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Julien B. Diez

All the flavour of St. Barth

His name is linked to Foodland St. Barth, which is all about magically bringing the world’s finest food onto the island of St. Barth, which he fell in love with when visiting a friend in 2006. The idea was to stop for a couple of months: so far, nine years have passed. We find out more about the taste and flavours of a Frenchman who farmed oysters in his former life.

The rest is in his own words:
“I was born in Strasburg, on the border between France and Germany.
I grew up with healthy family principles, close to my parents and my younger sister.
I lived in Alsace, Provence and in South West France.
At 17 I moved to La Rochelle to study Aquaculture after finishing high school.
I have always been drawn to professions that involve the sea. I have spent a lot of time studying marine life and biology, any form of life that can grow in water.

I also have a number of nautical certificates (it was also a good way to do surfing, diving and have fun on the beach).
Back in my university days I lived on the island of Oléron, in the west of France. The speciality there was its oysters, so to earn a bit of money I used to work with the oyster farmers, but it was work I really loved. So it became my own job for eight years, and I had some truly unique experiences amidst the really unusual landscapes you find in Brittany, Normandy, the Ile de Ré, Oléron and Arcachon, even in very extreme conditions. You work out in the sea in summer and winter, whatever the weather, but it is absolutely fantastic.
The day I felt the need to see something new I arrived in St.Barth.
I came here to visit a friend in 2006. I was supposed to stay a couple of months, but nine years later I am still here. It was love at first sight. I have thought about going back to Europe, but each year I fall more and more in love with this little rock in the Caribbean.
St. Barth is a little world in itself. You immediately see whether you could live there because it suits you, or if it is not the right place for you.
It’s just fantastic. You have the opportunity to make a life for yourself, like nowhere else.
And a few years ago, everything changed. I fell in love with my wife who was on holiday here, and I had the chance to start working in food importation.
Nowadays, life “on the rock” is entirely dedicated to my family and my little Caribbean princess, Leeloo. I work and I have an amazing quality of life, and I am always in close contact with the sea.
I am a partner of Foodland St. Barth, a local company that imports fresh food from all over the world. We supply sophisticated foods to many of the island’s restaurants as well as to individual customers: we offer the best home catering service in the island’s villas and yachts.
Tomorrow perhaps we will head for somewhere new...and why not, I might even cross paths with my oysters again.”

Luxury for me is: the time I spend with my family, my two-year old daughter Leeloo and my wife Julie.

The best gift: LEELOO.

In my suitcase: my pair of cowboy boots.

I feel elegant when I am: tanned and have salt from seawater on my skin, I love the natural feeling it gives.
I have lived near the sea since I was six, so I need to feel it physically. I know I cannot do without it. St Barth is the perfect place, and my kayak is the perfect instrument.

My favourite place: it’s hard to say, there are so many. I love islands, so this is my league table:
- Oleron, in Western France;
- St. Barth, FWI;
- Rod Loga in Sweden, a small island near Stockholm
(I absolutely love Sweden. My wife Julie is Swedish and I have had the chance to get to know some of this beautiful and restful country).

My soundtrack: Easy Rider, the Pusher by Steppenwolf.

Fears: disappointing someone.

Never: regrets.

Always: keep moving forward! WAR ARAOK ATAO ! ( in the Breton language).

Three “secret” locations:
- Lorient, the most enchanting beach on all St Barth. It’s not a coincidence that it is listed as being one of the world’s most beautiful beaches;
- Torekov bay in Sweden: sea, greenery, silence and peace;
- in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean: I crossed the ocean in a sailing boat, it was an incredible life experience.
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