They Always Tell Me I Make the Best Lasagna:Destra Garcia

Related Articles

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

by Cherisse Moe, HER Magazine

As a singer, songwriter and entertainer, we all know that Destra Garcia can hold her own in the booth and on the stage – what you may not know is that when it comes to the kitchen, the ‘Lucy’ and ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ vocalist can hold it down there too.

The mother of one is the first of four children and learned to cook when she was 14. The first meal she mastered was the Trini staple – corned beef and rice – but her signature cuisine, and the one she says has her family always wanting more, is the popular Italian dish, lasagna. “They always tell me I make the best lasagna and I think that gives me the inspiration to keep trying to make it better and better each time,” Destra said in an interview, adding that her family members, especial – ly daughter, Xayia, were in their glee during the lockdown period, as she was able to spend a lot more time cooking their favourite foods.

“Before the pandemic I only used to prepare lasagna at Christmas because people used to look forward to my special lasagna, but because we were home so much, I ended up making it ever so often to make my daughter happy. That’s her favourite dish in the whole wide world.’

So, what is it that really makes Destra’s lasagna so scrumptious? It all lies in the preparation process, she explains. “First of all, I could make any kind of lasagna – soya, fish and chicken lasagna, but my favourrite is the beef lasagna. I also use sausage and local cheese. That’s my special spin to it. I know the main recipe is mixing the cheeses to make your cheese sauce but I also add local cheese and I season the meat. Whatever meat it is, I season, ‘like rel season’ – Caribbean style, so that it doesn’t have a bland flavour. It’s extremely tasty and cheesy.”

Here’s the twist: while she’s a good cook, the truth is, Destra doesn’t actually like to cook – “I don’t,” she admits. But who can blame her, when her husband and manager, Brian, is the “real chef” of the house? “Unlike me, he has a passion for cooking. I would still make the specialty things that I alone could make really good, like pelau – I am the pelau woman – you see when I put my coconut milk in it? I can make it with soya. I can make it with whatever meat. That’s my forte – pelau, lasagna, split peas and beef soup. But Brian can take whatever from the fridge or whatever he gets from the grocery and make something to eat from whatever. He’s a pescatarian, most of the stuff that he likes to eat are either fish, soya or tofu. However, he makes really good meat meals when he’s cooking for us.’ Destra learned to cook in a very unconventional way.

“Mommy would start a beef and split peas soup and she tell me to finish it, she’s going to the grocery. So, a lot of times it was like throwing me into the deep end, but I leaned,” recalls the soca songstress, while noting that coo coo and callaloo were among the first dishes she cooked on her own. ‘Rice and corn beef was the first easy dish I learned to make though, because if you want to make something quickly for your siblings – that was it. Pretty much most of the things I know how to make, are things my mother taught me when I was growing up.”

- Advertisement -

VIEW MORE FROM THE AUTHOR

FEATURES FROM TRINIDAD EXPRESS

More on this topic

Comments

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Popular stories

New Poets! Apply Now for A Guernica Poetry Fellowship, 2024

The program takes place virtually. Participation is free of charge, and fellows will receive a small stipend to support submission and reading fees for their work. Guernica hopes to nurture other opportunities for fellows in this cohort, which may include publication or reading opportunities.

MusicTT Awards $76K In Music Business Development Grants To 11

The Music Business Development Grant initiative is part of a concerted effort to empower and nurture the talent and potential within the local music scene.

DJ Mario’s Top TT 20 New & Trending Soca Hits, April 12/24

Check out the new tunes hitting the charts this week.