Showing posts with label St. Barthelemy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label St. Barthelemy. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

30 Years of Fabulous Food in St. Barths FWI

        This morning, New York set a new record in Central Park. It was 4F. For our friends who use Celsius, it sounds even worse: -15C.   So we likely couldn’t find a better day to travel south to the French West Indies and the island of St. Barthelemy or, as its friends and devotees call it, “St. Barths”. The island was named for Christopher Columbus’ brother Bartholomeo, when the explorer did a sail-by in 1493.  If he’d stopped on the island, I doubt he would have ever left. It truly is 8 square miles of pure bliss.  White sand beaches, glorious views around every corner and a climate that those of us struggling through the “Arctic Vortex” can only dream of.  And did I mention the food?  The key here is the word
  When attached to “West Indies” it means food that is taken seriously.  Food that is flown in from France, vegetables from nearby Guadaloupe, seafood from right off the island and a profusion of restaurants that offer everything that global cuisine now means.  This Fall, I was invited to write about our 30 year love affair with the food on the island. The offer came from WIMCO, the island's premiere rental agency.
 We’ve rented spectacular villas from them more times than I can count. WIMCO has, hands down, the island’s best properties, the best service and I wouldn’t dream of using anyone else.
  (WIMCO isn’t confined to St. Barths—you can use them everywhere from Tuscany to Nantucket). 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stir-Fried Chili Scallops with Baby Bok Choy Adapted from Fine Cooking

When I wrote about our culinary adventures in St. Barthelemy, FWI in March, one of our readers, “Mike”, got into a spirited discussion about how the scallops I’d waxed poetic over, were not local.  In fact, he was pretty irate about seafood in general and posted as a comment:  “Why the lack of eating local seafood?  Scallops multiple times mentioned (frozen and cryovaced from America) really as a good can it be?" Now “Mike” is a Massachusetts native and his knowledge of seafood is impressive.  In a subsequent comment, he explained: “ Scallops do not freeze well…they shrivel and such...and because of that the frozen ones are not "dry" scallops, they are the ones that have that phosphate solution added to them to plump them up and make them hold water and look better after they defrost.” All that being said, I still loved my St. Barth’s scallops.  And when we got home and I came across a recipe for a Stir Fry with scallops, I couldn't wait to get my hands on some fresh scallops.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Greetings from St. Barthelemy, FWI

C'est laVue!

The Entrance to our Villa
The front of the villa 
This week I thought we'd share our trip to St. Barthelemy, in the French West Indies.  This is our 16th trip here in the last 20 years so you can probably tell that we like it here.  Make that love it here.  And what's not to love?  The tiny little 8 square mile island can only be reached by planes carrying 19 people at most.  You fly here from St. Maarten, 10 minutes away and one of the most incredible flights you'll ever take since the plane makes a terrifying landing: It aims itself between two peaks for a landing strip that ends directly in the water. Scaredy cats need not apply.   

Salines, our favorite beach...hard to choose on an island
with so many beautiful ones.  
The island scarcely changes year to year.  Strict building codes mean no structure above 3 stories.  There's no gambling and no golf and basically nothing to do here.  Except there are the beaches, beautiful white sands leading to warm turquoise water.  Then of course this is a French island so the food is simply magnifique.  From the humblest Creole menu to Fine Dining, it's all here in elaborate profusion.  Choosing where to eat is a daily sport.  And that's about the most taxing thing we do all day.  

Le Petit Dejeuner...Breakfast in Paradise
Dejeuner or Le Lunch....some of it quite healthy!
I remember reading descriptions of various kinds of vacations.  There was the adventure vacation,  the learning vacation, the volunteer vacation.  And then there was our vacation.  This can be described by the following schedule;  We get up, we go to the bakery and buy Croissants.  We come home to our villa for breakfast then head to the beach. About one clock we come home, we eat a gorgeous lunch of pate, saucissons, jambon, great French peasant bread and  a salade I make with haricots verts, shallots and bottled, yes bottled Dijon salad dressing  (It's French, it's excellent and it's bottled.)  We drink rose and sun ourselves by the pool.  At about 4 o'clock we may head out for some retail therapy at some of the best shops anywhere.  Or we nap or we read.  At about 8:00 we head out to dinner somewhere outdoors where we eat a marvellous dinner.  We go home, have anightcap, look at the stars and go to bed.  It is best described as kind of like being dead only we keep on eating.  It is just what the doctor ordered after this paralyzing winter up North.  I'll post more later.  Meanwhile, enjoy the view!