Jamaican chef Bill Munn returns to his roots to create a crowdpleaser at a St. Lucia resort.

It’s probably a safe bet that some of your most indelible childhood memories revolve around food. Chef Bill Munn of the Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort in St. Lucia is no different. He was inspired by his own memories of growing up on a sugar cane plantation in Jamaica to create this tangy shrimp dish. “I remember climbing and sitting in tall mango trees, eating juicy, ripe mangoes throughout every mango season,” he says. “There was a sense of excitement at the beginning of the season as we watched the fruit ripen, and? I recall my mother’s sighs of pleasure as she sat down to a snack of fried plantain sprinkled with crunchy brown sugar and drizzled with fresh lime juice.”

Munn’s rich, sensual memories flooded back as he developed the recipe. “I remember the heady scent of my father’s evening glass of rum on the rocks with a splash of water, and the rich aroma of foods sauteed in oil.?The crisp plantain chips were a childhood treat and the shrimp was a rarity for us, so this dish is a combination of scents, textures, tastes, and memories.”

Though Chef Munn has worked in many countries, he feels entirely at home in St. Lucia. “St. Lucia is very much like being home in Jamaica,” he says. “The availability of lots of locally grown fresh herbs and produce inspire me to combine familiar and newly discovered ingredients and techniques.”

Mango Rum Shrimp with Plantain: serves 4
½ c. mango vinaigrette (blend one part mango chutney with three parts vinaigrette)
1 oz. dark rum
12 shrimp (21/25 size), peeled and deveined
4 bamboo skewers
Canola oil for frying
2 green plantains, peeled—one cut into four thin strips, one cut into chunks
1 ripe plantain, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
4 oz. tomato salsa
Fresh herbs, cilantro if possible
4 lime wedges

In a medium glass bowl, combine mango vinaigrette and rum. Submerge the shrimp in the liquid and set aside. Fill a baking pan with water and soak the skewers.

Prepare oil for deep frying. First, deep fry the green plantain strips until they crisp up. Remove from oil, drain, and set aside. Deep fry the ripe plantain slices for two minutes until they become golden. Drain and set aside. Deep fry plantain chunks for several minutes until golden and soft inside. Place the chunks in a medium bowl.

In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until golden. Mix the garlic with the fried plantain chunks. Mash and season with Cajun seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the shrimp from the marinade and thread three shrimp onto each skewer. On a hot grill, cook the shrimp for two minutes until pink. Flip the shrimp over, brush with some of the marinade, and cook for another minute.

To serve: Use an ice cream scoop to shape the mashed plantain into a ball, and place in center of each plate. Arrange the grilled shrimp and fried plantain. Dress with salsa and mango vinaigrette and garnish with fresh herbs and lime wedges.