The mouth-watering, flavorful food the Caribbean has the ability to ignite every sense and taste bud. Besides music, food is often the first introduction many people have with the Caribbean region. The pepper pot, roti, arroz con habichuelas, and jerk chicken make them fall in love and keep longing for more. The multicultural backgrounds of the people and the many food options provided by the island environment create our layered palates – abundant in flavor and rich in texture.

Here are 7 chefs who are sharing their Caribbean Island heritage with the rest of the world, through sweet, savory, yummy plates.

1. Nina Compton

Photo Courtesy of Nina Compton/Facebook
Photo Courtesy of Nina Compton/Facebook

Island: St. Lucia
Restaurant: Compère Lapin
Location: New Orleans, LA

You may recognize her from Bravo’s Top Chef, but Compton has always been a talented chef with a broad palate. Her St. Lucian roots and many travel experiences have influenced her food style and current restaurant, which is French for the Caribbean folktale – Brer Rabbit.

 

2. Hasan DeFour

Photo Courtesy of Hasan DeFour
Photo Courtesy of Hasan DeFour

Island: Trinidad & Tobago
Restaurant: DeFour Caterers
Location: London, UK

Trinidadian Chef Hasan Defour infuses his Caribbean roots into his culinary creations. His appreciation and broad understanding of various foods have led to him hosting Tempo Network show – Country Cooking – in which he highlights foods from the Trinidad and St. Lucia.

 

3. Maria Marte

Photo Courtesy of Hola.com
Photo Courtesy of Hola.com

Island: Dominican Republic
Restaurant: el club Allard
Location: Madrid, Spain

Marte’s drive and determination propelled her into her current position as the only female chef of a two-starred restaurant in Madrid. Her famed hibiscus flower with pisco sour and pistachio crumble is a hit to anyone eager to try something new.

 

4. Alex Garcia

Photo Courtesy of Alex Garcia
Photo Courtesy of Alex Garcia

Island: Cuba
Restaurant: AG Kitchen
Location: New York, NY + Silver Spring, MD

The largest island in the Caribbean is home to diverse people, cultures, and food. Alex Garcia melds the variety and spice of Cuba in his many plates; he even offers up some of his recipes which we can try at home.

 

5. Brian Lumley

Photo Courtesy of Brian Lumley/Facebook
Photo Courtesy of Brian Lumley/Facebook

Island: Jamaica
Restaurant: 689
Location: Kingston, JA

Born in Jamaica, Lumley uses the island’s natural food resources to craft some of the most savory dishes. Still in his 20s, Lumley invigorates traditional Jamaican dishes with complimentary flavors from his culinary training and travels.

 

6. Jason Howard

Photo Courtesy of Jason Howard/Facebook
Photo Courtesy of Jason Howard/Facebook

Island: Barbados
Restaurant: Pop-up Restaurants
Location: London, UK

Having a multi-island childhood experience has impacted Chef Jason Howard in life, but most especially in the kitchen. Born in Barbados and Vincentian by heritage, his pop-up restaurants illustrate the unique ways in which he brings the Caribbean flair to the streets of London.

 

7. Digby Stridiron

Photo Courtesy of Digby Stridiron/Instagram
Photo Courtesy of Digby Stridiron/Instagram

Island: St. Croix
Restaurant: Balter
Location: Christiansted, St. Croix

An innate passion for food and a strong belief in the farm-to-table idea, Chef Stridiron has a worldly appreciation for eating food that’s healthy and tastes good. Stridiron invokes his artistic creativity in his kitchen by using vibrant, colorful foods packed with flavor.

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