My Love for Crucian Food
My love for food began at an early age, from the time spent in the kitchen with my grandmother and father. Local Crucian dishes like souse were always found in calderos on the stove. I’m excited that, after 17 years of donning a chef jacket, I'm opening balter in my beloved home of St. Croix.
On St. Croix, food is an art; it’s the way we hand down traditions. We are influenced by the seven flags that have flown over the island, as well as the native Taino Indians and the people who came here during the African diaspora. Our food is rich in culture and is fused together with a farm-to-table approach. We are able to forage for fruits, like star apple and mamey apple, and greens, like sea purslane and wood sorrel, that grow wildly across our fertile land. We use the island’s natural resources in our cuisine, such as sand, sea water, and stones from Caledonia. The result is dishes like kalalloo and red grout; remnants of our unique African and Danish heritage.
The St. Croix Food and Wine Experience is the perfect opportunity to share our local Crucian cuisine with the world. I'm honored to be a headlining chef and an ambassador for the cuisine. As a chef, it's a great time to get amazing ingredients from Art Farm and various markets, and to work with local spots like El Sol and La Reine Chicken Shack. With new restaurants, like 40 Stand Eatery and my own restaurant, balter, opening soon, there is a lot of excitement growing around the food scene.
At the Food and Wine Experience, I and other local chefs will demonstrate our Crucian cuisine to the many guests and visitors. We cook with love; love for our people and for our land. The "big island" will be shining bright for the Food and Wine Experience. I can't wait to show the world what we can do.