with Car Rentals, Sailing Trips, Tickets to Events Featuring Celebrity Chefs and More…
Hotels offer flavorful packages for the 2013 St. Croix Food & Wine Experience. Priced from $799 for three nights at the boutique Hotel Caravelle to $2990 for five nights at the luxurious Buccaneer Resort, packages offer an opportunity to explore the island, sample delicious food and wine and see celebrity and island chefs team together to raise funds for non-profit programs. St. Croix Food & Wine events occur April 14 – 20, 2013.
St. Croix Food & Wine Experience
Hotels on the sun-soaked island of St. Croix have announced fun-filled and flavorful packages for the 2013 St. Croix Food & Wine Experience. From three night packages to week-long stays, each vacation package offers a different experience during the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience. Hotel taxes and service charges are additional unless noted. Packages need to be booked with the hotel. Packages are as follows:
$2,990 Five nights, double occupancy
The Buccaneer Culinary Getaway is $2,990 includes five nights in oceanview accommodations, a five-day car rental, 2 tickets to A Taste of St. Croix, a culinary welcome turn-down amenity plus full American breakfast daily, welcome cocktail, live music entertainment nightly and much more. The Buccaneer offers two beaches, three restaurants, tennis, golf, a spa and 340-acres of oceanfront paradise. To book the Buccaneer Culinary Getaway Package call 800-255-388.
$799 Three nights, double occupancy
The waterfront Hotel Caravelle, located in the historic town of Christiansted, is offering a three-night package (April 17, 18, 19) based on double occupancy in a deluxe ocean-front room. The package is $799 and includes two tickets to A Taste of St Croix, breakfast daily and a relaxing sailing trip to Buck Island National Park. To book call Hotel Caravelle at 340-773-0687.
Divi Carina Bay Resort
$1344 Three nights, double occupancy
Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort offers the “Early Bird Taste” room package for this year’s 2013 St. Croix Food & Wine Experience. The deal features a discounted room rate from April 13 through the 20th, oceanfront accommodations, all meals and beverages plus a ticket to the Taste of St. Croix, the wildly popular sampling and sipping event, which will once again be held on the resort’s beachfront on Thursday evening, April 18th. The package is $224 per person per night, based on double occupancy, with a three-night stay required. The booking window for the “Early Bird Taste” package is now until January 31, 2013. Book by calling 877-773-9700 and use code TOSC2013.
Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa
$1280 Four nights, double occupancy
Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa, a beachfront resort with tennis, golf and more, offers a four-night stay in deluxe guest room accommodations for their St. Croix Food & Wine Package. The offer includes two tickets to ‘A Taste of St. Croix’ on Thursday, April 18, full breakfast daily for two, as well as a welcome drink and VIP Food & Beverage amenity. The package is $1280 for four nights, double occupancy, including taxes and service charges. To book the package, call Carambola at 888-503-8760 or 340-778-3800 or reservations (at) carambolabeach (dot) com.
Tamarind Reef Resort
$1190 Four nights, double occupancy
The beachfront Tamarind Reef Resort offers a four-night package for the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience that includes an ocean view room, two tickets to the Galleon Wine dinner on Wednesday, April 17 and two tickets to A Taste of St. Croix on Thursday, April 18. As an added bonus, guests who book the package receive two signature Tamarind Reef Resort t-shirts. On-site amenities include the Tamarind Spa with massage, skin and nail care; freshwater pool; tennis courts; beach with kayak and snorkel equipment, sailing charter boats to Buck Island, as well as the casual Deep End restaurant and the award-winning Galleon restaurant. To book the package, call Tamarind Reef Resort at 800-619-0014.
The schedule for the 2013 St. Croix Food & Wine Experience includes everything from wine dinners to cooking classes with celebrity chefs and talented island chefs. Celebrity chef guests include Josef DeSimone, Paula DaSilva, Todd Gray, Mike Lata and Simon Stojanovic. For a detailed list of events and to purchase tickets to additional events, visit http://www.stcroixfoodandwine.com or http://www.tasteofstcroix.com. Follow the fun and receive updates at facebook.com/STCROIXFoodandWineExperience / facebook.com/ATasteofStCroix and on Twitter @STXFoodandWine.
About the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience
The St. Croix Food & Wine Experience, named one of the Ten Best International Food and Wine Festivals by Forbes Travel, showcases the diverse cuisine and wine available on St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. The multi-day event includes gourmet dinners, wine seminars, wine auctions, and the annual culinary competition, A Taste of St. Croix. The event benefits the St. Croix Foundation (http://www.stxfoundation.org), a non-profit community foundation that serves the entire US Virgin Islands in the areas of education, historic preservation, community and economic development. The event was started in 2001 by restaurant owners Katherine Pugliese of Eat@CaneBay, and Kelly Odom of Tutto Bene, and is recognized as the pre-eminent food and wine event in the Caribbean. For more information visit stcroixfoodandwine.com or tasteofstcroix.com.
Source: (PRWEB) December 18, 2012
By Kelly Goodman, Contributing Writer
Island food often get a bad rap, so when I learned that I was heading to the Caribbean for The St. Croix Food and Wine Experience, I wondered if I’d be impressed. How many stories have you heard of overpriced, uninspired, and tired meals in the Caribbean? But no worries. I sampled creative, inventive dishes, as well as familiar classics, all with island flair. And the best part: I did it all in one evening.
At the annual A Taste of St. Croix, local chefs and restaurateurs come together at the Divi Carina Bay Resort to compete for the high honor of best in show. It’s a block party with over 60 food purveyors, and it’s on the beach with food, wine and cocktails as far as the eye can see. The judging is left up to the experts, a panel of food celebrities and chefs (who join in on the foodie fun all week long with dinners, events and competitions), leaving you free to find your favorites.
If I was going to scope out the entire restaurant scene in one evening, I had to develop a strategy. My first inclination was to watch the locals. Sushi wasn’t on my radar, so if it wasn’t for the line of locals, I wouldn’t have headed to Dashi and its temple of sushi. I had a few tasty rolls as well as a sampling of miso oxtail soup (which won second place honors).
Another long line formed quickly behind the Italian restaurant Bacchus, a crowd favorite that also picked up several awards. People could not get enough of their ravioli with duck confit and apple topping, and their pulled pork was moist and flavorful.
At a festival like this, you have to move fast. I hesitated on the “Through the Looking Glass” cocktail from the St. Croix Libation Society , because my hands were full. But by the time I made it back over, the clarified daiquiri with dehydrated coconut milk – paired with ca mini cotton candy made from coconut bitters – was gone.
Besides following the crowd, I also followed my gut. Which meant I didn’t worry about spoiling my meal and had dessert first. It’s important to know where your favorite cake is on an island (am I right?), so I had a huge slice of red velvet cake, as well as red velvet cupcakes from De Cake Ma, before I had any proper food in my stomach. Then I overheard a lengthy description of a fish taco: Local blackened fish tacos with a mango habanero chutney and a local green papaya slaw….I was intrigued.
I watched not so patiently as Rowdy Joe’s chef prepared my taco, but it was worth the wait. It was the one bite that I couldn’t forget that evening and it won best local fare. My inner food snob was satisfied that I not only found, but loved the winning dish.
There were a lot of visiting winemakers showcasing their wares, but I was on the search for something local. After my crushing defeat with the winning cocktail, I made it my personal crusade to try every other Cruzan rum concoction available, followed by a limoncello negro sampling and a non-local Belgian beer by the evening’s end.
If you find yourself at the Taste of St. Croix, here are a few tips for avoiding my missteps. First off, I moved too slow. It’s a huge venue, so you have to move to see it all. I also should have ditched the wine glass as soon as I had decided not to partake so my hands would be free for optimal consumption. Lastly, I ran out of steam. I had a full day of events prior to the Taste that evening, but really I should have spent the day lounging by the pool.
And most embarrassingly, I turned down the winning entree, The Best Burger. I just couldn’t bear to eat another bite. Luckily, I had time to stop by Tavern 1844 the next day. An umami explosion with wagyu beef, bacon, truffle mayo and topped with lobster, the burger formed a savory mouthful that made it a well-deserving first place finish.
By evening’s end, I had a full itinerary of restaurants for my next trip to St. Croix. Next year’s A Taste of St. Croix will be on April 19, 2012 (this year’s tickets were $95 for the three-hour event). If you make this your first stop, you’ll be tuned into the pulse of St. Croix’s food scene and know who’s doing what well, right now. And if you’re heading to St. Croix before that, check out the list of this year’s winners.
This trip was sponsored by the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, but the opinions are solely those of the writer.