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In Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, the countless restaurants, food shops, street vendors and markets that line Baxter’s Road have been drawing locals and tourist to eat Bajan fare for well over 100 years. As a child growing up on Baxter’s Road, young Shem would take in all the tastes and aromas of this bustling marketplace. Men ran the many rum shops and women sold food — fishcakes, fried fish, chicken and chips were the preferred fare — known as “liver cutters”, served to compliment and buffer the cold beer & strong rum.
Today Baxter’s Road is a cosmopolitan urban center offering everything from Caribbean street food to international fine dining, where Chef Shem Barker cut his teeth after graduating from the Barbados Hospitality Institute. Tonight he brings some of the flavour of Bridgetown Road to The Dep — traditional Bajan dishes with his own personal and creative twist.
Golden brown salt cod fritters, seasoned with scallions, thyme & red pepper, are a classic Bajan street food; served with Shem’s signature dipping sauce.
Baxter’s BBQ Chicken
You’ll encounter the mouth-watering smell of chicken cooking over coals in pretty much every corner of Barbados. Juicy roasted chicken leg quarters in tangy, sweet BBQ sauce with a touch of heat and hickory smoke.
Oistins is a coastal town just southeast of the capital, famous for its Friday night Fish Fry – a lively night market of full food & drinks, music & dancing. Braised salt cod with onions, tomatoes and sweet peppers scented with garlic and thyme.
Colourful Caribbean-style fried rice with corn, carrots, broccoli & sweet pepper, seasoned with thyme, garlic & green onions — served in a pineapple dish!
Bajan Macaroni Pie
Who doesn’t love a good Mac ‘n’ Cheese? Barbados certainly does! Baked Macaroni Pie, with its crispy golden top, is an island favourite and one of Shem’s most requested dishes.
Cool & creamy, a little tangy and a little sweet; shredded cabbage & carrots in a light mayonnaise & vinegar dressing.
This is how we have all those pineapple bowls! Slabs of fresh, juicy pineapple, roasted until well caramelized, dusted with cinnamon and served with a dollop of whipped cream.
Chicken, Fish, or ½ + ½
Bajan Dinner $48 for 2 • $90 for 4
Chef Shem Barker immigrated to Toronto from his native Barbados in 2018. A graduate of the Barbados Hospitality Institute, Shem has had the opportunity to work closely with award-winning chefs who encouraged him to explore his creativity and give his Barbadian cooking an international flare.
He is the owner of Shem’s Kitchen which features Shem’s unique style, a cuisine inspired by the food, festivals and culture of the Caribbean. For more information on Shem’s Kitchen, follow him online at @shembarker