Martinique is unique in contrast to the majority of the other Caribbean islands in that it has a wide variety of dining options. The Ti Gourmet Martinique 2000 lists 456 cafÃ©s and/or restaurants on the island â not including the various bars some of which serve food as well as alcohol. The 1998 brochure produced and published by the ARDTM counts up to 500 food-service related establishments this corresponds to over 3,000 jobs. Restaurants in Martinique range from the exclusive high-end gourmet restaurants to the crÃªpes, accras, boudin, fruit juices, and coconut milk one can purchase from food merchants on the beach or at snack stands/restaurants in town.
The abundance of both CrÃ©ole and French restaurants reflects the predominance not only of French tourists in Martinique but also of the islandâs status as a French DOM. There has been a growing interest in the traditional dishes of the island, and therefore, a more recent profusion of the number of CrÃ©ole restaurants. Many of the restaurants tailor their menus to cater to both CrÃ©ole and French tastes
In the 2000 edition of DÃ©lices de la Martinique Delights of Martinique, the guide put together by the islandâs restaurant union, the editorial given by the then Prefect and director of tourism, Philippe Boisadam, describes the contribution that âMartiniqueâs cuisine makes to the culinary arts.â Olivier Besnard, the commercial director of the long-haul airline division of Air LibertÃ©, wrote the preface to this same edition. He states that this CrÃ©ole restaurant and recipe guide is âa tourist souvenir that you are welcome to take home with you.â Francis Delage, a culinary consultant who assembled most of the recipes for this guide underlines the fact that the islandâs restaurateurs are the gastronomic ambassadors of Martinique and that they in particular represent the âquality of the welcome,â âthe productsâ and âthe savoir-faire of CrÃ©ole cuisine, which is truly part of Franceâs culinary heritage.â
The changes in tourist composition behavior, interest may very well account for the evolution in the culinary offerings in many of todayâs restaurants. Restaurants in Martinique offer not only French and other International cuisines , but also the possibility of consuming the foods that the Other eats. In this case, the Other refers to the Martiniquans. Visitors can catch a glimpse of the behind the scenes reality regarding Martiniquan culinary practices through an âauthenticâ CrÃ©ole cuisine. An investigation of the new tourist, or âpost-touristâ phenomenon Poon 1999 venturing off the âeaten trailâ in search of something that is more authentic.
Restaurants, CrÃ©ole cookbooks, public fairs and festivities, and the expensive dining rooms of foreign-owned luxury hotels where food is served, all present themselves as crucial staging grounds where ideas about Martiniquan cuisine, and therefore, identity, authenticity and place are continuously tested.
December 2008/2009 a website was launched Club Gastronomie & Prestige (http://www.club-gastronom...) Look under the tab Partenaires to find the top restaurants in Martinique.