Lifestyle, Travel

Travel: St. Croix Food & Wine Experience

2009 Taste of St. Croix | photo by Ted DavisFood For Life

By SékouWrites

As an attendee of the 2009 fete, I must strongly encourage you to do whatever it takes to get to the next Food & Wine Experience in Saint Croix (U.S. Virgin Islands).

Whether you’re a foodie, a wine connoisseur, a party animal, or a fashionista, you’ll be well taken care of in St. Croix. Imagine being able to indulge in exotic food prepared by world famous chefs, drink wine while you discuss its flavor with the actual vintner, or attend high fashion events on the beach at sunset.  If you’ve got that in mind, then you’ve got a good idea of what you’re in for.

Many celebrated chefs sign up every year to support The St. Croix Food & Wine Experience, an annual series of events that fund the community programs of the St. Croix Foundation. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the four-day fund-raising affair takes place April 13-17, 2010, on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Events include gourmet dinners, wine seminars, wine auctions, and the annual culinary competition, A Taste of St. Croix, which is held at the luxurious Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort.  This is where you get to sample the best dishes of the best restaurants, so make sure you come with an empty stomach.

The St. Croix Food & Wine Experience, named number one on the Ten Best International Food and Wine Festivals by Forbes Travel, showcases the diverse cuisine and wine available on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Famed chefs include Roberto Treviño, Tim Love, Kevin Rathbun, Gabriel Rucker and Roberto Treviño, who will each serve as a guest judge at Taste of St. Croix, host an intimate Cork & Fork dinner paired with a top winery, and face-off in a friendly competition with local island chefs.

Past winners have included Chris Benziger of Benziger Wineries, Bill Blais of Kendall Jackson Estates, Bob Foley of Foley Wines, Paul Hoffman of Medusa Wines, Julianna Martinelli of Martinelli Vineyards, Joel Peterson of Ravenswood, Maria Ponzi of Ponzi Vineyards, Carroll Kemp of Red Car Wines, and Kent Rosenblum of Rosenblum Cellars. Guest chefs have included Rocco DiSpirito, Top Chef’s Antonia Lofaso (who served a mean scallop dish last year), Kevin Rathbun, Robbin Haas, Gerry Klaskala, Wayne Nish, Richard Reddington, and Johnny Vinczencz.

2009 Taste of St. Croix | photo by Sam DikeStarted by restaurant owners Katherine Pugliese of Eat@CaneBay and Kelly Odom of Tutto Bene, The St. Croix Food & Wine Experience is recognized as the preeminent food and wine event in the Caribbean. The event also benefits the St. Croix Foundation (stxfoundation.org), a nonprofit foundation focused on community revitalization, economic development, youth programs, education, and additional community needs. The culinary event has raised more than $750,000 for The St. Croix Foundation over the past nine years.

Tickets to the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience go on sale this month and are available at stcroixfoodandwine.com. Patrons wanting access to all events can purchase the Platinum Patron package for $5,000, which includes two tickets to each event and a choice of one Cork & Fork dinner. Sponsorship packages are also available.

For more information visit tasteofstcroix.com.

Photos: (top) Revelers at the Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort enjoy the Taste of St. Croix by Ted Davis/D&D Studio; (bottom) A decorative watermelon by Sam Dike.

(originally published on uptownmagazine.com)


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