Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

Bermuda Bounces Back as a Food Lover’s Destination

Bermuda Bounces Back as a Food Lover’s Destination

Bermuda Bounces Back as a Food Lover’s Destination

A few snapshots of the Hamilton Princess Hotel and the food at Marcus should be enough to convince you to book your flight to Bermuda ASAP.

Hammock at a Private Beach

The Burger at Marcus

Don’t leave Marcus without trying this happy-making burger with aged Cheddar, smoky bacon, “rooster sauce” and Parmigiano-Reggiano fries.

Fire Pit Roasted Chicken

This fire pit roasted chicken is exemplary, cooked perfectly, and placed atop corn, tomatoes, and brioche croutons with a yuzu shallot dressing.

Fish Chowder Bites

It is hard to argue with golden fried puff balls of delight known here as “fish chowder bites” and served with a rum aïoli.


There’s something fabulous about lounging luxuriously in the saline infinity pool.

‘Jamerican’ Veal Porterhouse

This porterhouse is pricey (at $65, with collard greens and carrot purée) but mighty tasty.

News / A food lover's guide to Grand Velas

From culture-filled cooking classes to beachside tequila tasting, Grand Velas offers seasoned foodies the smart choice for all-inclusive.

Set across two magnificent properties, each representing different Mexican coasts, Grand Velas Riviera Maya and Grand Velas Los Cabos allow hardened gastronomes to experience tried and tasted dishes in ways like never before. Here are just five reasons why they should make it onto your wish list.

Michelin-starred indulgence

All-inclusive, all-suite and all-encompassing, Grand Velas offers visitors much more than just a hotel stay – especially when it comes to fantastical food experiences. Be sure to book a coveted table at Cocina De Autor in Riviera Maya it was the first restaurant at an all-inclusive resort to receive Five Diamonds from the AAA, whilst Los Cabos has two Michelin Star Head Chef, Sidney Schutte (pictured left), at the helm.

Described as a culinary tour of its surroundings, both Co cina De Autor concepts indulge guests in out-of-this-world gastronomy with an eight to ten course tasting menu that expertly showcases the finest local ingredients. For those looking to heighten the experience, expert sommeliers can help with wine pairing, while resident mixologists concoct tantalising cocktails using the finest spirits.

Tequila & tacos

Expertly curated by the resort’s in-house team, Riviera Maya’s tantalising tequila and taco tasting sessions allow guests to indulge in a truly Mexican culinary experience. Included in the resort’s all-inclusive rate, foodies on the hunt for an authentic taste of Mexico need look no further than here, as this pairing encompasses the finest elements of a cuisine that’s been rated part of UNESCO’s culinary world heritage.

Local flavour

Inspired by the region’s most celebrated recipes, 2018 saw the arrival of an all-new cooking class at Riviera Maya’s Chaká Restaurant. Taking the traditional flavours and much-loved dishes of the Yucatan peninsula, the resort’s Mayan chef, Humberto May Tarnay, created the class to inspire visitors and teach techniques passed through the generations of local families.

Culminating in a three-course meal of Humberto’s teachings, each chef-to-be is also given a copy of the recipes and a Grand Velas apron as keepsakes of their class.

Poolside portions

For those looking to lounge late into the afternoon, Grand Velas offers the perfect poolside accompaniment. With a suitably delicious array of snacks available, guests can make the most of the sunshine by ordering food directly to their bed – including a selection of sushi and sashimi, quesadillas and ceviche.

World on a plate

Grand Velas has expertly crafted a selection of eateries across their resorts which serve up a host of culinary masterpieces inspired by cultures from across the globe.

Tried and tasted dishes include a made-to-order molten chocolate cake served at Azul, Piaf’s delectable French onion soup, and sumptuous colourful Mexican rice found at Frida.

Discover all-inclusive dining on another level

Grand Velas’ all-inclusive option goes beyond and includes à la carte meals at a choice of eight signature restaurants at Riviera Maya, and seven at Los Cabos, in-suite mini bar restocked daily, premium drinks and cocktails, entertainment at the bars, 24 hour in-suite dining, spa and Life Fitness Center access and private concierge service.

22 Caribbean Food Recipes That are Easy and Delicious

1. Roti

Photo credit: Tara’s Multicultural Table – Caribbean food

You can find many different versions of roti on the different Caribbean islands.

Most versions are served as a dish with the flatbread served on the side. But I love this folded-up version because it’s an easy recipe and it reminds me of getting rotis from street food vendors in Saint Lucia, taking them to the beach and enjoying them while watching the sunset.

Tip: to make this into a vegetarian dish I often replace the chicken with green beans and a boiled egg. It’s a delicious combination!

2. Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Photo credit: Christina’s Cucina

This must be one of the most classic Caribbean recipes.

I love this authentic Jamaican jerk chicken recipe that comes straight from Chef Morris in Jamaica.

Tip: in Jamaica Jerk Chicken will often be served with rice and peas, and I love adding some Jamaican banana fritters. You can find recipes for both further down in this article.

3. Jamaican Oxtail Stew

Photo credit: Recipes From a Pantry

Jamaican Oxtail Stew is a traditional Jamaican recipe, dating back as far as the 1500s, when the African one-pot cooking traditions were used by the African slaves and maroons on the island.

Usually this Caribbean recipe is known as an expensive dish, but this Jamaican Oxtail Stew is budget-friendly, yet still full of the rich beef flavor.

4. Caribbean Chickpea and Potato Curry

Photo credit: Little Sunny Kitchen

They eat a lot of meat in the Caribbean and at times I find it hard to find vegetarian dishes. But, this chickpea curry is a great exception and you find variations of it on different Caribbean islands

Caribbean chickpea and potato curry is a healthy vegan curry typically served over rice. It’s a family-friendly recipe, easy to make, and ready in under half an hour!

5. Jamaican Rice and Peas – the Simple & Quick Version

Photo credit: The Vegan Atlas

Rice and Peas is one of Jamaica’s staples, but you can find it on many other Caribbean islands as well.

I love this recipe because it’s easy and quick to make. It’s great served with Jerk chicken, but as I try not to eat too much meat I often serve this with some Jamaican banana fritters, for which you can find a recipe later in this article.

Or, and I don’t know how much Jamaicans now feel I am ruining their recipe, I sometimes serve it with a fried egg on top and might even substitute the red beans for black beans if that’s all I have. In my defense: I live on a boat, have a tiny kitchen and I often just have to make do with what I can find in remote locations!

6. Instant Pot Arroz Con Gandules

Photo credit: Fried Dandelions – Caribbean food recipes

Arroz Con Gandules is Puerto Rico’s national dish, along with roasted pork.

This vegan Instant Pot Arroz con Gandules recipe makes a quick and complete weeknight meal. Using pantry staples, you’ll have this dinner on the table in just half an hour!

And although the traditional Puerto Rican version comes with pork, I love this vegan version as a healthier option.

Note: I don’t have an instant pot at the moment, and this recipe is also easy to make without one.

7. Caribbean Pepperpot Stew

This Caribbean dish comes from Guyana, where it’s still a popular Christmas dish.

In Antigua and Barbuda Fungi and Pepperpot (pepperpot stew with cornmeal dumplings) is considered their national dish.

It’s a simple and deliciously filling stew. It does take some time to make, but if you have the time it’s definitely worth cooking this.

8. Johnny Cake

Photo credit: Dqfn13 CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re from the US you might know Johnny cakes as you can nowadays find them in the cuisine of New England.

Johnny cakes originate from the indigenous people of North America and on many Caribbean islands you find this flatbread made with either cornmeal or flour, and sometimes deep-fried.

My first time trying Johnnycakes was in St Maarten, which is why I like to make this St Maarten version of this Caribbean recipe.

I love stuffing my Johnny cakes with scrambled eggs and some vegetables for breakfast, or with cheese as a snack. But I’ve seen them offered with tuna, chicken, pork or just plain, so your options are nearly endless.

9. Trinidadian Doubles

Photo credit: Food52

This is some of my favorite street food anywhere in the world!

Doubles is a common street food from Trinidad and Tobago, which you can nowadays find on several Caribbean islands.

It is normally eaten during breakfast, occasionally for lunch or as a late night snack, and it’s a popular hangover food for local Trinidadians.

Doubles are made with two baras (flat fried dough) and filled with curry channa (curried chickpeas) and various chutneys.

10. Trinidad Corn Soup

Photo credit: Green Bowl 2 Soul

Trinidad corn soup is another popular street food in Trinidad and Tobago.

This vegan soup is full of flavors and textures. It’s so delicious that it might just become your favorite soup once you’ve tried it.

11. Caribbean Mango Salad

Photo credit: The Good Hearted Woman

This Caribbean Mango Salad is bursting with color and light, fresh flavors. It is one of the easiest Caribbean recipes on this list, it is healthy, and goes together in just minutes!

I love this recipe as a quick, light lunch or serve it as a side dish with dinner.

12. Caribbean Papaya Salad

Photo credit: Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary

This super easy Caribbean papaya salad recipe comes from the island of St Maarten.

It tastes fantastic with BBQ chicken, shrimp, or other grilled meats/seafood.

13. Jamaican Steamed Cabbage

Photo credit: Recipes From a Pantry

This Jamaican cabbage recipe is one of those perfect side dishes that goes with almost everything.

The recipe is quick and easy to prepare and bursting with everyday fresh vegetables and herbs. It’s a little slice of the Caribbean served on a plate.

14. Aruban Pan Bati

Photo credit: Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary

Pan bati is a bread that is made in Aruba. The literal translation is “smashed bread” because it is so flat.

In Aruba it is eaten as bread, but also as a pancake with sugar on it or with other fillings.

This pan bati recipe is easy to make and a nice way to have a different type of bread for a change.

15. Bajan Fish Cakes

Photo credit: Earth, Food and Fire

You’ll often find these fish cakes served at oceanside bars or restaurants in Barbados.

It’s a delicious appetizer that’s great for snacking on with friends.

These Bajan fish cakes are easy to make and delicious when dipped in a spicy mayo!

16. Caribbean Green Seasoning

Photo credit: Little Sunny Kitchen

Green seasoning is a herby and spicy paste that is used to marinate meat, chicken, and fish. And it’s also used in stews, curries, and soups.

It’s a traditional recipe that’s used on many Caribbean islands, and you’re going to love it!

17. Jamaican Banana Fritters

Photo credit: My Forking Life

This is probably the Caribbean recipe I’ve made the most, just because it’s so simple and a perfect way to use up ripe bananas.

Tip: I often leave out the sugar which makes these banana fritters a great side dish for any stir-fried rice or noodle dish.

18. Arepa di Pampuna – Curacao Pumpkin Pancakes

Photo credit: A Taste For Travel

Arepa di Pampuna are sweet pumpkin pancakes with cinnamon and nutmeg. They are popular as a breakfast snack on the island of Curacao,

Enjoy them plain or dusted with sugar.

19. Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge

Photo credit: Little Sunny Kitchen

This super creamy and delicious Jamaican cornmeal porridge makes a healthy and hearty breakfast.

It’s warming, tasty, and filling!

20. Pineapple Rum Cake

Photo credit: 365 Days of Baking & More

In large parts of the Caribbean, rum cakes are a traditional holiday season dessert, descended from British the holiday puddings.

With pineapple, dark rum, instant pudding mix, and a boxed cake mix, this recipe is super easy to put together and tastes even better the next day.

21. Rum Punch

Photo credit: Earth, Food and Fire

You can’t go to the Caribbean without being offered a rum punch. And probably more than one!

It’s definitely a bit of a touristy drink, offered to you on most sunset cruises and other excursions, but I love it.

I actually used to make and serve these every day when I lived in St. Maarten and worked at SeaTrek.

Caribbean rum punch is very easy to make with only 4 ingredients!

22. Caribbean Daiquiri

Photo credit: London Unattached

A classic Caribbean Daiquiri made with white rum from Mauritius will take you back to the sunshine in seconds

The Daiquiri was supposedly invented by an American mining engineer named Jennings Cox, who was in Cuba at the time of the Spanish–American War.

Nowadays it’s a popular cocktail all over the world and one you can order in many bars and restaurants around the Caribbean.

But, it’s also very easy to make this drink at home.

Enjoy making these delicious Caribbean recipes!

I want to give special thanks to all the amazing chefs who created these Caribbean recipes and gave me permission to share them in this list.

Like this article with Caribbean food recipes? Pin it!

Author: Sanne Wesselman
A traveler, wanderer, digital nomad, and entrepreneur. Owner of marketing company A to Z Marketing.
I spend most of my time living and working abroad and use this website to share "the good, the bad and the ugly" of traveling and living abroad. Visit the About Me page for more info.

10 Bahamian Food Items To Try On Your Vacation

Known for its heavenly beaches and wonderful people, the islands are a true tropical retreat for tourists, including foodies. Read on to know all about all the Bahamian food items that should be on your list:

1. Cracked Conch

Conch, pronounced konks, are an indelible part of the Bahamian culture. You will find these shells on the beaches and listen to the mystical sounds of the waves crashing against the rocks. Not only are they a tourist experience, these conchs make for great dishes. The most popular ones are cracked conchs, and the fried meat is either served in Creole sauce or with traditional Bahamian herbs. For any food explorer, these are a must.

2. Conch Salad

Conch meat is an essential part of several Bahamas fast food preparations, but nowhere is it better complemented than in salads. Interestingly, in most of these dishes, the conch is not cooked at all to preserve taste and softness. While tomatoes, bell peppers, and lettuce are essential companions, watch out for the citrus sauces and peppers. The citrus is essentially what “cooks” the meat in a fascinating process called denaturation.

3. Rock Lobsters

Rock lobsters are a trademark food item of the Bahamas. Also known as spiny lobsters, they are also exported from the archipelago. Rock lobsters are usually boiled or steamed and served as standalone dishes or in salads. Creole sauce is a common accompaniment, but there are several different versions of rock lobsters on the islands. Creamy grits are also one of the most popular side dishes.

4. Fish Soup

An integral part of the Bahamian food culture, this is every seafood lover’s dream and one of the most popular foods in Bahamas. Made with the fish of your choice and usually combined with veggies such as celery, onions, tomatoes, along with some lemon juice, sherry and dark rum, the soups are quite a treat for your taste buds. Also, you may be able to find turtle soup but after the sea turtles were placed on the list of endangered species, this dish has become rare.

5. Bahamian Fish Stew

This delicious Bahamian specialty is available in all the restaurants and is often regarded as the best food in Bahamas. The fish stew made here stands out from elsewhere because of the use of roux, which is a preparation of flour and fat that is used to thicken sauces, usually made with onion and tomatoes. Carrying just a hint of the taste of the Caribbean, it is important to get fresh fish to go along with the stew, and most restaurants in Nassau serve freshly caught snapper.

6. Johnnycakes

Kind of like the cornbread that is popular in Latin America, Johnnycakes are the signature Bahamian breads that you will encounter quite a lot during your tropical sojourn. The bread is quite a representation of the ethos of the Bahamian people and is usually made with milk, flour, butter as well as sugar. Usually served with curries as well as fish stews, this delicious side adds a certain flavor to your meals. This makes it a unique experiece that you must have in the Bahamas.

Planning your holiday but confused about where to go? These travel stories help you find your best trip ever!

Real travel stories. Real stays. Handy tips to help you make the right choice.

Ramya Narrates The Story Of 6 Girls On An Extraordinary Trip To Thailand

Bangkok. Phi Phi. Krabi. Why should guys have all the fun?

Sandeep Illustrates On The Best Activities For A Family Trip To Mauritius

Water sports. Cocktail parties. And unlimited fun at Casela.

Nisarg Can't Stop Praising His Honeymoon Trip To Maldives

There was snorkeling, sightseeing, luxury, comfort, & much more!

Sabyacsachi's Romantic Trip Proves Europe To Be The Mother Of All Vacations

For Art, Culture, Luxury, & more.

Srishti Talks Of Her Amazing Trip To Singapore With Her Mother & Niece

A fun-filled destination for ages indeed!

67-Year Old Sridhar Tells How He Beat The Odds & Took A Solo Trip To Dubai

Desert safari. Burj Khalifa. Welcoming locals. Tell me more!

Not Adventure Lovers? Saurabh's Family Trip Proves Hong Kong To Still Be Full Of Fun

Your kids will love Disney Land & Ocean Park!

Ravi's Tale Of A Sri Lanka Family Tour Is All You Need To Know About Ramayana Tour

For the love of Ramayana & Travel!


7. Pigeon Peas and Rice

No list of the Bahamian dishes is complete without a mention of this dish made from chicken and pork, as well as veggies such as celery, tomatoes in thyme in combination with pigeon peas, which are the national beans of the archipelago. The unofficial Bahamas national food, the broth is made of coconut, and the fairly simple dish is yum especially when coupled with fish stew or pork chops or just plain chicken. To get a real taste of Caribbean cuisine along with the freshness of a great fish, this is a must.

8. Souse

Pronounced sowse in the local language, this is a Bahamas traditional food. Usually made by combining fresh onions, celery, potatoes, bay leaves, lime juice as well as potatoes and peppers along with meat, this dish is often the standout serving at restaurants in the archipelago. While the meat is usually chicken, you can also opt for stuff such as oxtail, sheep’s tongue and pig’s feet at several places. While they may sound not so savory, by all accounts, they are quite tasty.

9. The Yellow Bird

This popular fruity Caribbean cocktail is quite the fixture on Caribbean cruises, but it is in the Bahamas that you actually get a taste of the good rum that has been permanently borrowed from Jamaica. It may not have been first made here, but rum is the national alcohol of these islands, the Yellow in the name coming from the obviously yellow fluorescent color of the drink. Besides the rum, the cocktail has orange as well as pineapple juice, apricot brandy and banana liquor.

10. Guava Duff

This best of Bahamian desserts is just something that you just can not miss. Made by combining ripe guava with a sweet dough and then adding some butter sauce that has a dash of rum or brandy in it, the guava duff is the perfect sweet side to have on a special occasion or on a night out. If you are looking for local food in Nassau, Bahamas, be sure to try the guava duff at several places in the city. We assure you, it will truly be worth the while.

These dishes are representative of Bahamian food, and you must try them if you are visiting the islands and want to experience the culture beyond the beaches and the music. So don’t wait around and look for that perfect Bahamian itinerary for an extraordinary vacay!

Looking To Book A Holiday Package?

Book memorable holidays on TravelTriangle with 650+ verified travel agents for 65+ domestic and international destinations.

Undersea Treasure

1. Sacred Sea Wild Albacore

Sacred Sea founder Rick Goche has served on just about every fish-related commission in the state—it’s no wonder his canned tuna’s so damn good. Sacred Sea’s tiny fishery on the Oregon coast uses old-school trolling methods to catch low-mercury North Pacific albacore then the tuna is cooked in its own juices for an especially succulent bite.

Olympic Provisions Tuna

After conquering whole-pig butchery, salumist Elias Cairo and his team are moving on to the ocean. Prepare to have your definition of “canned fish” changed forever, with Oregon tuna bellies slow-poached in good olive oil and canned for an on-demand seafood arsenal. Look for products at Olympic Provisions in 2013.

2. Coeur de la Mer Boquerones

You might dismiss this Astoria-based seafood company as another StarKist, but their boquerones (marinated Spanish anchovies) are some of the best around. Caught off the Oregon coast and spiced with garlic, chile, or curry, these velvet-smooth fillets are a classy addition to Caesar salads, or atop crostini with skordalia (garlic and white bean purée) or roasted red peppers.

3. The Smokery’s Smoked Salmon

Hot-smoked, cold-smoked, maple-brined, and whiskey-soaked—the Dublin natives behind the Hillsdale-based Smokery (a farmers market favorite) do it all. The best of the bunch is an “Old Irish” variety, imbued with brown sugar, molasses, onion, garlic, and dill for a savory ode to the Jacobs family’s Irish roots.

4. Columbia River Fish Co Caviar

Simon Sampson, known at the PSU Portland Farmers Market as the “salmon man,” hauls chinook, coho, steelhead, and walleyes out of the Columbia River with ancient Native American fishing techniques. Get to the market early and be prepared to fight Portland’s Eastern European gourmands for Sampson’s bright orange pearls of salmon roe.

Position Statement

At Stamp, we believe places are some of the most interesting things to brand. We find the most powerful and unique brand position for a city or attraction and build awareness.

Rebranding Your Destination

Once you've evaluated your brand and decided it's time for a refresh, there are a lot of details to be shored up before you can actually pull the trigger. To help guide your efforts, we've created this free, downloadable rebranding checklist.

Destination Marketing Action Plan Workbook

There is no effort more important to guiding the marketing of a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) than a clear, prioritized strategic marketing plan. Download our MAP workbook and skip the daunting uncertainty of not knowing where to start in creating a marketing plan.

BBQ University Is Awesome Experience For Food Lovers

Who needs a grate? Learn to cook "Caveman T-Bones" right on the hot coals. You could do this on your . [+] driveway.

I have attended cooking classes and retreats throughout the US and Europe but have never experienced anything like BBQ University - an informal poll of roughly 30 fellow students failed to find even one person who was not blown away and having an awesome time.

That’s what happens when you take the nation’s foremost expert in cooking with fire, give him an unmatched one-of-a-kind facility, and put it all at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, the resort that has held the coveted Forbes 5-Star ranking longer than any other on earth, for some 52 consecutive years. It also has 5-AAA Diamonds, a Forbes 5-Star restaurant, and a 4-Star spa (I wrote about the Broadmoor earlier this year for my recurring “Hotels I Love” column. It’s that good).

The “professor” for the 3-day event is Steven Raichlen, who hosted a popular TV show called BBQ University on PBS for four seasons, and currently hosts another, Primal Grill. Since he is fluent in several languages and obtained a degree in French Literature (and won a Fulbright Scholarship) he also hosts a French language grilling show in Quebec. He studied at two of the most famous cooking schools on earth, Le Cordon Bleu and La Varenne, both in Paris, but most importantly, after college he received a fellowship to study medieval cooking in Europe. This in turn led to his multi-year exploration of the world’s grilling styles, dishes and techniques, which spawned his global opus, the book Planet Barbecue, about grilling all around the world. He has traveled from Vietnam to Estonia to South Africa and Kansas City in search of all things barbecued, and he found them.

BBQ Univeristy has about three dozen grills. This is just part of the propane section, from normal . [+] backyard Webers to an $18,000 model.

Without getting too in depth about Raichlen, it is impossible to overstate his fire cooking credentials. He has written 28 books on the subject, including the weighty tomes BBQ Bible (also the name of his website) and BBQ USA, which takes the same tact as Planet Barbecue but is limited to American regional styles. He has written individual books on everything from ribs to beer can chicken to Latin cuisine, and in the process he has won five coveted James Beard Awards, a Julia Child Award and was named Cooking Teacher of the Year by Bon Appetit magazine. He knows his stuff.

But more importantly, he knows how to teach. He is funny, engaging, charming and focuses on techniques rather than recipes. While students cook 30 of his recipes hands-on over the course of three fun filled days, each is designed to demonstrate a way of cooking and each leads to infinite variations. His Peruvian beef kabobs could easily be a dozen different dishes from a dozen different countries made with many different meats, but once you master the concept you can take it anywhere you want. Similarly, he focuses a lot on flavoring foods with dry rubs, marinades, mops, brines, and injections, but never limits it to a type of rub or mop - he shows the ways to flavor cooking meats, poultry and seafood, not rules for doing so.

By the way, those Caveman T-Bones came out pretty good!

Then there is the fantastic facility, located in the 6,300 square foot Cheyenne Lodge on a quiet corner of the Broadmoor’s thousand-plus acres. Usually used for weddings and corporate retreats, the Lodge is self-contained and serves as both indoor classroom and dining room and outdoor grilling center on a huge four sided stone patio. This is Fantasy Island for outdoor cooking - the Broadmoor has assembled well over $100,000 worth of grilling machinery, an unparalleled range of fiery cooking devices. There are three dozen grills representing every conceivable technique from slow smoking (upright water smokers, offset smokers, pellet smokers) to propane (a dozen variations), plus specialized Argentinean and Brazilian grills, and mind-boggling state-of-the-art technology (one next generation propane and infrared grill with rotisserie runs $18,000). But while there are certainly grills here most students will merely covet, there are also the grills most actually will use at home: Weber Summit gas grills, Weber kettles, offset smokers, the Big Green Egg, and so on. What you learn here has instant practical applications and almost every student was eagerly looking forward to getting home and wowing friends and family - after more than my fair share of red meat I made grilled Caesar salad with shrimp, entirely cooked over fire, my first night home.

Traditional American BBQ is not ignored - the grill selection includes numerous smokers, and here . [+] Raichlen shows how to make traditional TX-style beef brisket on an offset smoker.

There are those who will insist that “barbecue” refers only to indirect cooking, mainly slow smoking, as is the nature of Southern and Texan barbecue here in the States, and all else is grilling. Raichlen - who has lectured at Harvard on this topic - rightly uses the term barbecue much more broadly, as do manufacturers of “barbecue grills,” relying on the fact that the very word barbecue derives from the Caribbean Indian word barbacoa, which in turn refers to cooking on a wooden frame over an open fire. As he points out, 95% of the world’s barbecue cultures, including the country most famous for it, Argentina, still favor the open fire. So his university does not discriminate and while fans of smoked staples like pulled pork and Texas-style brisket will not be disappointed, he covers all of the five primary styles of cooking with fire in detail: direct grilling, indirect grilling, smoking, rotisserie and cooking directly on the coals. And he covers them very, very well. I don’t care how much you think you know about barbecue, you will learn something new and useful here.

Prefer coal? The grill selection includes numerous versions, from the classic Weber kettle to the . [+] Big Greeen Egg.

Not only do students make 30 very varied dishes in three days while learning an enormous amount, it is fun, and allows plenty of free time to golf on the Broadmoor’s 54-holes, for spa treatments, relaxation or excursions into Colorado Springs. Students also get to eat like kings the entire time. It is a blast, and so loved that about 20% of each class is returning alums, while students come from all over - our session included attendees from as far off as Bermuda and Munich. It attracts every type - husbands who attend while their wives spa, wives who attend while their husbands golf, couples together, father son teams, mother daughter pairings, sisters, brothers, and groups of friends. Raichlen ran the school for 8 years at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, and now for five years at Colorado’s Broadmoor, and there are students (three of them) who have attended for all thirteen years. That says something. There are just two of the 3-day sessions annually, back to back in June, and they almost always sell out. Tomorrow I will explain why.

Tomorrow, Part 2: A Day in the Life at BBQ University.

(I was a guest of the Broadmoor during BBQ University, including lodging and tuition. However, I have been the guest of other cooking schools that did not warrant covering. I have prevously visited the Broadmoor incognito, as a paying guest.)

6 The Leopard Bar

Camps Bay is full of great places for food lovers and the Leopard Bar is no exception. Located at the foot of Table Mountain, Leopard bar and restaurant boasts Spectacular Ocean views from the balcony and occasional live music performances. The burgers here are amazing. Make sure to try the Mini Burger Platter and the Smoked Trout & Egg Salad. It’s a perfect place for a date.

Address: The Twelve Apostles, Victoria Rd, Camps Bay, Cape Town, 8005, South Africa

Karaikudi in Chettinad

Karaikudi in Chettinad, is a popular destination for food lovers, architectural buffs and antique hunters. Tucked into the southeastern corner of Tamil Nadu, this town and the 70 or so other villages in the area, make up the ancestral home of the Chettiyars.

The Chettiyars are a class of wealthy merchants. They built their fortunes from trade and finance ventures in south east Asia. Because of their travels, their food is distinctly different from other Indian cuisines. It’s influenced by Singaporean, Malaysian and Burmese cuisines along with the “butler cuisine” leftover from the British Raj.

The architecture of Chettinad is also distinct.

It’s renowned for hundreds of concrete palatial mansions. They are filled with art deco elements and lavish building materials gathered from the Chettiyars’ stays in foreign lands.

Today, few of the families can maintain the properties they inherit. Subsequently, the antique stores in the town fill up with all manner of household goods and heirlooms. More on that later. First, let’s tell you how to find this place like no other.

Getting there

The town of Karaikudi in Chettinad is the darling of the area. It’s about a four to five-hour drive or two-hour train ride south of Chennai. If you fly into Madurai, the closest airport, the town is about a two-hour drive.

Traveller’s Tip: Take the driving times as an approximation because driving in India is never an exact thing.

It takes a while to clear Madurai but, as you head east, vegetable markets pop up between small villages to replace the honking horns and jammed city streets. The plains close to Madurai are fertile. The River Vaigai sustains them as it cuts through the land here on the eastern side of the Western Ghats mountain range of South India.

Tucked in the South East Corner

Heading further south and east, away from that great river, the land is parched, the roads more rutted. Towering mounds of red granite protrude randomly from the brush covered earth. Herders tend their scruffy goats and skinny cows with long staffs as they walk the sides of the road, oblivious to the passing traffic.

Still closer to Karaikudi, children in spotless, perfectly pressed school uniforms return to their homes laden with backpacks after school. The girls have ribbons tied at the end of long shining black plaits. They bounce on their back in rhythm with their steps. The boys drape arms over each other’s shoulders and walk three or four abreast. Jostling and laughing, they trail along behind the girls.

It does not appear to be a prosperous area. You don’t expect to find it when you do.


Finally, under the shade of big old Tamarinds and Raintrees, you enter Karaikudi. A colourful central temple and its adjacent bathing pool could be useful landmarks – if one could find them again.

All the buildings here are no more than three or four storeys and are so close together it takes a good deal of insider knowledge to find your way. In a maze of streets like this, it’s good to have a driver with local knowledge.

The houses on the outskirts of town started out modestly but soon they turned into the famous palatial behemoths the area is so famous for. Some are spotless like newly iced wedding cakes. Most are in various states of decay.

They are victims of neglect and of humid monsoons and hot sun of Tamil summers. Black mould creeps across their formerly white washed walls. Set up side by side, they now look like soiled dominoes. Their proximity seems odd until you enter one and realize the number of courtyards that lay within.

A mansion tour

When our car finally rolled to a stop in Karaikudi in Chettinad, it was at the mansion home of our friend Mrs. Meenakshi Meyyappan. We were excited to see what lay inside one of these marvels from another era.

Wide granite steps led to a broad thinna (verandah). It was sheltered under an elaborately painted tower and tiled roof. The solid teak front door was one foot thick and intricately carved.

The caretaker met us and explained that the front of the home was purposely built with the wide thinna so the family could offer shelter to travellers and the less fortunate. To this day, the family gives food and a bedroll for the night in this space to those in need. Water is also always available.

The family’s controller took over our tour once we entered the home. It was clear he audited and accounted for every aspect of the family’s wealth.

The details

First, he showed us through a receiving hall, ball room and banquet hall – each more elaborate than the next. Business, he explained, was conducted in the front hall or on the platforms to the side of the main entrance. The interior courtyards were and are used for ceremonies.

The ceilings were 20 to 30 feet high. Daylight cascading through stained glass softly lit the rooms. Railings were wrought iron in art deco patterns. Sepia toned family portraits hung on the walls as if watching our progress through their past.

The controller’s ring of brass keys jangled in his hands as he shared the origins of the architectural details. There were Burmese teak doors, Italian marble pillars, shining locally-made Anthangudi tiled floors, Belgian glass mirrors and European crystal chandeliers.

All these grand details struck an impressive contrast to the complete lack of furniture – anywhere. We did not enter the private apartments of the family but I suspect they would be cozy compared to the grand public spaces we toured.

Form and function

Functionally, the thick brick and limestone plastered walls of the Chettinad mansions were designed to keep the inhabitants cool. Tiled roofs were sloped to collect rainwater during monsoons. And, underground wells stored the water for the dry season.

Near the back recesses of the vault-like home, white sheet ghosts draped themselves over beds standing on end. “They’ll be set up for the family when they come for celebrations,” he shared. The kitchen and another courtyard at the very back were for the women and servants to gather in or work. These spaces seemed more friendly and approachable – a place you could let your hair down for a bit.

We ejected into the open-air to one side of the home. A pillared arcade surrounded a cobble stone interior courtyard. Doors to individual apartments occurred at regular intervals. This, we learned, was the original family home.

The controller use his jangle of keys to unbar and unlock another massive door and we found ourselves parallel to where we had entered. We were so impressed with the main entrance we hadn’t noticed this smaller, original entrance when we unfolded ourselves from the long car ride.

Antique hunting

Tour over, we strolled to the centre of Karaikudi in Chettinad. Finding a chai wallah (worker), we sipped creamy fennel-scented tea and watched as he strained it and poured it back and forth between cups to cool it for his customers.

We poked through food and household goods markets and finally ended up in the antique sellers’ alleyways. Just a block off the main market where shoppers were bustling about with their daily errands, it was, in contrast, quiet here.

Pairs of men in rumpled white shirts and long dhoti (loose cotton sarongs) stood talking at storefronts. They lifted their eyes towards us as we approached. “Please, come in.” We walked by but nodded politely.

There were large pieces of furniture, heavy picture frames, sculptures, vases, paintings and, we’re sure, all 33 million Hindu Gods captured in detailed bronze-works. Through our Travel XS guide Charles, we asked about cooking vessels.

The quest

We were on the hunt for a wok-like vessel made of vengalum (an alloy of five metals including silver, copper, cast iron, tin and zinc). Finally, we found a few on the doorstep of one shop.

When the owner found we were interested in cookware, the corners of his mouth turned up in an almost imperceptible smile. Looking like a poker player with an ace up his sleeve, he turned and told his helper to stay in the main shop. He beckoned for us to follow him around the corner.

Down a dead-end alley we went. There was nothing but corrugated metal garage doors fully drawn and locked on either side of us. At the very end – and I’m not sure we’d have followed him without Charles at our side – the vendor unlocked several dead bolts and revealed three storage areas that were all as big as his original store.

All three teamed with cookery gadgets and collectibles in enamelware. Beyond all the knick-knacks, we hit the vengalum jackpot and bartered our way to the purchase of a couple of vessels. They weighed in around 10 kilograms each.

We were triumphant. Our new friend, now lit up by a broad smile, promised to polish our purchases and deliver them to our hotel.

Delving deeper

We continued to walk the streets of Karaikudi in Chettinad. Pauli-Ann absorbed this quiet time through photos. I was lost in thought. I wondered about the stories behind each and every one of these high walled homes.

Many of the homes are being dismantled – bit by bit. India’s newly wealthy are mining the architectural treasures of Chettinad for homes they’re building elsewhere. While it is tempting to think of the Chettinad region as an area of slowly fading glory, in reality, that glory is not fading. It is actually, disappearing.

When we finally arrived at our hotel, The Bangala, it felt like a tranquil oasis. We knew we’d found the gently beating heart of the maze that is Karaikudi in Chettinad.

Places to Stay in Karaikudi in Chettinad

The Bangala – Devakottai Road, Senjai, Karaikudi – 630 001

Visalam – 7/1 143 Local Fund Road, Kanadukathan, Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu – 630103


Thank you to the KTM Society and Travel XS for sponsoring our travel throughout South India and Mrs. Meenakshi Meyyappan and her team at The Bangala for their gracious hospitality during our Faces, Places and Plates stay in Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu in 2016.

All words and photos are our own. We did not share with the sponsors before publication.

Cuisine of Maharastra

Maharashtra’s diverse topography has endowed it with a varied culinary heritage. So hopping from one part of the state to another can promise you a gastronomic extravaganza and an ideal culinary getaway. The difference in the taste of the food of Maharashtra is drastic, however, there are few common ingredients in popular Maharashtrian dishes like that of Kairi (Raw Mango) and Kokum (Coconut). The coastal belt of Maharashtra delights food lovers with variety of fish curries coupled with rice while the eastern side (Vidarbha) of the state treats one’s taste buds with popular recipes of spicy mutton curries. The food also see a variation when one reaches the Deccan Plateau region of the state. On every occasion and festival in Maharashtra, food plays an important role,

which translates to the fact that no celebration is complete without a set of home prepared feast. The Diwali Pharal is amongst the most popular festival feast which is believed to brighten up the festive mood. Pharal is a mix of savouries and sweets. There is also an addition in the dishes as the season changes, in summer, a variety of drinks and food are prepared that have a cooling effect, whereas, in monsoon, several crispy delicacies are made that add to the goodness of soothing rainfall. In winters, there are prepared a lot of rich sesame and jaggery based sweets, making this cozy season even more delightful. Apart from this, Ladoos and Pickles are seen as an integral part of Maharashtrian cuisine.

Watch the video: Bermuda Schöne Landschaften - Hotels Ferien Unterkünfte Yachtcharter (January 2022).