A Cultural Gem for Bahamian Dining in Nassau
On a recent cruise with my family, I discovered a true gem in Nassau, Bahamas. It’s called the Lukka Kairi.
I can’t explain it, but there was something calling us to this restaurant. Maybe it was the name, or the unique building with what looked like a long porch, or the fact that it sat directly on the open waterfront.
Lukka Kairi actually means “People of the Islands”. They stay true to the definition because everything we experienced, from the décor to the food & beverage, was derived from Bahamian culture. Their goal is to paint an ancient history of the island. Everything in the restaurant was made on the island by using recycled woods and Casuarina trees. Even the massive mural was painted by a local artist.
From a culinary perspective, imagine being able to source seafood right from the waterfront at your front door! Locally sourced produce and the Bahamian farmers are also extremely important to the restaurant concept too.
I was thrilled to meet Executive Chef Monica Hutchinson after our lunch. She heard from our waiter Shaquille how much we were raving about the crispy broccoli dish. It’s just one of those creations you have to taste to know how good it is.
Chef Monica (pictured with me below) told us the story of her being the culinary producer for Top Chef All-Stars that filmed in the Bahamas. During the filming she fell in love, ultimately packed up her life in Chicago, and moved to the Bahamas. What a cool story!
I learned later from Chef ‘s website that she also worked on Rescue Chef, was the Traveling Sous Chef for Stephanie Izard, styled food for the likes of Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray, and Fabio Viviani. Quite impressive.
Who knows… maybe we can get Catersource to bring Chef Monica to the Art of Catering Food conference in Washington DC this year to speak about Bahamian cuisine and demo her crispy broccoli recipe!
Although everything we ate was awesome, my one regret is that I didn’t get to try more items on the “simple, non pretentious, comforting” (in Chef Monica’s words) menu. But you know what… there is always next time!
Do you have a special Caribbean gem that you have discovered? Please feel free to share it with us!