Taste the Islands Goes from Screen to Table in New Cookbook

Taste the Islands TV Show hosts and cookbook authors Cynthia “Chef Thia” Verna and Hugh “Chef Irie” Sinclair

Taste the Islands TV Show hosts and cookbook authors Cynthia “Chef Thia” Verna and Hugh “Chef Irie” Sinclair | Photo by David I. Muir

“Taste the Islands – Culinary Adventures in a Caribbean Kitchen” – Caribbean Cuisine Cookbook

SOUTH FLORIDA – Enjoy a fun and delicious journey through the Caribbean in the vibrant collection of gourmet and home-style recipes titled “Taste the Islands: Culinary Adventures in a Caribbean Kitchen.”

Hardcover copies of the new book will be available on Amazon and wherever books are sold beginning April 14.

In it, Hugh Sinclair and Cynthia Verna, known as “Chef Irie” and “Chef Thia” on their television show Taste the Islands, introduce ingredients and flavors that open windows into the region’s many cultures.

Sinclair and Verna share their own recipes as well as traditional island favorites. Starting with “stop gap” snacks like fritters made from malanga root and continuing through desserts and cocktails, they include refreshing salads like pineapple pepper slaw, soups with “a healthy dose of soul” made with bases such as calabaza pumpkin or black beans, and main dishes such as curried goat or mussels chorizo in mango coconut sauce.

Co-author and show producer Calibe Thompson, lends narrative elements to the book, sharing behind the scenes stories about the team’s adventures in making the television show, interacting with each other and their celebrity guests, and learning more about cuisine from the various islands they explore.

From the authors’ home nations of Jamaica and Haiti to the Latin islands, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago, the communities represented in these dishes have deep histories.

The recipes feature both native and colonial food traditions that have been passed down for generations and showcase African, European, Middle Eastern, and Asian influences.

Sinclair and Verna also incorporate tastes and techniques from their international travels, capturing the eclectic variety of Caribbean cuisine today.

Filled with colorful photographs, many by acclaimed photo artist David I. Muir, and infused with the joy of two expert chefs celebrating the foods that are closest to their hearts, Taste the Islands brings the places, histories, and rhythms of the Caribbean into your home kitchen.

Caribbean Cuisine Goes from Screen to Table in New Cookbook “Taste the Islands - Culinary Adventures in a Caribbean Kitchen”

Taste the Islands Cookbook Cover

Said Verna, “I was able to bring a little bit of Africa, the Caribbean and the French to the project, so you could say you get to taste some of my personal Haitian history with the food that we made and the spices we used.” Sinclair reflected, “I hope people see that Caribbean food is very multidimensional. It can be complex, it can be simple, but it’s always full of flavor. I hope that as they read and try the recipes, they’ll see how much love goes into cooking Caribbean food.”

“Taste the Islands calls readers to the authentic tropical flavors and fascinating beat of the Caribbean. Chef Irie and Chef Thia creatively share recipes with a mosaic of approachable, fresh, and delicious ingredients representing the diverse cultures of the Caribbean.”

—Allen Susser, chef and author of Allen Susser’s New World Cuisine

“A delightful overview of the gastronomic influences that make Caribbean cuisine so special. Chef Irie and Chef Thia share their culinary secrets and charming stories with easy-to-follow recipes that burst with flavor.”

—Jon Palmer Claridge, food critic, Creative Loafing Tampa  

“Informative and lighthearted. A great read for cultural enthusiasts, travelers, experimentalists, and anyone curious about Caribbean flavors and their origins.”

—Sian Rose, author of Nyammings: 88 Authentic Caribbean Recipes  

“Truly captures the bold flavors, ingredients, and spices that represent the diverse cultures of the Islands. You will enjoy cooking your way through this book from beginning to end.”

—Bruce Ozga, dean of culinary education, Johnson & Wales University

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