Illustration by Shalini Seereeram

Total local | Cookup

Christmas means feasting, and traditionally many of the Caribbean’s seasonal delicacies — from roast turkey to black cake — use imported ingredients. But could you create a Christmas lunch or dinner using only locally grown food? Franka Philip takes up the challenge.

Photo by Amenic181/Shutterstock.com

Best of brew — Caribbean coffee | Cookup

Coffee grown in the Caribbean is some of the world’s finest. Pricey Blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica’s high elevations is celebrated by connoisseurs — but can locals actually afford it? And what can Trinidad and Tobago’s farmers learn from Jamaica as they seek to revive their own coffee production? Franka Philip talks to the experts about the present state and future prospects for the business of coffee beans.

Often dismissed as a weed, purslane is rich in vitamin E. Photo by Wasanajai/Shutterstock.com

The truth about superfoods — Caribbean ones | Cookup

Nutritionists dismiss the ”superfood” trend, promoting obscure ingredients as dietary wonders. Nonetheless, there are Caribbean plants packed with nutrients which ought to be better known. Franka Philip learns about a few of them.

The white sand and blue waters of Pinney’s Beach, home of Sunshine’s. Photo by Peter Phipp/Travelshots.com

Llewellyn Caines: “Sunshine” in paradise | Nevis

How did tiny Nevis come to have one of the Caribbean’s most famous beach bars? Garry Steckles meets Llewellyn “Sunshine” Caines and hears the story behind his Pinney’s Beach establishment, its celebrity clientele — and the lethally delicious Killer Bee rum cocktail. Plus: why a new geothermal project could soon make the island one of the world’s greenest destinations, and an exporter of energy to its neighbours.

Photo by Haak78/Shutterstock.com

The chocolate revolution in Trinidad & Tobago | Cookup

Trinidad and Tobago’s cocoa has long been considered among the best in the world, even though production has been declining for decades. A new generation of artisan chocolatiers are hoping to change that trend — while creating unique world-class chocolate products at home. Franka Philip finds out more.

Illustration by Shalini Seereeram

A compendium of curry | Cookup

From Jamaican goat to Trini doubles, curry is one of the definitive flavours of the Caribbean. There are hundreds of curry blends around the world — what are the Caribbean’s best, and how are they evolving? Franka Philip finds out.

Yvette LaCrette. Photo by Damion C. Jacob, DCJ photography

Grenada’s Chef Yvette LaCrette: ambassador of spices

Her culinary flair has made Yvette LaCrette “the Caribbean’s go-to-chef” in New York City, her home base. As Melissa Noel learns, Chef LaCrette is an always eager ambassador for the Spice Island.

Jamaica-born debut author Nicole Dennis-Benn. Photo courtesy Nicole Dennis-Benn

Word of mouth (September/October 2016)

Caribbean writers star at the Brooklyn Book Festival, a new musical work remembers the Guyanese poet Martin Carter, and Trinidadians anticipate the sweet treats of Divali.

Illustration by Shalini Seereeram

Dining like the ancestors

Our earliest Caribbean ancestors had a more diverse diet than we realise, writes Tracy Assing — and a “new indigenous” food movement is turning back to ingredients native to our ecosystems.

Illustration by Shalini Seereeram

Fresh from the farm

The farm-to-table movement is no longer just a foodies’ trend — it’s going mainstream, even in the Caribbean. Franka Philip explains why knowing where your produce comes from adds something special to your meal.