Caribbean Life-HGTV



There are a thousand benefits to befriending the folks who make your food. The gift of foodie insight, great food, and being on HGTV? Well, the latter was beyond unexpected, but a memory I won’t soon forget. Thankful to my farmer friends at Artfarm, Christina Gasperi, for suggesting to the folks at “Caribbean Life” that they visit our home as an example of the kind of food sharing and community that exists on our little Rock!


That’s the thing about Crucian life, it is beyond communal. Every part of our preparation for the big day was made possible at the hand of a friend or local business. Whether it was a group of friends signing waivers and confidentiality agreements to come and be part of the day, or my friend Charlene Springer agreeing to do for me what I NEVER do for myself–Make up! Or even one of my FAVORITE local furniture stores–SWEET LIME– loaning us this gorgeous teak table set to showcase the food I created. Everyone had something to share and contribute to making the day oh, so, special!

When my friend Liz and I walked into Sweet Lime and spoke with the owner Pat Sellegren, she was so generous and so kind and allowed us to showcase her ahhhhhmazing furniture. I owe her the BEST cup of cocoa tea and a brunch invite for the borrow of such a beautiful gift! If you live on island and haven’t been to Pat’s beautiful store, PUHLEASE give yourself the gift of heading out there. The location alone is so picturesque and peaceful and she has a treasure trove of beautiful Balinese furniture. Just go and thank me later! 

All these gifts were part of a greater message for the day and actually everyday on this island–Community. We help each other. And to receive the benefit of that kind of love and support to share your passion for all 30.5 BEAUTIFUL SECONDS is just beyond wonderful!


The food was divine. The company was perfection, Peter and I got to share the moment with four of our favorite human spirits on this Rock: Emile Henderson III, Liz Llanos-Popo, Sayeeda Carter, and John Canegata. Liz and Emile did the great tablescape using what we had on hand in terms of fruits and flowers! And Sayeeda and John helped out in the kitchen making passion fruit juice and Carambola Salad. The picture above is of my Mom’s infamous Johnny Cakes taken by Liz, who graciously took some great photos that day!

I don’t know that I have ever had better Johnny Cakes than my mom’s. I can’t make Johnny Cakes like she does. There is some real magic in her food! And she came to share the day with us and support us with that gift of food love!


The appetizer was shrimps in a creole brown butter sauce.


But the main feast was on fresh caught grilled lobster roasted over local charcoal! Man, that grill looked like a lobster cemetery! HEAVEN!! The scent that filled the air was beyond delicious, because we basted it in coconut milk, lemon grass, and organic butter.  The couple who visited the island were from Ohio. They were thrilled to experience some of the local fruits and flavors of St. Croix, and it was such a gift to be able to be the one to introduce them to it! Coconut water, keneps, did I say fresh caught lobster? Sigh…


But amongst all the food sharing was the mose important gift, the gift of making new friends. Meaghan is a member of the crew who is now officially a Crucian! She took to Johnny Cakes and Cocoa Tea like she’d had it all her life! Just an amazing spirit and downright wonderful person! That’s the real beauty of food blogging. It’s the people you meet and the time you share with some good food sprinkled in between. I hope we did our little Rock proud. There is such magic on this island. The magic for true Caribbean life isn’t just in the warm weather and sunshine beaches, its in the air, the culture, the food, the earth, the people who decided to make Paradise home! And I’m so glad to be a part of sharing that sunshine just a little more with a few more friends to be!

I believe the show will re-air, we weren’t able to get an exact date as to when it would, but I’ve included the webpage for you to check out! If you are lucky enough to catch a glimpse, I hope you enjoy it half as much as we enjoyed doing it!  Tune in, and enjoy the beauty that is this island. It is a special place, and that ahhhmazingness is reflected in both the food AND the people! Too proud!

If you haven’t made your way to the island yet, it might be time for you to start packing! 🙂


10 thoughts on “Caribbean Life-HGTV

  1. I was in St. Croix 2 years ago at Christmas. During that time there was all kinds if festivals going on and people were giving away food to the thed locals. I was able to try some

  2. this is beyond fabulous ! you’ve done us proud, contessa, by showcasing the warmth, spirit, love and delicious food that beats in the hearts and souls of all people from the Caribbean – whether born there or transplanted. thank you, thank you, thank you and congratulations !

  3. Wonderful write up of that day.. but words cannot do justice the LOVE you and Peter put into hosting your family of friends and relatives! It is always amazing to feel the love, dance to the rhythm of a mix of eclectic and familiar music, and get caught up in the infectious laughter and conversations that bubble over, from one room to the next. You, my dear, ARE the gift…. The lobsters are calling to me, and those johnny cakes tho!

  4. Glad to know that you were able to share with others something that you love doing. You a had great set of people to help you to showcase your talent on our little ROCK.

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