“Taste the Islands calls readers to the authentic tropical flavors and fascinating beat of the Caribbean. Chef Irie and Chef Thia creatively share recipes with a mosaic of approachable, fresh, and delicious ingredients representing the diverse cultures of the Caribbean.”—Allen Susser, chef and author of Allen Susser’s New World Cuisine
“A delightful overview of the gastronomic influences that make Caribbean cuisine so special. Chef Irie and Chef Thia share their culinary secrets and charming stories with easy-to-follow recipes that burst with flavor.”—Jon Palmer Claridge, food critic, Creative Loafing Tampa
“Informative and lighthearted. A great read for cultural enthusiasts, travelers, experimentalists, and anyone curious about Caribbean flavors and their origins.”—Sian Rose, author of Nyammings: 88 Authentic Caribbean Recipes
“Truly captures the bold flavors, ingredients, and spices that represent the diverse cultures of the Islands. You will enjoy cooking your way through this book from beginning to end.”—Bruce Ozga, dean of culinary education, Johnson & Wales University
Enjoy a fun and delicious journey through the Caribbean in Taste the Islands: Culinary Adventures in a Caribbean Kitchen, a vibrant collection of gourmet and home-style recipes. Hugh Sinclair and Cynthia Verna, known as “Chef Irie” and “Chef Thia” on their television show Taste the Islands, introduce ingredients and flavors that open windows into the region’s many cultures.
Sinclair and Verna share their own recipes as well as traditional island favorites. Starting with “stop gap” snacks like fritters made from malanga root and continuing through desserts and cocktails, they include refreshing salads like pineapple pepper slaw, soups with “a healthy dose of soul” made with bases such as calabaza pumpkin or black beans, and main dishes such as curried goat or mussels chorizo in mango coconut sauce.
From the authors’ home nations of Jamaica and Haiti to St. Lucia, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago, the communities represented in these dishes have deep histories. The recipes feature both native and colonial food traditions that have been passed down for generations and showcase African, European, Middle Eastern, and Asian influences. Sinclair and Verna also incorporate tastes and techniques from their international travels, capturing the eclectic variety of Caribbean cuisine today.
Filled with colorful photographs and infused with the joy of two expert chefs celebrating the foods that are closest to their hearts, Taste the Islands brings the places, histories, and rhythms of the Caribbean into your home kitchen.
Hugh Sinclair (“Chef Irie”) is a Jamaican-born chef who enjoys sharing his knowledge and love of island food with television and live audiences. Cynthia Verna (“Chef Thia”) is a Haitian-born chef and the author of 50 Favorite Haitian Recipes: Taste the Islands Essentials. Sinclair and Verna are co-hosts of the show Taste the Islands, which airs on PBS and Create TV. Calibe Thompson, a Jamaican-American entrepreneur, is creative director at Island Syndicate, a media, design, and entertainment agency based in South Florida. She is the creator and executive producer of Taste the Islands.