If you’re like me, then you’ll agree that there’s a certain romance about eating and drinking your way through a country. And if the white sands and aquamarine waters of the Caribbean are on your destination horizon, there’s no reason why eating your way through these island communities shouldn’t be your preferred method of cultural immersion either.
First off, what is Caribbean food, anyway? A melting pot of many different cultures, Caribbean food recipes include African, French, East Indian, Spanish, Portuguese and other influences making for a distinct mélange of tastes. Seafood, being the island nation’s most readily-accessible form of protein is in abundant supply and used widely and creatively, as is the use of goat meat – yes, goat meat. Goat water stew (a traditional brew consisting of a tomato base, green papaya, breadfruit, dumplings and, of course, goat meat) has been chosen as one of the official national dishes of Montserrat, and is also found in the seaside stalls and Zagat-rated restaurants of St Kitts and Nevis. And though eating in these island communities is a unique opportunity and unlike anywhere else on earth, there are plenty of other options out there for those foodies willing to explore.
St Maarten blends its French and Dutch roots to bring the world’s cuisine to visitors of this small island. Known as the culinary center of the Caribbean, St Maartin has over 400 restaurants on its shores which range from the quaint and cozy La Villa Restaurant to the larger-than-life L’Auberge Gourmande. Find everything from toes-in-the-sand eateries to white-linen restaurants here.
St Barths is also high on the list of gourmands Caribbean islands for its creative conversion of ancient stone warehouses into chic restaurants. Combine a cool ambiance with a distinctive blend of French and African influence, and you’ve got some of the best eating in the Caribbean.
And what dip into the Caribbean pool would be complete without a trip to Barbados? This once English-controlled island is home to The Cliff, the preeminent dining spot of the West Indies, where the palatial patio is lit by fire and dips headlong into the crystalline waters. Here you can relax by firelight, enjoy cocktails with loved ones or clients and be amazed at the culinary expertise of some of the world’s best chefs.