Taste of the Tropics
We asked top Caribbean chefs where they go for their island’s
number one dish (and no, they couldn’t pick their own kitchen)
Andrew “Stan” Baxter,
Galley Bay Resort & Spa, St. John’s
My favorite dish: Pepper pot. It’s a
soupy stew that contains local vegetables including callaloo or spinach,
eggplant, pumpkin, okra, and black-eyed peas, and sometimes zucchini,
plus chicken, salt beef, and salt pork.
I eat it at: The Public Market in St.
John’s, at a stainless steel food wagon
run by Paula and Samantha—you can
locate it by the sound of Samantha
laughing—on the corner of Market
and St. Mary’s streets.
Martin Maginley, Round Hill
Hotel and Villas, Montego Bay
My favorite dish: Akee and saltfish.
Akee is a fruit with soft inner flesh
that looks and tastes like scrambled
eggs. Salted cod is boiled and flaked,
then cooked with onion, green bell
pepper, thyme, and tomato, with akee
folded in at the last minute.
I eat it at: Sweet Spice, a roadside
café, on the South Coast Road just
outside Negril. I like my akee and
saltfish with steamed callaloo and
cornmeal festival (dumplings).
Kai Ludwig Bechinger,
Jamaica Inn, Ocho Rios
My favorite dish: Jerk. You rub
spicy-sweet seasonings onto meat
or poultry, let it marinate overnight,
then grill it to a tender texture. Jerk
I eat it at:
a half mile
east of Buff
Bay, along the
Coast Highway. It’s hard to miss
the lone blue-and-white bamboo
hut with smoke pouring from the
roof. Try jerk with cornmeal festi-
val, roasted breadfruit, or a slice of
bread—and a Red Stripe beer.
Bill Munn, Windjammer
Landing Villa Beach Resort, Castries
My favorite dish: Tripe soup, a slow-cooked soup combining tripe (beef
intestine) with pepper, thyme, pumpkin, and root vegetables.
I eat it at: Castries Market, in the middle of town. Tripe soup is sold at various stalls. The best time is Saturday
afternoon, when everything is fresh
and the market is a hive of activity.
Culinary Consultant, Petit Valley
My favorite dish: Shark and bake. It’s
a shark sandwich marinated in thyme,
garlic, lime, salt, and pepper, then
floured and fried. You put it into a light
fried dough, or “bake.” Then you pile
on condiments, from tamarind and
cilantro to coleslaw and garlic sauce.
I eat it at: Maracas Beach. There are
several cabana-style booths on the
beach. My favorites are Natalie’s,
Richard’s Shark and Bake, and Uncle
Sam’s. Choose whichever has the
shortest line. —Laura Daily