Seduction Meals is pleased to present an exclusive interview with Jinx Morgan, author, artist and proprietor of The Sugar Mill, a lovely boutique resort located in Tortola. During my recent trip to the British Virgin Islands we were fortunate to book a short stay at the resort, lounge at their pool and dine in The Sugar Mill restaurant, known for its romantic ambiance and award-winning Caribbean fare.
It was during my visit I discovered that Jinx was a columnist for Bon Appetit magazine (which she did for more than twenty years), and that she is also the author of numberous intriguing cookbooks. One of my favorites, Saucepans and the Single Girl, which she co-authored with Judy Perry, is an updated version of the their cookbook that first made waves in the ’60s. Its a deliciously fun, totally cool retro cookbook filled with a collection of timeless recipes and dating advice. The team then released the perfect follow up to that book called: How To Keep Him (After You’ve Caught Him) Cookbook. And there is The Sugar Mill Caribbean Cookbook: Casual and Elegant Recipes Inspired by the Islands which features 250 Caribbean recipes authored by Jinx and her husband, Jefferson Morgan. So without further adieu, let’s meet Jinx Kragen!
Seduction Meals: How did you come to be the owner of the sugar mill? Was this a life long dream?
Jinx Morgan: Actually no. We always loved the tropics, but as Californians our tropics were Hawaii and Tahiti, not the Caribbean. An invitation to judge a chef’s competition for the Caribbean introduced us to these islands and when we found, through a convoluted series of circumstances, that the Sugar Mill was for sale, we said to one another, “Well that would be the stupidest thing we could ever do.”
So we did it.
Seduction Meals: If there is one thing you want your visitors to associate with the Sugar Mill what would that be?
Jinx: Relaxation, romance and good food. Well, that’s three, but who’s counting?
Seduction Meals: Having read your book SAUCEPANS AND THE SINGLE GIRL (which I Loved) – what would your “recipe for romance” look like today?
Jinx: I think I’d write a new book called SAUCEPANS AND THE SINGLE GUY. Why should we do all the cooking?
Seduction Meals: What is the best kept BVI secret that you just love?
Jinx: If I told you, I’d have to kill you.
Well, actually, I love the beaches, the beauty and best of all, the people. I think the fact that everyone greets everyone else and waves to strangers when they pass in a car makes every day a pleasure. I’ve gotten so used to saying “good morning” or “good afternoon” to everyone, even people I’ve never met, that when I’m visiting New York or other big cities and forget where I am and do my usual greeting to a stranger, I get some very strange looks.
Seduction Meals: The Sugar Mill Caribbean Cookbook has a wonderful array of recipes – which recipe(s) would you suggest I try for my next romantic meal for two?
Jinx: Well, let’s see – something simple and elegant might do the trick. You could start with Prosciutto and Mango with Pepper Mango Couis (p. 33) and one of my go-to favorites is Caribbean Cajun Shrimp (p. 129) because you can do it ahead and then pop it into the oven just 20 minutes before serving. It’s nice with rice, which takes about the same amount of time to cook, and either a salad or maybe some lovely slim asparagus. For dessert, two of my favorites that are always a hit would be Coconut Cloud Tart (p.205), Lemon Shortbread Tart (p. 215) or for chocolate addicts, you can’t beat Chocolate Decadence (p. 198).
Seduction Meals: As a fellow foodie I have to ask: What was the BEST meal you’ve had in your life?
Jinx: As columnists for Bon Appetit magazine for more years than I care to reveal, we were fortunate to have had many, many memorable meals, but one I will always remember was not an assignment – it was a birthday dinner for me arranged by my husband, Jeff, in Paris. It was at the justifiably famous restaurant Taillevent.
Be sure to check out Jinx’s cookbooks: