Colleen Peterkin-Belmont, a local vegan chef and entrepreneur hailing from Trinidad and Tobago, was fostering her passion for cooking for years before joining Shef, a home-cooked meal delivery platform bringing authentic cuisines to North Brooklyn.
Peterkin-Belmont’s involvement with Shef — which is described as “Etsy for amazing homemade food made by aunties, abuelos, and restaurant dreamers in your community” — was a natural evolution of her existing love of nourishing people through food.
“I’m originally from the beautiful island of Trinidad and Tobago,” she explained. “Where people are extremely passionate about food. Food — and sharing food with others — is a huge part of our culture. I also believe food should heal and not hurt, which is why I decided to go vegan.”
She grew up cooking alongside her mom and always showed interest in being in the kitchen, and reflects that culture and homecooked comfort combined with vegan alternatives in her signature dishes like Vegan Pelau (her favorite to create), jerk mushrooms, and Vegan Rasta Pasta (which she recommends to anyone trying her food for the first time).
“I personally love making Vegan Pelau. It showcases my Trinidadian culture and it’s extremely delicious!” she remarked. “Pelau is a traditional seasoned rice dish. It consists of rice and veggies and is slow-cooked in coconut milk.”
And she finds Brooklynites especially fun to cook for, as we’re typically more adventurous and open to meatless dishes.
“I’ve noticed that if the food is well seasoned, it doesn’t matter if there’s no meat. They’ll order it again and again!” She remarked.