Helmi Smeulders Caribbean Chef


You often hear stories about people who leave their day jobs to pursue their dreams. Chef Helmi Smeulders did just that! Fifteen years after she decided to venture into the culinary world, Helmi Smeulders, a lawyer by trade and a chef by choice, is re-inventing the unique flavors of the Caribbean. Her style, creativity, imagination and continuous innovation have brought to life the modern Caribbean cuisine.

Between events Helmi finds time to travel the world; exploring the foods, cooking techniques and latest trends. The love of travel is the thread running through Helmi’s story. It is what brought her to Curacao, and it is what keeps her exploring the region; from Colombia to Trinidad and the Dominican Republic to Bonaire.

Helmi leads a culinary revolution by breaking down and applying new techniques to centuries-old recipes. Combined with her fierce believe in the quality of fresh and locally grown produce, the Caribbean kitchen is evolving from comfort to culinary, from traditional to modern.


The depth and breadth of Caribbean flavors are endless.
And Helmi is putting them on the map in a new light. To give you a first-hand experience Helmi hosts cooking classes to teach and show case the flavors and techniques of Caribbean cooking.

Prefer to sit back and relax?
You can also join her in the kitchen for the Chef’s Table Experience – giving you a front row seat for a feast of Caribbean delicacies, or at her wildly popular Pop-up Restaurant. New on the menu is the Caribbean Cooking Holiday: a weeklong culinary journey where cooking, eating and exploring are key.


Island Vibes – The Joy of Caribbean Cooking (2018)

Chef Helmi Smeulders latest Caribbean cookbook is all about discovering the diversity and exploring the opportunities of Caribbean cuisine. Through the colorful recipes and stunning photography you will instantly find yourself on a Caribbean island, celebrating life in style with good food and loved ones.

This book offers plenty of culinary inspiration for those endless summer evenings, cozy family dinners or lazy days at the beach.

Modern Caribbean Flavors (2015)

Modern Caribbean Flavors is one of the first cookbooks about the contemporary Caribbean kitchen. Besides delicious recipes, the book gives you a view into the authors island life, whether shes having a BBQ on the beach, dinner with friends in the garden or when buying tropical fruits at her neighbor’s plantation.

In this colorful and stylish book, Helmi shares her best recipes. Indulge yourself and cook with a dash of tropical passion!


Helmi’s style, imagination and creativity have reshaped the catering concept on the island. With over 15 years in experience in the industry, Helmi strives to deliver a unique experience at each event, whether it is an exclusive private dinner party, a glamorous event or an intimate wedding.


“ Helmi Smeulders takes the Caribbean kitchen to a higher level.”
Jonnie & Thérèse Boer – 3- star Michelin restaurant De Librije

The day we spent with Helmi was the best day of our two weeks in Curacao. Helmi welcomed us into her beautifully spacious, bright kitchen with great warmth and hospitality. And best of all, we cooked. Really cooked. Abundant recipes and memories to take home to colder climes.”

Lauren on TripAdvisor about the Caribbean cooking class

“Chef Helmi Smeulders is the Curaçao queen of the Caribbean fusion kitchen”

Antilliaans Dagblad

A must go for foodies! What a great experience! Every time we go Helmi Smeulders surprises us with her creative take on modern Caribbean food. She cooks with local ingredients in an innovative way. The food is perfectly paired with the greatest wines. This is your chance to meet the locals and enjoy delicious food.”

Kristel on TripAdvisor about the Chefs Table


Helmi brings food to life with the help of her camera. Most of the food photography and styling for her second cookbook Island Vibes the Joy of Caribbean Cooking, was done by herself – combining her passions with a honed sense of style.

Helmi’s food photos have been published in international magazines and newspapers. She works together with local and international restaurants, cookbook publishers and marketing agencies, working from her studio or on location.


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