Caribbean Girls Rock

Crucian Contessa

What an incredible month April has been, full of just good on time messages. One of the best ones was this interview I did for Caribbean Girls Rock with Jenee James.  If you haven’t checked out their blog,  you really should. It is such a gift to all things for and about Caribbean Women!

So, when Jenee asked me to do an interview with them I was ecstatic! If you want to learn more about why I do this blog, why I share the things I do, and prepare the foods the way I do, take a look at this interview. I’ve included a little excerpt here, but click on the link below to read the whole thing.

I have had such a wonderful time cooking, and sharing, and photographing, and writing this blog! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and share it! It is a labor of love to highlight and promote all the wonderful foods we grow and create on our Rock! Food is love, and I adore sharing a bit of Crucian food love with you! I hope you are having a WONDERFUL Crucian Day, wherever you are in the world!


She is an attorney by profession and a culinary genius during her spare time. Her name is Tanisha Bailey-Roka. But, she is affectionately known to many as the Crucian Contessa.

CGR: How long have you been cooking or should I say creating dishes?

Contessa: I always loved baking—not so good at cooking—when I was growing up.  One of my favorite Christmas gifts was an easy bake oven my parents gave me! That was just a little metal box with a really tiny space for a really tiny cake pan, and a hot light bulb. But boy those little cakes were delicious!!  I really started to hone my cooking skills when I went away to college. My mom is an excellent cook. She didn’t believe in feeding us fast food, because in her words, “My food is better than that!” So having to shift from eating my mom’s amazing cooking to college cafeteria food was a real adjustment, to put it mildly. So, I started cooking most of my own meals. It’s amazing what you can do with two pots and a college stove top. And I just continued to cultivate my love of from scratch cooking from there.

kenepCGR: What makes you passionate about cooking?

Contessa: The taste! Making food from scratch and with excellent ingredients is a gift to yourself and to those you share it with. It is simply incomparable to anything that comes frozen or out of a box.  Almost anything you can buy, you can make yourself, and you control what goes into it. I also adore the look of pure bliss that crosses someone’s face when they taste something I shared with them. You can’t get that from a box! That comes from time and pride and love! It has its own unique flavor!

CGR: What’s your favorite dish of all time?

Contessa: It is REALLY hard to answer this question, because there are SO many foods I just love! But one of my definite go to comfort foods is a dish I found in an African Cookbook. It is called Mafe, and it was made with ground peanuts/peanut butter and chicken. It is just delicious! I have to make myself stop eating it. And of course anything from Ethiopia, Mexico, and India. Those cultures are like ours, they KNOW how to use and balance flavors and spices! See, I told you it was hard to answer this question.

To read more of this interview click on this link: Crucian Contessa Interview


2 thoughts on “Caribbean Girls Rock

  1. Hi there. I am Crucian living in New York (for now!) and, while I know how to make many traditional dishes, I would like to have a large repertoire to pass on. Have you ever considered doing a YouTube channel with your recipes? That would be amazing!

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