Great interview with Jennie Staines... (nice photo too!)

Chef Jennie Staines has pioneered the use of sustainable seafood in Belize’s dining scene. She’s the head chef at Elvi’s Kitchen in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, the country’s largest island and a major tourist destination. In addition to carrying on a family business that started in her childhood home, Staines has been a tireless advocate for reforming fishing-related laws and education in Belize. We recently spoke with the chef about her sustainable crab claw project, the best way to cook invasive lionfish and why she cares about buying and serving responsible seafood.

What’s your earliest memory of cooking?

My earliest memory of cooking is working with my mom, Elvi, making tamales. She used to make tamales and bake bread. She would sell her food to about 30 houses and a few other little places.

San Pedro is the only town on Ambergris Caye. How has it changed since you were young?

San Pedro started as a small fishing village. We had the first hotel in the 70s, and from there the island has been growing bigger ever since. But I think San Pedro has grown in a good way — it has grown gracefully. It has become a place where people come to find job opportunities and to start families. In other parts of Belize, it’s a struggle.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the OCEANA blog