Dishing with Chimere and Norbert Ward of Clean Plate Company
One Sunday a month, Chimere and Norbert Ward of Clean Plate Company offer guests a four-course dining experience at the La Maison d’Art Gallery in Harlem, New York, accompanied by art and music. The husband and wife team bring a delicious Caribbean approach to American comfort food, turning out delights like jerk chicken and sweet potato waffles. At the June brunch, guests cleaned their plates after dining on special bakes served with scallion butter, fritters with cilantro-lime aioli and that delicious jerk chicken and sweet potato waffles.
“I come from a Caribbean-American family,” says Chimere. “We get together numerous times of the year, eat about 15 different dishes all prepared from one person (usually my Aunt Betty) to drink, talk, laugh and dance. It’s sheer happiness. It’s the same feeling we want for our guests at our events. Complete satiation.” It was those family gatherings and the time she spent in the kitchen as a stay-at-home mom that led her to start Clean Plate Company with husband Norbert.
Clean Plate Company specializes in artisanal preparation and customizes menus of all cultures in addition to healthy eating education. Norbert is also a mixolgist, crafting cocktails to complement the dishes.
“We love to entertain,” says Chimere. “We don’t just cater your events; we host our own so you can experience our latest creations, get to know us socially, and network in relaxed environments. Or guests can even learn something new at our cooking demos, lessons, or workshops. It’s a great way for us to meet people as well.”
The best part about the company is the cooking duo incorporates their two children into their cooking regime. “I actually try my best to not exclude the children from that area of our lives. I volunteer at my son’s school, with workshops, career day presentations, baked goods for the staff. The students know me and it’s great for him, socially.” The Wards also get the kids into the kitchen. “My son is 6 and has been prepping and chopping since age 3. Our daughter helps make pancakes; she’s a toddler. It’s just easier to let them know whats going on, why I need time to work, my latest project, recipe, for whom the products are made for and so on.”
Photo credit: Jason Ward