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Market Report: Chef Xavier Ribot in St. Lucia’s Castries Market

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Right now is Carnival in St. Lucia and from food to music we’re reporting on a local’s experience of the island festival. Watch as Jordan Whitley heads to the market with Chef Xavier Ribot to find out the ingredients and dishes that set the island cuisine apart.

Vibrant local markets are a not-so-well-kept secret of the West Indies, and the Castries Public Market in St. Lucia is one of the best in the region. Along with a slice of local life, you’ll find little known fruits and veggies, exotic spices, handmade wares, and the hottest hot sauce in the Northern Hemisphere (aptly labeled St. Lucia Local Hot Sauce!).

The overwhelming variety can make navigating this north side market a bit tricky. So we enlisted Chef Xavier Ribot, known to locals as “Chef LA,” of Coal Pot Restaurant to guide us through the maze of Soursop, Mangos and Vanilla beans. As a bonus, we meet the infamous “Junior,” Castries’ red-helmeted “magic juice” man.

*Travel Tip: avoid the crowds and pop-up souvenir stalls on weekends, and try for an early weekday morning.

For more market adventures around the world, check out:

Text, photo and video by Jordan Whitley for