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Spanish chef finds the right environment for a new restaurant in the Bahamas


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Chef Jose Andres is tired, but conscientiously answers writers’ questions about his new restaurant, Fish, at the upscale luxury resort The Cove at Atlantis on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

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But it’s no surprise that he’s a little tired considering that over the past few days the avid diver and fisherman had been out on a boat to do what he loved to do, as well as take a tour of. Nassau to check out some local conch huts, then later prepares to host a dinner party at his new restaurant to thank community partners for their support of the business.

Chef Jose Andres, whose seafood restaurant Fish now operates at The Cove in Atlantis, has partnered with the resort to limit damage to the reefs through his environment-focused Blue Project foundation.  (Provided)
Chef Jose Andres, whose seafood restaurant Fish now operates at The Cove in Atlantis, has partnered with the resort to limit damage to the reefs through his environment-focused Blue Project foundation. (Provided)

The development and opening of Fish at The Cove at Atlantis, a sister restaurant to one he owns in his home state of Maryland, also follows his Herculean efforts to help feed the people of Puerto Rico after that Hurricane Maria left the devastated country. and struggling last year (it was recently learned that he had been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for this work in this ravaged Caribbean country).

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At this point in his career – some 25 plus restaurants – the Spanish chef might get there a little easier, but he just shrugs at the suggestion.

“For me that’s another challenge and a way of telling a story,” he said as he sat in Fish, empty except for the staff who decorated the festivities that night. .

The Cove, a luxury resort within Atlantis' largest resort, features a stylish pool and cabana courtesy of British artist Lulu DK.  (Photo provided)
The Cove, a luxury resort within Atlantis’ largest resort, features a stylish pool and cabana courtesy of British artist Lulu DK. (Photo provided)

Plus, he added, it’s a way to provide stable employment for those who have worked hard to help him get as far as he has in such a competitive industry.

Spain-born Andres said he was drawn to opening a restaurant at The Cove – the 600-room Bahamian-influenced luxury resort within the resort town of Atlantis – because of their efforts to limit damage to reefs through its environmentally focused Blue Project. Foundation.

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The foundation has raised more than $ 5 million to protect and rehabilitate the reefs, the third largest in the world. A portion of Fish’s proceeds will go to the project.

“It’s great to see all the effort they are making to have a healthier reef, a healthier ocean. I’m very much in tune with that, ”he said.

The ugly but delicious lionfish served at Fish at The Cove in the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas.  Serving the invasive fish is part of an effort to protect the country's fragile reef system.  (Photo by Pat Lee)
The ugly but delicious lionfish served at Fish at The Cove in the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. Serving the invasive fish is part of an effort to protect the country’s fragile reef system. (Photo by Pat Lee)

One of the objectives is to encourage the harvesting of the invasive lionfish by harpoon fishermen. To further attract their capture, Fish offers lionfish and other local seafood specimens on its menu.

“I met with local fishermen to help them convince others to go get more lionfish,” he said.

“It’s a good salary for those who want to go out for it.”

Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas is home to many Michelin-starred restaurants, including Fish by Jose Andres.  (Photo by Pat Lee)
Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas is home to many Michelin-starred restaurants, including Fish by Jose Andres. (Photo by Pat Lee)

The lionfish can be a bit tricky to handle in the kitchen given its poisonous spines (the reason it has no prey), but once these are removed, the leftover meat is delicious.

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Over a restaurant dinner, the fish chefs offered a whole fried lionfish with the removed meat served alongside. It’s a fish that won’t win any beauty pageants, but it’s delicious.

Andres said after getting the green light from his family to join Atlantis – “Does it have a good beach, can we go scuba diving, is there golf? There were the three ticks, so it was hard to say no ”- the project was going full steam ahead.

Julie Lightbourn holds her iconic Lobster Quesadilla, a favorite at her casual beachside restaurant Sip Sip at The Cove at Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas.  (Photo by Pat Lee)
Julie Lightbourn holds her iconic Lobster Quesadilla, a favorite at her casual beachside restaurant Sip Sip at The Cove at Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. (Photo by Pat Lee)

Fish is in good company at the mega-resort, joining other star companies Olive from Todd English, Nobu with Nobu Matsuhisa and Sip Sip from Julie Lightbourn.

When you’re not eating at one of Atlantis’ many restaurants, both upscale and casual, you can relax by the pool or at the beach.

The Cove has 20 luxury beachside cabanas and a swimming pool with beautiful furnishings that have been decorated by artist Lulu DK.

Of course, there is a theme park side to Atlantis with a huge water park with slides and a river walk for those who are inclined.

IF YOU ARE GOING TO

Bahamas: www.bahamas.com

Atlantis: www.atlantisbahamas.com

Fish: www.atlantisbahamas.com/dining/finedining/fish-by-jose-andres

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