Toucari Feast


Last night was wild, unexpected, and utterly amazing. When we arrived on island, we were told that the upcoming weekend would be Toucari’s Feast. The last two times we were here we were told all about the feasts and parties in different villages that happen annually. We figured it would be fun since all Caribbean people know how to throw a good party, but we underestimated how crazy a sleepy fishing village could get!

6 months ago when Rich and I were in Dominica with my parents we met Derrik, the owner of Keepin’ It Reel in Toucari Bay, and yesterday after our dip in the ocean, while checking out our potential new digs, we bumped into him! We should have after all, since Keepin’ It Reel is almost directly across the street from one of the properties we were interested in developing. We hung out and chatted over Kubulis (Dominica’s beer) talking about life, business, and the future. We met a few other locals who were happy to meet a new ‘neighbor’ and share their island with us. We asked if there was anything we could bring to the party, or if there was any way we could help out and all that was asked for was christophine (chaote) and some power converters of which we had plenty.
(Clockwise from top left GoPro, KNEKT trigger, anti mosquito massage candles, soursop, cucumbers, chaote / christophine)
After a long day in the water and sun (VIDEO HERE), hanging out with Derrik we needed to nap, of course only Rich and the cats napped, while I was up, writing blogs, editing underwater video and getting excited for the evening. 7 PM, iced coffee in hand, we set off to Toucari, and I was determined not to fall asleep at the party. By 7:15 we had arrived in Toucari, the music already bumping and you could hear it from the hill high above the bay, although there were just a few people on the streets, the bass echoed and vibrated through the car as we drove to the end of the strip where Keepin It Reel is located. Thank goodness we arrived early because by the time we left people were parked all the way up every hill leading in and out of Toucari, parked on impossible slopes with rocks behind tires or in front of tires, all emergency breaks engaged!
Derrik was happy to see us and invited us into his kitchen to meet Anita (the other cook of the evening) and grab a drink. We browed the bush rum’s and of course I had to try the ginger punch made by his mother. It turns out Anita’s father is the caretaker of the property we were looking to renovate, who we had 6 months ago when touring the property. This island is a very small world, either you know someone or you are related to someone but there are few people on island who don’t have these connections, which makes for maybe 1-2 degrees of separation for every person here. The christophine aka chaote we brought was used in a soup with carrot, potato, octopus, conch, dumplings and aromatic herbs and spices.
Walking along the beach to the edge of the fete (party) we soaked up the essence of the evening, then walked through the thickening crowd, the scent of smoke, food, and sweat filling the air. We danced on the sand listening to live music, and local DJs, feeling like we are just starting the honeymoon that never ends. Dancing in the dark, the music quite literally moving through our bodies as the bass thumped along, everything felt like magic. Before calling it a night, Richard tried BBQ chicken with fried dough and accra (salt cod fritters) from a stall with the youngest vendors and a few hours later had grilled jack with cabbage salad, fried green plantains, veggie fritters cooked by Anita and Derrik. I had tons of sweet and savory plantains and bakes (what I call fry bread) to keep myself full and happy!
I told you I wouldn’t be telling this story in a linear fashion, and this is a prime example, because my next post will probably be all about the day that led up to this amazing night! I can’t wait to share more of this adventure with you all, its developing into so much more than I could have dreamed of and we’ve only been here a few days!
Stay Salty

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