Food Are We Michelin Star Worthy?

Are We Michelin Star Worthy?

Chef Arthur Patrick with Voice and Major Penny via Instagram

 “Why aren’t there any restaurants or street foods chefs with a Michelin star in the Caribbean?” questions Arthur Patrick, a Tobagonian Chef with over twelve years’ local and international experience.

He admits that this is more on his mind after learning that street food chef Chan Hon Meng in Singapore was awarded a Michelin star initially in 2016 and every year after that.  Chan owns a street food restaurant, and his signature dish is Hong Kong Style soy chicken, rice, and noodles. The Michelin star is the hallmark of culinary excellence worldwide and remains the benchmark of success for most chefs, hotels, and restaurants.

Undoubtedly, the Caribbean has some of the best chefs in the world, so why no Michelin?

Arthur notes that while many chefs from the Caribbean are recognised internationally, they had to leave home to gain recognition abroad.

For the last ten years, Chef Collin Brown has been awarded the best chef in the Caribbean. In addition, he is the only UK-based Caribbean (Jamaican) chef to be a recipient of the coveted AA Rosette award.

Arthur emphasises that while fundamentals and principles of cooking are essential, Caribbean cuisine can stand on its own. While we should not divert from these foundation principles, the gastronomic landscape of Caribbean cooking is so wonderfully complex, diverse, and flavourful.

Trinidad and Tobago have unique and distinct foods and drinks shaped by geography, history, people, and traditions. Lush tropical climate, rich soils, the fusion of cultures from indigenous tribes, enslaved Africans, indentured East, South Asians, European colonisers, Latin American, Middle Eastern, and East Asian Settlers have intertwined and transformed every dish.

Seafood Melody with rich tomato broth – Chef Arthur Patrick

The Michelin Guide is constantly developing in new cities, regions, and countries. So when will we be Michelin-worthy?

“Luckily for us, there are several destinations which have a huge gastronomic potential, and the Caribbean is undoubtedly one of them,” says Sascha, Michelin Food & Travel Advisor.

“It takes time to set up in a new country, and our International Development team is working hard to continue the expansion of the MICHELIN Guide around the world, so maybe one day we will launch a Caribbean selection!”

Could we be closer than we think? Let’s hope so.

Arthur emphasises that we have to give ourselves every option to succeed. Then, when the opportunity shows up, we must be ready to grab the Michelin star.

Being recognised is not only about food, says Arthur. We have to be that complete package. Firstly, when it comes to the service we provide, I think there is much room for improvement.

Cassava and Ground Beef
Ground beef, stuffed in a cassava (yuca) dough and fried to perfection.

“It comes down to the mindset of the individuals to change the way they do things,” Arthur says. “We as a people must realise that tourism and service are integral parts of society, and we need to continually improve the standards of our services to local and international customers.”

“While it is important to have international experience,” he says, “It is equally important for Caribbean chefs to work assiduously to change the mindset that “the first world countries are better. I believer every country has something valuable to contribute”

Caribbean destinations a considered a destination for sun, sea, and sand. However, culinary tourism is a relatively new concept. With the uncertain nature of tourism and the challenges ahead, we must stand ready to navigate both the digital and cultural landscape to reach an untapped market of food lovers and cultural tourists. 

Photo Credits: Reynel Clark and Chef Arthur Patrick

The Taste of Tobago Magazine Logo

Enjoy our latest content anywhere anytime directly in your inbox!

Your email address is safe and secure




Start typing and press Enter to search


  • The-Rise-and-Fall-of-King-Sugar, The National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago,
  • Boomert A., Ortiz-Troncoso Omar R., Van Regteren Altena H. H. Archaeological-historical survey of Tobago, West Indies. In: Journal de la Société des Américanistes. Tome 73, 1987. pp. 246-258; doi:
  • Sarah Parsons, “Women in Fur: Empire, Power, and Play in a Victorian Photography Album”, British Art Studies, Issue 18,
  • Besson, Gerard A. “Sweet Sorrow: The Timeline of Sugar in Trinidad and Tobago.” The Caribbean History Archives, Paria Publishing Company Ltd, 12 Dec. 2018,
  • Clement, Christopher Ohm. “Landscapes and Plantations on Tobago.” Https://, 1995.
  • The Complete Book of Spirits: a Guide to Their History, Production, and Enjoyment, by Anthony Dias Blue, HarperCollins e-Books, 2010, pp. 69–103.
  • Convertito, C. The Health of British Seamen in the West Indies, 1770 – 1806, 2011, pp. 1–339.
  • Https://, Marcia Ashby,
  • Ponce, Nicolas. Battle of Blenheim, Ponce Nicolas, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons,
  • Shumate, Ken. “The Molasses Act: A Brief History.” Journal of the American Revolution, 31 Jan. 2019,
  •  “Our African Legacies: Roots and Routes.” Natt.Gov.Tt, National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago, Routes.pdf.
  • Craig-James, Suzanne Elizabeth. “The Evolution of Society in Tobago: 1838–1900.” Https://Etheses.Lse.Ac.Uk/, ProQuest LLC 2014, 1995, 1362/1/U074368.pdf.
  • Tasman I A. Legislative Council., 1883, Intercolonial Convention, 1883,
  • Bowen, Emanuel, -1767, and E Cave. An accurate map of the West Indies. Exhibiting all the islands possessed by the English, French, Spaniards & Dutch, and all the towns and settlements on the continent of America adjacent thereto. [London, Printed for E. Cave 175-, 1750] Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.
Copy link