Staff Spotlight: Jamaica's Chef Alton from Malatai Villa
Meet Chef Alton, the acclaimed chef behind Jamaica's popular Malatai Villa. Infusing classic dishes with his own flair, guests are treated to some of the tastiest dishes on-island.2019-09-23
Jamaica is known for many things; world-class golf courses, breathtaking villas, eclectic, soulful cuisine, and they’re unique foothold in the natural food movement – just to name a few. At Villas of Distinction, we’re proud to offer our guests not only the best villas on-island in Jamaica, but also full staffs ready and waiting to treat you to the experience of a lifetime.
Our chefs and cooks play an integral role in crafting the true Jamaican experience and setting the “vibe.” Sourcing natural ingredients, transforming traditional dishes, and helping guests savor the flavors of Jamaica is their bread and butter (pun intended), and today we’re shining a light on one of our fan-favorite Chefs.
We sat down with Chef Alton from Ocho Rios’ Malatai on the Beach to discuss his approach to Jamaican cuisine, what drives him as a gourmet chef, and how he hopes to create the ultimate experience for all his guests.
Jamaica Villas (JV): Chef Alton, what about Jamaica most inspires you as a chef?
Chef Alton (CA): What most inspires me are the fresh, local ingredients like fish and lobster. I just love to cook our local foods and create new dishes with them.
JV: Do you have a signature dish, or is there something your guests love the most?
CA: My signature dish, as well as what my guests most request after discussing menus with them, include shrimp ceviche and homemade plantain chips, or honey jerk lamb chops with oven-baked potatoes and rosemary, plus our homemade mint sauce. But, with each set of guests, I have new specialties because they all have their favorite dishes.
JV: What is your favorite thing about Jamaican cuisine?
CA: I would say the natural herbs and spices. They bring out the flavors in all the dishes.
JV: Do you have a favorite restaurant or dining establishment in Jamaica?
CA: Just to name a few, Bettina’s at the Marina Village Restaurant, Mom’s, and 100.
JV: Do you have any sort of specialties (ie: gluten-free, vegetarian) that guests might love?
CA: I make a wide variety of vegetarian dishes like our friggazee black eye peas and lentils cooked in a tomato sauce with herbs and spices. Our medley of grilled vegetables is very popular, too.
From the outdoor kitchen and dining area to the barbecue and bar, as well as the indoor kitchen complete with top-tier appliances, Malatai on the Beach sets the stage for an incredible culinary journey, and Chef Alton and his team deliver in spades for each and every guest.