Category Archives: CaribCook The Best Jamaican Jerk Sauce


Photo by: Zach Stovall

Jamaicans almost never share their family jerk secrets, but this recipe was given to me years ago (albeit reluctantly) by my Jamaican sous-chef, Chris, and I’ve tweaked it myself through the years. TIP: Wear gloves when handling hot peppers!


¼ cup peanut or canola oil
2 tbsp. fresh thyme
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1-inch-thick piece fresh ginger, chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 Scotch bonnet peppers
8 allspice berries, smashed
1 tbsp. black peppercorns
1 tbsp. nutmeg, ground
2 cinnamon sticks, broken
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. ketchup
¼ cup dark brown sugar
The juice of 2 limes


1. Puree the ingredients listed below in a food processor or blender until smooth.

2. Rub the sauce on chicken, pork, fish, tofu, shrimp or red meat, and marinate the protein overnight; any leftover sauce will keep for weeks in the refrigerator.

This recipe first appeared as part of Steven Petusevsky’s article Eating Negril in the Jan/Feb 2012 issue of Caribbean Travel + Life.


Author: Steven Petusevsky

Soup du Cure: Caribbean Education Initiative’s 3rd Annual Fundraiser 12.4.2011

Break out the soup pot & ladle, pound the garlic & toss in some veggies, meat, seafood,herbs & spices! The VI’s one and only Culinary Competition that awards participants with $$$ returns for a 3rd year…Soup du Cure! On Sunday, 12.4.2011 restaurants, caterers, and amateur chefs will compete in more than 20 soup categories…with something for every appetite! Come and try kallaloo, red peas soup, sancoché, bisques, ital, chowders, and so much more. Top prizes include: $1,000 for the Best Soup, $500 for 2nd place, and 3rd place $250. Additionally, the crowd favorite wins $250. Live local entertainment featuring Mada Nile & Fyah Train. Entry is $10 for Adults and $5 for kids + $1 per taste. We’re still looking for SPONSORS & PARTICIPANTS! All proceeds benefit the Caribbean Education Initiative a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization and its beneficiaries!

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For more information contact Jozette at 340.226.4503 or email

Please see related information below:

Soup du Cure Proposal 2011

Soup du Cure Sponsor Application

Soup du Cure Participant Application

Carib Oasis: Guava

CaribCook: Curry Mango

Photo: Eating In Translation

I fell in love with this amazing Caribbean dish at the age of 8. My Aunt Karen shared her Guyanese version of curry mango with me after picking some green mangoes from our backyard. In an effort to save good fruit for a later date islanders tend to pick fruit while it’s still green to avoid hungry birds and bats. We set aside a stash for ripening and used the remainder for a delicious pot of curry mango. Curry mango may be eaten by itself, although its mostly served alongside chicken, fish, or  beef  with rice.

  • 5 mangoes (half-ripe)
  • 5 leaves of cilantro (chadon beni)
  • 1 hot pepper (habanero, chili, etc.)
  • 2 cloves garlic  (chopped)
  • 3 tbsp curry
  • 2 tbsp water (for curry)
  • 1 tsp saffron powder
  • 1 tsp cumin (geera powder)
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • sugar (to taste)
  • black pepper (to taste)


1.Cut up the mango and remove the inner lining that holds the seed and the seed itself.

2. Add salt and boil the mangoes.

3. Drain and set aside.

4. Mix the curry, saffron, cumin, black pepper, and water together.

5. Saute the garlic and hot pepper in a pot.

6. Add sugar to the mangoes that have been set aside.

7. Add mangoes to the sauteed pot of garlic and hot pepper.

8. Then pour curry mix into pot distributing evenly.

9. Add a little water and sprinkle the cilantro in.

10. Cook for about 5 -7 minutes to allow the curry to infiltrate and the water to evaporate. The mango should have a pasty consistency when cool. Season to taste and serve.

I sometimes add more pepper or sugar according to how sweet or sour the mangoes are.  The dish should be semi-sweet with a spicy taste.




V.I. Culinary Team: Set for Its Big Competition

Team members Al Boston, Negust Kaza and Dennis Vanterpool share a moment Monday.

This is the first year since 2006 that the event will take place in Miami. In recent years, it was held in Puerto Rico. Chefs and spectators are excited about competing in Miami, hoping the neutral ground will calm nerves.

Lisa Hamilton, president of the organization, expects that having the competition in Miami will bring stateside exposure and help the chefs to network and learn from a larger group.

The 2011 VI Culinary Team consists of Captain Ashley Allen, senior chef Dennis Vanterpool, seafood competitor David Benjamin, chef Joshua Vilain, beef competitor Negust Kaza, pastry chef Kunal Chakrabarti, bartender Al Boston, and junior chefs Afiya Agustus, Myan Esprit, and Kwanzaa Francis.

The team offers two students the opportunity to join them each year. Typically, the team invites one student from Charlotte Amalie High School in St. Thomas and another from Educational Complex High School in St. Croix. Thank to sponsors, the 2011 team will be accompanied by a record 13 students from St. Croix Central High School and Educational Complex High School.

Team members said they are confident they will bring home the gold. The team pulled together to focus on weaknesses from previous years. Instead of again trying to improve taste, they’re working on technique and attention to detail.

“This time we’ll have a better understanding of what we’re being judged on and held accountable for,” says chef Dennis Vanterpool.

The VI Culinary Team and about a dozen supporters joined Monday evening at the Morning Star Resort for the culinary group’s final food presentation before participating in the Taste of the Caribbean competition in Miami on June 22.

The small group shared well-wishes as they nibbled on sample appetizers and desserts, washing them down with custom-made drinks.

2011 will mark the USVI’s eighth year in the competition, where they will compete against 11 countries. Only those organizations within the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) can participate.

During each stage of the competition, participants will have four hours to conceive and materialize their creations. The first half hour is devoted to creating a menu, pulling food and measuring it. In the next half hour, judges take away the remaining ingredients. This is a critical point in the competition because after the first hour, chefs will only have access to the items they originally pick. The next three hours is dedicated to cooking and preparing the dishes. At the end of the four hours, chefs must plate 40 appetizers, break them down, and then repeat the process with entrées and desserts.

Each group begins with a perfect score and points are deducted throughout the competition as judges assess presentation, flavor, use of time, and much more.

Bartenders will compete in making a rum drink, a vodka drink, and a non-alcoholic beverage. Participants are judged on their shake, strain, muddle, style, and more.

One of the most interesting aspects of the competition is the mystery basket. Each category of chefs and bartenders will receive a basket. Chefs face the difficult task of using all 20 items and three proteins in the basket, while bartenders must gain inspiration from the items in the basket.

Competitors practice throughout the year to prepare for the competition in June. The chefs work together on technique and breaking down dishes, while board members and sponsors act as taste testers. Bartender Boston and pastry chef Chakrabarti practice together, mixing fruits and other concoctions to inspire one another.

Kaza, who has been part of the VI Culinary Team for more than two years, is cooking in the beef category.

“Beef is new for me,” Kaza says. “I’m not 100 percent in my element. But I’ll only feel like a failure if I go and don’t give 110 percent to make-up for it.”

The chefs say they’re looking forward to the event.

“This is the pinnacle of competitions for us,” says Hamilton. “When we bring home the gold, we have bragging rights for a year. We get to say that the best chefs in the Caribbean are here in the VI.”

More information is available on the CHTA website at


Author: Laurel Kaufmann