Daughter-of-the-soil makes mark in USVI in the culinary field

Daughter-of-the-soil Rita Myers Chiverton, who is originally from Craddock Road, Charlestown, is making her mark in the culinary field in her residing island of St. Croix U.S Virgin Islands.

Chiverton was most recently recognized by the St. Croix  Annual Agriculture and Food and Fair U.S Virgin Islands, Agrifest, for her sterling contribution for the past 20 years, one after the festival’s inception.

The U.S. Virgin Island’s governor, Kenneth Mapps, awarded a silver fish to Chiverton, while, at the same ceremony, the lieutenant governor awarded her with a mahogany plaque.

Chiverton spoke with the Observer on Thursday, saying that her interest of food came from when she was just a little child.

“All my experience cooking I learned from home,” she said. “My mother had a shop on Craddock Road close to the Big Rock called ‘The Pallor.’”

She said that during her time in Nevis, she remembered cooking and standing on a cheese pan when turning corn meal. She notes that she is the best at cooking “goat water” in St. Croix, something she had watched her mother cook and helped her to cook during her years living in Nevis.

“I left Nevis as a young adult,” she said.” But my mother use to cook goat stew – that is what I know it as. But, when I got to St Croix, they call it goat water.

“I am No. 1 in making goat water,” she boasts.

Besides her recent award, Chiverton was also honored by the carnival committee of the last St. Croix Carnival for her long-standing service of 26 years as a vendor in the Carnival Village. For Carnival 2016-2017, the Carnival Village was named in her honor for the season.

Her bar in the Carnival Village is named after her place of birth, “Queen City.”

Chiverton said that she loves cooking and, as such, make patties every day to supply many business. “I can make anything you call Caribbean food; I am just good at it and when I cook, no one ever helps me do my cooking,” she said.

Chiverton has taken many cooking classes in Nevis and St Croix that rewarded her with certificates for her cooking.