Chef Stephen Hamilton cooks up birthday surprise for mother

Stephanie Lyew

February 22, 2021

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Instead of treating his mother to a lavish dinner with a special menu of his finest creations for her birthday, Stephen Hamilton, celebrity chef and owner of Eskay Catering, concocted a surprise that would be stamped on her memory forever.

Chef Stephen Hamilton helps his mother, Helen, with her custom-designed Kadian Nicely dress.

Helen Hamilton, who celebrated her 59th year around the Sun on February 12, was treated to a ‘Queen of the Jungle’-themed photoshoot. According to the chef, the photoshoot embodied the character portrayed by his mother throughout his life.

“She has always been a strong and supportive figure. No matter what comes her way, she fights it with a smile, [so] watching her while growing up, I used to say I would work very hard to repay her being that person,” Hamilton said.

The birthday gift incorporated a number of elements. He said, “Not only did it highlight subliminally her determination and perseverance being a single mother, but showcased her love for animals. It may not have been her wish, but she was surprised with a reward that she really deserved. She is not only a supermom; she is a queen.”

The photoshoot and cinematography, directed by Pedro ‘Bwoy Pedro’ Tomas, utilises the scenery of the White River in Ocho Rios, famous in Jamaica for rafting. 8 Wonders Décor curated the tropical- bliss décor. Helen wore a custom-designed dress by a celebrity Jamaican fashion designer, Kadian Nicely, and had her make-up done by Oneil Baugh.

Chef Hamilton recalled his mother being Eskay Catering’s first customer and her words of encouragement: to believe in his dreams and to be motivated by the thought of achieving what he dreamt of growing up and becoming. He said those words were significant to his success.

“Her biggest wish has always been to see me dominate the culinary industry, which has so much meaning. My mom means the world to me, and this was just one of the things I wanted to do to show her how much I appreciate her,” Hamilton shared.

The jungle element was amplified by Helen Hamilton cuddling a six-foot ball python snake provided by Eastern Exotic Pets Jamaica. She also photographed with Prit, a sun parakeet, known in aviculture as the sun conure.

“I was elated and slightly terrified by the python, but I also felt truly special, especially when I got my make-up done, and just the overall feeling of being photographed in such a luxurious way,” said his mother.

She continued: “The greatest thing about the bond I have with my son is that it is, in fact, an inseparable one. We can talk about every and anything.”

Helen Hamilton stands on a raft, holding a snake in one shot from the shoot.


Stephanie Lyew


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