Monday, February 7, 2011

Stuff You Gotta Eat in Barbados: An Amateur's Photo Journey

Flying fish sandwich from Hilton Barbados
Yeah, you know you wish you were in Barbados. Heck, who doesn't? It's stinking February, and if you're like me, you've got some serious cabin fever going on right now. Virginia has been nothing but cold, snow, icy rain or generally depressing overcast days that make one want to hit a local watering hole and waste an entire afternoon downing cheap beer with the locals while inhaling gobs of secondhand smoke. Not that I've done that or anything....

A couple of months back, I was fortunate enough to acquire a hall pass from all this crappy weather and make my first visit ever to the land best known as the birthplace of rum for none other than the annual Food, Wine & Rum Fest which featured all kinds of culinary genius, from foodie television gods Tom Colicchio and Ming Tsai to culinary innovators like Texan/cowboy cutie, Tim Love and "nose to tail" man-of-the-moment Fergus Henderson.

In addition to the events that surrounded the festival itself, which included intimate cooking classes with all of the chefs in attendance as well as a grand tasting where both local and guest chefs served up mini-tastes of their best of the best, Bajan food in general is nothing to snicker at. Generally, Barbadian food is hearty comfort fare dominated by fried goodies like flying fish sandwiches topped with plantains, platters of fried chicken or snapper served up with a big wedge of macaroni pie or alongside okra and cornmeal-laden Cou Cou with nearly all of it drizzled in Bajan hot sauce (a vinegar and habanero blend that'll set you right). 
Stuffed pork, macaroni pie & fried snapper
 And, don't forget the street food: saltfish cakes, Indian-inspired roti's, cutters (fried fish sandwiches topped with egg or cheese), souse (boiled pig's head and feet) and grilled pig's tails. You can sample most if not all of these goodies in one fell swoop if you're lucky enough to hit Oistin's Fish Fry on the weekends, which is a must.
Curried pork & potato roti. Hearty and dirt cheap.
Then, there's the fine dining options, which like rum shacks, can be found all over the island. Local fare goes upscale at most of these establishments yet also comes with a hefty price tag, but when you're enjoying delights such as warm lobster salad in a truffled vinaigrette or Parmesan encrusted Barracuda while overlooking a moonlight ocean, I say, save your pennies and splurge a little.

Here are a few drool-worthy highlights from the Food, Wine & Rum Fest and the lovely island of Barbados:
Chef Tim Love (left) whips up his local Black Belly Lamb Sandwiches from the Food, Wine & Rum fest at the Lion Castle Polo Estate's grand gala.

Canadian Chef Rob Feenie knocked it out of the park with his Butternut Squash and Mascarpone Ravioli topped with a Black Truffle Beurre Blanc sauce as his sous chef begins plating (below).
Not a bad view for a beach side picnic of cutters, roti's and rum punch.
Bajan brunch: fried chicken, peas and rice, plantain stuffing and a good squeeze from the hot sauce bottle.
No meal is complete without a platter of fish cakes. These were from Tapas Restaurant and were uniquely Thai inspired with just a touch of lemongrass.

For more about visiting Barbados, check out Visit Barbados
To get in on next year's, Food, Wine & Rum Fest check out the dates for 2011

All photos and text ©2011 Fatback and Foie Gras. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission Pin It Now!


  1. That flying fish sandwich looks delectable! I hear you on escaping winter...and just happening to attend the food wine and rum fest puts you in heaven :)

  2. We are headed to Cancun in about 3 weeks so this was very refreshing to see! Nothing better than really fresh fish!


  3. We love Caribbean food. We are down in St. Maarten about once a year, and spend the rest of the year trying to recreate the recipes we stumble across.

    What a great post on a cold and rainy February.

  4. Tim, have fun in Cancun!

    The Husband: We did St. Martin (French side) year before last. I did a couple of posts for based on the trip. One featuring doing the island on a budget

    and another on the BBQ lolo's all over the island. I could live at those places

    LOVE the food in St. Martin. One of my favorite places.



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