Under The Grater Q&A

On a recent trip to the UK, I sat down with a journalist, from a small coastal newspaper, interested in the sort of person who leaves their mother country to start again on the other side of the world.  And in this space, he asked me questions that no one ever has.  This blog is an insight into who I really am, when there’s no kitchen, no camera’s, no action, just Jacqui.


Is Jax your real name?: No my full name is Jacqueline, Sylvia Margaret Hamilton (I know right) just call me Jax

Jax Hamilton : Under The Grater

I’m actually still growing into those lips…. beautiful. Xx

Where are you from?: Stratford, East London (under the sound of the bow bells), which makes me a 100% cockney.  However my parents are from Jamaica and I’m now a Kiwi Citizen – phew!

Any siblings ?: 4 brothers and 1 sister – I’m number 5!

Favourite Colour? : Vermillion (scarlet with a tinge of orange).

Do you have any pets? Yes a big fat black cat who has many names : Pumpkin, Oprah and Loo-Lah, she’s very contrary and smokes too much (well I think she does).

Jax Hamilton : Under The Grater

She won’t be defeated…. if she can’t get in well…….

Are you bi, gay, straight OR: For me attraction is attraction and love is love.  I don’t fall one way or another.  If it feels good, I’m going for it; life is too short to question ‘that feeling’.

Currently in a relationship?: Ha! Good question, I live a pretty simple life, but quite an extraordinary one too. I’m single at present, however if someone does come into my life, they’ll need to bring their own happiness, because I can only make them smile.
Under The Grater - Jax Hamilton Cooks

2 Truths & 1 Lie :
I was the first ever Press Officer assigned to Simply Red.  We worked together up until “Holding Back….”  My father is the head of a Yardie Gang in Jamaica and was extradited for murder in 1972. I am an accomplished recorder player.

And……? : You’ll have to guess.

When was the last time you cried?: 16thAugust 2018, I can be precise because it was the day I learned Aretha Franklin had passed away. She was and will always be the friend I would turn to for reassurance, for acceptance, for respect, for love, for laughter, for ambition and all the things a young black girl required growing up against the onslaught of judgment and chronic racism in East London in the 60’s & 70’s.

Have you experienced racism in NZ: Yes, quite a bit actually, just recently I was driving out of the car park, at my local mall and a lady called me a ‘black bastard’ because I wouldn’t let her cut in front of me.

What did you do? Wished her well on her journey back to Ignorant-Ville whilst hoping her passengers, 2 little children had headphones on.

Is it true, you dance when you cook? I dance most of the time, it’s just sometimes I happen to be cooking.  There’s a lot of movement when you cook, hips, arms, hands and music is the perfect compliment.

Jax Hamilton : Under The Grater

My kitchen is my refuge, to dance, to cook, to be.

What winds you up or makes you mad? Wow, you must be in my head….. any type of injustice or racism, I am Queen underdog of the Underdog Tribe. If I meet a new person and the first thing they do is throw shade on someone, I walk away. IMMEDIATELY.

How would you define your cooking style? I’m a pantry alchemist, I fling open the doors, grab ingredients and create rustic, seasonal, fresh, simple, fun packed and full of personality dishes, to suit my mood and appetite.

What were the last 3 ingredients you purchased? 1 tin of coconut milk, 1 tin of tomatoes and a packet of skinned, boned chicken thighs, with which I’m going to go full on Mexican – with the chicken that is.

Current cookbook in your kitchen? A Little Bit of This; A Little Bit of That by Jayshri & Laxmi Ganda.  It’s a stunning Gujarati Indian Cookbook.  I’m totally inspired by incredible home cooks, the authors live in Halswell, Christchurch

Who would you love to join in their / your kitchen? Strangely, I have this fascination with Giles Coren, he’s NOT a chef but a Food Critic for the London Times.  He’s well travelled, has an amazing sense of humour, knows his stuff and I think we could teach each other a thing or two.

Jax Hamilton : Under The Grater

Just a girl from East London….

When the cork comes out, what do you hope is being poured? Mmm, Pinot Noir from North Canterbury or Central Otago with a nice peaty, aromatic and wide flavour.  PS : Chuck the cork away, because I’m a one bottle girl.

6 dinner guests, who and why? Ok, well they would have to have a hefty appetite for food and discussion, sense of humour and the ability to dance their calories off so Martin Luther King, Prince, Mary Magdallen, Tony Stark, Urzilla Carlson and my grandmother. And, just in case I get a drop out Jean Valjean from Les Mis, he is one badass!

Your last meal on death row would be?  My ex, slowly braised over a couple of days (to tenderize) with loads of garlic, sage and apple cider, paired with 2 bottles of 21 yr old, Rare Blend, Appleton Estate rum (to get rid of the oily after taste – hahahahah).

Do you have a favourite restaurant? When I go out, I like to sit down to a meal and think – nope, I couldn’t make this even if I tried.  So, here in Christchurch, Chillingworth Road, top notch fine dining. In Soho, London, The Palomar, serving the most amazing Palestinian dishes.

One destination, one choice, anywhere in the world, where would you go? I had my DNA done a couple of years ago, I’m 87% African (Ivory Coast / Sierra Leone) so back home, to Africa.

Is there a question you wished I’d asked? Yes, Q : what is your legacy? A : My beautiful children.

Jax Hamilton : Under The Grater

Around the table, with my joys.

OK 10 quick fire questions, then you can go…..

  • Glasses or Contacts?  Glasses
  • Fine DIning or Street Food?  Street Food
  • Coffee or Tea? Arses – oooh – er – Coffee.
  • Love or Money? Love
  • Oceans or Mountains? Oceans
  • Toilet Paper : Over or Under? Under
  • Iron man or Black Panther? Oooh you absolute bastards – Black Panther
  • McDonalds or Burger King? Now you’re taking the piss!
  • Horror or Comedy? Horror
  • Freedom or hope? Freedom
  • Sex or Foreplay? That’s 11……
Jax Hamilton : Under The Grater

Me and Bruce : Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting……