Trinidadian Foodie, Nathaniel Edwards

Name: Nathaniel Edwards

Year: I did one year at the University of the West Indies and then after I got a National Scholarship, I transferred to University of Toronto. So this is my second year in Canada, but technically speaking, I am a third year student.

College: Woodsworth College.

Relationship Status: It's complicated. *Laughs*

Major: Double Major in Actuarial Science and Statistics and possibly a Minor in Mathematics depending on my level of procrastination next year.

If you had to turn math into a metaphor what would that be?

Life is like an equation. If your life involves constant variables, when you differentiate it, it disappears. But if you have a life composed of complex functions, when you differentiate it, it becomes exciting.

Hometown: Arima, Trinidad and Tobago

Ethnicity/ Background?

Complicated. Mummy is Spanish and Daddy is African. Granny is Indian. I also have some family from Venezuela as well. So, a mix of everything!

Describe yourself in a few words.

A crazy guy who procrastinates everything to the last minute and loves food, especially when the food is free!

Do you have a Career Goal? Dream Job?

Well, when I was a child, I wanted to be a lawyer like my Dad. Then at around age 15, I started thinking more about my life and I realized becoming a lawyer requires you to read a lot of books, which isn't my strongest field. Hence, I decided on a more mathematical field. I choose to become an actuary because it's one of the highest paying jobs in the world, and it requires a very strong mathematical background as well as programming skills. However, the further I engage in this career, the more sketchy I become about wanting to become an actuary. So, I started looking at backup jobs just in case the whole "actuary" thing doesn't work out. I love to cook, so I could open my own restaurant and cook Caribbean food for the rest of my life and be happy.

What are your interests?

I love food, but I'm actually really picky about what I eat. I like my meats seasoned well and cooked just the way I like it, so learning how to cook became a passion. I'm always challenging myself on learning to cook new dishes. However ever since exam season has started, the variety of my dishes have decreased. Pretty much I'm just being lazy now and cooking the foods that I like but take the least amount of time to make, which is mostly pelau (rice peas and stew chicken). Believe me when I say I can eat pelau every single day for a month and I will never get fed up with it.

I like to work out. Living in Trinidad, where you're surrounded by the beach, you end up spending a lot of time there, so it is very important to make sure you have your beach body year round!

Visual interlude: 

Awesome! So besides pelau, when you have the time, what is your favorite dish to create?

Nothing compares to pelau. My second favorite dish would have to be rice peas and chicken, but it was brought to my attention that that is just pelau, it always comes back to pelau.

What is your favorite dessert?

Favorite dessert is definitely cheesecake! Back in Trinidad when I made cheesecake, I liked to soak the cherries in some rum or wine. It really brought out the flavor of the cake!

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

Guilty pleasures....ummm none that I'm going to tell. 

Do you cooking shows and/or favorite chefs?

Nah, I don't watch cooking shows. I'm an actuary, there is not enough free time to be watching too much television. My mummy taught me how to cook from young. Now if I want to cook a new dish, I search a Youtube video of someone cooking it, and I follow along. That's how I learned to cook most of my dishes.

What is your favorite thing to do in Trinidad?

Chill and have Cookups. I like to just go hangout with friends and family. Cook some food and relax with them. Maybe go to the beach and take a swim. Been wanting to go to the waterfalls in Trinidad for a while now, so that's definitely on my to-do list for next summer!

What would you say sets Trinidad apart from other Caribbean Islands/Nations?

Carnival. I'm not the biggest fan of carnival, but the original Carnival was created in Trinidad and developed into what it is today, making Trinidad a very high tourist location from all over the world. I'd say Barbados competes with Trinidad's Carnival. I've heard their Crop Over is pretty intense, but I've never gone to it, so can't say.

What is your favorite Canadian food?

Favorite Canadian food...I'm not sure. I've pretty much been cooking all my food for myself. I can tell you which is my least favorite though. Last year, my friends went out and bough a large Sushi variety plate which was pretty expensive. I'm really not sure of what exactly the components were, but I had never tried sushi before so, they offered it to me. I tried one piece and, I was choking on it. It was horrible, but I refused to spit it out because my friends spent a lot of money on it. So, I know for sure sushi is my least favorite. 

What is favorite animal?

Rabbit. They are madly cute, but they taste even better. Apparently it's not a Canadian thing, but back in Trinidad you can curry or stew any animal and it will taste amazing. However the texture of the rabbit when it's curried - it just melts in your mouth. It's amazing!

If you were an ice cream flavor which would you be?

If I were an ice cream flavor, I would be caramel toffee mixed with rum and raisin because the caramel makes it sweet on the outside, but after eating enough, you'll start to feel the rum going to your brain, making you a little crazy.

What do u think is most attractive about you?

I'd say I'm a very mature individual. I don't make a decision without considering its impact on my future. I'm not the kind of person to just wake up and do what I feel like doing today. I like to have a plan of action so I know where I'm going and how I'm going to get there. It's my way of setting goals for my life rather than making bad decisions that I'll regret tomorrow.