Article
13 comments

Eat like a Bajan: Cooking Bajan Sunday Lunch with Heather in Barbados

Heather, one of the chefs at The Club, who generously invited me into her home to teach me to cook Bajan food. Here with Mac Pie.

Heather, one of the chefs at The Club, who generously invited me into her home to teach me to cook Bajan food. Here with Mac Pie.

On arrival in Barbados, you quickly learn a few things. Things from Barbados are Bajan, and Barbados is affectionately known locally as BIM. The people here are so warm, friendly and very generous.

I am always asking lots of questions about food – as you know – as I try to understand what the local food culture is and where it comes from. This nosiness I am sure can annoy, but in Barbados people loved to share, and one lady, Heather, a chef from The Club where I am staying, invited me to her home to cook a traditional Sunday lunch.

How exciting. It is the best thing that I could hope for when visiting another country.

Local neighbourhood where I went to cook in Barbados

Local neighbourhood where I went to cook in Barbados

Heather lives in a lovely neighbourhood, calm, near the sea, and primarily composed of the traditional Bajan chattel houses, lovely wooden homes, usually small, some big, almost always colourful. Heather welcomed me with a traditional Bajan lemonade (recipe soon!) and we got started.

Mac pie, a key part of Bajan Sunday lunch

Mac pie, a key part of Bajan Sunday lunch

The traditional Sunday lunch here has mac pie (a Bajan take on mac & cheese, with lots of spice flavour, and long strands of macaroni), rice and peas (we used local green peas, gumbo peas or split peas are also used), Bajan fried fish, pork or chicken, butter sauce / gravy (a spicy fruity buttery sauce) and coleslaw. Again, a Bajan interpretation with some spice.

Bajan fried mahi mahi (dolphin but not as we know it)

Bajan fried mahi mahi (dolphin but not as we know it)

The macaroni for the mac pie comes in long strands like spaghetti and you break it as long as you want, ours were about three inches long. We cooked mahi mahi (known locally as dolphin), marinated first in lime and salt, as all meat or fish is here before cooking, then stuffed with Bajan seasoning, a Bajan chimmichurri of sorts but much thicker and not used as a dip. It was a wonderful time, I have taken notes on all of the recipes, and I will cook them and write my take on them when I get home.

Bajan lemonade - so refreshing

Bajan lemonade – so refreshing

Cooking a traditional Bajan Sunday lunch

Cooking a traditional Bajan Sunday lunch – loved these colourful curtains

So, watch out for that, and in the meantime, enjoy the photos. I leave Barbados today, on the red eye to London. Very sad to leave but excited to get home and cook, and share lots of Bajan recipes with you.

Stuffing mahi mahi with Bajan seasoning

Stuffing mahi mahi with Bajan seasoning

Seasoned flour to coat the fish

Seasoned flour to coat the fish

Butter sauce / gravy

Butter sauce / gravy

Macpie

Macpie

Bajan fried fish

Bajan fried fish

Heather in her kitchen

Heather in her kitchen

Article
13 comments

A Postcard from Barbados

The wild and gorgeous east coast of Barbados

The wild and gorgeous north coast of Barbados

Well, hello there! And greetings, now from Barbados. I am on the second leg of my Caribbean break, nearing the end of it, this time at The Club in Barbados.

It has been a super week. I have gotten under the skin of Bajan food, learned to cook it, had lots of gorgeous fresh local fish and a few cocktails. Typically, I finish with a backlog of all the things that I wanted to do but didn’t. So, I start at 8.30am tomorrow with a trip to see some turtles, cooking in the kitchen here and getting a recipe for pepper sauce (I love that stuff!) and I am going to finish it all with a massage and facial. Then back to London overnight on Wednesday and straight back into meetings and insanity.

Here are some photo highlights. Back soon with recipes, stories and lots more photos.

Bajan fishing boats, Barbados. And people swimming behind!

Bajan fishing boats, Barbados. And people swimming behind!

Heather, one of the chefs at The Club, who generously invited me into her home to teach me to cook Bajan food. Here with Mac Pie.

Heather, one of the chefs at The Club, who generously invited me into her home to teach me to cook Bajan food. Here with Mac Pie.

Cornmeal cou cou which I learned to make at Enid's Cooking School at The CLub - recipe along with others, soon

Cornmeal cou cou which I learned to make at Enid’s Cooking School at The Club – recipe along with others, soon

Bajan fish cakes in Bridgetown

Bajan fish cakes in Bridgetown

Mural at the Catholic church / school

Mural at the Catholic church / school

Bridgetown, so colourful

Bridgetown, so colourful

Taking it easy in Bridgetown

Taking it easy in Bridgetown

Morris Greenidge, a local historian, who I went on a fascinating tour of Bridgetown with

Morris Greenidge, a local historian, who I went on a fascinating tour of Bridgetown with

The synagogue in Bridgetown - fascinating history, more soon

The synagogue in Bridgetown – fascinating history, more soon

Granny's at Oistins

Granny’s at Oistins

Playing dominoes at Oistins

Playing dominoes at Oistins

Soaking it up at Oistins

Soaking it up at Oistins

Lobster on the grill at Oistins

Lobster on the grill at Oistins

Oistins, Barbados

Oistins, Barbados

Uncle George at Oistins

Uncle George at Oistins

The grill at Uncle Georges with flying fish in the foreground

The grill at Uncle Georges with flying fish in the foreground

BBQ pig tails, possibly the best thing EVER

BBQ pig tails, possibly the best thing EVER

Bathsheba, Barbados

Bathsheba, Barbados

Bajan surfer at Bathsheba, Barbados

Bajan surfer at Bathsheba, Barbados

Old plantation windmill

Old plantation windmill

This crazy little bird was trying to steal my biscuits

This crazy little bird was trying to steal my biscuits

Cotton growing in Barbados

Cotton growing in Barbados

Cotton field in Barbados

Cotton field in Barbados

Door

Door

The wild and gorgeous east coast of Barbados - up close

The wild and gorgeous north coast of Barbados – up close

The Cliff - amazing location and beautifully designed, good food too!

The Cliff – amazing location and beautifully designed, good food too!

A rum baba at The Cliff, with some Mount Gay Very Old Rum

A rum baba at The Cliff, with some Mount Gay Very Old Rum

Mar-tea-ni at The Cliff, Barbados

Mar-tea-ni at The Cliff, Barbados

Travel Info: I am in Barbados on the Barbados Blogathon, sponsored by Tropical Sky & Elite Island Resorts.