Q&A with Winslow Taylor


Winslow Taylor lives in Mississauga, Ont., but when he cooks, he feels brought back to his childhood in Jamaica where meals meant family time.

He moved to Canada when he was five years old and professes a love for cooking - and eating - Jamaican food.

In our interview with Winslow, he shares with us stories about how being in his kitchen keeps him connected to his Jamaican roots - right from his Canadian home.

Where did your love of cooking come from?

I grew up in a cooking culture at home.

In Jamaica, cooking is very much a family affair. We would usually have cookouts with a big outdoor kitchen.

Food was one of the activities that brought us together while I was growing up. We had dinner at the dinner table, not in front of the television. Cooking also became a responsibility shared among my siblings and I when our parents were at work.

Do you have any favourite childhood recipes?

 I’m not sure if there are particular recipes because we don’t usually cook by recipes. 

I have favourite foods. Jamaican food makes me feel like I’m brought back home and reminds me of being back in my childhood.

Who are your cooking idols?

Everybody thinks their mom is a great chef, but my mom is the type of person who will taste something and tell you the ingredients that are in it and what’s missing.

She never went to culinary school or had training; she just has a natural ability to taste and make something better. My mom is definitely the cook I aspire to be.

What’s your top tip for aspiring cooks?

Just do it.

What’s the worst that will happen? Maybe it’s a little too salty this time, or you realize that next time you shouldn’t do that. But to truly understand what a spice does or what an ingredient does, you have to put it in there, taste it and say ‘Oh maybe next time I won’t use as much butter, or I’ll use oil instead.’

Do you have any cooking aspirations?

I’m an entrepreneur and I have many entrepreneurial ideas.

One of them is to open a food truck that caters to a specific kind of food which I won’t reveal because I still haven’t seen it out there.

What do you like so much about cooking?

It’s very relaxing for me.

I don’t find being in the kitchen stressful. It’s very calm and it just gives me a moment to do something that comes to me naturally.

Watch as Winslow Taylor competes with his entree recipe in the next episode of Recipe to Riches Wednesday, March 5, 9PM.

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