News, Press & Guest Comments

The Sunday Times Online

The insider - Craig Jones is an award-winning Welsh chef who has lived in St Lucia for a decade. He is executive chef of the Cliff at Cap restaurant at the Cap Maison hotel (capmaison.com), and has recently opened the Naked Fisherman beach bar and grill on the island.

I fell in love with St Lucia almost instantly. Id always liked the reggae vibe and beach life, and just found it so relaxed. Plus, the food you get here is so impressive fruit and vegetables with amazing flavours, and seafood that you can watch being brought in and sold. The fishermen blow conch shells and people just swarm around.

I like to take my two daughters to the fish market at Gros Islet. There might be lobster, which is in season now, maybe some red snapper. Ill then put together a basket of ingredients, such as mango, okra, spices and sweet potato, and well head to the beach.

Pigeon Point, on the northern tip of the island, is my favourite. Its full of coves, the sea is calm and there are lots of locals. Well light a fire, wrap the fish in foil and go for a swim while it cooks.

On Friday night in Gros Islet, they shut the roads and have a street party. Most people cook on the roadside - there are corns roasting and the smells are amazing. Everyones a chef on St Lucia. Ive become a big fan of the one pot, which is as it sounds. Everything goes in there - fish heads, coconut milk, spinach, ginger, dasheen leaves, maybe some pepper. Its not much to look at, but the flavour and aromas are fantastic.

Working with restaurant food all the time, its great to just switch off, wander and eat as you find. In St Lucia, Im always learning something new.

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