Quiet and focused in the kitchen, you have no idea that Chef Chard Peters is about to blow your mind—and your taste buds. Today, he’s marrying Jamaica and America’s most beloved breakfast foods to create accra waffles. (Yes, God really is a Trini! And I know, we wondered why we didn’t think of making this either.)
The talented chef, hailing from Trinidad and Tobago’s own Hospitality and Tourism Institute, was inspired by a very simple strategy: to give Caribbean dishes a gourmet twist. Accra waffles developed when Peters was tasked with serving breakfast to the TT Chatterbox, Michelle A. Eng Leang and her chat shop attendees, or chattfluencers as she fondly calls them. In case you didn’t know, Eng Leang hosts “chat shops” every other Monday with entrepreneurs from all over the country. They converse about brands, influence, entrepreneurship and photography over amazing food. Enter, Chef Chard Peters.
Two words: ACCRA. WAFFLES.Learn all about it in your Wednesday T&T Guardian!
Posted by Propa Eats on Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Having always made accra, Peters decided to give his saltfish batter a shot in the waffle iron during his first gig with TT Chatterbox. And guess what? It was an absolute hit—so much so that it was specifically requested for the following chat shop, which was held at Mucurapo Road’s Bead Café on April 30.
Every accra-lover knows there’s nothing worse than biting into a fritter and realising that there’s virtually no saltfish because then, you’re basically eating a pholourie. Looking at Chef Chard whisk up a batch of waffles, I spot chunks of flaked saltfish, onion and red pepper poking through the batter. Can you say flavour-bomb?
My favourite part of accra is the crunchy, salty bits of saltfish that confine the ball after frying. As soon as Chef Chard’s batter touches the waffle iron, it sizzles and I think, Ahhh, that’s the sweet sound of those same crispy bits forming a crust. The air is now filled with seasoned, saltfish goodness that sends me back to those Saturday afternoons from my childhood when granny’s accra was popping on the stove. My stomach starts talking and Eng Leang raves, “You smelling that? Those are the saltfish waffles!” Clearly, within one week, accra waffles have already reached icon status.
Chef Chard flips the iron and opens it up to welcome light, fluffy, gorgeous- golden brown accra waffles into the world. (There are also chocolate chip waffles available, but everyone avoids them like the plague since they’re basic.) The accra waffles literally fly off the serving platter—as soon as one hits the plate, it disappears. People come back for seconds and thirds and, after eating one myself, I wasn’t surprised when I saw some return for fourths.
The accra batter is seasoned so perfectly that I eat my first waffle without any syrup and I have no complaints. Yes, it’s that good. The waffle is salty—just like you want it to be—and slightly sweet, which is unlike accra but still completely complementary. If your taste buds take to a sweet-and-salty combo, then this would definitely be your jam.
For those with a serious sweet tooth, Chef Chard brought guava, sorrel and passion fruit syrups made by Drizzles Tropical Syrups to top it all off. At first, the absence of tamarind sauce came as a slight disappointment, but I quickly fell in love with the fruit-filled syrups. They’re free of artificial flavours and colours yet they’re perfectly fruity and beautifully vibrant.
By Chard & Bead Café
33 Mucurapo Road, St. James, Port of Spain
Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.