FUN IN THE SUN

Australian Traveller - - Shortcuts Travel Buzz -

Hus­band and wife duo Char­lie Ranken and Stephanie Har­ris are bring­ing the unique flavours – and ex­u­ber­ant colour – of the Caribbean and Amer­i­can Gulf Coast to Mel­bourne with the open­ing of Saint Lu­cia.

WHY CARIBBEAN FOOD?

On a trip through the Caribbean and the south­ern US we were blown away by this ex­cit­ing, flavour­some cui­sine! We were sur­prised there wasn’t a big­ger rep­re­sen­ta­tion of it back in Mel­bourne and we thought, we’ve got to share this with peo­ple!

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR FIRST EN­COUN­TERS WITH THE FLAVOURS OF THE CARIBBEAN.

We spent the trip tast­ing and try­ing as many dishes and flavours as pos­si­ble, speak­ing to lo­cals and chefs, ab­sorb­ing as much as we could about this amaz­ing cui­sine. From there we set about de­vel­op­ing a con­cept that in­cor­po­rated a mod­ern in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the dishes and flavours we’d fallen in love with.

HOW ARE YOU MAK­ING THE CHAR­AC­TER­IS­TICS OF THE CUI­SINE UNIQUE AT SAINT LU­CIA?

We try to in­cor­po­rate a play­ful and fun el­e­ment to the dishes, given our in­spi­ra­tion comes from a hol­i­day through the re­gion! One of our favourites is the Kokomo Kone; we were think­ing of foods that evoke the idea of be­ing on a hol­i­day and an ice-cream cone came to mind. We thought, let’s do some­thing un­ex­pected with this; how about a savoury ver­sion? The fi­nal prod­uct is a hand­made ‘sun­set’ waf­fle cone filled with jerk bar­be­cue glazed fried chicken, slaw, charred corn, lime mayo and can­died scotch bon­net pieces.

WHAT QUIN­TES­SEN­TIAL CARIBBEAN DISH DOES EV­ERY­ONE NEED TO EAT AT LEAST ONCE?

Jerk chicken! It’s so flavour­some, a great bal­ance of heat, sweet, spice and smoke. For us it wasn’t just the flavour but the whole ex­pe­ri­ence. There were as­pects that were so fa­mil­iar to us: the chicken is cooked on an out­door bar­be­cue; it’s a ca­sual and so­cial vibe; ev­ery­one’s en­joy­ing the warm evening air; you’ve just stepped off the beach with sand in your thongs. The dish it­self is quite unas­sum­ing then you take a bite and pow!

THE DÉ­COR AT SAINT LU­CIA IS SO MUCH FUN, WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT IT?

We wanted to create a warm, wel­com­ing and com­fort­able place that in­spires the idea of be­ing on a hol­i­day with­out re­ly­ing on the typ­i­cal ‘tiki’ styling. You’ll find lush green­ery, nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als like wood and rat­tan, dis­tinc­tive colours found in the Caribbean and keepsakes from our trav­els. Quite of­ten we’ll hear cus­tomers point to some­thing and say “that re­minds me of our hol­i­day to…”; we love that. saintlu­ci­awind­sor.com.au

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