Web Extra: The Flavor of Barbados
The Flavor of Barbados: An Unforgettable Dinner at the Chatham Bars Inn Farm
Chef Michael Hinds presents an unforgettable meal at the Chatham Bars Inn Farm, bringing the culture and spirit of his home island of Barbados straight to the table
In the eastern Caribbean, Barbados is known for its white sand beaches, vibrant culture and vast culinary tradition. Known as the “culinary capital of the Caribbean,” Barbados is quickly becoming recognized as a hotspot for everyone, from adventurous street food eaters to those looking for a sophisticated dining experience. Chef Michael Hinds has spent over two decades working in the world’s finest kitchens, representing the rich culture and flavor palates of his home island of Barbados. Recently he brought both his talent and fine cuisine to the Chatham Bars Inn farm for a farm-to-table dining experience co-hosted by Chef Anthony Cole.
Located in Brewster, just a short drive from the Chatham Bars Inn Resort, the farm boasts eight sprawling acres of seasonal greens and vegetables that are used as the inspiration and core ingredients of many of the dishes served by restaurants throughout the resort. The dinner presented by Chef Michael Hinds was no different, making use of seasonal produce straight from the farm, in addition to Hinds’ vast culinary knowledge, skillset and island upbringing.
The dinner was set up family style with a long wooden table decorated by fresh-cut flowers and colorful vegetables. The scenery was a perfect backdrop for Hinds' mouthwatering food, and with expansive gardens and softly lit barns in the background setting the stage, about 50 guests took their seats to enjoy an evening together. Barbados is a leader in the farm-to-table movement and sustainability efforts. Thus, Chef Hinds found himself at home in this setting, where farm-to-table and freshly caught seafood is central to how the Chatham Bars Inn prepares meals.
On the table to start was a dip consisting of garlic, Genovese basil and heirloom tomatoes paired with different choices of bread. It was so delicious that by the end of the night, guests were eager to take jars of the dip home with them—along with bundles of fresh vegetables provided by the farm. The starting plate was a day-boat pickled conch salad followed by escalopes of Atlantic halibut with spiced green lentils and dressed arugula. Chef Hinds and his team cooked each dish adjacent to the dining area so that as everyone enjoyed their meal, tantalizing smells from the grill wafted over the table, weaving through the delicate flower arrangements and chatty guests.
The night was characterized not only by the delightful food, but by the collective discussion amongst the guests, enhanced by the family style setup of the meal. Conversation topics ranged from the gorgeous scenery surrounding the table—especially beautiful as the sun began to set behind the barns—to the best theater shows to experience in the various hometowns of all the guests.
The meal continued with a fire-roasted loin of spice-rubbed pork, paired with bourbon vanilla turnips, whipped yellow corn “cou cou” and wilted greens. The star of the show came last with a white chocolate and coconut mousse wrapped in dark chocolate and paired with rum soaked berries and edible botanicals—a dish that tasted just as incredible as it looked. An air of comfortable sophistication hung over the night, and tablemates quickly turned into friends as they bonded over the flawless presentation of each dish and the delicious rum drinks and wine pairings served throughout the meal.
For Chef Hinds, cooking is a craft—one that he has worked for many years and in many settings to perfect. With his successful food and beverage company, Terasu Inc., located on his home island and including a catering venture, cafés and culinary merchandise, Barbados is certainly lucky to have Chef Hinds, as well as his many culinary peers that call the island home, to celebrate their history and culture through food—to give people the opportunity to experience Barbados for themselves, one bite at a time. And if diners are feeling really adventurous, a direct flight out of Boston will take them straight to the island, where they can continue to enjoy the culture and cuisine firsthand. This year, the Barbados Food and Rum Festival in October will showcase local culinary and cocktail talent, kicking off Barbados’ “Year of Culinary Experiences,” so it’s a perfect time to visit.
In Barbados, there’s a saying, “Never eat and forget.” The point is to never forget the hand that serves the meal you are fed, and with Chef Hinds and his talented team at the helm, it would be difficult to forget any meal that they create.
Meet the Chef
"At the end of the day, all that a chef has, really, are his hands.”
Michael Hinds is an ambitious chef and Barbados native who has honed his craft working in some of the finest restaurants across the world. Today he shares his talents through his businesses, Terasu Kafe, Terasu Kafeteria, Couture Caterers, Couture Culinary and Couture Condiments, all of which are a part of his company, Terasu Inc.
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