St. Thomas Chef Theo Gumbs is one of the Caribbean’s most accomplished chefs and native son of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Chef Theo Gumbs, is taking television viewers on a mouth-watering journey through the region’s culinary offerings in the seven-part series, “The Virgin Gourmet,” airing on the TEMPO Network, Channel 52 this summer.
On the show, Chef Theo teaches members of the audience the art of cooking with traditional Caribbean ingredients, while exploring fun and innovative culinary techniques. He encourages viewers to build a relationship with their local farmers, purveyors, and vendors to source fresh, seasonal produce, in keeping with the concept of farm-to-table cuisine. Chef Theo will illustrate this concept in one episode devoted entirely to Broiled Fish and Fungi. The finished product consists of locally sourced fish, okra, and, as Chef Theo calls it, “local everything.”
The show’s name – ‘The Virgin Gourmet’ – has a double meaning: it references St. Thomas Chef Theo Gumbs’ use of fresh, natural ingredients indigenous to the Caribbean, and also ties in his Virgin Islands roots.
“It represents what I do and where I am from,” said Chef Theo. “I typically cook gourmet Caribbean cuisine, so the show allows me to showcase what I love. I apply classic, culinary techniques, textures, portions, and plate presentations to staple Caribbean dishes that are rich with color and flavor.” Using herbs, spices, and sauces from his own “Theo’s Gourmet Caribbean Foods” line of products, Chef Theo’s dishes on the show will showcase the many cultures that have influenced VI cuisine, namely the African, Dutch, French, and Amerindian. “I want to show viewers that the U.S. Virgin Islands is a melting pot of cuisines because of its richness in culture and diversity,” said Chef Theo.
Chef Theo Gumbs
Impacted at an early age by watching his parents cook, Chef Theo often assisted his mother at her small cooking business in Hospital Ground. At Charlotte Amalie High School, a young Theo Gumbs opted to enlist in the culinary arts program after having found out that the carpentry program was at capacity. Now, as a renowned chef, caterer, entrepreneur, and featured chef at the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience, Chef Theo Gumbs brings his expertise to households around the region.
Episodes of “The Virgin Gourmet” were filmed throughout various locations on St. Thomas, such as Villa Santana, Villa Sand Dollar, Frenchtown, Lindbergh Bay, and Ridge to Reef on St. Croix. In addition, each episode will feature Caribbean artists and local personalities, giving the viewers a true sense of island fare.