Self taught and fearless, Chef Ralph Motta’s inspiration is derived from the cultures and traditions native to the island of St. Croix, USVI. Its rich history, blended with an ever-growing influx of diverse cultures, is responsible for the evolution of what he refers to as modern day Crucian cuisine.
Surrounded by living encyclopedias of cultural recipes and techniques, Chef Motta says, “while growing up on St. Croix it was impossible to be blind to the preparation of local cuisine.” He had his pick from family heirlooms, such as his grandmother Claire Motta’s mortar and pestle, which she used to produce “pound seasoning.” (a staple ingredient in every savory crucian dish), to his mother’s silver mixing bowls handed down to her by Grandma Ena. It is the history behind these pieces that have evoked a desire in Chef Motta to both preserve the culture and evolve the legacy while doing so.
Formally a trained fine artist, Pratt grad Chef Motta finds himself compelled to experiment with an array of culinary techniques both traditional and contemporary. While paired with a passion to produce art, Chef Motta designs every dish by juxtaposing the modern aesthetic of contemporary abstraction with that of his traditional flavors. His style can be described as a fusion of Caribbean, French and American cuisines.
Located on St. Croix, USVI, Chef Motta is currently the Executive Chef at Motta Cuisine. A boutique catering company established in the Spring of 2014 with the help of fellow Crucians.
Sponsored by the US Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, Chef Motta has been named the Culinary Ambassador to the US Virgin Islands from May 2017 to present.
In addition to Motta Cuisine Chef Motta also operates 3’s Company STX. A Fine Art Gallery and Studio Space dedicated to showcasing the work of local Caribbean artist. 3‘s Company STX can be found at 57 Company Street in downtown Christiansted.