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Chiko’s seasoning is selling like hot cakes

Almost out of control, is how Michiko Campbell describes sales of his all-purpose seasoning rub, Chiko's Smokey Rub.

The Sous Chef at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club began offering his special rub at Harbour Nights about a month ago and since then, it has been selling like hot (smoky) cakes.

“I sell about 90 bottles each Wednesday,” said Mr Campbell. “It's unbelievable. People are asking for second bottles, already.”

Now his rub will be making its debut at Fourways Inn on July 20 during a special Sunday brunch. At the brunch, Mr Campbell will be grilling and barbecuing various meats using his creation.

“Since it is an all purpose rub I can use it on any meat they give me,” he said. “It will mainly be grill work so people can get the smell of all the smoky flavours it gives off.”

He developed the rub as a class project while studying for his Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts and Food Service at Johnson and Wales University in Miami, Florida.

“One of the chefs at the school was offering a class on making rubs and marinations,” said Mr Campbell. “I sat in the class and he gave me a bunch of ingredients and said come up with a rub. I saw stuff missing and added ingredients. It was kind of a mistake, at first. When he tasted it and asked what I did to it, I said, ‘I didn't do anything'. I was trying to keep it a secret. He said, ‘well, whatever you did, this is awesome'.”

The professor encouraged him to try to sell the product.

Mr Campbell is keeping the exact nature of the seasoning a secret, but he said it involves several different spices, celery salt, and a heating and cooling process.

“I keep what is in it a family secret,” he said. “There is no MSG or sugars in it. It is a pure product.”

His fiancee, Sherelle Simons, has helped him with the marketing of the product, designing banners, posters and the bottle label, among other things.

Mr Campbell's employer, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club already incorporates the seasoning into some of its dishes. The brunch at Fourways came about after MEF Group Director of Training, Dale Butler, tasted some of the rub at Harbour Nights and was impressed. Mr Butler spoke to Fourways, and the result was the Sunday barbecue.

The rub has already proven just as popular with visitors and with locals. Mr Campbell said he is thrilled to receive photos of his rub being used on various dishes, around the world.

“People post pictures of their dishes with the rub on my Facebook page,” he said. “It is pretty amazing how it is starting to hit off. People say they like that they don't have to go to the store to buy six or seven different seasonings; it's all in one bottle. Since it is an all-purpose rub people are using it for everything. I have had vegetarians use it for grilled vegetables, such as sautéed kale and mushrooms.”

Now he is thinking of creating different seasonings for different seasons (no pun intended) such as a special rub for Christmas ham or a rub for Bermuda fish cakes on Good Friday.

“I am also going to do a spicy one,” he said. “I will also start doing some other different things as well.”

The seasoning will be available for purchase at the brunch at a discounted price of $8.50 a bottle or two bottles for $16.

You can also find the seasoning for sale at The Bermuda Shop in the Clocktower Mall in Dockyard, Bermuda Linens and Gifts in St George's, and Portraits of Afrique on Cox's Hill Road in Warwick.

The Fourways Inn brunch on Sunday, July 20 is from 11.30am to 2.30pm and the cost is $46.75 plus 17 percent gratuities. Reservations are recommended.

For more information see Mr Campbell's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/chikosmokeyrub or www.chikosmokeyrub.com or e-mail Chiko_1989@live.com.

chikosmokeyrub@hotmail.com

Flying off the shelves: Chef Michiko Campbell and Executive Chef of Fourways Inn, Tommy Poh, with a bottle of Campbell's smokey rub

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Published July 11, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated July 11, 2014 at 11:53 am)

Chiko’s seasoning is selling like hot cakes

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