- √ One Handsome Pirate
- √ One Wisecracking Wine Wiseguy
- √ St. Croix’s Best Culinary Talent
- √ Nine Phenomenal Celebrity Chefs
Prep Time: 12 Years in the Making
Cook Time: 6 days
Blend and simmer under the late-spring Caribbean sun and WOW – what an extraordinary 2012 Food & Wine Experience!
The St. Croix Food & Wine Experience brilliantly showcased the best St. Croix has to offer in food, wine, Crucian hospitality and philanthropy.
In addition to being the most entertaining week on St. Croix, we love the fact that the proceeds from the weeklong series of events – including A Taste of St. Croix – supports the great works of the St. Croix Foundation.
The St. Croix Foundation creates tremendous opportunity for the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands through scholarship programs, historical preservation projects, educational reform and small business support.
For the Sugarmill Media team, sponsorship of this weeklong party gave us the opportunity to get dolled up and mingle with celebrity chefs.
Chicago’s hottest chef, Merlin Verrier proposed to his beloved during the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience! This is the sort of up close and personal stuff a foodie drools over!
Renowned writers and media types congregated on our little-big island to to participate in the delectable tale of one of the best Food & Wine events in the Caribbean. Writers and photographers joined us from Caribbean Travel & Life and Coastal Living magazines. St. Croix even lured bloggers Food Culturist and Food Republic and television personalities from Travelista TV and Tempo.
Wisecracking Wise Guy
Mr. Giglio kept the Gourmet Vintner Dinner attendees chuckling during his New York-Italian accented yarns of food, wine and his Italian family. Mr. Giglio himself was perfectly paired with Chef Govind Armstrong during this event, which was held at Tutto Bene Restaurant.
The world renowned wine sommelier and writer and Chef Armstrong – one of Oprah’s favorite chefs – selected locally available wines to match Chef Armstrong’s exquisite culinary offerings. Our favorite course was the certified angus beef shortribs with charred baby broccoli and mushroom bolognese.
Mr. Giglio demonstrated wine’s transcendental essence by asking the attendees to sample two wines before and after tasting the food: a 2006 Chateau Greysac and a 2007 Chateau Bel-Air. Surprised murmurs filled the room during the very effective experiment. Everyone knows food and wine impact each other, but based on the crowd’s reaction, knowing it and tasting it are delightfully different.
Oh My Captain
The fast-paced event had chefs making a traditional West Indian Kallaloo, prepared and cooked over fire pits on the beach. Captain Morgan and two guest judges observed and graded the preparation, presentation and flavorful end results.
The same night, two wine dinners also received rave reviews. At the Beachside Café in Frederiksted, Chef Chad Ford was paired with German Bistue. At The Galleon, visiting Los Angeles Chef Eric Greenspan, The Foundry on Melrose, collaborated with The Galleon Chef Kenneth Biggs to produce a fabulous meal pair with wines from Willamette Valley Vineyards.
The value is incredible, for less than your average gala ticket, the lucky attendees cruise through table after table of the best food in the Caribbean. All while serving one of the best charitable causes in the USVI – the St. Croix Foundation.
Check out a full list of winners here, but to give you an idea of the awesomeness, the entrée winner was a Sweet and Spicy Braised Kurobuta Pork Belly with housemade Kim Chi and Miso Glazed Lobster by The Galleon Restaurant’s Kenneth Biggs. Congrats to Galleon owner Leslie Morrison, her team and the rest of the winners at Taste. I know the judges had a tough job choosing one winner from that selection.
- Friday – Gorgeous Sunset BBQ at Fort Frederik – more than just a BBQ and ensconced within the historic Danish fort in Frederiksted.
- Friday – Cork & Fork dinners in private homes around the island catered by teams of celeb and local chefs with wines paired by the experts.
- Saturday – Kid’s Cooking at Pearl B. Larsen Elementary School, featuring celebrity chefs Evelyn Paul and Ana Sortun
- Saturday Night – (One of our favorites!) The posh-vibes of Wine In the Warehouse wine tasting event at Leeward Islands’ Warehouse with Christine’s delectable escargot and several wines to sample
- Sunday – Taste with a Golf Cart! Cuisine on the Green Tournament at Carambola Golf Club allowed golfers and non-golfers the chance to sample several of the restaurants featured at taste with beverage pairings.
What a week! We absolutely loved sponsoring this event and witnessing the online and face-to-face mingling and idea sharing of the celebrity chefs and St. Croix’s finest.
We cannot wait to see what deliciousness awaits us next year and hope to help broaden the buzz for one of St. Croix’s signature experiences!!!