His signature spiked haircut has sadly gone, but his culinary nouse is as sharp as ever. And for the last eight years culinary stalwart Gary Rhodes has turned his expert British hand to the rich and vibrant flavours of the Caribbean, since opening Rhodes Restaurant at The Calabash – one of Grenada’s finest beach resorts.
“The Caribbean has always been close to my heart,” he tells us. “I have always been intrigued by how the flavours and textures work so well with each other, and having a stepfather from Jamaica has accelerated my love of the region’s cuisine.”
Grenada is known colloquially as the ‘Spice Island’. To this end, Gary blends fresh, locally sourced ingredients and spices to put a Caribbean kick up the back of popular British dishes, with exquisite results.
“The Caribbean is very good at using spices to flavour fresh ingredients,” he says. “Spices don’t have to be spicy – just packed with flavour.”
“Rhodes Restaurant at the Calabash is well known for its ‘Callaloo and Shrimp Tartlet’, and for good reason.”
Callaloo is a spinach-like leaf used frequently in Caribbean fish soups and stews. It usually refers to the leaf of the dasheen herb, and complements crabmeat and shellfish wonderfully.
The cream of Grenadian cuisine doesn’t only rest with fine dining, however. Gary kindly gave us a couple of gems for anyone eating out on the island.
“There are some superb little restaurants around Grenada making the dining scene truly eclectic and spectacular. BB’s Crabback in St George’s, Grenada is really fantastic for good local food and has developed a real following on the island.”
“Another great restaurant in Grenada to mention in Carib Sushi which uses the freshest of ingredients to create some terrific dishes.”
And after considerable time on the Spice Island, what’s his favourite spice?
“Nutmeg. Just sprinkle a bit over mash potatoes to finish it off perfectly.”
Our thanks go to Gary.