Readers Kitchens: Venesa from Macaroni Beach


Who: Venesa

Where: Macaroni Beach House, Mustique

What do you do in your kitchen and with who? A lot of cooking! I am the chef here at the Macaroni Beach House so I am always making deserts, pastries, lunches and suppers for our guests.

I'm very passionate about it and cooking for me is hereditary. My father was a great cook, he used to work on a bulk ship and made a great rice pilaf and I've always cooked, since I was small, always been around my grandmother in her kitchen in Trinidad, watching her doing her thing, helping along the way. I was always curious about what flavours she was adding.

It gives me great joy to see the expression on people's faces when they enjoy a home cooked meal from me. I love experimenting with a lot of different spices and herbs, chopping and changing recipes to create my own.

Delia Smith is my number one. She's very unique, accurate and she takes great pride in every ounce of what she puts into her recipes to make it perfect. And Jamie Oliver, he is more down to Earth, he creates recipes from things you'd never dare to try!

This is a great kitchen to work in, it's a great space with a soothing atmophere and a strong Mediterranean influence in the open plan cupboards and big work spaces. 

Vanesas kitchen copy
How would you describe your style? Ah! my style stands out different from the rest, whatever I do I try and get in all the nutritional elements in my meals, so it's healthy eating and my cooking is based on using only natural herbs and spices and the freshest ingredients. Also it has to stimulate the palate so people will come back for more.

It's very easy for me to create a dish from next to nothing, I can turn simple ingredients into rich natural flavours, no one would know how simple the food really was, it's like creating an illusion – and I can do it quickly too.

My signature dish is a local West Indian curry but with Asian influences because I like working with the spices and herbs they use. Because I cook for people from all walks of life here at Macaroni Beach, I have taken our local West Indian recipes and made them lighter, more modern and a bit healthier. But also I'm known by a lot of people for my famous margharita pizza! it's pretty good and all my guests love it.

Vanessas kitchen 2
What is your most useful item? I love my Tefal steamer, it works magic! I use it for steaming anything and everything, vegetables, poultry, fish, it is very efficient and effective. I also love our Krupps Nespresso coffee machine and the Nespresso milk wizzer, it gives one of the best cappuccinos in the world!

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