Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Grand Bahama offers a new culinary tour

CHEF BERNARD DAWKINS and his visiting culinary students at Junkanoo Beach Club.


Tribune Freeport Reporter


FREEPORT - Cruise ship passengers visiting Grand Bahama are being offered a new uniquely Bahamian culinary experience at Junkanoo Beach Club at Taino Beach.

The new tour is one that is expected to improve visitor experience here on the island, which has been ranked last among the various other destinations visited by Carnival Cruise Lines.

Bahamian chef Bernard Dawkins said visitors taking the tour learn to prepare three popular Bahamian dishes - cracked conch, conch fritters and peas and rice.

He said there has been a lot of positive feedback over the past six weeks.

"We are getting lots of high praise so maybe this will give Grand Bahama the impetus it needs and the turnaround because we have been hearing so much about what tourists say, that there is nothing going on in Grand Bahama," he said.

Chef Dawkins said the tour offers visitors a unique cultural experience.

In addition to preparing Bahamian dishes, visitors learn about Junkanoo, a cultural festival that is often celebrated in December and January.

Chef Dawkins said Junkanoo Club is situated at Taino Beach and visitors also have access to the beach.

He said they want to give tourists a product that will allow them to enjoy their visit to the island and improve their overall experience.

The recently released poor ratings by passengers of Carnival Cruise have put plans for a creation of a new multi-million cruise ship port on hold indefinitely.

In March, Minister of Transport Neko Grant revealed that Carnival was reluctant to partner with the government because of "unpleasant" visitor experience in Grand Bahama.

He said that of the 37 ports visited in the region, Grand Bahama ranked last based on passenger surveys.

Mr Grant said the poor rating should serve as a "wake up call" for Grand Bahama.


  1. Just came back from a Carnival Cruise, in which this excursion was offered. It was the best experience I had cooking on any island. Chef Dawkins was the best and so was Denton Wright. We will be back with a group in November. ~Lynell.Travels@facebook.com

  2. We went for this excursion with our cruise in November 2012. Chef Dawkins is the bomb! My husband and I had no problem making the three dishes, although some other students had less cooking experience than we did. All of the ingredients are pre-measured, and everyone has their own little cooking station. You eat what you cook, so pay attention! Definitely a fun time, and much better than the grumbles I heard from other passengers about their beach excursion. You can go to the beach anytime, but Chef Dawkins is one of a kind! You will get the flavor of the islands! Recommended.