Mistress of flavor

Updated: 2013-01-14 13:20

By Tym Glaser (China Daily)

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Mistress of flavor

She harbors mixed feeling about her time in China, citing bureaucratic red tape in setting up her business as being one of her biggest bugbears while appreciating the friendships she has built with locals, particularly the parents of children to whom she taught English in another of her various endeavors.

"It's been five years, and to summarize everything, generally the Chinese are very nice people. I used to teach English and became very close to my students and I met some really great Chinese people through that," she says.

 "What I also like is that it is also very safe here, I feel very secure walking down the streets at night, and that is something I didn't always feel while living in London. It's a great environment."

She is also looking to expand her pastry business throughout China, and, perhaps, other parts of the region. With all that going on, she also manages to find time to design clothes and jewelry.

Mistress of flavor

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Still, she feels her use-by date in China is nearing and a move to the far-flung Caribbean could be on the cards.

"I have pretty much set up the business where it can run without me. I brought someone from Ghana to do what I do so I can leave China. Don't get me wrong, I love the country, but I got what I came here for and that was the language.

"I'm going to stick around for a while. Ultimately, I'd like to have a few small stores around Asia, patty shops with maybe some jerk chicken to go.

"But, I want to venture outside of Beijing to see what is out there. I would hopefully go somewhere like Jamaica, where my father's father was born. I very much want to go and live there and send stuff back to Asia and check the cash every now and then," she says with a grin.

The Afro-Caribbean fusion Zamoa has created through her restaurant was a natural progression, she says.

"There are many links between Ghana and Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean region for that matter," she says. "If you look at it, many of the slaves transported to Jamaica and other islands came from that part of Africa.

"They brought their culture and food to that part of the world. There are not that many differences between Jamaican-style cooking and that in Ghana. The ingredients are basically the same and the way the food is cooked is similar."

The Africa-Europe-Asia-Americas trek would pretty much complete a global circle for the adventurous Zamoa.

Contact the writer at sundayed@chinadaily.com.cn

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