We never quite managed to get Jean-Claude Saintilus, a mainstay of the Ghetto Biennale, into the Radyo Shak to deliver a recipe in 2015. But Saintilus, a Grand Rue sculptor, planted a splendid kitchen garden with visiting artist Lee-Lee, and we had interviewed them together about their collaboration. In January 2017, I returned to the Grand Rue and visited Jean-Claude’s garden, which had by now created a shady canopy across much of his yard. Enormous banana trees grew amidst his sculptures, and vast kabocha-like squash hung from sturdy vines. He was kind enough to step me through some recipes.
Ingredients for Jean-Claude Saintilus’ chicken.
Fresh hot pepper, pepper from Port-au-Prince
My name is Jean-Claude Saintilus, and I’m going to give you a recipe for chicken.
How do you make it?
First I clean it, and then I heat it up.
How do you heat it up?
I heat it in hot water, you put it in hot water and boil it. When I’m done boiling it, then I season it. I put in spices.
What kind of spices?
I take some scallion, chive, garlic, clove, hot pepper, a little bit of hot pepper, and I season it. I put that on the chicken. When I’m done seasoning it I add little tomato paste, put in some butter, put in some oil and bring it to the boil again. [At this point, from listening to the recording, it seems apparent that I misunderstood, and interpreted “boiling again” to mean boiling in water, when in fact Jean-Claude means to fry or sauté it in the butter and oil.]
And then it’s really going to cook. I might put a little flour on there after I’m done seasoning it, and fry it. It gets really good! Use lots of good pepper.