A Chef’s Life with Christina Simonitsch
Christina Simonitsch always knew that she’d end up in either the food and beverage industry or the hotel industry. This talented chef and owner of Simo’s Bread and Catering spends her days doing what she loves – cooking. Christina will be lending her expertise to the mouth-watering, all-inclusive Crisp event at the Jamaica Food Festival in October, celebrating all things crispy and fried.
Let’s take a little dive into this chef’s world.
Christina Margarita Bettina Simonitsch
Why is an event like the Food and Drink Festival important and what does it mean to you to be involved?
I feel honoured to be a part of JFDF because I get to showcase my love for food along with other great Jamaican chefs and people get the chance to experience Jamaican influenced fusion cuisine.
You went to school in Austria, what was that like? What did you miss most about Jamaica?
Schooling in Austria is completely different to schooling in Jamaica. Both are equally great. I was able to experience things that I would never have if I had stayed in Jamaica. I missed my family and friends. I left at 14 and at that age I think my friends and family were most important to me.
Tell me about what you do on a day-to-day basis.
I usually get up pretty early (anywhere between 2am and 5am) because I enjoy the quiet in the morning. I start by sorting out my ideas or making jellies and jams or salts or just working on different menus or answering emails. Other than that I’m running errands, shopping constantly for ingredients, testing new recipes and ideas. Of course I love taking pictures and posting on Instagram too!
What motivated you to start Simo’s Bread & Catering?
I wanted to stay in Jamaica and I’ve always wanted to get into the catering and baking business. I had very good friends who push me into it and my family was there along the way to support and guide me.
What was the most challenging part of starting your own business?
The hardest part about starting your own business is actually starting it – just believing in yourself enough and your vision and getting started.
What was the first thing you remember making?
I actually started with freshly baked breads, then croissants and then scotch bonnet products!
What’s your favourite thing to eat?
A great curry with lots of scotch bonnet!
What’s the best thing about your job?
I can do whatever I want!
What’s the hardest part of your job?
Not being able to spend as much time with my family and friends as I’d like to because I do everything by myself.
What’s your favourite/most impressive thing you’ve ever made?
My cronuts – I think they can keep up with cronuts from NYC. My Scotch Bonnet Sauce – it’s HOT!
What advice would you give to your younger self?
To start all this much earlier and work even harder and then believe in myself even more.
What advice would you give aspiring chefs?
Find the cuisine that you’re comfortable with and experiment in that area – do what feels right to you. As long as you have love for what you do it will show.
What dessert would you want on your birthday?
A molten chocolate cake, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and probably some whip cream on top. I love whip cream on everything!