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Usain Bolt confesses he 'can't cook' at opening of his London restaurant Tracks & Records

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 15/11/2018 Lizzie Thomson
Usain Bolt holding a sign posing for the camera © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited

Usain Bolt claimed he was useless in the kitchen because his mother “never taught him” how to cook — as he opened a Caribbean-style restaurant in London.

The eight-time Olympic champion, 32, was joined by a host of celebrity friends, including actor and DJ Idris Elba, and Elba’s fiancée, model Sabrina Dhowre, for the launch of Tracks & Records near Liverpool Street Station.

It is his first foodie venture outside of his native Jamaica, where he oversees venues in Kingston, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. The restaurant has more than 150 types of rum on the menu, 100 of which are from Jamaica.

The athlete, who won three gold medals at the London 2012 Olympics, said last night: “London has always been a second home for me because this is where I was based when I used to do track and field.

“It’s always been a part of me, especially after 2012 and the amount of love I got. This is the perfect place for the first restaurant to be.”

However, he admitted his strengths do not stretch to the kitchen. “I can do everything else but cook,” he confessed. “My mum didn’t teach me that — so I’m blaming my mum.”

Bolt said that this new restaurant venture was him dipping his “toes in different things”. He added: “You’ve got to branch out because you can’t do sports forever.”

The restaurant aims to give guests an authentic taste of the Caribbean and serves some of Bolt’s favourite Jamaican dishes such as jerk pork, fried fish and bammy (a flatbread). Other plates on the menu include curried mutton, crispy fried wings and codfish fritters.

Split across two floors, Tracks & Records features a variety of Bolt’s sports memorabilia, modern art and vinyls. Downstairs it hosts a large dance floor with reggae music and DJ sets.

Bolt said Jamaican cuisine was his ultimate comfort food, adding: “I try to eat Jamaican food as much as I possibly can.

“When I’m working out, I try to be healthy... but it’s hard.”

The world’s fastest man has plans to expand with 15 sites across the UK.

94 Middlesex St, E1 7EZ, tracksandrecords.com

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