Farm to Table in the Bahamas

Hands down, the absolute best day I had during this chef trip to the Bahamas almost didn’t happen (well, part of it).  The yacht owner has some friends who live on a, mostly private, island.  Since we were anchored right near their beach, he wanted us (the crew) to go spend some time there.  As I was responsible for preparing dinner for them and others that evening, and he really wanted to impress them, I felt a little pressed for time and almost chose not to venture over to their island. However, he was adamant about all of us crew going over to the island to meet his friends and see their land and home.  Since this man had hired me, I felt I should go knowing I could always get back to the yacht via the 30-some foot tender.  Boy am I glad I did!  Check out that beach!  And, those hammocks under the shade right in the water! They built a home over 7 years, some of which is still a work in progress.  Before they could build they had to clear out very thick, dense trees. You can see their home peeking through some of those trees here right behind their private boat dock.  When we pulled up in the tender we were greeted by two beautiful and very hard-working humans. A retired yacht captain and yacht crew member have now turned their “retirement” into a full-time garden tending, solar-power generating, chicken parent caring, beehive keeping, among many other things life.  Their “garden” spanned most of their land.  Their trees were planted with purpose – to bear fruit, vegetables, even spices such as this allspice tree. They kept their own bees to make honey.  They had hydroponics, the beginning of an aquaponics system, and everything in between.  These folks must be up at the crack of dawn and hit the bed at dusk!  They made my day when they let me choose anything I would use the next few days and then just started loading me up.  Check out my bounty (just part of it!)  

This place was heaven on Earth!  Look at those massive collard greens – I’d never seen anything like it! They even had a chocolate pudding fruit tree-never heard of those and they weren’t ripe enough to try but looked beautiful! Almost like a green persimmon.

Below are some more shots, which only show a fraction of what they tended to on a daily basis:

It was breathtaking! I was honored to take some of these gorgeous fruits, veggies and herbs back to the yacht to prepare for the owner and guests.

As you would suspect, it takes a lot of energy to care for what this couple has on their island.  As I mentioned, they run solely off of solar power – amazing!  And, should they ever need to generate more power, why they just start cranking this bad boy like back in the olden days in the military.  Honestly, this was one of the most spectacular experiences I have ever had!  Well, I had to get back to the boat before these folks as they were my dinner guests for the evening.  But she wouldn’t let me leave without saying goodbye to Fred Astaire…

 

All new experiences that I will greatly cherish for a long time to come! I also had a great evening using such fresh ingredients for the dinner!

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