Chef Craig Jones has been the dynamic creative force at Cliff at Cap restaurant at Saint Lucia's Cap Maison since it opened in 2008. The restaurant just won its first Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator and Jones has stretched the boundaries of resort cuisine by organizing Saint Lucia's first Pop Up dinners. In the past six months, he's cooked and entertained up to 40 guests at time at such venues as an 18th century fort on Pigeon Island and on board the tall ship Brig Unicorn, used in Pirates of the Caribbean.
Now Jones is bringing his Pop Up style to Manhattan for two nights, the first Caribbean chef ever invited by City Grit, the culinary salon in NoLIta that is ground zero for the Pop Up movement. City Grit was founded by Sarah Simmons, who got her start with an underground supper club in her East Village apartment.
For Jones, cooking at City Grit on October 11 & 12 will be "a chance for me to really let our Caribbean flavors come through. " He's created an ambitious menu that pays homage to the Caribbean while simultaneously turning island classics on their head.
The City Grit meal will start with pork belly in chick pea curry with mangos and avocados, and then go to five variations on a sweet potato: as a beignet, puree, crisps, powder and pomme frites, served along with foie gras. The seafood course is tortellini of spring lobster served with caramelized ripe plantain and a foam of star anise, lime leaf, and lemon grass. That will be followed by Jones' variation on classic West Indian pepper pot, made in this instance with Kobe beef, caramelized Scotch bonnet peppers, star anise, nutmeg and honey. Desserts include a chocolate truffle made from Saint Lucian chocolate, a banana beignet a la crème, and homemade avocado ice cream with local almonds, pistachios, pecans, and pumpkin seeds that have been roasted with a Saint Lucian honey.
City Grit is located at 38 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012.