Hello from Necker Island!
I’d like to introduce my myself; I’m Ashley – Head Chef out here on Necker Island. This is my first blog, so yes I am a blog “virgin”.
Bad jokes aside, I thought I would chat about one of my favourite things about living and working on Necker Island – that’s the fantastic produce we can source locally.
First and foremost I have to tell you about the spiny lobsters, which are hand dived by a member of staff called Basil. Basil free dives for the lobsters with his bare hands, all of which are caught in and around the surrounding reefs of the Island. The lobster are only caught at certain times of the year and Basil follows my strict guidelines on what to take, for example nothing too small or too big and most definitely nothing that has roe on the under belly. This of course is to ensure we are not damaging the number of lobster and to also ensure quality for our guests.
Once Basil has delivered the Lobster to the kitchen and I have prepared it ready for cooking, I would simply season slightly with salt and pepper, a splash of olive oil and finely grated lemon zest, and now it is ready for the bbq. To accompany the lobster, I would serve this with a simple fresh salad of cherry tomatoes and where better to get the ingredients than our small vegetable and herb garden on island called “Lady Joan” where we grow lemongrass, basil, cherry tomatoes, rosemary and much more. For the salad, the cherry tomatoes are washed then cut in half and mixed with finely chopped basil, a little garlic, salt and pepper and extra virgin olive oil. I also like to use the rosemary from the garden added to baby new potatoes with a little garlic, all which are slowly cooked, another great accompaniment for the lobster.
All dishes ready, I like to serve them on one of our relaxing beaches – Turtle Beach for a great summer’s lunch!
Having only been on Necker for a short while, I am sure there is a lot more local produce out for there me and my kitchen team to discover and sample along the way. I look forward to sharing my new findings and dishes with you!
Until next time…
Executive Head Chef