Welcome to Caribana Bliss….. An extraordinary Caribbean experience of food and culture. If you are wondering what Caribana Bliss is, well allow me to fill you in. Three young men decided to put their heads together to create a pop-up event monthly in a private location; preferably a home to cook and educate about different foods from the Caribbean.
Tonight we will travel to Honduras, Haiti, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, as well as Antigua & Barbuda. Seems like a lot right? Well in the end it was well worth it. The dinner tonight would be held in a small but quaint home in Decatur. I’m a little apprehensive in the beginning as I ascend cold concrete stairs that take me to this home at the top of a hill. I knock and the door is answered by a well dressed gentleman by the name of Will. I am greeted with a glass of sparkling Rose and escorted to the table where the other guest are seated. There would be ten of us tonight to take in the mystery of cuisine that would follow.
The music is playing and I already feel as thought I’m on a beach watching the sunset, and taking in all of the aromas of the Caribbean.
Honduras will be featured first. A staple dish called Bakeada will be served. A hand-made flour tortilla filled and folded in half with refried beans that are cooked Honduran style with crema, avocado, grated cheese and an egg. The crema so smooth paired with the avocado…….
We will now be taken to Haiti where we will be served Grillot. This dish consists of cubed pork shoulder soaked in a sour orange marinade with lots of spices. The pork will then be fried to a tender but crispy bite. This is a famous traditional dish that is served with a slaw consisting of cabbage, carrots, onions, and hot peppers that have been marinated in vinegar. My not being a meat eater, the chef kindly re-created this dish just for me using beans……….
I aspire to travel to Turks & Caicos and tonight I get the next best thing, and that is to sample a dish that was created with Hominy and Stewed Conch. Pigeon peas will be added to the Hominy along with the chunks of Conch. The Conch was crispy and cooked perfectly.
The Bahamian people are known for Johnny Cakes and as we pull into the Bahamas, we are greeted with just that, Johnny Cakes & Curry. Fried cornmeal will create the Johnny Cakes and a coconut curry shrimp will accompany them to our mouths.
Our last stop for the evening will be Antigua & Barbuda. We will have dessert here. Antinuan bread pudding that will be topped with a spicy Mango Pineapple jam. The sweetness of the bread pudding paired with the heat of the jam agree with each other and they pull it all off.
Overall I have to say that this was a great experience with good people. I enjoyed meeting new people at the table and engaging in great conversation. Will did an amazing job hosting this all great event. I would also like to thank Chef David Marrero and Chef Jorge Suazo for an impeckable meal. I look forward to many more of these pop-ups and I can’t wait to see where we will be traveling next with Caribana Bliss……..
Please follow them on social media to be informed on where the next venue will be held:
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I was not in any way persuaded nor paid to write this story, and all of content is my own.