My spoon is a coconut shell. My bowl is a gourd.
Lunch today is a soup of ground provisions, lentils and peas in a coconut milk broth, a vibrant taste of St Kitts.
And it’s grown, prepared and served within about 100 feet of this table at a restaurant so vegan even the utensils are vegetables.
Judah Fari’s grandfather began cultivating this parcel of land on the outskirts of Basseterre back in the 1960s.
Decades later, Judah got his start with a wheelbarrow, taking the fresh produce from his grandfather’s land to town.
It wasn’t until 2012, though, that the enterprising, engaging Fari created what became the island’s first true farm-to-table experience.
This is Ital Creations at the Fari Organic Farm, and it’s the one of the leading lights of the Caribbean’s most dynamic farm-to-table movement.
Thanks to its dormant Mount Liamuiga volcano, St Kitts has some of the richest, most fertile soil in the Caribbean, and you can taste it all here at Fari’s farm, from kale to moringa and basil, bananas and basil.
It’s all organic, and it all ends up on the dishes at Ital Creations, with an ever-changing, totally vegan menu that includes some of the best, freshest veggie burgers (and veggie nuggets) you’ll ever eat. Forget impossible meat – this is about what’s possible when you use organic, sustainably-sourced ingredients.
“Farm-to-table dining is becoming increasingly popular in St. Kitts and Nevis, as the fertile soil and tropical climate allow for a wide variety of fresh produce and seafood to be grown and caught locally,” says Alex Nobert, director of operations at Sunset Reef, the island’s hottest new hotel. “Many restaurants on the islands are now sourcing ingredients directly from nearby farms and fisheries, showcasing the region’s culinary diversity and promoting sustainable agriculture practices.”
At Sunset Reef, the resort has its own garden on property, growing tropical fruits, vegetables and herbs, all of which find their way onto the plates at the outstanding restaurant, the Drop Anchor Grill. The restaurant also leads the island in its seafood sourcing, with easily the best, freshest fish anywhere on the island.
“[We are] constantly working on adding more and more produce to the garden to reduce as much as possible their carbon footprint,” Nobert tells Caribbean Journal.
Further up the island, in the foothills of the island’s towering Mount Liamuiga, you’ll find the Liamuiga Natural Farms, the island’s full-fledged farm-to-table tour experience.
Set 1,500 feet above sea level, you’ll find a vibrant coffee and citrus farm, where you can spend the day exploring St Kitts’ stunningly rich soil and enjoy a true farm-to-table meal in the heart of the rainforest. (Liamuiga Natural Farm also has a cabin where you can spend the night, the highest accommodation on the whole island).
In the north, you can try a gourmet farm-to-table experience, the shared table dining experience at the farm-to-table dinner at the eco-luxe Belle Mont Farm hotel. The regular dinner is a cornucopia of local flavors, shared at a communal table with like-minded guests, travelers and locals, an evening of learning and discovery.
Back at Ital Creations, Judah Fari walks around his fields, remembering his youth at the farm, mindful of the movement he has helped spearhead, one that has helped place St Kitts at the forefront of the Caribbean.
Farm-to-table “has really started [in St Kitts],” he says.
“More people are getting into vegetables, we’re hoping to get more on board,” he says. “Because we need it.”
For more, visit St Kitts.