Bermuda fish chowder

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I love that my show The Blue and Yellow Kitchen has taken me on a culinary journey all over the world! This stop, Bermuda, for a classic fish chowder that shows both the British and trans-Atlantic slave trade influences. If you’re like me, you might think Bermuda is in the Caribbean. But it’s actually much farther north, directly east of North Carolina. The islands were uninhabited when the British arrived in 1612. The original settler families still have great influence over the island and its food products, include Outerbridge’s Devilishly Hot Sherry Pepper Sauce and Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. Here’s more history on the founder of the sherry peppers sauce, Yeaton Outerbridge.

The book that inspired this dish is Censorettes, by Elizabeth Bales Frank. Censorettes is based on the true story of British women who were stationed in Bermuda during World War II, working for the British Intelligence Service intercepting mail between Europe and the U.S. It’s a fascinating fictional tale of four young women who become friends and deal with a variety of challenges in Bermuda and beyond. I totally could see this book as a BBC mini-series. Who do I call to make that happen?

Watch the show here!

Bermuda fish chowder

Bermuda fish chowder

Tasty fish chowder (think Manhattan-style clam chowder) inspired by the novel Censorettes by Elizabeth Bales Frank.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Caribbean
Servings 12 1-cup servings


  • 2 quarts water (filtered or spring)
  • 1.5 pounds white fish (fillets) cubed, divided use
  • 4-6 springs thyme (fresh) tied with kitchen string
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt omit for lower-sodium version
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves (dried, ground)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (unsalted) use unsalted butter for lower-sodium version
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1 onions chopped
  • 4 celery chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 3 carrots diced
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped (can use red or orange)
  • 14 ounces tomatoes (425 g) peeled or puree
  • 1 cup chicken stock (low-sodium)
  • 1 pound new potatoes scrubbed and cut into 1/8ths
  • 6 ounces tomato paste no-salt-added
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoons lemon juice (fresh)
  • 1/4 cup rum (dark, Gosling’s Black Seal) or rum of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon Outerbridge’s Devilishly Hot Sherry Peppers Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley (fresh) chopped


  • Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large pot. RESERVE HALF THE CUBED FISH to add later. Bring to a boil, then turn down and let simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables in the other pan are cooked.
  • Melt butter and oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté onions, celery, garlic, carrots, and green pepper for 10 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and broth and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Transfer this mixture to the fish pot and add potatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, rum, and Sherry Peppers Sauce. Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.
  • Stir in remaining cubed fish and cook just until cooked through.
  • Remove thyme bundle and bay leaves.
  • Stir in parsley and serve immediately with crusty bread and butter on the side.


A note about the fish: Recommended fish include grouper, snapper, cod, haddock, and sea bass. Do not use halibut, tuna, salmon, or other fatty fish. If you have access to a whole fish, remove fillets and reserve for later. Simmer head and rack (fish skeleton) in step 1 for 2 hours before proceeding with rest of recipe. This produces a rich fish stock that would be more authentic. Remove head and bones before adding cubed fillets in step 5.