Introducing | The Resto Manifesto
There’s no shortage of food-focused, travel Instagram feeds that will direct you to the tastiest, most photo-ready oyster shucked, rooftop venue in cities like Paris, London or New York. But when you’re faced with the make-or-break dilemma of where to wine and dine in The Bahamas - a destination less travelled by trustworthy critics - the recommendations become all the more vital.
I am thrilled to introduce Cacique’s RESTO MANIFESTO, a well-seasoned, impassioned guide to The Bahamas’ rapidly-evolving culinary scene. Over the past decade, we have seen a great gastronomic shift in The Bahamas. As we cultivate savvy palettes, bolstered by the diversity of travel and globalized communities, Bahamian restauranteurs have begun aggressively taking up slack. Nassau alone boasts an eclectic array of innovative, distinctive restaurants. Chefs today thoughtfully conceive culinary experiences that combine aesthetics, community and consumption, with our food scene becoming as sophisticated and diverse as our thriving art scene. In this first episode, we take a deeper dive into our journey towards culinary enlightenment while investigating what makes The Bahamas unique as a culinary destination.
MAKING WAVES IN THE FOOD CHAIN
With the growing demand for adventurous cuisine, Bahamian restauranteurs are rising to the challenge and acknowledging the need for quality, uniquely delicious menus and unforgettable food experiences. The wave of all-natural, locally-sourced, “clean” foods that has swept through major global cities has washed across our island nation. The system is self-perpetuating - as today’s diners, both local and international, demand a better product, the restaurants must compete to deliver. Chefs seek out better ingredients from suppliers and farmers, ultimately raising the overall bar of the Bahamian restaurant experience.
Shima, for instance, The Island House’s asian-fusion rooftop restaurant, is well-positioned from its lofty perch to gather all the lime kaffir, sweet potatoes and chilis from the weekend Farmers Market below. Aussie transplant, Head Chef David Rogers, is very much in support of sustainable seafood sourcing and completes his Bangkok-inspired menu with multiple appearances by, Australis Barramundi, a sustainably farmed fish. Furthering this notion of ethically sourced ingredients, Kyle Jones, our go-to cocktail craftsman and mastermind behind the highly anticipated Hemmingway-esque speakeasy, Bon Vivants, meticulously handpicks his produce from the local Chiccharney Farms. The waves are being made and they are reverberating through the island. Vegan options pepper menus, organic is nearly a staple and quinoa continues to fight to replace the long reign of queen “rice.”
PREVAILING PERENNIAL PARADISE
In regards to diversity of restaurant venues, The Bahamas offers something truly unique. We live in the isles of perpetual summer with sweeping sea vistas, beaches and historical sites at our fingertips. Surrounded by the clearest waters known to man and armed with celebrity-chef studded resorts, beach bars, charming seaside cafés and top-tier standalone restaurants, we have a culinary experience for every palette and every mood. Sunset at Café Martinique followed by a stroll past the mega yachts of Marina Village perhaps or light bites at Skybar, Nassau’s magical rooftop venue? Feeling zen? How about sushi “en terrace” at Social House or rolling with the award-winning rolls of Master Chef Uechi at Katsuya? The venues are as diverse as the colours of the sunset, and that’s one thing that will never go out of fashion.
FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD
Last but definitely not least - the food. Food is so inseparable from experience and place these days, that the word itself is best replaced by “menu” or “culinary experience.” With the increasing globalisation of Nassau as a multicultural city and the knock-on effect around the islands, our palettes expect world-class fare and “foreign flavours” infused into ever-evolving fusionistic menus. Coco Plum, for instance, is dishing up Moroccan tagines while celebrity Chef, José Andrés has ingeniously incorporated the invasive lion fish on his menu at The Cove, Atlantis. Whether it is a white-table-clothed affair or a pop-up taco stand, our palettes like what they've been tasting and have been irrevocably changed for the better.
In addition to this new era of decadent, wholesome eating we are also delighted to be bidding farewell to the days of plonk. Graycliff, a 250 year old colonial mansion, is home to one of the world’s most extensive wine cellars boasting over 250,000 bottles and 250-year old vintage wines. Mahogany House Market has a vast selection of revered wines, all hand-selected to pair with the vast array of culinary dishes.
CACIQUE CULINARY EXPERIENCES
For us at Cacique, we believe in pushing boundaries - be it food, art, music or alternate spaces. That is why we are always on the look-out for new, breathtaking venues to make experiences and tastebuds come alive. For enquiries about culinary experiences or events with Cacique International, please feel free to contact us.
Look out for our next Resto Manifesto in which we go French with Island Brother’s Cie.