In the heart of Old Nassau, in the Bahamas, stands the elegant 18th-century Graycliff Hotel, Restaurant & Cigar Company, surrounded by palms and blooming tropical gardens. The colonial mansion contains one of the Caribbean’s finest five-star restaurants, and it’s here you’ll take your Graycliff Culinary Academy cooking lessons with Executive Chef Elijah Bowe. Excited, you arrive a bit early so you can explore the establishment’s beautiful architecture and rich decor that recall the period when Graycliff was a luxurious private home.
Chef Bowe greets you and the rest of your classmates, and your one-of-a-kind culinary experience begins. Your group dons Graycliff keepsake aprons and follows Chef Bowe into the kitchen. You make a choice: prepare Italian, Bahamian, French, or Asian fare. You all choose Bahamian because you’re dying to learn the secrets behind Graycliff’s creamy Bahamian conch chowder and lobster in a puff pastry.
Chef Bowe guides you through each step, sharing his secret creative tips and culinary innovations behind the sumptuous fare he’s served to celebrities and royalty alike over the years. Your academy classmates range from novice cooks to aspiring chefs, but regardless of skill, Chef Bowe’s sincere passion for teaching makes you all feel comfortable. And because he keeps his class sizes to under 10 people, he can give you the personal attention you need to create each palate-pleasing dish just the way he does.
Finally, it’s time to sample your creations. But first, you tour Graycliff’s award-winning wine cellar. With more than 250,000 bottles from over 400 vintners in the collection, you’re especially grateful that Graycliff’s master sommelier helps guide you in choosing the perfect wine to pair with your meal. You’re all escorted back to the dining room where a team of waiters serve you the dishes you’ve just prepared.
You take your first taste of the chowder, and decide to add just a splash of sherry pepper sauce for a little more heat. Another bite, a sip of wine, and the delightful flavors combine, making your taste buds dance. A warm camaraderie has blossomed among the group, and as the meal winds down you savor it, along with your guava soufflé over a cup of steaming Bahamian coffee. Your cooking lessons may have come to an end, but you leave with copies of the class recipes and the full knowledge that your future dinner parties will never again be the same.