“Caribbean cooking with sprinkles of Latin influences via Ireland” is how they sum up what is on the plate at Lil Portie. A new concept in theory, but they can’t help think of Ireland’s place in Jamaica’s history, being the second largest ethnic group in the country.
A significant portion of founder Nick’s 20s was spent in the Latin American pearl that is Buenos Aires, a creative hub of South America, the impressions he had forever thought of as irreducible melted softly into brighter flavours and new histories adding a new shade of existence.
Nick’s Jamaican granny would bring bottles of scotch bonnet hot sauce by the litre to Dublin that he would, in turn, bring back to South America and introduce into creative projects with chefs and cooks from around the world. This became the starting point for his recipes adding them to colourful South American palates. Finding different ways to use his grannie’s sauce for marinades, sauces, dips and bases became an obsession.
His last big project in Buenos Aires was co-founder of a creative collective members club and taking charge of the kitchen. In that environment, accommodating diverse opinions and palates was tricky, trying to inject his own essence into the food he prepared and challenging the bland Argentine palate.