November St. Maarten’s Culinary Month
What is it about when we say “Try the best of St. Maarten Flavors”? Sint Maarten is known for its scenic beaches, lush rainforests, and rich culture and lots of varieties of delicious food. The St. Maarten Tourism Bureau and the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association jointly announced November as St. Maarten’s Culinary Month through its initiative “St. Maarten Flavors”.
During the month of November, participating restaurants will design a special prix fix menu of either 3 courses or one, highlighting their specialties. St. Maarten, known for offering an exquisite variety of culinary delights island-wide and is often referred to as the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean”. Besides showcasing food specialties during the month of November, restaurants will implement additional activations to make the dining experience even more unique.
We will showcase some of the participating “Try the best of St. Maarten Flavors” restaurants and chefs throughout the next weeks. So make sure to sign up for our blog posts and newsletters!
Meet Jewel chef at TJs Cassava Coal Pot Restaurant
The cuisine in Sint Maarten is under influence by several different cultures including French, Dutch, African, and Indian. A staple food in Sint Maarten called cassava (also called yuca or manioc). We recently spoke to Jewel about how they use cassava to make some amazing dishes! Jewel is the owner & chef of TJ’s CASSAVA COAL POT Restaurant & Cigar Lounge, one of the favorite local restaurants in Sint Maarten. We met her at her family business, which has been operating for generations and offers authentic local cuisine. Her mother, Yvette’s Kitchen, author of the famous cookbook “From Yvette’s Kitchen To Your Table” inspired her from childhood on with a variety of local recipes.
After working as a private chef for several years, Jewel founded her restaurant TJ´s Cassava Coal Pot three years ago. Her local dishes include everything from “Head & Foot Soup” to “East meets West” (Nasi Goreng) and other regional flavors. St. Maarten, Curaçao, and Suriname heritage make Jewel’s food an exciting combination of flavors.
Visit TJs Cassava Coal Pot for lunch or dinner
We tried the chicken wings and the signature appetizer “Conch Ceviche” and found them to be mouthwatering. Her food is fresh, tasty, and aromatic. It is simply delicious as a result of its freshness and aromatic flavors. The chicken wings have a delicious taste and are a bit spicy, but not excessively so. The “Conch Ceviche” served with Mango and Pineapple, as well as a vinegar sauce. Finger licking good!
Jewel’s children and grandchildren are all working at the restaurant and Jewel not only teaches them, how to keep the authentic flavors alive but offers cooking classes and interesting “couple nights”. Two couples get the opportunity to join Jewel´s kitchen; either he cooks for her, or she cooks for him. If you are a guest at the restaurant, you will be treated like family and the whole atmosphere is like visit a family at home.
During the month of November, TJs participate in the initiative “St. Maarten Flavors” and you will have the chance to try her 3-course St. Maarten Flavors menu for only $49 :
- TJ´s Conch Ceviche
- Fish Filet marinaded in Lemon Grass on a Spinach bed, mashed Potatoes, pickle Cassava
- Cassava Pudding with Coconut -Mango Sauce and Guavaberry
Above all, before leaving her restaurant do not miss trying one of the aromatic herbal liqueurs! We tried the Kinnep and the Guavaberry shot and loved both of them.
TJ´s CASSAVA COAL POT is open for lunch & dinner from Tuesday to Sunday.
Located: 49, Arawak Village, Sucker garden road in Sint Maarten
Contact details: Phone & WhatsApp +1 (721) 580-3370
During the month of November, St. Maarten Flavors showcases the great variety of culinary delights St. Maarten has to offer. Restaurants from both sides of the island can enroll in this program at a modest rate, with discounted rates for members of the SHTA. Details are available here www.stmaartenflavors.com. Those enrolled offer great deals to patrons ranging from samplers or one-course bites, starting at $17.50 to full three-course dining experiences at $49. Revenues from the event will be used to launch a new generation of St. Maarten culinary talents to the next edition of the prestigious “Taste of the Caribbean” event in Miami in 2023.