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Top Shelf: Big Alvin’s Antiguan Mahi Ceviche

Dec 13, 2017 by Timothy MacDonald

Top Shelf: by Chef Timothy MacDonald

With our yacht about to cross to the Caribbean, visions of hot sauce, barbecue ribs, jerked chicken, mac ‘n cheese and slaw served on paper plates at the wooden roadside bars have begun to dance in my head. I thought I would offer a local Antiguan favorite of the island’s police chief, Big Al.

The combination was first served barbecue-style to a group of local Antiguan characters quickly assembled by Big Al to bolster his approval rating at my expense. The ceviche played muse to juicy barbecued pineapple, local corn with old bay, jerked ribs, roasted veg and quinoa macrobiotic salad, steaks….

The key to the ceviche is spanking-fresh mahi – locally caught, of course.

With the ceviche, the trick is to serve it in a vessel that’s “out of the box.” There is nothing wrong with using a vase. It’s all about catching the color of the ingredients before the acid component breaks it down.


1kg fresh mahi diced into bite-size chunks
1 cup lime juice (about 8 large limes)
1 cup diced ruby grapefruit segments
1 cup chopped avocado
1/2 cup seeded chopped tomato.
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced.
1/2 cup finely chopped onion.
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves.
1 finely sliced bird’s eye red chilli
Sea salt and 1 teaspoon rose peppercorns
Coriander micro sprouts

With the ingredients, mix and marinate for two hours.
Once served in your vessel of choice, add the micro sprouts.

Chef Tim MacDonald has more than 20 years experience as a chef. He was named Concours de Chefs winner for Yachts over 160 feet at the 2011 Antigua Charter Yacht Show. His recipes are designed for the owner and guests. Comments are welcome below.