Recipes: Smoked Mackerel Dill, Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Eggplant with Vierge dressing

Hey everyone, it’s Chef Jerome Cooke

Over the past 6 years, I have had the privilege of working in various countries, kitchens, as a sous and head chef. During this time, it became apparent that, although there are key rules to preparing a great recipe, as well as ingredients that work well together, once you have mastered the basic understanding of major food groups, and how to prepare them, there is no reason why anyone can’t cook a first-class meal.

“We can all follow a recipe and end up with a dish. What makes one dish superior to another is adding your own personality.”

Come Christmas, Easter plus any other given holiday, I’m the guy who gives women a break! At a time when we have fast food at our fingertips, I encourage everyone to go the extra mile and prepare a home-made meal, as food is an expression of love, it has the power to bring people closer, heal relationships, create memories, inspire and excite your guests. It really is one of the most effective gestures you can harness and offer all those you care about.

When preparing food at home

I don’t hold back in experimenting and following my gut instinct, I’m the type to add my favorite herbs or try something new, just to taste how it complements each recipe. And I can honestly say my approach, has paid dividends and boosted my skills as a chef, especially in the last couple of years.

Please avoid hashing out the same old, safe, traditional recipes because it’s tired! Let your individuality shine by delivering a meal your family and friends will talk about for weeks. You’ll be surprised how much a classic recipe, with your own tweaks, will inspire others to become more adventurous, when they cook for themselves.

Food choice matters

When we need to accelerate weight loss, fish is a good source of protein. According to studies eating fish regularly, maintains a healthy diet by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, and depression. Enjoy this dish!

Smoked Mackerel Dill, Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Eggplant with Vierge dressingPrepared earlier


1 Mackarel fish fillet your local shop or grocery store should sell Mackarel
2 large sweet potatoes peeled and diced into cubes
1 lemon peeled and sectioned
2 tblspns of fresh lemon juice
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tspn of fresh coriander, chopped
3 tblspns of fresh basil, chopped
1 tblspn of fresh chervil, chopped
4 cups of tomatoes seeded and diced (use a variety of sweet/normal)
1/2 extra virgin olive oil


  1. Place the minced shallot, minced garlic clove, fresh coriander, fresh basil, fresh checril, fresh tarragon, diced tomato, lemon juice, in a bowl to marinate for at least 1 hour. This is the most important part of the process as the flavors from the Vierge dressing bring this dish together.
  2. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Place Mackerel in a roasting tray and cook in the oven for 7 mintues.
  3. Place diced, cubed sweet potatoes into a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil, and salt to taste. Cook in the oven, at the same temperature as above, for 15 minutes, until soft.
  4. Place the sliced egg plant in a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and sale to taste. Cook in the oven, at the same temperature as above, for 5 – 7 mins, until soft.
  5. Once the eggplant and sweet potato are ready, serve the sweet potato and egg plant with the Mackerel fish fillet and Vierge dressing spooned over.

Strange fact

The eggplant (also known as the Aubergine) is a fruit that derives from a flowering plant of the same name. It is typically purple although the plant produces fruit of different sizes, shapes and colors. The Egg plant is mainly cultivated in India and Southern East Asia.

Chef Jerome Cooke’s aims:

“I enjoy breaking the mold. Look forward to recipes that deviate from the norm. Here are my aims in 4 quick points:

1.Creating healthy options  2.Using fresh produce 3.Studying the trends in the culinary field and adapting them to the black community 4.Making haute cuisine food simpler, on an affordable budget.”

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