Traveling food lovers are learning to embrace Bahamian cuisine and culture through a tour cooked up by a former television show host.
With her EAT Bahamas Food Tour, Andrica “Dre” Smith-Munroe has picked up from where her TV series, “A Mouth Full”, left off.
“As a former host of a popular, local food show, I was frequently asked for best-of-the-best recommendations. It sparked the idea to curate foodie experiences that others can be a part of,” said Smith-Munroe, who for six seasons tantalized viewers with mouth-watering food from across the nation.
Birthed from her love of food and desire to showcase the culinary landscape of The Bahamas, EAT Bahamas was born in October 2018.
With six to seven stops on a three-and-a-half-hour culinary adventure, it’s recommended that participants wear their stretchiest pair of pants for this tour which collects guests from Rawson Square every Monday to Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.
Aboard Goldstar Coaches, an air-conditioned, 15-seater bus with free Wi-Fi, EAT Bahamas whisks tourists and locals alike to popular eateries and hidden gems to eat and drink their way through signature dishes and frosty libations.
“Our goal is to develop a collection of food tours that are timeless as opposed to just being trendy. We explore celebrated food spots as well as up-and-comers who are steadily growing a loyal fan base,” said Smith-Munroe.
EAT Bahamas’ most popular tour takes visitors from Downtown Nassau to its first stop, the Montagu foreshore, for fresh conch salad made by a “conch-preneur” who goes by the name “Yellow”.
“He is one of our favorites,” said Smith-Munroe. “He went from making conch salad on the side, as a construction worker, who one day took the leap to do it full-time. Now, his family-operated conch stand is successful.”
Next up, the East Bay Poop Deck for conch fritters followed by a visit to Mortimer Candies for sweet treats made from recipes passed down through four generations.
The food tour pays a visit to Bamboo Shack for a mini snack, then allows you to sip iced bush tea at Tasty Teas before burning off a few calories at EduCulture, during a Junkanoo shack experience.
Hopefully, guests have worked up an appetite from the cultural immersion and are ready to dig into cracked conch, tamarind wings, peas n’ rice, baked macaroni, plantains and wash it all down with Switcha at Arawak Cay’s Drifters Restaurant. If time and stomachs allow, EAT Bahamas participants may be able to drop in on Flo’s Fruit Shack for native fruits in season.
“The tour is full of surprises. It’s not just food, it really is a cultural, people-to-people experience. We eat, we rush, we dance, laugh, and our visitors learn that there is more to this beautiful destination than sun, sand and sea,” said Smith-Munroe, whose goal is to establish EAT Bahamas Food Tours on major Family Islands.
Nearly a year since its launch, she said the feedback has been tremendous. Fate smiled on the tour operator who had the opportunity to lead a group of world-class chefs and the president of the American Culinary Association on EAT Bahamas’ inaugural food tour.
“It was serendipitous,” said Smith Munroe. “Their driver for the week just happened to be our transportation partner. They had a cancellation which freed up some time for them. When our partner heard, he asked if they would want to participate in the tour and being the foodies that they are, they jumped at the opportunity. We are so glad they did. It was an all-around fun time.”
Ten months and scores of travelers later, the EAT Bahamas Food Tour is going strong.
“For our team, the joy comes from watching others learn about The Bahamas through our food,” said Smith-Munroe.