Daredevil Chefs and Love From the Kalinago
By Shini Somara | Posted on April 1st, 2012
The Kalinago’s joviality and pride in their culture was evident from our first meeting. Although shy in the beginning, they soon warmed to us. As the sun set at the welcome dinner, their unique tribal canary yellow costumes and rhythmic dancing broke the ice between us all.
The elders of the village, particularly Manu, carried an air of dignity, and the children were full of energy and enthusiasm for the “No Kitchen Required” circus that had arrived in their village. It was a touching end to our visit, when one of the children presented me with a leather-braided bracelet she had made. Its sure to draw interest from trendy Londoners back home.
During the Native Challenge, our daredevil chefs got my heart-rate racing as they ran up and down steep ravines, hunting for yams. Just like the locals, the chefs were barefoot on cold damp soil and Madison kept tripping up on the plant roots, tumbling dramatically downhill, with his machete still in hand. I was surprised and relieved that all three finished that challenge unscathed.
During the rainy cooking challenge, Kayne, in particular, was able to most closely mimic the real flavour and tastes of Kalinago cuisine, proving that people tend to prefer familiarity.
Once we wrapped and were back at base, I enjoyed one of the most mind-blowing cheesecakes I have ever had in my life! A local cook on the island made it, and she used fresh locally grown limes to flavour the cheese. The texture of the crust was made to crisp and crunchy perfection. This lime cheesecake was so exceptional that the chefs and I asked to finish it off the following evening. You know a dish must be good if they are impressed!