Where to find Caribbean Cooking Inspiration
A big part of Caribbean culture is the food! My maternal grandparents were part of the Windrush generation coming to London between the 1950s and 1960s. They both bought with them traditional and family recipes from Jamaica and St Lucia that they cooked for my mum and her siblings whilst they were growing up, and then for me and my cousins once we were born. Ingredients for Caribbean recipes were hard to come by when they first arrived in the UK, most grocery stores and markets did not offer Caribbean produce like yams and plantain. But as the years went on and overseas shipping improved, Afro-Caribbean grocery stores and markets started to open offering more ingredients from ‘back home’. Today, you can even find some Afro-Caribbean ingredients in major supermarkets.
I’ve been lucky to get the chance to learn Caribbean recipes and cooking from my grandparents, but I still enjoy learning more from Caribbean cooking blogs, chefs and cookbooks as everyone has their own twists on traditional dishes. Traditional Caribbean cooking is notoriously known for not using measurements! So each family has its own individual interpretation of recipes. It’s also interesting to get a chance to learn about dishes from different islands as they each have their own styles of cooking due to the region’s colonial past. Caribbean food has been influenced by African, French, Spanish, Chinese, Indian and British cuisines which has resulted in unique and flavourful recipes.
If you want to try some new Caribbean recipes, I’ve put together a list of different places to be inspired. From Caribbean cooking blogs, YouTube channels, Caribbean cookbooks and Instagram profiles. There’s something for everyone on this list, whether you are a Caribbean cooking beginner or just looking for extra Caribbean recipes to add to your repertoire! I’ve also included some great places to find Caribbean vegan and vegetarian recipes to cater to different diets.
Original Flava is a Caribbean food and lifestyle platform founded by brothers Shaun & Craig in 2016. They share easy step-by-step Caribbean recipes inspired by their Mother and Grandmother. You can find their recipes on their website as well as on Instagram and YouTube. The brothers also have an amazing cookbook that was published in 2019 full of their delicious Caribbean recipes!
Island Girl Recipes
Island Girl Recipes is a YouTube channel started by Keshia, the founder of the Authentic Caribbean Eatery Caribe’ based in Brixton, South London. Keshia celebrates Caribbean food from all islands of the West Indies by sharing with recipes and quick videos on her YouTube channel and also on the Caribe’ Instagram page. New videos are uploaded every Monday, Wednesday & Saturday so make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss anything!
Rachel Ama is a British author and YouTuber, who shares vegan recipes and lifestyle videos. She has a selection of videos on her YouTube channel that share delicious Caribbean vegan recipes, and a cookbook full of over 100 different vegan recipes.
Vegan chef and entrepreneur Taymer Mason serves up a variety of Caribbean vegan recipes in her book Caribbean Vegan. With over 200 vegan recipes to try, from sweet and savoury breakfasts to traditional Caribbean mains and treats.
Levi Roots is one of the most notable participants on the British show Dragon’s Den. He was invited on the BBC show in 2007 where he pitched his Reggae Reggae sauce and secured the support of Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh.
Levi has written several Caribbean cookbooks sharing his Caribbean cooking knowledge. Titles include Reggae Reggae Cookbook, Caribbean Food Made Easy and Sweet. Levi Roots has also appeared on British television sharing different recipes to viewers, see a clip from This Morning below.
Caribbean Pot is a food blog that celebrates the food and the culinary culture of the Caribbean. The blog was founded by Chris in 2009, who was born in Trinidad & Tobago but is now based in Ontario, Canada. He shares Caribbean recipes from all the islands that make up the Caribbean. You can also find Caribbean Pot on YouTube where Chris shares recipes for a variety of dishes.
Simply Caribbean is a food blog founded by Deborah to share her love for Caribbean culture. Deborah posts recipes on her blog that she grew up eating as well as recipes that showcase her own modern twist on Island food.
Chef Shorne is a St Lucian chef that has been featured on the Food Network, New York Wine & Food Festival, and NBC South Florida. I came across Chef Shorne through his collaborations with Travel Saint Lucia on Instagram. He shares some of his delicious recipes on his Instagram page and on IGTV.
AINSLEY'S CARIBBEAN KITCHEN
Ainsley Harriott is a British chef and television presenter, well known for hosting BBC cooking show Ready, Steady, Cook. In 2019, Ainsley presented a new television show Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen where he takes a trip across the Caribbean visiting the islands that inspire his cooking. The book Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen accompanies his ITV show filled with all the recipes that are featured in the show!
I hope you found some great places to be inspired, and some delicious Caribbean recipes to try making at home yourself! Be sure to follow all these amazing chefs and foodies on their social channels to keep up with their new recipes, and if you can purchase their cookbooks so you can have a good collection of Caribbean recipes to come back to again and again.
Sources & Further Reading:
- The Proud Legacy of Afro-Caribbean Food in Britain - Read more
- Great British Chefs: 6 Easy Caribbean Recipes - Read more
- Beyond the Scotch Bonnet: The Rise of Caribbean Food in the UK - Read more
- From Black Cake To Bun: Recipes Of The Windrush Generation - Read more
- Thumbnail photo by Elaine Brewer via Unsplash