By Vishani Ragobeer
Althea Brown, a Guyanese food enthusiast, has been sharing Guyanese food with the world for years now. She does this through her social media and website, where she’s better known as ‘Metemgee’.
She has become a well-known digital creator, with an evident knack for scrumptious-looking Guyanese dishes and easy-to-follow recipes for anyone. More recently, she decided to pen the recipes she learnt from her mother and in some cases, ‘remix’ it so those dishes can fit her paleo diet.
It took her about 18 months to cook, perfect her recipes, write those down, photograph the meals and edit the book.
“I didn’t think that the cookbook I would have written would be this cookbook.
“…I really wanted this book to be an example and a representation of who I am as a person.
“Yes I am Guyanese, yes I tell stories around Guyanese food and traditions but I am also paleo. The way I eat is slightly different from the average Guyanese,” Brown told the News Room during an interview.
But what’s the paleo diet?
The paleo diet usually includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, and meat and excludes dairy products, grains, sugar, legumes, processed oils, salt, alcohol, and coffee.
Because she generally adheres to a paleo diet – unless, of course, she wants a “big bowl of rice”- Brown went about figuring out how the beloved Guyanese dishes she learnt from her mother would be paleo-friendly.
She tried and tested various combinations until she got it right, never cooking one of her “remixed” meals just once. And it worked out. She was able to figure out many of recipes in her book, even potato roti, her favourite meal, which she now makes with cassava flour.
“…When I nailed that (potato roti) recipe I was like ‘Hallelujah! I can have potato roti now and not feel sick’,” Brown exclaimed.
Not all the Guyanese recipes needed modifications, however. The foodie noted that fish stew and curry, for example, can be consumed by persons on a paleo diet just as they are.
Brown, who lives in the United States, travelled to Guyana this month to launch her book here. She described it as a “full circle” moment for her, someone who was once a little girl growing up in Campbellville.
With the books now for sale, she hopes more people can buy it and share her labour of love. And she has found a buyer in President Dr. Irfaan Ali, who promised to buy 100 copies of the cookbook.