CREATIVE SPACE #13 of 2021 (uploaded June 23rd 2021)
CREATIVE SPACE is a series spotlighting local (Antiguan and Barbudan/Caribbean) art and culture. As a brand, it dates back to 2009, published in LIAT’s inflight magazine. It was revamped in 2018 and ran to 2019 on Antiguanice.com. Its publishing partner, as of 2020, is the Daily Observer newspaper. It continues to expand across other media platforms (e.g. AntiguanWriter on YouTube). CREATIVE SPACE is created, owned, and written by Joanne C. Hillhouse – Antiguan-Barbudan/Caribbean author, journalist, producer, and freelance writer, editor, and trainer.
Here’s a link to the issue as it appeared on June 23rd 2021 in the Daily Observer:
Below is the extended online edition (not a duplicate of the edition with publishing partner Observer Media) with extras.
If you would like to be featured in a future CREATIVE SPACE or to pay for a (web only) sponsored post (on jhohadli.wordpress.com exclusively), BOOSTing your BRAND while boosting Antigua-Barbuda Art and Culture, contact Joanne.
CREATIVE SPACE: Eat ‘n Lime
The tour began unexpectedly with a request for a personal food story, and as I mined my memory, I’m suddenly very aware that Tiffany Azille’s Eat ‘n Lime walking food tour of St. John’s City is not going to be a standard staycation. I’ve blogged that food is culture and, of course, my own creative writing is illustrative of this. But there’s knowing and there’s being prompted to share a part of your personal food culture; it’s quite the ice breaker – foodversations create natural familiarity.
The ice having been broken, the actual tour felt like a legit lime, restaurant hopping with Tiffany while chatting about lesser known bits of city history – King’s Warehouse, the Westerby Memorial, the bayonette feature on the Church Street side of the Police Station, the steps on Tanner and Temple Streets where a governor was killed in colonial times … – and whatever else came up.
“I am a foodie,” Tiffany said, noting that often when she travelled she did food tours and found there was nothing comparable in Antigua and Barbuda. A teacher by trade, she began the tour in August 2019. Her foodie tendencies are handed down by her Dominican father and Antiguan mother, a former food and beverage manager – who fills in as a guide on the tour from time to time. Her mom exposed her to the kinds of cuisine you would find in a hotel restaurant very early, while her dad encouraged being adventurous in what you eat.
Our adventure began with something familiar – saltfish cakes (see above) at Annette’s Fine Dining Caribbean Cuisine (see below).
The eatery serves, traditional Antigua Sunday breakfast – saltfish or lingfish, chop up, pear (avocado), plantain, and the various extras – to tour guests any day of the week. Run by a Dominican born woman who learned to cook from her Antiguan grandmother, growing the business over 30 years from vending out of a cooler, enduring professional hurdles (and harassment), to the present location near the Heritage Quay taxi stand, its brand is everything local.
Next up was the oldest family run business on the island, Quin Farara, on Corn Alley and Long Street. “This was the street where all the merchants were,” said Lisa Farara, whose grandfather came here in 1910 from Madeira, in Portugal, and started the business in 1924. The one time rum aging and blending establishment is today home to various types of alcoholic beverages and also stocks select locally made products (coffee, sea salt, seasonings , mustard). A tutorial in making classic rum punch from scratch was a highlight of this stop at Quin Farara.
Its stock of Caribbean rums is particularly impressive as are the historical features still to be found on the site – like the well in the back.
At popular eatery, Roti King on St. Mary’s Street, I had the less popular (to me) aloo pie, a patty shaped sweet and sour flavoured potato pie.
As with most stops, this too is family owned, though the fact that the family is originally from Trinidad is a testimony to the cosmopolitan nature of our small island where various cultures converge.
These appetizers left just enough space for fungee with mussels
at Cutie’s, run by Cutie and her daughters, in Redcliffe Quay. Their menu fuses local and international, such as the delish haute cuisine spin on the Antigua and Barbuda national dish that I had the opportunity to sample. I finished with a spinach ball and tamarind juice at the One Stone Ital Shack, renowned for its varied flavoursome veggie-based options prepped by the local chef-preneur, himself known as One Stone. There, I ended the tour, catching the breeze and testing my knowledge of local leaves (French thyme etc.) on the outskirts of the City.
Chances are, if you’re a local, you’ve been to one or more, maybe all, of these places or any of the other mix of tour stops. But, as Tiffany, who started COVID-compliant staycations when things started opening up post- lockdown, said, on an Eat ‘n Lime tour, even locals “get a vibe of what they’re not used to.”
I agree. The choices are well curated and the experience of them on the tour, which I requested out of curiosity, very different.
Eat ‘n Lime tours can be booked on Weekdays and Saturdays, and it has special diet options (e.g. for pescetarians, vegetarians, or people with health-related dietary restrictions. VIP packages also available.
Did you know that classic rum punch does not use juice; start with lemon, and build the flavour from the bottom of the glass up with choice of rum, bitters, and various garnishes.
The images of Cavalier in this place are not a product placement (though we’re open – see the italicized print at the top). Quin Farara has glass cases of memorabilia including different versions of the local rum and I was just interested in capturing some of it.
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