Meet Jamaica Catering Executive Theo Smith

By: Team Pop Up Gourmet Jamaica

Chef Theo Smith has always had an adventurous and creative  spirit, and by the age of 15 he had already decided that the culinary arts would  be the area in which he could find the most self-fulfillment. He felt this this field encompassed his love of arts, science and business.

 Before leaving The Priory High School in St. Andrew Jamaica, Chef Theo  enrolled himself in a cooking course for teens that his mentor, Dr. Heather  Little-White spearheaded. This short course further cemented his love for culinary arts.

In August 2006, Chef Theo then joined the cohort of students entering the  School of Hospitality and Tourism Management based at The University of  Technology, and since then has never looked back. During his first year at  UTech, he returned to Heather Little-White & Associates, where he received a  Garde Manger Certification for his Fruit & Vegetable Carvings.  While pursuing his Bachelors of Science in Food Service Management, Chef Theo had already garnered for himself some well-needed experience. His first hands-on experience with the hustles and bustles of kitchen life came when he was a prep cook at the Ambrosia Restaurant and Bar (Now The Arena) in the Acropolis, Barbican Centre.

This was followed by four months as a QSR Cast Member at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Then in 2009, he took an internship with M Square Caterers, before finishing up his degree in May 2010.

 Upon completing his BSc. in Food Service Management, Chef Theo returned to The Arena Restaurant where he held the position of Junior Sous Chef for a year, before deciding that it was time to pursue his dream. Thus embarking on his lifelong passion of becoming an entrepreneur.

 Then, at the tender age of 22, Chef Theo not only took on his biggest challenge to date, but he also brought to fruition his goal of building his catering service from the ground up.

 Aided by his youthful exuberance, the knowledge gained during his tenure at The University of Technology, and his many working experiences, Chef Theo relishes all the hard work and dedication required of him to support a successful business.

 He was once asked if there was ever a moment where he second-guessed his decision to enter the culinary field. His response was a simple yet resounding  “No”. Chef Theo is now known for his adored Fruit and Vegetable Carvings, his Edible Fruit Arrangements, and his unique twist on traditional French, Italian,
Mediterranean, and Caribbean cuisine, which are his areas of specialization.

 When asked what is the most rewarding thing about being a Chef, he stated that it’s “knowing that at the end of the day my culinary skills have met the standards of my clients and customers, and my menu items have fulfilled if not surpass the guests’ satisfaction and expectations.”

Chef Theo has proven Confucius right, with his favourite quote: “Choose a job you love, and you never work a  day in your life.”

Accomplishments

  • Featured in the Jamaica Observer & Dubbed one of Jamaica’s “Rising Chefs” in 2011.
  • Second Place for his signature “Jerk Pork Balls w/ Rum Pineapple Jerk Sauce”  in the Gleaner’s Gill-Off Recipe Competition 2011.
  • Nominated for the “Chef on the Rise” category in the Jamaica Observer Food Awards 2012.
  • Gold Spoon(1st Place) for “The Best Use of Pork” in the Taste of Jamaica  2012, held by the Culinary Federation of Jamaica.
  • Bronze Medal for the “Chef of the Year” category in the Taste of
    Jamaica 2012, held by the Culinary Federation of Jamaica.
  • Bronze Medal for the “Fruit & Vegetable Carving” category in the
    Taste of Jamaica 2012, held by the Culinary Federation of
    Jamaica.

Highlighted Dishes

Ackee Stuffed Chicken Breast with Mango Glaze, Rosemary Sweet Potato Mash & Papaya Salsa
Award-Winning Fruit & Vegetable Carving

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