One of America's most innovative chefs delves into a lesser-known aspect of global cuisine: the effect of crossing cultures, and therefore cuisines, in the world's tropical belt. Nearly all major European and Asian cultures have had adventures (and misadventures) in the tropics for over a thousand years or more, leaving behind an exotic, tangled, and delicious web of influences. Once thought to be the simple home of the pineapple or coconut, the tropics from the Caribbean to Latin America to India to Vietnam are now understood to be one of the most fascinating culinary regions imaginable.
DOMINIQUE MACQUET was born on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, tasting the tropical touch in every dish his mother cooked. Over the decades, his taste buds have carried him through Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and even Africa. As chef-partner of Dominique's in the Hotel Maison Dupuy in the New Orleans French Quarter, Dominique quickly became a high-profile chef when he opened his contemporary French restaurant almost 10 years ago. Two years ago, he reinvented both his restaurant and himself by showcasing the multi-ethnic "tropical" flavors he first tasted on his home island for Dominque's at the Maison Dupuy. These flavors he has built through training in Africa, Europe, England, and California, along with extended research trips through Southeast Asia and the Caribbean. His cuisine today is a seamless, singular adventure without borders, following the trade winds and the warmth of the sun. JOHN DEMERS was born in New Orleans and has spent the past 30 years traveling in the Caribbean, feeling a certain kinship between his hometown and the Afro-French-Spanish world he has claimed as his spiritual home. His 34 published books include titles like Caribbean Cooking, The Food of Jamaica, and Caribbean Desserts. Together Dominique and John are the authors of the nationally successful Dominique's Fresh Flavors.