Think you’ve had Caribbean food before? Probably, but not what we experienced on a mixed foggy, rainy and sunny Saturday morning on Crown Heights, Brooklyn. That day, we met owner and chef of The Food Sermon, Rawlston Williams. A very outgoing individual who has successfully developed his own signature Caribbean staple, in a small bundled up, but cozy corner store.
As the day started and the kitchen underwent its prep stage, Rawlston gave his story. Keeping us intrigued by his story, and proudly stating he was a native of St. Vincent & Grenadines, he went on to describe how he grew up there and learned the cooking techniques of his island, moved to Brooklyn and as time passed, left his Theology studies to dedicate his efforts toward the culinary world.
It was interesting to see the sense of community Rawlston had built. Onlookers would let curiosity come in when they saw all the camera equipment, and would smile and wave hello to him. Rawslton would simply smile back and wave hello to them. People knew him, and it was evidenced they liked him and his curious installment. Accompanying him, were his wife, mother in law, brother – who all work in the kitchen – and his very trusted employee.
Rawlston’s brother came in with a freshly slaughtered guinea hen, which would be dinner during the next couple of days. The ambience kept getting better, Rawlston had some Bob Dylan radio playing in the loudspeakers, giving the whole occasion a very laid back, chill attitude, mixing work and good times. People kept walking by and waving hello.
After a session of photos of the establishment and crew, the time to begin documenting and capturing the food was sublime. The words “We believe in you!”, could be seen on the everywhere, pictures translated in drawings decorated the walls. The photos speak for themselves.
When the culinary preparation started, everybody was eager to capture the essence of the moment. Lamb shanks, tofu, fresh broccoli, mushrooms, squash and beans, started to smell up the kitchen. as Rawlston continued with his impassionate showmanship, our crew kept attentive to his every move.
In a very comical instance, the lights were directed to his face, and Rawlston had no other reaction than to shout, “The Lord is here!”, which made everybody burst into laughter. The whole morning was filled with an accolade of surprising moments. Adding to the vibe, Bob Marley’s “Babylon by Bus” album started jamming. The island feel was imminent throughout the entire session.
Nearing the end of the day, we packed our equipment, and said our goodbyes, however, we get the feeling that this will not be the last time we get to meet and work with Rawlston and his team. We hope you enjoy our work, just as we enjoyed our time at The Food Sermon!