BBTT: Dale, tell us what you’ve been up to of recent, and your time being spent in St. Kitts. How long have you been there? Are you there for personal or professional purposes?
Dale: Hey guys, I have been in St. Kitts since December 1st 2019, as part of a team that is opening a Lebanese/ Greek restaurant. The expected opening day was scheduled for June 2020, however, everything has been delayed due to COVID-19. This experience has renewed my love for the industry, allowing me to get a refresher of the entire restaurant operations from servers all the way up.
BBTT: What types of food and beverage are regularly consumed by the people of St. Kitts? Have you discovered any foods in particular that you’ve taken a particular liking to?
Dale: St. Kitts and Nevis’ national dish is stewed saltfish served with spicy plantains, coconut dumplings, and seasoned breadfruit. It is a tasty blend of locally available vegetables, spices, coconut and salted codfish prepared with a distinct St. Kitts-Nevis flavour. I haven’t tried this as yet, but I shall soon. Some other popular dishes are “Cook up”, which reminds me of a pelau, just with saltfish and other meats. Another surprising favourite is Saltfish pizza, which happens to be the national pizza and is a product of Pizza Boys, the franchise that originates from Trinidad. The pizza actually isn’t as bad as it sounds, I was very skeptical of trying it but it was totally worth it! Also, there’s ‘Goat Water’ which is similar to a broth where goat and local seasonings are added. This is something I would like to try but I would like to document it, so look out for my review on my Instagram. There are quite a few street vendors as well, I even saw a local Gyro man. My favorite meal has actually been Pork & Breadfruit, it’s BBQ pork and Roasted Breadfruit, all done on grills at the venue with their specialty sauce.
BBTT: Are there any similarities between Trinidad and Tobago, and St. Kitts with the culture and cuisine?
Dale: The main similarities are the diversity and the love for parties. Like in Trinidad, people from all around the world reside here in St. Kitts which influences the cuisine, allowing you to find Indian, American, Japanese, Chinese, Guyanese, and a variety of other cuisines. There are a number of Veterinary Schools here which brings thousands of student residents and further accounts for the cultural diversity. Something I also found fascinating is that there is only one KFC outlet on the entire island. Imagine KFC on Independence Square on an evening between 4pm- 6pm, that’s what the line looks like all the time.
BBTT: What do you love the most about St. Kitts and miss the most from Trinidad?
Dale: I must say my favorite thing about St Kitts is how quiet and laid back the entire island is. It’s an ideal vacation spot with beautiful beaches, great customer service, and amazing cuisines. However, I do miss my family, friends and loved ones. I also miss the convenience of jumping in my car and going for 2 doubles with everything, slight pepper.
BBTT: Have restaurants and bars in St. Kitts been shut down like in most other countries, and with jobs and businesses significantly affected due to the pandemic?
Dale: St. Kitts has been on a routine which consists of 24-hour lockdown, meaning EVERYWHERE is closed, and a few curfew days in between. The curfew days are used to replenish groceries, get fast food and other essential items, however, all food and beverage establishments have to result to take away and delivery only, and everywhere has to be closed by 5 pm. In reference to the bars, all are closed because during a state of emergency everyone’s liquor license is no longer valid.
BBTT: When the quarantine for this pandemic is over what’s one of the first thing/s that you’re going to do?
Dale: The first thing I’d probably do is go to the beach. I live so close to the beach but can’t go, so I would end up opening my window just to hear the waves crash. I would also like to try some of the local foods that I haven’t tried as yet, then I’d go to a nice bar and enjoy a great cocktail like the Queen’s Park Swizzle.
BBTT: You recently joined the ink club and got tattooed and we fell in love with it, tell us what motivated and inspired you to do it and to choose that one?
Dale: I love this question. My main inspiration for this tattoo was my passion for cocktails and it consists of numerous parts. The first part is a Jigger, the measuring tool used to make cocktails which, when turned sideways looks like a Bow-Tie. This is one of the things I’m usually known for, unique Bow-Ties. The second part is a Swizzle Stick also known as ‘boi lele’. This is the main tool used in making the National Cocktail of Trinidad & Tobago, The Queen’s Park Swizzle. The third part is a Boston Shaker, one of my favorite tools to work with and the fourth part is a crowned rocks glass. The significance of the crown is a family legacy. My siblings and I carry middle names that represent royalty, so my dad and I came up with this tradition where everyone would get tattoos with a crown.
Dale: All in all, it is a memorable experience, especially being here during this pandemic. I’ve met a lot of new people and experienced many different cultures along the way. It has its ups and downs but this helps me appreciate it all even more. I do hope everyone is being safe and don’t forget to SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL MIXOLOGISTS.