Travel like a local in Jamaica – Exclusive with 2 Sisters and a Meal

Traditional Caribbean food is seen as hearty, spicy and one-pot wonders that bring together comfort food at its best. 

Recipes and Images from Caribbean Potluck by Suzanne Rousseau and Michelle Rousseau (c) 2014 Kyle Books, and the photographs (c) Ellen Silverman

Recipes and Images from Caribbean Potluck by Suzanne Rousseau and Michelle Rousseau (c) 2014 Kyle Books, and the photographs (c) Ellen Silverman
Yet, for celebrity chefs Michelle and Suzanne Rousseau, Caribbean food is more than just jerk chicken and tropical fruits. 
After visiting the girls in their natural habitat and exploring some of Jamaica’s best eats, I grilled the two sisters about the best places to eat, drink and enjoy the sunny islands of the Caribbean as a local.

How would you describe Caribbean Cuisine?
Traditional Caribbean food is often represented as hearty, heavy, spicy meals; and to an extent, that is true. There are many one-pot dishes, stews and soups that require hours of simmering on the stove to tenderize the inexpensive protein that was often the only protein available locally. 
It’s not easy to navigate the restaurant scene in the Caribbeans, can you give some of your favourite restaurants in Jamaica and why?
Caribbean food is rustic and in our opinion best enjoyed in a casual or street setting, or a home but also have good restaurants that offer a diverse array of dining experiences and infuse Caribbean/Jamaican flavours into the menu. A list of our top spots in Jamaica would include:
·        The Terra Nova Hotel, Kingston for old world elegance, great food & service
·        Uncorked, Kingston for fab sandwiches, salads, burgers, amazing wine & cheese
·        Café Blue for Jamaica’s best coffee & desserts (all over island )
·        Red Bones Blues Café, Kingston – Caribbean Gourmet cuisine in a groovy setting
·        Majestic,  Stony Hill, Kingston – Great Japanese with a few Jamaican ingredients
·        Hellshire Beach, Kingston  for fish and festival
·        Tocaninni Restaurant, in the Harmony Hall great house, for Italian with Jamaican flavours
·        Rock House Restaurant, Negril, delicious local  fare overlooking the sea
·        House Boat, Montego Bay, glorious setting on a house boat floating in a private lagoon

Where would you go for a drink in Jamaica?
Regency Bar at the Terra Nova, Uncorked, Cru, Mahogany Bar @ Devon House  – all in Kingston where we live
Hellshire Beach  in Kingston , Ozzies Seafood in Alligator Pond, Lobster Trap in Montego Bay (all in Jamaica)

Where is your favourite Jerk Chicken place?
·        Scotchies in Kingston, MoBay and Ocho Rios;
·        JoJo’s Jerk Pit, Kingston
Pan Chicken which can be found any many street corners all over the island at all hours of the night is our fav, different to Jerk Chicken as it is grilled in a old oil drum which has been turned into a grill

If you had to choose 2 Caribbean dishes for a first-timer to try, what would you recommend?
Ackee and Saltfish, Jamaica’s National dish with all of the sides fried plantain, fried dumpling/also called johnnycakes, roast breadfruit, avocado, and callaloo
Mackeral run down, salted mackerel stewed down in coconut milk, with scoth bonnet ,spices served with boiled green bananas
Both of these are traditionally eaten as breakfast items in Jamaica but can be enjoyed as lunch and or dinner as far as we are concerned.

What do you love best about the Caribbean?
The easy, outdoorsy, laid back way of life that is centered around community, family, friends and a great zest for life, love of music, food and celebration.  We love our culture and embrace every aspect of it.
-Best beaches?
·        Maracas Bay, Trinidad and Tobago
·        Down di Islands, Trinidad and Tobago
·        Maiden & Lime Cay, Jamaica
·        Winifred Beach and Frenchman’s Cove in Portland Jamaica
·        Doctor’s Cave, Montego Bay Jamaica
·        Jamaica Inn Beach, Ocho Rios Jamaica
-Best place for shopping local?

In Jamaica:
·        Coronation and Papine markets in Kingston for great local produce.  Rural markets also have great produce
·        Devon House, Waterloo Road for art and craft
·        My Jamaica, Liguanea Kingston , clothing, local art and craft
·        Shatzie Boutique, Motego Bay, local resort wear and linens
·        Callaloo Boutique, Treasure Beach for fab local fashion and resort wear


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