Food and Culture: Exploring Caribbean and Cornish Culture & Culinary Connections

I’ve been quite hush-hush about my development with my photojournalism project. I do apologise! I’ve been so busy buzzing around trying to get everything aligned in my mind and planning what I want to do. It’s been quite frantic to say the least with added stresses such as the dreaded Case Study deadline looming.

Enough about that, let’s have a big old chat about food: my favourite thing to natter on about. If you didn’t know, I live on the Cornish coast and before then, I lived in the Caribbean. Needless to say, I like being by the sea. Seaside destinations whether they be little towns or island villages, they have that same sea-sprayed atmosphere. They both smell slightly (sometimes a wee bit more than slightly) like fish and seafood in general. Places that seagulls and tourists swarm and nestle, migrating from one to the other depending on who has the best fish and chips.

I liked the idea that two so geographically distant places could both be so similar. I wanted to explore that in-depth for my photojournalism project. What sprung this idea was after going to Cribbs in Falmouth. It’s a Caribbean restaurant that serves some of the dishes (or takes on those dishes) that I grew up with. Side dishes such as plantain and rice & peas (I only ever knew as ‘peas & rice’ growing up in the Bahamas) are featured on the menu and for an island girl like me, it gives me a taste of home.

I hoping to capture the traditional Caribbean essence that Cribbs’ chef John presents when preparing his Jamaican-originated dishes. What I also want to do is compare that which is traditionally Cornish, not the pasty but how Rick Stein creates a more sophisticated take on fish and chips. Why the connection? Because in my opinion, the chef at Cribbs gives Caribbean cuisine a fresh and sophisticated appeal. To grow up knowing that traditional Bahamian, and any Caribbean food for that matter, was extremely unhealthy always fell to the back of your mind. Presentation is not essential (this is restaurant take-away style that I’m referring to, not 5-star hotels) and usually comes in a styrofoam box. Similar to how in Britain, fish and chips on the go is usually in a tell-tale cardboard box. ‘Chicken-in-a-bag’ is also quite popular with locals in the Bahamas but is no beauty to behold with its fried chicken piece and french fries all covered in ketchup and to be shaken up by the customer.

We can compare the ‘Chicken-in-a-bag’ to the Cornish Pasty who doesn’t need to be presented in anything more than a traditional brown bag. The pasty is not particularly beautiful but it still is a crowd pleaser and although it’s presentation is basic, its fit-in-your-hand size is perfect for eating on the go.

Do I seem a bit silly to think these two places really do have that much in common?

Well seeing as one of the cruise ports in Jamaica is in fact called Falmouth, I think I may be on to something many may not have really noticed but by speaking to the restaurant owner at Cribbs I can maybe see what he thinks about the connection. And if he chose Falmouth for any other reason than just by chance.


Here is my favourite shot from my photoshoots at Cribbs:

Chef John


All photographs are copyright of Kelsi Farrington unless otherwise stated. 



One Comment Add yours

  1. Julie Farrington says:

    Good blog looking forward to reading about why the owner decided to settle in Falmouth

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