Interview Caribbean chef: Helmi Smeulders

Starting out as a corporate lawyer, a career in food might have seen far from logical for Smeulders. ‘The idea came to my good friend and me while we were having dinner one night at Jan Sofat. We figured: this is a nice neighborhood, why not start a delicacy shop here?’ And there it was; the beginning of Thelma & Louise. ‘Half of the island calls me Thelma by now’, Smeulders adds jokingly.
Modern Caribbean Flavors
However, as successful and profitable her catering business might be, Smeulders adds that her second great passion lies with her alter ego, Caribbean Spice Girl. ‘When you go to restaurants nowadays you can get French, Italian, whatever you want. But I think it is such a shame that no one really uses those gorgeous, classic Caribbean ingredients anymore. It seems like people don’t know what to do with them’.

Don’t fret: Smeulders is here. With her blog called Caribbean Spice Girl, she aims to re-introduce the original flavors of the islands in a modern and, most of all delicious, way. It seems like Smeulders is well on her way concerning this goal, as she recently launched her new book in cooperation with Divas Publishing. “Modern Caribbean Flavors” contains fresh and healthy recipes with the best Caribbean ingredients you can find. If you, like us, need some inspiration for your kitchen you should definitely get your copy now!

You’d think that blogging, having your own catering company and writing a book should be well and enough for one person. Think again! Smeulders is also a Jamie Oliver Food Ambassador. That is why in May 2015, she was part of the first Food Revolution Day. We at the Curacao Concierge had the privilege of attending this event, and you can read more about that here. There is no short way to summarize Helmi Smeulders, but we’ll try to put it in her own words: ‘I’m always looking for new opportunities and challenges, and I love every moment of it!’

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