September 30, 2009 | 12:00pm
Cindy Hutson started her professional cooking career in 1994 when she and her partner Delius Shirley opened Norma's On The Beach. They named the place after his mother, Norma Shirley, a famous chef who Food & Wine once called the "Julia Child of the Caribbean."
Cindy says "Our first restaurant, Norma's, we took over the Lazy Lizard on Lincoln Road in 94' and completely gutted the place. About a month before we opened Delius said 'well, you better write the menu.' I said 'what?!' I'd never worked in a restaurant in my life. I thought his mom was cooking.
I didn't wanna waste no money on knives and aprons. I used to be in the kitchen in flip flops and a sundress. The first six months I cried every night, 'I can't do this, I wanna go home.' Well, when the first review came out it was top of the line everything, they loved it, and that was the New York Times. That's when I said 'I can do this.' Then the articles kept coming out, so I finally bought some knives and an apron, but I didn't wanna buy anything if I wasn't gonna make it.
We named it Norma's because she was famous and nobody knew who I was, everybody thought she was the one cooking, but once it was established that I knew what I was doing you better believe I let everybody know it was me in the kitchen."
Norma's closed in 1999, the same year Ortanique on the Mile opened. Here are some pictures from the kitchen.
Cindy's busy schedule includes a trip to China, a judge cameo on Iron Chef, and a tv segment, that's just between September and October.
A kitchen tool that does something.
West Indian Curried Crab Cake - With Fresh Lump Crabmeat, Blended Curries, Red Peppers and Scallions Served with Sorrel Flower Paint, Papaya-Lime Coulis and Yucca Chip
Guava bbq'd scottish salmon with calypso mash roasted mt. diablo corn and black bean salsa - $19.00
Chef Cindy Hutson and Delius Shirley.
Madras Curried Shrimp and Diver Scallops in a lightly toasted curry blend with assorted vegetables and coriander scented jasmine rice - $32.00
Another day at the office.
Pumpkin ginger Miami Spice soup.
Seafood diet...see food and eat it.
Jerked Penne Pasta - Sun Dried Tomatoes, Roasted Garlic Cloves, Shiitake Mushrooms, Fresh Torn Basil in a Light Cream Sauce - $12.00 With Boneless Strips of Chicken - add $4.00 With Key West Shrimp - add $6.00
Certified Black Angus Beef Tenderloin Served with Manchego-Truffled Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Asparagus Topped with Shiitake Port Wine Demi Glace - $44.00
Stuffed Chile Poblano with melted cheese.
Caribbean Ceviché - Ceviche del mar (Market Price)
West Indian Style Bouillabaisse - From the Waters of the World with Jasmine Rice in a Coconut Curried Broth - Market Price
Chef Cindy Hutson's left arm.
Jerk Double Pork Chop - With Guava Bacardi Spice Rum Sauce and South American Moros Topped with Drunken Raisin Tropical Fruit Flambé - $32.00