Barbados Island Promo Event & Interview with Chef Henderson


The event was looking to promote links with Scotland and Barbados one of which are sports exchanges and will be hosting an event to network with interested sports disciplines throughout Scotland as we will be looking into implementing direct flights with Remac Tours from Scotland to Barbados next year.

Remac Tours is a Barbadian Tour Company that is delighted to announce the development of a sports and leisure direct service launch. This launch highlights tours to Barbados for sports exchanges with Scotland via Inspire Sports in disciplines such as Netball, Rugby, Football, Cycling, Marathons, Cricket and Hockey.

The event was held on Tuesday 1st of November in a Glasgow Caribbean restaurant called Sugar Dumpling.

On arrival, we were given a free drink and welcomed to the event. It was good to see that there was a good turn out, and I knew a few faces from other events and clubs I go to…..plus a rather furry bear was in the room.

Once everyone arrived the event started.

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Jed McCabe was first to get up and speak, and he introduced us to the large bear. The bear is known as Babakoochi, and was created by St Mirren legend Tony Fitzpatrick.

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The bear’s name has a special background, Tony has written many stories in memory of his young son Tony who tragically passed away in 1983 (age 6) with acute myeloid leukaemia — His nickname was “Babakoochi Bear”.

I got the chance to have a look at this book, and I have to say it’s very colourful and from the quick flick through there seemed to be a lot of story detail and also a few cool looking characters which I am sure will keep any young readers attention.

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The next part of Jed’s talk was all about the island, and how sports is a major part of Barbados. There are many sports on the island, and most of them are enjoyed by adults, families and also children. The sports included football to the very popular golf which I have to admit did look like a great course even though I am not a golf fan.

Jed then went on to give more details about the island, the population, size etc and it is even Rihanna’s homeland.

Jed then ended his talk on what the plan is to get Barbados and Scotland working together and making it easy for people to go and visit for sports or leisure or both.

They are aiming to have it all up and running for November 2017, you will have the option of a 6 or 13 night holiday plus optional excursions. I must state that you don’t need to book this for the sports, it will be open to just a nice holiday option.

The flight time is around 8 hours, and you will have the standard options for the hotel all inclusive /self-catering/ half board and bed and breakfast.

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The next speaker was Reynold McClean who is the managing director of Remac Tours. Reynold summed up the evening and thanked everyone who turned up. Reynold then introduced the chef who was behind the scenes making us nibbles throughout the night, that were full of taste and very very moreish.

The name of the chef is Chef Henderson Butcher, he was flown all the way in from Barbados to make us the food for the night and so we could taste true authentic Bajan cuisine.

One of Barbados’ most accomplished chefs and a veteran international ambassador for Bajan cuisine, Henderson Butcher is very enthusiastic about elevating Caribbean cuisine in the international culinary arena. He describes his cuisine style as “rustic elegance”, and uses an infusion of culinary styles to create contemporary Caribbean dishes that benefit from the influences of both his introduction to home‐style cooking from his mother and grandmother as well as his formal culinary training.

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Chef Butcher is the Executive Chef at the Pure ocean Beachside Dining Restaurant at Divi Southwinds hotel, the newest restaurant of its kind in the St Lawrence Gap, Barbados. Here he serves some of the most creative twists on local foods, with property‐grown fresh herbs used at the restaurant it brings about the freshness and Caribbean flavours for which he is known.

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I was very lucky to get some time to talk to Chef Henderson, and I was also lucky to be able to have a quick interview.

What made you become a chef?

“In 1987 my mom died, she had her own cook shop in Beidgetown, I had always liked what she use to do with food and I wanted to do the same and take it to the best level I could, so here I am these years later as a chef, just started out wanting to build on what my mother did.”

Since you’ve been over in Scotland, have you tried Haggis?

“I have not yet tried haggis but I will before I go.”

** Update : Chef Henderson tried it and said “tastes great”

What other types of cooking do you do apart from the Caribbean?

“The foods I love to cook are from all over the world but what I do is add a Barbados or Caribbean twist on whatever I do, like our cou cou I have looked at polenta and decided I want to make our cou cou be high quality so now I do savoury white chocolate cou cou.”

What is your favourite dish to make, and the reason it’s your favourite?

“I love to do our sour and sweet potato pudding, the flavours are so intense and puts a smile on the face of the person eating. Love that soul food.”

If you could work with a celebrity chef, who would it be and why?

“The celebrity chef I would love to.work with is Marcus Samuelsson he is deep in his roots with cooking and I respect and love that in a chef”

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to become a chef?

“To anyone wanting to become a chef, first decide if you want to be a chef or just a cook, when they have decided that then be committed to training and working very hard, I normally ask young cooks and chefs to take pride in my craft, this art form is not to be seen as a game or just a job, treat it well, it’s the love of my life.”

After Chef Henderson said a few works we all just mingled and talked to each other, and as thanks, we all got a goodie bag. The contents of the bag are promo booklets and leaflets about the island and events.

Overall I enjoyed the event as I learned a few things about Barbados that I never knew, plus it got me interested in maybe going next year…if the cost is good for me.


More about the Chef

One of Barbados’ most accomplished chefs and a veteran international ambassador for Bajan cuisine, Henderson Butcher is very enthusiastic about elevating Caribbean cuisine in the international culinary arena. He describes his cuisine style as “rustic elegance”, and uses an infusion of culinary styles to create contemporary Caribbean dishes that benefit from the influences of both his introduction to home‐style cooking from his mother and grandmother as well as his formal culinary training.

Chef Butcher is the Executive Chef at the Pureocean Beachside Dining Restaurant at Divi Southwinds hotel, the newest restaurant of its kind in the St Lawrence Gap, Barbados. Here he serves some of the most creative twist on local foods, with property‐grown fresh herbs used at the restaurant it brings about the freshness and Caribbean flavors for which he is known.

Chef Butcher has over 18 years of expertise in the hotel industry, holds an Associate Degree in Hotel Culinary Arts from the Barbados Community College and received further Culinary Arts training at John Folse Culinary Institute from the Nicolls State University.
A gourmet cuisine trained chef Henderson is the Team Manager for the award winning Barbados Culinary Team, of which he has been a member since 2004. He first joined the team as a reserve chef, gaining the opportunity one year later to represent Barbados in the Taste of the Caribbean Culinary Competition where the team won a gold medal. In addition to wining several medals over the years with the team, Henderson has won numerous individual medals at competition level, and led the team to an unprecedented victory this year, also at Taste of the Caribbean. Chef Butcher won the Barbados Culinary Team Manager’s award for Taste of the Caribbean in 2007 and also managed the winning Barbados Culinary Team for Taste of the Caribbean in 2011, 2012 and 2015.

Henderson is a culinary ambassador for Barbados, representing the island at promotional events and food festivals worldwide. He has showcased in Germany, London, and the United States, including the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, the Central Park Taste of Summer and the recent New York Wine and Food festival, to great acclaim.

His passion for food in Barbados is to see the country’s cuisine grow more on the world stage. Chef Butcher grew up with a love for cooking as this was one of his family traits, and chartered his career to become a chef. These days, Chef Butcher spends his time developing the local foods on his menus and helping young budding chefs to discover their own talents. Chef Butcher has promoted Barbadian cuisine in Germany, Switzerland, various states in the USA, Canada, St. Maarten, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.