pastry shop in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. She has also cooked at a James Beard Gala, Disney’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival, and is featured in an African American cookbook “Toques in Black” which highlights 101 top black chefs.

“[Ford] said let’s get together and I said, okay let’s do this, and we’re doing this,” said Johnson.

The duo’s first pop, he said, is also a test of their resourcefulness, resiliency and entrepreneurship in the face of the pandemic. And he sees it as the first step in him gravitating to the next phase of his career in which he sees himself bringing new concepts to the Bahamian market and adding to the standard. Prices will range $2.50 to $5.00.

Blue Esse’s first half of the menu features:

Dark chocolate ganache macaroons

Benne caramels

Strawberry chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate espresso cookies

Chocolate covered strawberries

Assorted bonbons: soursop, benne dark chocolate, mango passion, stewed spice coconut, salted caramel

S.T.A.S.H. Cookie Bar’s second half of the menu features:

Cookies

Blueberry and white chocolate

Strawberry cheesecake

Oatmeal raisin spice

Butterscotch and toffee

Pina colada

Cakes

Banana with cinnamon streusel

Guava (chunk) with brandy butter glaze

Pumpkin and spice with cream cheese frosting

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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