top of page

Meet Derek A. Went

Mr Derek Went is the owner and artistic director of Went Caribbean Inc.

Mr. Went is the owner and artistic director of Went Caribbean Inc. His company which was established in the early nineties, designs and produces healthy value added products based on Caribbean lifestyle traditions that address health and wellness needs. Derek is also a registered farmer with the Barbados Ministy of Agriculture. He has been planting from a very young age where ever fate would place him in the world.

Incorporating Sustainablity into My Work

I approach sustainability from the perspective of food security. If people do not have to struggle for basic survival and adequate nutrition, then they become able to express themselves in some creative way through their lifestyle choices. I demonstrate, through my services and products, practical means for making use of local ingredients, both cultivated and wild. I both grow and source local ingredients for inclusion in many of the value added products I design and bring to market.

One of the biggest problems we face is manuvering the supply chain for raw materials of high quality is highly susceptible to interruption…particularly when having to be sourced from overseas. The local supply, while improving slowly, is often challenging and unreliable…and expensive.

The Joys of Went Caribbean Inc.

I enjoy the variety of projects and contacts that working in the health and wellness arena affords me. These provide me with interest and motivation as well as the opportunity to affect positive change. The direct marketing arm of my business is called Went Home and it provides excellent opportunities to test new products and receive relevant feedback while interacting directly with my customers. I operate a health food and smoothie bar at Holder’s Farmer’s Market very Sunday under the banner of Went Home and it is very satisfying to see the positive effects of the work I do in such a direct way.

Most Memorable Moment

It was when I was finally able after about two years of research and development to introduce my flagship brand of Caribbean Fusion blends of aromatic herbs and spices: WentWorx and seeing them become immediately popular.

These seven chemical-free fusion blends recreate the authentic taste of Caribbean cuisine as influenced by the various world cultures that visited the region throughout its history. The subtle combinations of myriad flavours still affects our traditional methods of seasoning local meals and are difficult to recreate without a working knowledge of a Caribbean kitchen.

I also like that I can go into my garden and pick fresh herbs, spices, fruit and veggie that I have grown personally.

Favorite Foods & Lost Traditions

I most enjoy anything that has been cooked in banana leaves but tend to roast slices of many different vegetables and roots on an open griddle as my meal of choice. I tend to keep my meals very simple and easy to prepare.

I have prepared a meal of whole red-fish, sitting atop a generous mound of coarsely grated sweet potato, seasoned generously with chopped chives, fresh dill, onions, ginger, garlic, sea salt…a sprinkling of my seafood seasoning blend, Island Street, showcasing French creole street food influences, with high notes of orange and lemon, with hints of coriander and other green herbs, mild pepper…all drizzled lightly with freshly made coconut milk, wrapped up in a double envelope of singed banana leaf and grilled for about 10 minutes. Heavenly!

The leaves retain all the flavours and add a special one of their own.