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Cookin and Cruizin

Wed, 09/24/2014

Cooking Cuisine One Marina at a Time

For many people who love to cook, the idea of combining cooking new exotic dishes with exploring the world aboard a luxury yacht would be a dream come true. That dream came true this summer for a few fortunate people chosen to be cooks and crew on the first “Cookin and Cruizin” cooking class, conceived by Marvelle Manga-Mixon. 

The idea came to me last year when sailing with Black Boaters and Friends in the Caribbean. People would pass by our yacht sitting at the marina and see me and my crew sitting down to a delicious meal and ask me “How did you prepare that meal in that small galley?” I took for granted all the ‘tricks’ I used to cook in a small space and how important it is to create meals inspired by local foods and spices. The idea of sharing germinated, and I decided to share what I had learned and organize cooking classes to be held on a yacht for anyone who wanted to learn.

The hardest part was figuring out how to get the funding for this project.  But, when I pitched the idea to The Moorings Yacht Charter Company, they saw the value in the project, and came on board as a sponsor.  Once we knew we had the yacht, the project ‘grew legs’ and began to grow on its own. Before long we had eager learners and a schedule to begin in July. These cooking adventures are designed to be fun and you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy them”.

First stop, the British Virgin Islands.  Warm Caribbean waters, beautiful beaches, lovely people and impressive marinas entice visitors to the British Virgin Islands. Adding to the festive ambiance, the islands' cuisines boast fresh, tropical fruits and vegetables, fish, shellfish, and a spice palette that melds the flavors of each of the islands’ many cultural contributors. A Caribbean platter is an explosion of color, aroma, and exquisite taste.

The British Virgin Islands was my first choice because the local food fare is so flavorful and has its roots in Africa, Britain and the Caribbean.  It’s a hodgepodge of cultures, and the fusion of Afro-Caribbean foods reminds me of familiar soul food dishes. It is easy to create island dishes once you know what foods are available locally and how to use the local spices.

The summer cooking adventure included cooking lessons by local chefs as well. Everyone got the chance to learn, including me.  One of the high points for us was learning how to prepare Caribbean Lobster with jerk-rum-butter sauce, Yumm!

Next stop is St Martin, St Kitts and Anguilla.  You can find more information and sign-up for the next class on Cookin and Cruizin at www.cookinandcruizin.com.

Don’t miss the next issue when I’ll share information about cooking delicious healthy meals in a yacht galley that you can use to prepare meals in any small space.

Marvelle Manga's picture