Bernadine HarriganCooking has been my passion for as far back as I can remember. Growing up on the Caribbean island of Antigua, I was the seventh of eleven siblings, so home-cooked meals were an essential part of our family’s life.
In those days, we used to cook outdoors on a clay coal-pot. In order to bake, we had to create an oven within the pot. I would bore holes through the sides, create a rack out of wire, and place the pan on the rack adding hot coals to generate heat from the top. I could make or bake almost anything with the coal-pot!

I was always drawn to cooking. There was something about going into our backyard, gathering ingredients, and combining them to create different dishes that I loved. I remember rushing home from elementary school so that I could prepare dinner for my siblings. To this day, they continue to tell stories about how much I loved cooking. We all fondly remember my high school cookery class and how they would wait for me to get home with the dishes I made in class. As I got older, I would cook local authentic Caribbean food to sell to my community.

Ever since my family immigrated to the United States in 1979, my home became the place where the whole clan would meet for family gatherings and special events. In fact, my family visits all the time because I love cooking and entertaining—and if they bring me a gift, it’s always food-related.

My greatest reward is to see the people I love enjoy my food. I hope that my passion for cooking traditional Caribbean food will shine through in every meal served at Café Metro.

“Eat till you belly full!”