My passion for food started way before my time on the islands. I spent my childhood summers snapping peas on the porch and canning with my Grandma Irene. Gran was a wonderful baker and had 9 kids on a homestead right here in Vancouver, Washington. When I was five years old, I told her that I wanted to be a Chef, and have been in the industry now for over 30 years.
Within those 3 decades, I lived with my wife and three sons in Saint Croix-U.S. Virgin Islands for 4 years, working as a Food & Beverage Director at a resort on the North shore. My home was on the West side, just around the corner from Sandy Point Beach. The Island herself has a way of feeding you, producing sustenance year-round with effortless maintenance; A beautiful, natural, and continuous giving of nutrients and love through food. Just like Gran grew her own food and shared with her community, the Islanders are self sufficient: harvesting, fishing, and sharing with their neighbors. The magic of the Island shines with the sun, flows with the sea, and manifests a spirited kindness in the culture.
Conan’s Island Ju Ju represents the magic of the Caribbean, and inspires me to give so much of myself through the gift of delicious nourishment. Everything I create embodies my years of experience in the kitchen, showcases my talent for fantastic flavors, and is imbued with the soulful happiness I feel when cooking. I love nothing more than to see the satisfaction on people’s faces when they enjoy the dishes I make for them.
The spirit of Juju represents joy-filled giving to others, connection, community, and wild festivals filled with amazingly flavorful foods. It has inspired Conan’s Island Ju Ju and I hope it inspires you as well!