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Fun Festival Fare

Recipes by Kayleigh Driver

Styling by Erin Paviour-Smith

Festival time is one of my favourite holidays here in the BVI.

All of the colours, the dancing, and experiencing the culture of the BVI really reminds me of what a wonderful and historical country I’m from.

But of course, one of the best things come Festival, is the food!

We are very multicultural here in the BVI, which is fantastic. It opens up so many doors to try different cuisines from around the Caribbean. From the curries, to the jerk dishes, to the different soups and stews, there’s so much to choose from.

My go-to dish come Festival time—or anytime I can get it—is barbecue pork. There is just something about the spicy and sweet flavours of the barbecue sauce with the pork, that hits all the notes you could want.

Normally, a plate of food would consist of the pork, sweet fried plantains, coleslaw, and corn. Of course, you can get other sides, but this tends to be what I go for. When thinking about how to make this stand apart, immediately I thought ‘make it bitesize’. So that’s what I’ve done. I managed to make plantain cups and fill them with all of the elements of my favourite festival food which can be eaten in one or two bites.


Don’t forget to share your recipes on Instagram #delishVIPY


Plantain Cups with BBQ Pork

Level: Easy

Makes: 18 cups approx.

For the plantain cups


5 partially ripe plantains cut into 2” pieces

1L vegetable oil for frying


Begin by heating up the oil in your deep fat fryer to about 375F. If you do not have a fryer, you can heat the oil on the stove top in a deep—preferably cast iron—pot. Use a thermometer to get the temperature right.

When the oil is up to temperature, using a slotted spoon, gently place the pieces of plantain into the oil. Depending on the size of your fryer, you may need to do this in batches. Once the plantains are slightly golden, remove and allow to cool on a plate lined with paper towels. Keep the oil on a steady heat; you will use this again shortly.

Once they are cool enough to handle, place the plantain piece, one at a time, inside of a lemon squeezer and gently squeeze until they form a cup around the convex part of the juicer. This gives you the perfect cup size.

After they have been made into cups, gently drop them back into the fryer to finish off; about four minutes.

Place back on the paper towel, cup side facing down for any excess oil to drain. Allow to cool completely before storing in a zip top bag or airtight container. Can be heated up again the next day in the oven if you want to make ahead.

For the barbecue pork


1 bottle of your favourite barbecue sauce

1 cup of red wine

¼ cup soy sauce

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp red pepper flakes

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 pork tenderloins


Start by mixing the first six ingredients together in a bowl until well-combined.

Place pork into a slow cooker, top with barbecue sauce and cook for 3 – 4 hours on high or 7 hours on low.

Once cooked through, shred the pork.

With the left-over sauce, transfer to a small pan and allow to thicken on the stove top on medium heat for about 10 minutes until thick.

This can be done ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

For the grilled corn coleslaw


2 corn-on-the-cob

1 tbsp canola oil

1 cup shredded green cabbage

1 cup red cabbage

1 cup shredded carrot

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup mayonnaise

2 tsp sugar (optional)

Salt & pepper to taste


Light brush the corn with the canola oil and season with salt and pepper.

Grill on the barbeque turning every few minutes, to lightly char it. Remove from barbecue and allow to cool.

Once it is cool enough to handle, remove the kernels from the cob and set aside.

Mix the first three ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients, add to the shredded veggies, and add the cooled corn too.

To assemble

Start by filling the plantain cup with the shredded pork and finish by topping off with the corn slaw. Lay out on a platter so people can help themselves!

Chickpea fritters with curry mango mayo

Level: Easy

Makes: 15 fritters approx.

Another food that I love to nibble on during Festival is Pholourie, which is a dish from Trinidad. I think the best comparison could be a hush puppy. Basically, it is a fried chickpea fritter with lots of spices and it’s normally served with a chutney of some sort. I’ve slightly recreated this by keeping the chickpea texture and also changing the traditional chutney to more of a sauce.

Hope you enjoy these.


1 tsp olive oil

1 red bell pepper, finely diced

1 shallot, finely diced

2 tbsp curry powder

1 15oz can chickpeas

½ cup flour



1 tsp turmeric

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp water

1L vegetable oil for frying


Begin by heating up a small frying pan on medium heat. Add olive oil, and curry powder. Gently fry for a few minutes to release the aromas of the curry powder. Add bell pepper and shallot. Slowly fry until they are soft with no colour on them. Keep moving them in the pan so they don’t burn. Remove from heat when finished and set aside.

Strain the chickpeas and place in a food processor. Pulse them until a slightly chunky texture is achieved.

In a bowl, place the chickpeas, the vegetable mix, flour, seasonings, and baking soda. Mix together until combined. Slowly add the water a few drops at a time to allow it to incorporate into the batter. You might not use it all, you might need more, but the batter should be a bit thicker than pancake batter.

Heat up your fryer to 375F. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop the batter from the bowl and carefully drop it into the hot oil. These should fry for about 3-4 minutes. They will begin to rise to the surface when they are near finished.

When finished, place on a plate lined with paper towel to allow any excess oil to be absorbed.

For the curry mango mayo


1 cup mayonnaise

½ cup spicy mango chutney

2 tsp curry powder


Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and set aside until ready to use. 

Shrimp Ceviche

Level: Easy

Makes: 2 cups approx.

While Festival food is delicious, it can be quite heavy. This final recipe is lovely, light, and very refreshing; a dish great for lunch or dinner and quite versatile.

Ceviche, as many of you may know, is taking raw seafood and ‘cooking’ it using the acid from the citrus fruits. It’s delightful!


1 lb raw shrimp, shelled, deveined. Either diced or kept whole

1 red bell pepper, small dice

Juice of 2 limes

½ jalapeno, finely diced

½ red onion, finely diced

1 avocado, diced

Handful of fresh cilantro


Place first four ingredients into a nonreactive bowl and allow to sit in the fridge to marinade for about 1 – 2 hours. You don’t want to overdo this as the shrimp will get tough if they sit too long. When ready to serve, add the avocado and cilantro.


*Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, eggs, or unpasteurised milk may increase your risk of foodborne illness.

Photography by Rainbow Visions BVI

Kayleigh Driver

Kayleigh Driver

Born and raised on Tortola, Kayleigh is the Coldwell Banker/BVI Villa Rental Property Manager and Villa Chef. Kayleigh loves to work with fresh island produce as much as she can, supporting local farmers and fishermen. She looks forward to sharing fresh and fun recipes with you.
Kayleigh Driver

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