STORY BY CHRISTINE RICHMOND
When you visit Kamalame Cay, it almost feels like you’re staying with friends—that is, if you happen to know people who own their own Bahamian island. Brian and Jennifer Hew purchased the 96-acre island in 1994 and built a hotel there two years later (back then, luggage was brought to people’s rooms via wheelbarrow). Today, there’s no WiFi in the rooms. People show up barefoot in their beach clothes for dinner at the Great House. Two Portuguese water dogs, Rafael and Marmaduke, wander the property and greet guests.
The hotel still has a casual, welcoming, family-run vibe, but today it’s a chic 27-room resort run by the Hew’s son David and his husband Michael King. The stylish duo have made a number of thoughtful upgrades to the property over the years. They refreshed the dining program to showcase what’s described as “BahAsian” cuisine—a mix of fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and Southeast Asian flavors inspired by their extensive travels throughout Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, and the like. “Think chilled local stone crab with wasabi and kaffir lime mayo, or miso and sesame glazed grouper with coconut sticky rice, or conch and ginger wontons with a yellow curry mayo,” explains Michael. Every month, they host a lavish luncheon paired with wine and dancing; hotel guests are invited to join, as are day trippers who take helicopters, seaplanes, and yachts to attend.
Kamalame Cay also offers wellness retreats which feature a ‘clean eating’ version of the typical menu that’s lower in sugar and carbs and cuts out red meats, plus overwater spa treatments and exercise classes run by renowned fitness expert Chrissy Sundt. The wellness retreats are limited to eight people, so everyone gets plenty of personal attention. They’re also fully customizable, so you can tailor your experience depending on your goals (maybe you want to lose weight, maybe you need help with stress management).
All of these changes speak to David and Michael’s desire to respect Kamalame Cay’s rich past while also putting it on the (proverbial) map. “We took over management of the Cay with the mission of not only celebrating and protecting its heritage and culture but looking to the future and the needs of an increasingly design-savvy and environmentally-conscious clientele,” explains Michael.
If a trip to the Bahamas isn’t in your immediate future, you can still enjoy
a little BahAsian flair at home. Here, Michael shares two recipes: One for green juice, created by London-based Radiance Juice for wellness retreat participants, plus a popular appetizer from the Kamalame Cay lunch menu.
GREEN SIGNATURE JUICE
London-based Radiance Juice has been making organic, cold- pressed juices since 2009. People who sign up for Kamalame’s wellness retreat are treated to Radiance concoctions throughout the day, including macadamia nut milk with goji berries and this low-sugar green juice, which is packed with four different kinds of vitamin-rich leafy greens.
□ 1⁄2 cucumber
□ 1 apple
□ 1 cup kale or Swiss chard
□ 3 1⁄2 cups romaine
□ 1 cup spinach
□ 1 lemon
□ 2/3 cup parsley
□ 3⁄4-inch piece of ginger, peeled
► Combine all ingredients in a juicer.
KAMALAME GREEK YOGURT HUMMUS
□ 1 can (15 oz.) plus 1 cup garbanzo beans, drained
□ Garlic-infused olive oil
□ 2 cloves garlic, minced
□ cup tahini
□ cup lemon juice
□ 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
□ 1 cup caramelized onions
□ teaspoon paprika
□ cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped
► Preheat oven to 350° F. Place 1 cup garbanzo beans on a baking tray, dress with garlic-infused olive oil, and bake for 30 minutes. Set aside.
► In a food processor, add remaining garbanzo beans, garlic, tahini, and lemon juice. Process until smooth. Add the Greek yogurt and blend in fully. Cover and chill
► To serve, spread the hummus across a large platter. Reheat the caramelized onions and place in the middle of the platter. Sprinkle the paprika, parsley, and oven-roasted garbanzo beans over the platter. Serve immediately with flatbread or fresh crudités.