“Liming is just hanging out. Usually there’s rum involved.”
Tobago-born, Ontario-raised Antoinette Oliphant has been serving her particular brand of Caribbean-inflected cuisine to Yukoners for over a decade. She was running her first restaurant, south of Winnipeg, when a customer—who happened to be an owner of Dawson’s Aurora Inn—invited her north to work. She cooked at the inn for the 2005 season before striking out on her own.
“I love, love, love Dawson. I would still be there if I could keep bums in seats in the winter.”
She moved south to Whitehorse, and opened the current incarnation of "Antoinette’s" on 4th Avenue in 2010. The change has gone well: Unlike many northern business owners, she’s been able to hang on to her key staff – her head chef has been with her for three years, and some of her servers for as long as four.
“We’re a little family. They have to be there for so many hours of the day, you can’t make it miserable.”
The menu features items like guava-miso beef tenderloin, polenta sticks with jerk dip, and Caribbean lemon chicken, and for the most part, the equatorial flavours have been a hit with hungry northerners.
“Whitehorsians are foodies. There are definitely some people that will walk in here and look at the menu and it scares the shit out of them. But we do okay.”