Chef Kevin “Biggs” Castro says he’s been cooking most of his life — dating early into his childhood in Trinidad.
“I started cooking for my family,” he said Tuesday, between chopping garlic and onions in the kitchen at Weaver Deli in Bellport. Meanwhile, others were waiting to order lunch up front.
“I’m still cooking for my family,” he added, motioning toward the line. “Half the people here are my family.”
This was the second day the Weaver Deli — located on Weaver Avenue just north of Montauk Highway — started serving West Indian food. And word spread fast.
Manager Farakh Ibal said its something no other place is offering in the area, and comes as a response to many of the Weaver Deli regulars.
(It’s also a huge trend among foodies in New York City.)
“We have people here who are from the Caribbean,” Ibal said. “They say they’d have to go into the city to find West Indian food, so this is very convenient. And we wanted to offer something different, so we said, ‘Why not?'”
The deli owners recently hooked up with Castro, who said he’s known in Bellport for his pelau. “That’s chicken and rice cooked down in nice coconut milk,” Castro explained, though reluctant to provide additional details of his recipé.
Also on the rotating menu Tuesday was curry chicken.
To adjust to the American palate, Castro said he doesn’t make his dishes too spicy.
He said people nearby who hail from Trinidad or elsewhere in the Caribbean could cook the same type of food at home, but many simply don’t have the time.
“They can make it themselves, but this is the working class,” he said. “They just want to grab something and go. Maybe on the weekends they have time to cook a little more.”
Judging by the demand so early on, he and the deli owners were spot on in their assessment.
“Yesterday, at the end of my shift, everything was sold out,” Castro said. “I think that’s a good start.”