IF you love Caribbean food, then you must visit The Flying Fish in Ilminster.

Buddy (just Buddy – like Sting or Bono) began his career cooking in Barbados and is greatly inspired by Caribbean food.

He used to spend his time with his grandmother, who never measured or tasted anything but would always cook delicious meals. Watching his grandmother cook, Buddy used to spend most of his time at her house.

He explained: “Cooking for me is an expression of my passion and creativity. When I cook, I relax and go somewhere mentality and spiritually away from everything thing else. It’s my way of relaxing.

“My style of cooking is a fusion of Caribbean and British Cuisine. Until recently Caribbean food has not been known for its refined presentation, only for the bold flavours. What I endeavour to so is to take Caribbean food and add a European style of presentation to it. I also like to take classic dishes like the Chicken Kiev and make a Caribbean version of it.”

Since cooking with his grandmother, Buddy’s career has grown greatly, and he sees himself more as an entrepreneur. As well as The Flying Fish, Buddy ran a Fullers pub for six years and turned around a failing pub in Surrey.

He also gives his views on the licensing trade to various publications, such as the British Institute of Innkeepers magazine.

Somerset County Gazette:

Now, Buddy and his wife, Kate Giles, own The Flying Fish in Somerset, formally The Square and Compass.

The menu at The Flying Fish has something for everyone. Buddy aims to offer a range of dishes, from sausage and mash to jerk salmon and mango rice – a classic mix of British and Caribbean food.

Buddy has two favourite dishes that he cooks, and Kate loves them too.

The first one is an oven-baked salmon dish with sundried tomato pesto and garlic, served with a shallot, white wine and cream sauce.

The second dish is a Caribbean version of the classic Russian chicken kiev dish. It is a chicken breast stuffed with fried plantain, wrapped in parma ham and cooked in a coconut and coriander sauce with green chillies and ginger.

Buddy added: “The salt from the parma ham and the sweetness of the plantain balances the dish perfectly.”

Somerset County Gazette:

One ingredient that Buddy uses with a lot of in his dishes is his Aunt May’s Bajan hot pepper sauce.

“Growing in the sunshine, food always played an important role in the day in the Caribbean. We would cook on Bank holidays, weekends, friends birthdays etc and that is still prevalent today” Buddy said.

“The happiness that food bought us all is the happiness I strive to achieve with my cooking.”

In the future, Buddy and Kate are planning to build up The Flying Fish as a beautiful Somerset wedding venue, that has both accommodation as well as a delightful country pub that serves Caribbean and British food.

Buddy said: “We are further looking at adding more accommodation in the form of Shepard huts on some currently unused land, as well as building a separate kitchen for the wedding barn.

“We have also recently started up comedy nights in collaboration with Genius Events ran by Trish Caller.

“The Flying Fish has one of the best locations in Somerset.

Our conservatory overlooks the Blackdown Hills which means no matter the weather its always warm and dry outside.

“So, make that trip and give us a try.”

Somerset County Gazette:

The Flying Fish hold regular music and events nights.

On October 5, they have Los Pacaminos - Paul Young’s Tex-Mex band playing at 9pm and on October 12, you can see R.E.M. by Stipe.

Keeping in line with tradition, Buddy and Kate are bringing a Caribbean Extravaganza night to The Flying Fish on October 19.

If you would like to find out more or book a table then visit www.theflyingfishsomerset.co.uk or call 01823 480467. Or just drop by to see the view.