Nassau Paradise Island Is the Caribbean’s Hottest Culinary Destination

nassau paradise island culinaryFish by José Andrés at The Cove Atlantis.
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Next year, it will have been 50 years since Enrico and Anna Maria Garzaroli purchased a centuries-old private home in Nassau and turned it into the Caribbean’s first five-star restaurant.

With Graycliff’s debut, Nassau immediately vaulted into the global consciousness of foodies, who began flocking to the island for what was and remains one of the world’s most legendary dining experiences.

Nassau and Paradise Island has always been a haven for food, particularly seafood lovers, it’s in the last few years that the twin-island destination has seen its culinary movement leap to another level.

While Jean-Georges Vongerichten was the celebrity chef pioneer in the destination with Dune at the Ocean Club and Atlantis’ Cafe Martinique, a wave of celebrity chefs have descended on the island of late.

Cafe Martinique at Atlantis.

That includes Jose Andres, who opened his Fish by José Andrés at the Cove, Atlantis; Marcus Samuelsson, who just debuted his Marcus Hish + Chop House at Baha Mar; the Michelin-starred Giorgio Locatelli, who created Mogano at the Island House hotel in Lyford Cay; and culinary luminary Daniel Boulud, who debuted his first-ever Caribbean restaurant at the Rosewood Baha Mar.

The lionfish at Fish by Jose Andres.

That’s without mentioning the foodie metropolis at Atlantis Paradise Island, featuring a world-class outpost of Nobu Matsuhisas’s eponymous sushi spot, the only Caribbean eatery by Todd English and even a Bahamian outpost of New York’s popular Carmine’s Italian eatery.

And Boulud and Samuelsson are joined at Baha Mar by Dario Cecchini and Katsuya Uechi, among others.

marcus bahamas
Marcus Fish + Chop House.

There’s even Jimmy Buffett’s popular JWB Steakhouse at the new Margaritaville Beach Resort at The Pointe downtown.

It’s the kind international gastronomic talent, in large numbers, that no other island is managing to attract right now, cultivating an unmatched foodie movement.

Nassaus Paradise Island’s modern culinary movement owes much to the arrival of Jean-Georges Vongerichten on the island.

Plainly, Nassau and Paradise Island have become a culinary power.

And, happily, many of these chefs are putting Bahamian cuisine and sourcing at the forefront of their menus.

Andres, for instance, has a centerpiece dish of fried lion fish, a deep-fried whole fish the proceeds of which also benefit the Atlantis Blue Project Foundation.

bahamas culinary nassau
Cafe Boulud Bahamas.

Samuelsson, has put its own spin on Bahamian flavors: think conch croquettes, baked Mac & cheese (for the uninitiated, mac ‘n cheese is an art form in The Bahamas) and a dessert with a ganache of Sky Juice, the island’s most popular cocktail.

But it’s not just the big names.

There are standouts like the venerable Cafe Matisse in downtown Nassau; Chef Edwin Johnson’s Sapodilla Estate on West Bay Street and the seafood stunner the Poop Deck at Sandyport, along with the Bahamian-focused Lukka Kairi on the water downtown, to name just a few.

Sapodilla.

And then there’s celebrated Harbour Island Chef Julie Lightbourn, who brought her beloved Sip Sip (and her even more beloved lobster quesadillas) to The Cove at Atlantis.

Indeed, all of this gastronomic star power has helped shine a light on what is an endlessly rich, diverse culinary culture in Nassau and Paradise Island, one you can see up close at the Potters Cay dock.

There’s no seafood street like Potters Cay this side of Tokyo.

At the so-called Caribbean Crossroads of Conch, conch artists, each with their own signature recipes, serve up what’s the flagship dish of The Bahamas: fresh-caught conch salad.

Or you can journey to the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay for other takes on conch salad and a cornucopia of fried fish, whether you’re at Twin Brothers or Oh Andros.

For a half century, Nassau Paradise Island has been a premier food destination in the wider Caribbean.

And now it’s better than ever.

 

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