The decision to become Chef John, took root for John Aboud as a teenager after tasting a Mayaro fish broth.
Last Wednesday, the young chef opened the doors of Aioli Marketplace, The Home of Handcrafted Food, downstairs Ellerslie Plaza in Maraval, specially to the media who came out in full force to sample the finest take-out food from the Aioli buffet.
Having completed a first degree in business, sure that his destiny was in the field of food, the master chef went on to pursue a culinary degree. He then worked in the United States honing his skills in Italian and French foods, followed by a one-year stint in Paris which included work at a three star Michelin Restaurant, gathering a thorough knowledge of the various culinary arts.
By the time Aioli opened to the public at 11am Thursday, there were lines of patrons waiting to discover what the “buffet” had to offer. The food is sold by the pound.
From the media event, I knew that the encrusted salmon in creamy dill sauce accompanied by sweet potato mash was a winner. Since then, I discovered that a large portion of the mouthwatering rotisserie chicken/penne pasta salad could serve for two days, with a rustic apple pie for dessert.
There is not enough space to list the many dishes such as duck sushi, ravioli pumpkin and parmesan, ravioli mushroom and truffle, frozen cheese mini pizzas, an unusual pizza roll stuffed with mushrooms, to the more simple mac n cheese with bacon bits, and chicken in mushroom sauce.
But there is so much more to the Marketplace which promises to be the place where you will love to eat, shop and learn everything about great food. It is a food market created to balance the life of people who love good food with the “I don’t have time for this” schedule.
You will find “food for now....food for later,” all freshly and personally prepared in Aioli’s kitchens by 33-year-old John. “You’ll walk in to grab a quick calzone and probably walk out with a bag of freshly made pasta, a few extra desserts and a basket of French bread,” John said.
On Saturday, the hard-working chef who supervises everything that comes out of his kitchen, and plans to intermittently include other cuisines in his take-out menu, was having trouble keeping his shelves filled with supplies.
Among the lines of patrons were mothers allowing their children to excitedly choose what they wished to sample.
The marketplace will soon be known as the place for speciality pastas through its customised, coloured, fresh pastas made to order. Whether long or short, in shapes that are as unique as the names they will be known by –papardelle, trumpet, cavatelli, farfalle– they can be customised with fillings of cheeses, meats, vegetables or simple seasonings; with the option of a variety of sauces.
Aioli Marketplace’s fresh pasta line is crafted with top quality durum wheat semolina, whole wheat, organic and gluten-free flours which are clean, fresh and superbly executed thanks to meticulously sourced ingredients with no added artificial flavours, colours or preservatives.
John invites foodies: “Put on your chef hat, tighten that apron and get ready to mix our magic with your creativity!”