food fare

Food Fare: H Street's Cane Pays Tribute to Trinidad Roots With Tiffin Boxes

"This is what your grandparents would pack for you to take to lunch."

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From Trinidad and Tobago to H Street NE, Chef Peter Prime is sharing his native roots through the Caribbean-influenced cuisine at his restaurant, Cane.  

"This is the food that I think developed my palate," Prime said. "This is where I learned flavor."

The curried beef is one of Prime's personal favorites on the menu.

"It's just slow-cooking, braising without adding liquid, so it's just rendered liquid," he said. "And it's very easy to burn if you're not giving it a lot of love."

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Curried beef is also one of the options in the restaurant's paratha tiffin boxes.

"This is a nod to, you know, old-school, or what I thought old-school, Trinidadian lunch boxes," Prime said. "This is what your grandparents would pack for you to take to lunch."

Cane's tiffin boxes include an assortment of curries such as chicken.

"All of our meats get seasoned with our green seasoning that has a lot of culantro, a lot of onions and garlic, as well as thyme," Prime said.

And as a base, there's garbanzos and potato curry.

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A house-made flatbread called paratha is also served in the tiffin box.

"It's just an Indian roti," Prime said. "I really love the Trinidadian version. Most of the ones I see are crispy and sort of fried. This is just very soft, tender. It has all of the flaky layers of like a puff pastry, but it still pulls apart."

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Prime opened Cane in 2019 with his sister Jeanine Prime. The siblings have plans to launch a second restaurant in the 14th Street corridor this year, which will also center on the culture of Trinidad.

"The whole thing is a great journey into the stuff I did as a child and the food that I love," Peter Prime said.

News4’s Eun Yang is hosting Food Fare, exploring restaurants in the DMV. Where should we go next? Tell us on Twitter or Instagram.

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