Thursday, May 24, 2007

Anguilla in June?

Picture The Slow Cook roasting jerk chicken on the beach, sipping his daiquiri, maybe a little snorkeling action.

Or maybe getting blown away in a hurricane?

Through the Food Section at The Washington Post I was contacted by a family of 35 desperate for a chef to make them dinners during their week-long reunion guess where?

That would be on the island of Anguilla in the Caribbean.

Now that might sound like the coolest thing to you. A week in Anguilla, right? But I am a bit of a reluctant traveler these days. In my youth, I was always on the move. No moss growing on this stone. But I'm pretty settled in.

Plus, you have to remember this is June. High season for the Caribbean is January. That's when you want those wonderfully balmy trade winds and pristine beaches.

In June, the temperature never falls below 80 degrees. It's 80 degrees when you wake up in the morning, and pretty much in the 80s all day long. (Well, that might be better than the 90 degrees and 90 percent humidity we get here in the District of Columbia).

I also have this inordinate fear of walking into a job that calls for cooking dinner for 35 with no idea what I might find at the local grocery. But one of my hosts sent a website post with a pretty thorough listing of shopping opportunities in Anguilla.

The island is only 35 miles long, so I don't have to drive far, I'm told.

I don't know what kind of kitchen tools or utensil I'll find there. I don't plan on bringing any of my own. In fact, beyond a couple of Hawaiian shirts, some swim trunks and my Jessica Harris books on island cooking, I don't plan to bring anything that can't fit in a small carry-on bag.

I've been promised some kitchen help from some of the teenagers in the family. I get my own room and use of a car. Beyond that, I am looking at this as a kitchen adventure and eating opportunity (some in the group are talking about bringing Omaha-brand frozen steaks and chickens to the fiesta).

You may soon be receiving these posts from an internet cafe in a place called Sandy Ground Village. Or do they have internet cafes on Anguilla?

We'll soon find out. Hurricane season begins June 1. Forecasters say it could be a nasty one.

Stay tuned...


Anthony said...

Wow, that sounds exciting. I would be weary of the upcoming storm season since I too heard that it's going to be a bad one. But it's probably worth risking it for a week in Anguilla.

Rob said...

Wow, rough life, man. :-) I'm looking forward to the stories.

christine (myplateoryours) said...

I know a guy who was a chef at a resort in Anguilla for years who is a good slow food guy and very into local, local stuff. He might be able to give you an idea of what the local food product scene is likely to be in June. If that would be any use to you, email me.