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Fine Caribbean cuisine is a sensational amalgam of sun ripened ingredients, cultural diversity and individual imagination.
Mango and guava mousse with black pepper ice cream, tamarind and balsamic sauce, or West Indian curry ice cream and rum and pineapple tart.
While one might not readily associate some of the aforementioned ingredients with dessert, local chef Ezra Beckles does not hesitate to be adventurous, and hopes youngsters, especially males, would follow his lead.
“Some people look at the sweetness, but within the sweetness you can add a little. With the ice cream you can go a little further... I think we have a lot of things on the island that we can use to make ice cream with,” explained Beckles, who admits experimenting with various ingredients during his leisure hours away from his job as executive pastry chef for Turtle Beach Resort.
Beckles, who plans to take part in the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts culinary competition next week, believes that it was important for local chefs to utilise local products in their culinary creations.
“The products that we grow on the island...that really have flavour and taste, once you work on them you can get the flavour and taste out of them,” stated Beckles in an interview with the Barbados Advocate.
For example, he cited a local grape commonly found near the beach. This berry-like fruit can be processed and its acidity broken down.
Tamarinds, dunks, soursops and carambola or “five finger” fruits were also cited as under utilised for desserts, preserves and other edible foods.
“There are plenty soursops now around Barbados that are falling on the ground and people don’t use them in their restaurants or hotels. They need to get out there and get these products,” stated the 43-year-old St. James resident. Beckles would also like to see more young males learn and eventually teach the culinary arts or as he termed it “home economics”. In the specialised field of pastries, the chef stressed that having patience was a necessity.
Having a “passion for something” also made the time spent on perfecting your skills easier to handle, added Beckles, who was keen on sharing his culinary knowledge with students at the Pommarine Hospitality Institute.
“Yes, it’s a lot of work, but you can reap
the benefits from it and you can have fun in it,” said Beckles,
whose skills recently helped Barbados earn team silver in the Taste of
the Caribbean culinary competition in Jamaica.
Compliments of the Barbados
There is a tempting array of restaurants offering everything
from delicious ethnic specialities to haute cuisine served in splendid
The event was the annual general meeting of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association. (Picture by David Sandiford.) Extracts compliments of the Nation News
Soon there will be a selection of restaurants for you to visit. Visit the Barbados page and see our months special
Caribzones is in the process of sourcing Caribbean cookbooks for your culinary pleasure. The first to be featured comes courtesy of Guyana and the recipes are presented on the left.
Delicious Caribbean meals are just a click away!
Click on dropdown to visit the islands of the Caribbean and the lands of the Americas.
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