Digby Stridiron, chef and patron
A native of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Chef Digby grew up around what many today call the “slow food” movement—fresh, locally harvested ingredients and proteins gathered from the sea just steps away. Add to that a West Indian culinary tradition influenced by the African diaspora. With a deep focus on food equality, Digby is ultimately inspired by seasonal ingredient, regional recipes but allowing history to guide him.
The St. Croix native was the chef/ patron of the award winning restaurants “balter” & “braata” both respectively in his hometown of St. Croix. A recipient of high marks from the New York Times, Food & Wine, The Wall St. Journal, Departure, Bon Appetit, Plate, Travel & Leisure, The New Yorker, Coastal Living any many more periodicals. His cuisine earned balter a USA Today’s 10 Best restaurants in the Caribbean as well as a top spot and honorable mention in Carib Journal’s Top 50 Best restaurant in the Caribbean in 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019. He would be recognized in 2017 by the Iconoclast List at the James Beard House as one of the Top 5 Chefs of Color in the World.
A community leader, Stridiron served as a culinary ambassador for the U.S. Virgin Islands, and received the 2014 Chef of the Year award from the Caribbean Tourism Association. In conjunction with the James Beard Foundation, he attended one of the organizations’ boot camps and hosted the first James Beard chef dinner held in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Chef Digby is also the founder of WICA (West Indian Chefs Alliance).
In November 2018, Braata emerged in Frederiksted and was immediately named as one of the 50 best restaurants by Carib Journal as well as “the heart & soul of Caribbean food” by Food and Wine magazine. Carib Journal has also named Chef Digby as their “2018 Chef of the Year” at the World Travel Awards. In 2019, Digby opened Ama at Cane Bay, a sustainable seafood restaurant on the North Shore of St. Croix as well as Breakers Roar & Carolines.
As of lately Chef Digby has taken residence in St. Thomas.