Intro

This post was from a recent trip to St. Lucia. I was sent by HighLine Foods to travel the island sampling and studying the seafood culture. I took my job very seriously by eating as much fish as I could. I enjoyed every moment. You can read more about my trip at the Seafood Spot.

 

In the shade of cocoa trees and the towering Petit Piton sits Boucan – a restaurant dressed in the finest dark woods and modern design with an intriguing menu dotted with cocoa, in all its various forms, throughout.

Like seeing a favorite celebrity in real life I was star struck as the walk up to the restaurant entrance was lined with trees heavy with cocoa pods. As a lifetime devout chocolate lover this was the first time I had seen cocoa pods in their native habitat and it filled me with a silly giddiness.

That same giddiness found me again as I tasted spicy local greens coated in a sweet white chocolate dressing. And then again as I sampled my husband’s cocoa nib crusted Dorado and as I dipped my seared tuna in a cocoa pesto. I doused much of my food in freshly ground cocoa nibs using the grinder provided at the table. I was released from the childhood rule of not eating chocolate for dinner, breaking it freely by putting cocoa nibs on virtually everything all-the-while being perpetually stunned when the flavors worked beautifully together.

Full on a pleasantly spiced curry studded with fish and plantains, and a chocolate tasting carrying us from nibs to a cool, lightly sweet chocolate drink, we sat down with the chef to talk with him about St. Lucia and his incredible talent that he brought to the island.

Chef Jon Bentham runs the sleek, black, open kitchen at Boucan. While the food served isn’t necessarily traditional St. Lucian cuisine the ingredients definitely are with 95% of what is used in the kitchen coming from various locations on the island. Chef Jon proudly spoke of their own garden on the property which supplies the restaurant with fresh organic herbs and greens. And of course all the cocoa he could ever dream of using is located a few steps away from the kitchen.

Chef Jon and his staff work closely with the locals insuring them the finest ingredients. With the success of the restaurant, it’s a wonderful economic boost for many St. Lucian farmers. “We’re happy, the farmer’s are happy. Everyone’s happy.” Chef Jon proudly proclaimed.

I walked away happy as well and encouraged to see such a wonderfully inventive restaurant flourishing and taking full advantage of all the incredible bounty found on the island.

 

34 Responses to “Boucan Restaurant, St. Lucia”

  1. andi

    ah! i echo the first commenters sentiments. we stayed near the pitons for our honeymoon… after filling up on local cuisine for the first 8 days, we opted for a pizza on one of our final nights, giggling to find that St. Lucians only offer cheese and sausage for possible toppings – and that “sausage” was a hot dog! such a glorious place.

    Reply
  2. Melissa

    Wow I am salivating with jealousy reading this post. Hello gorgeous island a chocolate. That place looks amazing and all the food just jumps out at you especially the idea of putting chocolate on everything!!!!

    Reply
  3. Kristen

    I was in St. Lucia in January and was in awe of its beauty! I especially loved some hilltop stop where they sold spiced rum – – they said it was an aphrodisiac. I did get flushed very quickly, so perhaps it’s true! I was surprised to hear about the rastafarians that live in the hills and live solely on the land…and a “special” green plant. lol… I thought that the rastafarians were only in Jamaica, but that’s not the case.

    My favorite was a catamaran ride with the Pitons in the background. The island was BEAUTIFUL from this vantage point. The flowing rum punch also made it a relaxing and beautiful trip! Yikes! I mentioned rum twice…. ;)

    Reply
  4. Pascha

    Have Mercy!
    This post is so very welcome on a(nother!) dreary Seattle day like this.

    Oh, to be in St. Lucia….

    Thank you for this.

    Reply
  5. Robin Blue

    Wow, what an experience. My husband is a commercial fisherman, so I’m always fascinated by how people in other parts of the world catch and prepare seafood. I’ve never cooked with cocoa nibs before, but I’m tempted to give it a try…

    Reply
  6. serena

    Beautiful pictures & write up – thank you! We are very proud of the hotel & restaurant!

    Reply
  7. Tasha @Tashasdish

    What an amazing trip. Although I am not a huge chocolate person, I do love cocoa when it is used in savory dishes. That food does look incredible!

    Reply
  8. Jana

    Oh man! My husband and I ate at Boucan on our honeymoon. It was one of the most incredible places I have ever eaten. I was so impressed with their use of cocao in every dish!

    Reply

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