For Nevis-born and raised Chef Wilroy Webbe, serving good quality, local cuisine is paramount.
Coming from a family of culinary lovers and being around the craft all his life, becoming a Chef was a no-brainer for Chef Wilroy.
Nevis is the smaller of the two islands comprising the nation of St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean.
It's known for sandy beaches, diving, its wild life and the Georgian-style buildings in Nevis’ capital Charlestown – and also its cuisine.
Each year, the island hosts the Nevis Mango and Food Festival, of which Chef Wilroy is part of in July, 2019.
Any other day, he can be found in the kitchen cooking up a storm, at Wilma’s Diner in Charlestown.
The style of cooking is fairly simple, flavoured much like other West Indian cuisine and creating quality dishes from locally sourced food is Wilroy’s passion.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up on the beautiful island of Nevis – I was born and raised there.
What inspired you to become a Chef?
Around six years ago, my mother encouraged me to train as a Chef as I loved cooking and the art of food so much – I learnt at Wilma’s Diner.
Why did you get interested in cuisine?
My mother has been a Chef for over 27 years – and from time to time when I was younger, I would help her out, which inspired me to be a part of the culinary world more.
She is also my biggest fan – she taught me so much, and is still teaching me to cook.
Hopefully – one day, I will get to cook for the Royal Family like my mother did.
What makes Nevis’ cuisine unique and special?
The cuisine in Nevis is unique and special because we only really use locally sourced food here.
We have rich soil, and grow a wide variety of fresh produce including breadfruit, green pawpaw, mangos, and other tropical fruits. We also have an abundance of seafood.
Rum is popular on the island as it is throughout the Caribbean.
The Brinley Gold Company manufactures rum on St Kitts, with such distinctive flavours as coffee, mango, and vanilla, but the national drink is actually Cane Spirits Rothschild (often abbreviated to CSR), distilled from fresh sugar cane.
Many villages on Nevis hold cookouts at the weekend, where people come together to eat, drink, play games like dominoes, and have a good time.
Can you share your favourite recipe?
Firstly, wash, and then cut the vegetables into smallish pieces.
Fry these briefly in the olive oil, before adding a little onion, garlic and ginger with a little curry powder - let that burn-off.
Add the eggplant with a little water and simmer until vegetables are soft.
Season to your likeness with vegetable cubes and add a pinch of sugar to prevent any bitterness in the eggplant.
Can you tell us about any farmers you work with, from who you buy your ingredients?
I usually visit one particular farmer – her name is Amatis – who I buy my produce from on a daily basis. She operates out of the public market in my home town.
Her food is always so fresh, and the tourists are always appreciative and compliment my cooking.
What is your personal mission?
My personal mission is to purchase a bigger place that where I currently am; and I also want to share my knowledge of cooking with anyone who is interested.
Can you tell us what you are most excited about right now?
I would have to say, my biggest accomplishment since I have been cooking is meeting Chef Judy Joo from Iron Chef.
I’m very excited about cooking with her at the Nevis Mango and Food Festival – and just to be cooking in general, I love doing what I do.