You don’t go to St Barth for the food – on second thought, sure you do. It may not be the only reason, but its up there with friendly local people, white sand beaches, continuous 80 degree weather, and rainbows perched over a turquoise ocean.
Up and coming chefs from all over the world come to St Barth to train with the best. Sometimes they bring their new found skills back home after a year or two, and sometimes they stay and continue to learn while enjoying the Caribbean lifestyle.
Most ingredients come to the island on container ships from France and Guadeloupe and freshly caught local fish is on every menu. The food is always fresh, beautifully presented (even from the local take out places), and creatively conceptualized. The portions are small by US standards but always adequate.
The kitchen at Bonito
Chefs at Andy’s Hideaway dressed for the Halloween Karaoke night.
A warm goat cheese salad is a must have every trip. One of my favorite is from La Gloriette, a small beach restaurant on Grand cul de sac beach.
Lunch salad at Le Carre in Gustavia, pears, shaven Parmesan and roasted pine nuts over arugula.
Dessert, light and fluffy hazelnut torte. Amazing
Every November world class chefs come from around the world for the Taste of St Barth. These chefs work with chefs at the St Barth restaurants and hotels to create special dinners. I was fortunate to have one of these dinners at the Restaurant Bartolommeo at the Hotel Le Guanahani. The chef was Jérôme Nutile.
Jérôme Nutile (2 Michelin stars, Meilleur ouvrier de France 2011, Maître Cuisinier de France, Nimes, France)
Sous chef at Georges Blanc, awarded multiple stars, and at Vonnas, in the heart of Bresse, France, Jérôme Nutile sharpened his culinary techniques and acquired a love for excellence in ingredients. In 2004, he returned to the Gard and was awarded 2 Michelin stars at Collias: the first in 2006, followed by the second in 2009. Two years later, in 2011, this talented chef earned the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France, an honor that crowned his many years of discipline, hard work, and self-improvement.
Jérôme Nutile is now on the eve of a new adventure: he will open his own restaurant at the end of 2014 in Nimes (Gard).
Chef Jérôme Nutile will work in the kitchen at the Guanahani & Spa hosted by their executive chef Philippe Masseglia.
Guests are given two menus to choose from and, of course, there are always little amuse-bouche between courses to surprise you. My camera isn’t great for shots in low light (I have to work on that) but these pictures give you an idea.
In a light sauce, white coco beans, truffle oil and scallop
Seared rare red tuna with Truffles, cooked and raw vegetables with shaven parmesan and olive oil
Farm fresh Guinea fowl breast, foie gras, cabbage and vegetable stew
Lime and verbeine-infused citrus fruit jelly, champagne foam.
Part of the taste of St Barth is the Young Chefs Baking Contest. Children from St Barth have an opportunity to bake their favorite cakes for the judges (these famous chefs) to taste. Its so nice to see their serious faces as they wait to see if their cakes are appreciated. One by one they solemnly bring their creation to the judges table.
Stay tuned for the third part of my St Barth series. This time its the beauty of the island I would like to highlight.