The Story of Jolly Pete
Recently I was having a six degrees of separation moment with Mac Pete on trip advisor. He wrote me asking about Ambergris Caye vs Caye Caulker and before long, we discovered that we had both lived just outside of Montreal and moved to Toronto, Ontario.
Here is a small part of Mac Pete’s conversation – “OK now we REALLY have to have that drink, you’re proof it IS possible as long as you’re prepared to take a leap of faith’. And the story behind the tacogirl name? I’ll put the story behind the photos for you – a real tale of me and my big mouth! It took over 48 hours to get the goofy grin off my face as I lived the dream for one night. Very fond memories indeed”.
When I opened my email and looked at the first picture below and saw first hand Pete’s ‘goofy grin’ I knew the story to follow would be a good one and a great shout out to all my skilled grillin friends.
Thanks for sharing Mac Pete and if Carbunkle Trumpet ever does another Sauce off, I will make sure you are on the invite list. If you end up grillin in San Pedro this July, I volunteer for taste tester 🙂
The story of Jolly Pete
Our first dinner on Caye Caulker was pretty good – an Italian place up the road from Roger’s. We’re out for an after dinner stroll, when we come across this fellow with a charcoal grill cookin’ up catch of the day. He asks if we want dinner, sorry man, just ate up the road.
“Yeah, they’re not bad, but really you need to eat here for the local experience”
“OK maybe tomorrow night”, was our answer.
Next morning, my buddy Grant and I are up early, on the prowl for coffee for the wives. We come across Roger, who reminds us we’re eating at his place that evening. “Not unless we find coffee soon” was our reply. He took us to his Dad’s place around the corner and we started to chat about all things charcoal. We went back to his place and I checked out his rig, an old propane tank split lengthwise with a hinged lid. Basic, but effective.
We talk fuel, indirect heat and the like, Grant lets slip I have 4 BBQs back home and know my way around the grill. (For the record, I now have 5, with the addition of the “Halal Hibachi”, for when my my Muslim neighbors drop by)
“Ok big boy, you talk a good game. C’mon by tonight, 6:30. You’re cooking so don’t be late” I’ll never forget those words…
So 6:30 rolls around, I arrive and Roger has the grill lit. I start cooking for our party, 2 barracuda, 2 snapper, 2 shrimp. Easy right?
Roger is working the street, and more folks arrive. “Two more shrimp, don’t burn them”
Wait – what??
“Barracuda and another snapper. More shrimp”. Crikey.
“C’mon in folks, guest chef all de way from Canada, tonight only!”
The place is filling up, my wife and friends have finished dinner (cooked perfectly by the way) and have left to explore Caulker at night. I’m still grillin and grinnin’.
I ended up cooking until about 11 pm, had a well deserved cocktail with Roger.
“So, Boss, how’d I do?
He tells me 8.5 on 10, not bad for a new guy.
My dream job, 20 feet from the beach and a face that I would need a belt-sander to get the grin off.
Thanks Roger, for making me one very happy guy that night.
(And ever the business man, Roger charges me full pop for 6 dinners. STILL can’t figure that one out.)
For those of you who do not know the story behind the name tacogirl: When we were still green here I found the Ambergris Caye Message Board and decided to join it to make friends. I figured I would find people who have Belize in common and try to meet some locals – boy did I ever on both counts. I tried beach girl for my user name but it was taken and good thing for me because it got me thinking, what else do I love about Living in Belize and island life? Of course food was the next thing that came to mind and tacogirl was born. A few days later Paul came along and said ok I joined the board as tacoboy – dos tacos pour favor.