The Story of R. B. McCarthy

I suppose every family has their stories, true or imagined. My favorites were the tales of R.B. McCarthy, the amorous, rum loving, life savoring sailor who cooked his way across Paradise and came home to be my Grandfather. In fact, I was the one who solved the family mystery about the meaning of his initials “R.B.” As it turned out he was given the title “My Rum Brother” after a particularly wild night of cooking for and drinking heavily with the tribal elder in Tuvalu. In appreciation of the honor, he adopted the initials as his own.


Arrangements had been made that when he passed I was to receive Grandfather’s old sea chest. Buried under souvenirs of far-flung islands, times long past, and momentos of countless adventures I found a leather-bound journal. As I read it, sensuous mermaids, epic typhoons, island legends, and beautiful women all came to life through the stories. Each encounter inspired another fantastic dish with the recipe carefully noted. At the very bottom of the chest, I found a neatly folded piece of paper with my name on it. It simply read:

Life is one big ocean. Set sail and never look back

With love ( and rum)


Join me now as I attempt to recreate a sense of what it was like sailing across Mother Ocean’s South Pacific paradise in From Paradise With Love (And Rum). I’ve gathered the stories R.B. called his inspirations and matched them with the resulting recipes. Each entree has suggested side dishes as well as some suggested music to round out the whole vibe. Delve into the fantasy. The idea here is to create a delicious South Pacific, rum enhanced fantasy with scrumptious and fun food, conversation, music, and… (insert ideas here)