Food for Thought

The Secret Garden

Foodies are in for a unique experience at The Frenz Deck.

Story & Photos By Dominique Rolle, Caya Hico Media

Chef Irie Dawta has a lush backyard garden in the heart of Providenciales.

Walking with my friend Lorraine Kenlock in her lush backyard garden, I feel transported from Grace Bay into the heartland of the Turks & Caicos—North Caicos—or perhaps Jamaica where such fantastic foliage is a common way of life. Lorraine hails from that island, and though she relocated here in 2003, the earthiness of her spirit and approach to life has not wilted.

It is rare to find such a gardening enthusiast on Providenciales where flat, dry land has made the beaches the most celebrated the planet earth has to offer. However, behind the bustling tourism hub that is Grace Bay Road there lies an oasis nestled on a picturesque lake where ducks, flamingos and egrets frolic in peace, hidden away from the crowds.
Bursting with life and overflowing with organic goodies, Kenlock’s garden ranges in surprises from tomatoes, peppers, bananas and spinach, to peppermint, okra, papaya, and pumpkin. Her plants are like her children and she speaks to them with the love all good farmers bestow upon their seedlings. With tenderness and care she waters, protects and ensures their growth. It is a hand-grown approach rarely applied to our modern food and an essential ingredient in the farm-to-table movement Kenlock is trailblazing here on Providenciales.
Chef Irie Dawta and Lorraine Kenlock are technically the same person, but not really. Lorraine was an IT professional, educated in Japan as well as her native Jamaica, and previously confined to a corporate life drastically different from the culinary and creative environment the chef inspires on a daily basis. In 2011, the metamorphosis took place and Kenlock took on her new persona. It started as a made-to-order healthy (and mouth-wateringly delicious) salad business that quickly created a demand for her distinctive approach to food in the private chef villa market. It was there, facing the hurdles of entering the professional culinary industry that the legendary Chef Irie Dawta was born.
Kenlock’s reputation as Ire Dawta precedes her. Just ask one of her devoted followers about the unparalleled dining experience she offers and even the haughtiest of foodies will be convinced before even trying her food. Still, seeing (or rather tasting) is believing. With many of us not quite in the private jet/private chef income bracket, Irie Dawta’s newest creation offers the perfect opportunity to experience her delights.

The Frenz Deck is a personal dining experience in the chef’s lush backyard.

The Frenz Deck, a uniquely personal dining experience set smack in the chef’s lush backyard, offers food enthusiasts the chance to dine at Kenlock’s home on the freshest organic food from her garden, sampling her inspiring creations whilst overlooking the quiet Grace Bay lake you didn’t even know existed. Ask Chef Irie Dawta about the experience she offers at the Frenz Deck and she might surprise you by insisting she prefers diners come with a sense of adventure, knowing that their well-being is going to be taken care of. She says, “Frenz Deck is for the adventurous, open-minded person who wants an experience that’s not bottled. Every experience on the deck is different. Guests will have to go to our website to reserve a seat and pay a deposit. There’s one sitting per evening with only 10 seats, sometimes 14, so a deposit is always required.”
You don’t need a menu for this incredible experience as Chef Irie Dawta does her homework prior to the evening (or afternoon) and follows where her artistic and culinary whims lead. Go off the beaten track and into the secret garden of one of the most exciting culinary minds the Turks & Caicos has to offer. Visit for more information.

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Brian Heagney of The Humpback Dive Shack on Grand Turk took this photo of a humpback whale this Winter season. His business specializes in eco-friendly, low impact whale watching/swimming (January to April), scuba diving, Stingray tours and snorkeling around the warm waters of Grand Turk and Salt Cay. For more information, visit.

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