MIAMI (CBSMiami) – They’re putting the final touches and tastes on the special sauce for the tropical seafood butter and Creole dish served at Chef Creole.
The man behind the magic? Chef Creole himself, also known as Wilkinson Sejour, the founder of now five namesake restaurants.
“Chef Creole is Haitian inspired but I wanted to go a little further and attract more people to our culture, so if you see shrimp, lobster and you see conch and conch salad. That’s more traditional for the Bahamas, so we infused that in our Creole concept,” Sejour said.
Born in the Bahamas to Haitian parents Chef Creole grew up cooking with his parents and decided to turn his talents into a business.
After his original partner passed away, he decided to step up the game and learn more.
“So I started to teach myself about cooking, not just recipes but with the scientific perspective of things, such as what cancels what out. What gives this more flavor, how do I fix burned rice? I figured out what we call “Pikliz,” in America you call it marinade, so then I made mine my own and I made sure everything I cook with identifies with this,” he explained.
He created and jarred his own signature Chef Creole Pikliz Sauce.
The look of the place from top to bottom is a tribute to his roots.
“The tiki hut and the presentation of the raw look that we have here really resembles that look back home in Haiti,” he said.
Chef Creole’s food caught the attention of the late Anthony Bourdain who featured his restaurant on his hit show No Reservations.
“Then business boomed,” Sejour said. “They called them “Bourdainians.” The Bourdainans came in and said ‘if Anthony was eating here I’m eating here.’”
Sejour and CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo sit down for a feast of his Caribbean inspired dishes. First their tropical Seafood Butter and Creole Sauce with shrimp and lobster and white rice.
“When you taste it, you want to taste it like you’re in a jungle and just like you see so many things that are exotic, you want your palate to have that experience,” said Sejour.
Next, Spicy Conch Stew.
“There’s a lot of flavor on that conch. It’s fresh for sure and tender not chewy,” said Petrillo.
“Where do you get the knowledge from,” Sejour asked Petrillo.
“Wow, it lets you know when the food goes in, it talks to you and you respond right back,” Sejour said to Petrillo, impressed with her ability to sample something and know exactly how to verbalize what she’s tasting.
And finally, a dish Petrillo is afraid of – oxtail in tomato sauce.
“That’s my first time tasting oxtail. It doesn’t taste gamey or strong,” said Petrillo.
“Of course, that’s not gamey at all,” said Sejour.
Chef Creole is opened every day but Sunday for lunch and dinner.
For more info visit www.chefcreole.com