Champs Interview part 3 – Kevin – our new chef!

Champs Interview part 3 – Kevin – our new chef!

Chef Kevin was very busy in the kitchen when I arrived to interview him. There was an amazing fresh garlic-y smell infiltrating the restaurant area from the kitchen. He was finishing up making a garlic herb butter which he showed me and said he would join me for the interview asap. 15 minutes later he appeared in his chef’s hat ready for the photo….

chef in chef hat



What made you decide to become a chef?

I always liked cooking and enjoyed it and found it fascinating since a child and always around parents adopted grandparents  I grew up in Fond St Jean near Stowe and Petit Savanne in the south  – there’s a little hamlet above it called Fab. It’s a small village where everyone is your aunt or uncle.

Font St Jean is the opposite end of the island from Hotel The Champs (see red pin on map below)

As a kid it (cooking) was something we had to learn-  as first of 5, left by parents so they could work overseas you learn fast – in the home/hostel I grew up at age 9 I was cooking for 15 people in household.

When I was about eleven, I got a job washing pots, beating the cake, learned how to make pastries etc. locally on the weekend and after schoolwork and home economics. I have always had that love for cooking.

I grew up fast, it was encouraged not as a vocation or career but useful to contribute to the household, yet I still had to do the dirty work i.e. cleaning and sweeping etc.

I asked Kevin if there was a rota so that chores were shared, he said not really…

There were only verbal rotas so as non-blood child, I did the hard graft. I was the male version of Cinderella.

Are you the classic grumpy chef everyone fears, it doesn’t seem like it?!

Some people are a bit afraid of me. I must be in a good mood. I can snap in and out of it. Creative people, we want to be left to our own devices, but we still have employers and must keep them happy. So slowly we manage to get our employers to let us do what we want more. I prefer a menu that’s less conventional because I have ideas and like to create. I cannot maintain a standardised menu. I like getting the leeway of being able to be creative and change the menu to get variety in our lives. Hotel guests love it. It works well in Dominica because of some produce being available at different times.

So is your family still spread around like a lot of people here?

I moved back to DA September 21st 2005. I have three sons Kinou lives here, one in UK one in US.

Tell me something funny

Once was making gourmet style my way bread pudding – there were two jars both with white stuff in it. Just grabbed and didn’t taste – big mistake – lost all that LOVE when I tasted it just before it went in. I’d put salt instead of sugar. So glad I didn’t waste time baking it!

Also I was 19 I went to work at a small hotel resort in the BVI’s and I was making pumpkin soup and it was suggested I put cinnamon in it. I stirred quite a lot of dried powdered cinnamon as it didn’t smell or taste like cinnamon. That was when I learned that herbs and spices in powder form is much stronger. We fixed it but adding more pumpkin and coconut milk. Then it turned out great. I hadn’t encountered using dried herbs for cooking until then (only for baking).


What’s your favourite item on the menu?

I have no favourite on the menu because menu changes so much but I do love Italian and French, especially Mediterranean food.

I over 20 years with Asian, French, Italian, Spanish and American chefs then went to culinary school because I was asked to. That was to a certificate. Instead of 4 years I did fast track as already had experience so did it in 2 years – at Johnson and Wales University in Providence Island.


Come join us for a delicious meal any time Thurs-Sunday unless you’re staying at the hotel then it’s whenever you wish….  and we are now also offering take-out of part of the menu.


We look forward to seeing you soon!


P.S. here’s my current favourite item on the menu… Thai Coconut Shrimp on a bed of sauteed vegetables, Avocado and Papaya Accra.











Walk to the Saturday market in Portsmouth

Walk to the Saturday market in Portsmouth

Many of our guests who stay on a Friday night enjoy an early morning walk to the Saturday market in Portsmouth.


You see rainbows regularly in Dominica

We wanted to illustrate what the journey is like. It was a slightly overcast day which made it cool at 7am and more chance for rainbows. There is lots to see en route.

We start with a short walk down the hill through Picard, then round the bend past a local supermarket called LA Enterprise. One can find more than just the essentials here as well as some fresh items – but better to wait to see all that at the market.

mini mart groceries

caribbean sea cabrits in background

Cabrits National Park behind Caribbean sea to your left as you walk to the market

The road then bends around sharply to the right when you meet the Caribbean Sea.

From here you can see the Cabrits National Park in the distance, to your left while you continue to walk along the road adjacent to the Caribbean Sea.

You will cross the Indian River, looking up it your right (Caribbean sea to your left) . Tours up this river to see wildlife are very popular, often ending with a drink at a rum bar. Speak to us for how to book when you’re here.

Indian River Bridge

The bridge crossing the Indian River


Flowers on the roadside

Indian River

The Indian River









As you proceed further you will pass the bus stop to your left from where you can catch rides south and also Dee’s, a small shop where you will find souvenirs and groceries. You will no doubt find many people to talk to along he way.

Minibus Bus stop

Minibuses at Portsmouth T-Junction

mini mart groceries

Dee’s Mini Mart – Groceries and curios can be found here



You will have passed the NBD bank on your way (to your right) if you need cash, as early in the morning the one next to Dee’s is locked (see left photo green building)

You will soon arrive at the market… you definitely can’t miss it!



Approaching the heart of the market












The market is busy early in the morning, as farmers from all over the north come to sell their wares. Make sure to go to the back of the market by the waterfront to see the undercover area also (you may also see meat and fish available)

You will find it’s better to ask people before taking their photo.

Our kitchen uses fresh produce grown and caught locally from this market and other local sources. You will find that our menu changes daily in accordance with what is fresh and available.



the market is busy from early mornings

ginger bananas potatoes peppers tomatoes

a variety of fresh produce locally grown










If there is anything particular you’re interested in trying do feel free to talk to us about it. We will make every effort to incorporate it into the menu during your stay. We hope that you will feel absorbed in island life and culture and take amazing memories home with you, and possibly even a few new recipes!


fresh fish

bananas plantain pumpkin avocados

Bananas, plantain, avocado and pumpkin

market stall

The under cover part of the market