Malachi Knight is a 34 year-old Barbadian chef who thoroughly enjoys adding an international flair to local Barbadian cuisine
The former Lodge School and Barbados Community College student started trying his hand at cooking because he felt driven by a desire to amuse people’s palates with exciting, mouthwatering dishes.
“I always had a desire to be a chef, to cook [and] amuse people through their palates using plates and artistic designs not on canvas but via a plate,” Knight said.
From 2006, he has been the Executive Chef for his company Magnificent Dining Concepts. Over the years, his extraordinary talent has opened up opportunities for him to serve as Executive Chef for the Barbados Music Awards as well as personal chef for big musical names like Regina Belle, Beenie Man and Machel Montano, just to name a few.
Asked how he was chosen to be personal chef for the soulful R&B songstress Belle, he said he got the opportunity as a result of being head chef for the Barbados Music Awards.
“That contract came through Barbados Music Awards. I would have been the Executive Chef for Barbados Music Awards for three years consecutively. She would have been here performing as a guest artiste. I [was] her personal chef for the ten days that she was here,” he said, with a smile.
Noting that he faces some challenges as a self-employed chef when trying to source international ingredients for his clientele, Knight said local chefs receive assistance from Barbados Hotel Foods.
“Sourcing international cuisine can be a bit challenging as stores here are very very very limited (but) thanks to Barbados Hotel Foods, most of the stuff we use comes through them,” he said. “If the product we are looking for is not available here in the country, then they will source it for us.”
Knight tries, wherever possible, to take national produce and turn them into mouth-watering international dishes. For example, his scrumptious breadfruit Lyonnaise with Baxter’s road flying fish and oven roasted chicken. “The Baxter’s Road Fish is to give the dish a Barbadian feel,” he said.
Knight, whose passion for food is evident in all the dishes he prepares, said while pastry making is his specialty,, he considers himself a well-rounded chef. “I have a liking for art and I can express my art in my dishes,” he said.
Knight offered some advice for any young male who is interested in becoming a chef. Be passionate about cooking because, despite the monetary rewards, one must be willing to put in the sixteen-hour work days, he said. Also, follow your dreams.