Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Levi Roots serves up the best of Caribbean cooking – Reggae Reggae-style – in a new BBC2 cookery show, starting on Monday, August 24.
Two years ago he appeared on Dragons’ Den with a successful musical pitch for his Reggae Reggae Sauce. Now cook, musician and entrepreneur Levi Roots is about to host his own BBC2 cookery series, Caribbean Food Made Easy, in which he hopes to convert UK foodies to the delights of Caribbean cuisine.
We caught up with him to find out more…
You’ll learn about the history of Caribbean food in my new series… I start off in Jamaica, and I also travel around the UK telling people about fantastic food like jerk chicken, rice and peas and patties.
In Scotland I got measured for a kilt, but I chickened out of wearing it… I wouldn’t put it on when I heard they wear nothing underneath. It would have been too cold.
My beloved grandmother Miriam taught me to cook when I lived in Jamaica as a boy… She was the inspiration behind Reggae Reggae Sauce and, when I go to Jamaica, I cook things I would like to have cooked for her. While I’m there I meet sprinter Usain Bolt’s father and auntie, and cook yam with them.
I think Peter Jones is happy he backed me on Dragons’ Den… He’s a great guy, my mentor, and my best friend. It’s not just business, he genuinely likes my company, too.
I’ve sold more than nine million bottles of Reggae Reggae Sauce… We want Caribbean food to be right up there, and get more people to try it.
I used to play football with one of my heroes, Bob Marley… It was in the 1970s, when he lived in London, and we’d play every Sunday in Battersea Park. I remember him running down the middle of the pitch and my team-mates shouting “Get him!” at me. I’d say, “You’re joking – I’m not going to slide-tackle the king of reggae.”
My first taste of British food was baked beans… I was on a flight from Jamaica when I was 12 and I nearly spat them out. I vowed to make my own version, so maybe I’ll bring out Reggae Reggae Beans soon.
I always believed something special would happen to me… You’ve got to have a dream and, if you hold on to it, it will come true. I say that to every kid I speak to when I go into schools to give talks.