Caribbean Chef Helmi Smeulders


You often hear stories about people who leave their day jobs to pursue their dreams. Caribbean chef Helmi Smeulders did just that! Twenty years after she decided to venture into the culinary world, Helmi, 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 cooking classes, chef’s tables, dinners in the field and other culinary events Helmi finds time to travel the world; exploring the foods, cooking techniques and the latest trends. The love of travel is the thread running through Helmi’s story. It is what brought her to Curaçao, 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 belief in the quality of fresh and locally grown produce, the Caribbean kitchen is evolving from comfort to culinary, from traditional to modern.



Immerse yourself in the flavors of the Caribbean with Chef Helmi Smeulders. Join her cooking class and discover the secrets of Caribbean cuisine. Learn how to use exotic ingredients like tamarind, plantain and Scotch bonnet chilies to create delicious dishes that are bursting with flavor. Chef Helmi will guide you through the intricacies of Caribbean spices, marinades and sauces, and reveal the cooking techniques that make this cuisine so unique. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cook, this class is the perfect opportunity to expand your culinary repertoire and explore the vibrant flavors of the Caribbean.


At the Chef’s Table you have a front-row seat to seeing chef Helmi at work, while she prepares a menu that showcases the vibrant colors and bright flavors that define Caribbean cuisine. Each dish will tell a story, drawing from chef Helmi’s connections to the region and her creative approach to culinary innovation. Whether you’re a passionate foodie, a connoisseur of Caribbean cuisine, or simply seeking an extraordinary dining experience, the Chef’s Table is not to be missed. Reserve your seat today to join this remarkable culinary journey.


Once a month, Caribbean Chef Helmi Smeulders packs up her pots, pans, tables and chairs for a unique dinner at one of the plantations on Curaçao. An important part of this extraordinary culinary experience is to create more awareness for the local farmers, on an island where most things are imported. Guests enjoy a 4-course family-style dinner prepared with fresh produce from the field.


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 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 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 Smeulders 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.

Caribbean Chef Helmi Smeulders