Tortola, the coastal capital of the British Virgin Islands, inspires BVI Food Fete’s Taste of Tortola. // © 2016 BVI Tourist Board
Feature image (above): Lobster and other forms of seafood are popular specialties at BVI Food Fete. // © BVI Tourist Board/Jordana Wright
Many destinations in the Caribbean have annual food festivals ranging from a few days up to a week. The British Virgin Islands (BVI) plunges into the food festival trend in a big way, with the monthlong BVI Food Fete festival, which kicks off Oct. 30 and continues until Nov. 27. BVI Food Fete has been drawing visitors to the destination since 2014 with a full slate of special tasting menus, bar crawls (the BVI is famous for its beach bars) and dinners presided over by visiting chefs.
Celebrity chefs flying in for this year’s event include Michael Ferraro, executive chef for Delicatessen in New York City. Ferraro will be preparing dishes during the Barefoot Gourmet Soiree, the first event of the series, which will take place Oct. 30. Ferraro will be familiar to fans of the Food Network, where he has appeared on popular programs such as “Chopped,” “Beat Bobby Flay” and “Iron Chef America.”
Since the festival spans such a significant number of days, it allows a lot of flexibility for clients to take advantage of the festivities.
“We’re thrilled to announce the lineup of exciting events for the third-annual BVI Food Fete,” said Sharon Flax-Brutus, director of tourism for the BVI. “This will be a month full of gourmet adventures. It’s the perfect way to learn about and experience the bold flavors of the islands alongside a talented group of visiting chefs and a fantastic list of participating restaurants, bars and properties throughout the BVI.”
The schedule of BVI Food fete events includes:
Barefoot Gourmet Soiree, Oct.30
This seaside event assembles seven international and local chefs at food stations on the beach, where they prepare their signature dishes. In addition to Michael Ferraro, the lineup includes New York City restaurateur Christopher Faulkner, known for his Caribbean-inspired cooking. Space is limited, so reservations are required.
Taste of Tortola, Nov. 5
Tortola is the capital of the BVI, and many of the city’s top restaurants are participating in this event. In addition to sampling dishes on offer, guests can also enjoy a demonstration kitchen, the annual Fish & Fungi Competition and a lively atmosphere that includes live music and dancing.
Peter Island Caribbean Food Festival, Nov. 11-12
Chefs from throughout the Caribbean, including culinary stars such as Nina Compton and Ron Duprat, convene on Peter Island to prepare sophisticated meals in a spirit of friendly competition.
The Jost Crawl, Nov. 13
Jost Van Dyke island is famous for its bars, and this pub crawl makes it easy to roam from one to the other, culminating ion the ultimate tour.
Taste of Virgin Gorda, Nov. 19
The Nail Bay Sugar Ruins is the site of this competitive event that features culinary offerings from Virgin Gorda island’s top restaurants.
On The Rocks Bar Crawl, Nov. 19
Participants will drink their way around the Virgin Gorda circuit on this bar crawl.
The Lobster Crawl, Nov. 25
This Anegada island bar crawl serves as a prelude to the big event that caps off the BVI Food Fete, the Anegada Lobster Festival.
Anegada Lobster Festival, Nov. 26-27
Lobster lovers owe it to themselves to experience this culinary bucket-list experience. The two-day festival completes the BVI Food Fete and showcases local chefs preparing lobster numerous ways at local Anegada restaurants.
Agents and their clients can also take advantage of various promotions and packages offered by some of the BVI’s premier properties. Bitter End Yacht Club will have weekly November menus showcasing executive bakery chef Winston Butler’s desserts; Peter Island Resort & Spa will offer discounted rates on its oceanview rooms, as well as a rum appreciation and cocktail class for guests; and Good Moon Farm guests purchasing a farm box will also receive a free farm tour and produce tasting.