Spotlight: Guy Ferdinand of Le Petibonum
“So they call you Chef Hot Pants…” I inquired, already knowing the answer was yes. A deep, euphoric laugh was the response of Guy Ferdinand, owner and chef at Le Petibonum. Guy began occasionally wearing “hot pants” to work at his famed beachfront restaurant. Now, he keeps up his uniform on a daily basis.
Unlike most of the island’s renowned chefs, Guy Ferdinand did not begin his career at a culinary school in Paris…but instead at age 10, in his mother’s kitchen. Gourmet excellence is a standard in Martinique, but you’d never expect it out of the humble outdoor kitchen at Le Petibonum. White tablecloths and fine dishware are not needed here; the food speaks for itself.
I watched Chef Hot Pants artfully prepare the most colorful meal you could imagine; accra fritters, followed by shrimp avocado ceviche and crayfish stewed with pig snout. Each course was interjected with a rhum ti-punch and good conversation before moving on to the next.
After a light dessert of melon and pineapple, Chef said, “Ok, now we will take a jet”.
Jet ski we did, right over to his “fans” on a nearby catamaran for a quick hello, before continuing on a scenic ride of the Le Carbet shoreline. Chef Hot Pants explained that if any of his “fans,” ranging from rookie to regular, wanted to learn his technique, he would absolutely love to have them.
The invitation to observe, taste his creations, and participate side by side is open to all.
Guy Ferdinand is one of those rare, electric souls that leave you with more than an experience…rather an inspiration to appreciate the beauty of the simple things. He starts each day gazing out into his picturesque seaside panorama, and reminding himself how much he loves life... a spirit that clearly overlaps with passion for his work.
On your next visit to Martinique, drop in on Chef Hot Pants; he’s among the most vibrant characters you’ll ever have the pleasure to meet.
Tel: 0 596 750 332
Website## A few more Martinican faces you don’t want to miss...
- Le Hameau du Morne des Cadets
Agriculturist Tonton (Uncle) Leon is the founder of Martinique’s first agri-tourism venture and organic farm, Le Hameau du Morne des Cadets in Fonds Saint-Denis.
His farm offers traditional Creole lodging and the opportunity to learn about his bio cultivating methods.
Tel: 05 96 55 83 30
- La Suite Villa
Gilles Duplan is the owner of art boutique hotel, La Suite Villa. His enchantment with the talent of Cuban artist, Ricardo Ponce is no mystery, as his colorful works wrap the entire property, from walls to refrigerators to dinner plates.
Gilles Duplan’s unique flair didn’t stop at décor, as the rooms and beds are architecturally designed so that every guest can enjoy a beautiful view of Fort-de-France…from the comfort of their custom bed.
Tel: +596 596 59 88 00
- Ziouka Glaces
Monsieur Ziouka knows how to make ice cream, evident by the line out the door of his tiny shop, Ziouka Glaces, in Le Carbet.
Enjoy a cone of Rhum Banane, or his signature flavor Manioc, which could be described as the perfect combination of oatmeal and cinnamon toast crunch. Monsieur Ziouka harvests Martinique’s best sugar cane in March, and then makes homemade ice creams on site all year round.
If it’s the favorite ice cream of Chef Hot Pants, you can rest assured it’s the very best on the island!
Tel: 0596 78 49 40
15 place Jules Grévy 97221 Le Carbet
Hours: 9-1pm & 3-6pm [only open 3-6 June-August]
- Olivier Couturier Mode
Olivier Couturieris Martinique’s premier fashion designer, with a resume of work that has appeared in international runway shows, beauty pageants, and his own boutique.
He hand sews everything from ready to wear pieces to wedding gowns in a style that channels both vintage 60’s and space age modernism. The common thread and inspiration: Caribbean color.
Olivier Couturier Mode Facebook Fan Page
(His boutique recently closed, but stay tuned- his designs will soon be featured in local boutiques.)
- Slave Savannah
Gilbert Larose is the owner and founder of Martinique’s cultural and historical gem, The Slave Savannah, which offers an authentic view into slavery on the island.
Tel: 596 596 68 33 91Quartier la Fermer, 97229 Les Trois IlletsWebsite
- Laurent Valére
This artist is the sculpture behind the very powerful Anse Cafard Slave Memorial. To catch Valére’s work stateside, watch for him this winter at Art Basel in Miami.