Caribbean restaurant Bammy’s makes massive new hire with chef Peter Prime
Months after quitting his H Street hit Trinidadian Cane, Eater DC’s 2019 Chef of the Year Peter Prime has opened a new chapter in his culinary career at another island-style restaurant in DC
Bammy’s partners Chris Morgan and Gerald Addison, former co-chefs at Michelin-starred hotspot Maydan, personally wooed Prime to join their two-year getaway venture along the banks of the Anacostia River. Prime brings the cuisine of his native Trinidad and Tobago to the table, with plans to augment and modify his existing menu of Caribbean favorites like jerk chicken, shrimp and goat curry, conch fritters and painkiller cocktails. based on rum.
“It’s the perfect next step. I love cooking Caribbean food and it’s a great opportunity to continue doing that in a great environment,” Prime told Eater. His first official day in the Navy Yard kitchen is Wednesday, May 25 (301 Water Street SE).
Prime parted ways with his sister and business partner Jeanine Prime at the end of 2021, simultaneously parting ways with Cane and his highly anticipated brother from 14th Street NW, St. James.
“I think our understanding of the industry was really different,” Prime says. “So be at the start of something new [with St. James], you must really be on the same page with a similar vision. (This modern Caribbean restaurant opens this week and its new chef is Alfredo Romero Contreras, a former Fiola Mare veteran.)
Prime’s cooking at Cane sparked hours of anticipation and national attention, and Addison and Morgan shared the same idea of reaching out when news of his departure first spread.
“We hadn’t met yet, but we heard amazing things about him about his cooking skills,” says Morgan. “He always spends time at the table in his restaurants, which I love.”
Being a solo executive chef was sometimes “super lonely,” Prime says, and the chance to be part of a Caribbean dream team had its appeal.
“The camaraderie in the kitchen is one of the reasons I joined the business. I look forward to being able to collaborate with people who understand the industry,” says the graduate of the French Culinary Institute. Prime got a taste of his new colleagues’ talents years ago while having dinner at their predecessor’s house.
“I’ve had transformational and influential food experiences before, and Maydan was definitely one of them,” he says.
Some of Prime’s best-selling creations at Cane included signature doubles (fried buns filled with spiced chickpeas); whole fried snapper escoveitch; chilli-smoked jerk wings; and roti rolls, or South Asian-influenced Caribbean flatbreads stuffed with potato and meat curries. At Bammy’s, he plans to continue exploring his Trinidadian roots and the food found in street carts, rum shops and Caribbean home kitchens.
“We’re open to any conversation around Bammy’s existing dishes, and ultimately we want the food to be the best it can be,” Morgan says.
The partners opened Bammy’s in 2020 to honor the Caribbean cuisine they fell in love with, through family ties (Morgan has a Jamaican aunt), memorable take-out meals in DC and New York, and extensive travel across the country. Barbados, Trinidad and Jamaica.
“I want to respect the great things that have been done here. I’m going to bring my Trinidadian perspective and continue to explore Caribbean cuisine to do some cool stuff,” Prime says.
He plans to contribute curries, family recipes, twists on traditional dishes and iconic Trinidadian staples like “bake and shark” – a pocket sandwich popular at beach shacks and street stalls across the island. On his own, a batty fry is a beloved breakfast order that he likens to a deep-fried cookie. Trinidadian rum punch, which emphasizes Angostura bitters over fruit, could also come on board behind the bar.
“It will be great fun to play around with Jamaican and trini curries, contrasting which makes them both great,” he adds.
Bammy’s marks Prime’s return to the brunch service for the first time since 2019, when he ran the kitchen at Bloomingdale’s Caribbean-inspired Spark Smokehouse before opening Cane. Beginning this spring, Bammy’s has enlivened weekend dining with reggae music, DJs and theme nights.
Compared to the landlocked 40-seat Cane, Prime’s new waterfront workplace at Bammy’s feels a little more like home – between sweeping views of the boats floating outside and more customers at to entertain. An airy 50-seat patio at the front is joined by a 70-seat interior. The kitchen will soon be refreshed with new online toys for Prime to play with.
“My theory is that the more people who come together to reflect, the better. We’re super lucky to have him,” Addison said. “As soon as you think you have it all figured out, you have no room to keep growing.”