You could say Chef Digby Stridiron was born into food. 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, and Chef Digby’s gastronomic identity began to take root at an early age. With a deep focus on food equality, Digby is ultimately inspired by seasonal ingredient, regional recipes but allowing history to guide him.
Most recently, the St. Croix native was the chef/ co-owner of the award winning restaurant “balter” in St. Croix, a recipient of high marks from the New York Times, Travel and Leisure and Coastal Living. 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.
A community leader, Stridiron served as a culinary ambassador for the U.S. Virgin Islands, and received the 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 ever held in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 2014, he also founded WICA (West Indian Chefs Alliance).
Most recently, Chef Digby has spent time collecting notes on the foodways of the American South and how it was influenced by the West Indies. In the near future, you can look forward to him traveling to different islands to collect notes that will be found in his upcoming cookbook.