Jamaican Gospel Carlene Davis

Music and food are two of the Caribbean’s most sought-after exports. And perhaps no other regions loves both so much in equal measure. With this in mind, we tapped some of the Caribbean’s most beloved music stars to talk about the foods that excite their palates. Carlene Davis is one of Jamaica’s most versatile artists, accomplished in both secular and gospel music. Her classic hits include “Like Old Friends Do” and the yuletide anthem “Santa Claus (Do You Ever Come to The Ghetto).” In the kitchen, she loves to prepare food the old-school way she learned from her family in rural Clarendon.

Currently Craving: I love escovitch snapper on the beach, and I emphasize on the beach. The aroma of fish roasting and frying fills the air. With a little scotch bonnet, onions and vinegar, it just tastes better when we’re lazing in the shade.


Favorite Caribbean Dish To Cook At Home: I love freshly picked ackee, with or without saltfish. My grandmother taught me how to prepare it with saltfish, and I’ve taught my children and my husband how to prepare ackee vegetarian style with bok choy.

Go-to Caribbean Spot: In this season of physical distancing, a quick pickup spot for lunch is Ziggy’s Restaurant in Kingston, or takeout from Island Grill. When I’m on tour, The Door Restaurant in New York is a great place for a sit down meal. For takeout I head to Golden Krust.

Your Caribbean Essentials: I like to go to wherever there is a farmer’s market, where I can get fresh farm produce like fruits, vegetables, and ground provisions. We’re also lucky to get stuff straight from our own family farm.

One Dish Every Visitor Should Try: One dish everyone should try is a leg of roasted Jamaican-bred goat or mutton. The meat is sweet and tasty, and served best with gungo peas and rice. For a drink, they should try some homemade sorrel. And, of course, Twyman’s Old Tavern Blue Mountain Coffee is the best ever.


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