After a fantastic first day, the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience managed to top it with some great events that included the island favorite Taste of St. Croix.
Morning: Toured the hotel grounds of the lovely Buccaneer Hotel (and did some work on the last post).
12:00 PM: Attended a media lunch at a beautiful private residence (pictured left) overlooking the ocean — literally one of the most gorgeous homes that I’ve ever seen and with an incredibly hospitable host and hostess. The local culinary school students prepared the lunch as we mingled with chefs like Anita Lo and Ana Sortun (who, we learned, is cooking a dinner on Friday night in a pineapple grove with only a bucket, hose, and a grill). Sounds like an episode of Top Chef, right?
3:30 PM: We drove to the eastern most part of the United States (some of you may be surprised to learn that St. Croix is actually part of the U.S. and was purchased from the Danish along with St. John and St. Thomas). This monument was erected in 2000 for the millennium celebration and is actually a sundial where you can not only tell the time but also see the ocean from every angle.
4:30 PM: Arrived at the Divi Carina Bay Resort for a quick meeting with Roger Dewey, head of the St. Croix Foundation. All proceeds of the festival actually benefit the St. Croix foundation that was started about 20 years ago after Hurricane Hugo hit the island, destroying much of it. The foundation began in part to help rebuild the island and continues to support it through improvements in education, agriculture, and other sectors, essentially functioning as a community foundation.
5:00 PM: The VIP party for the Taste of St. Croix event — one of the most popular attractions of the festival bringing over a thousand people — began, which included wine and cheese upstairs overlooking the event. But really it was more of a time where we scouted out the food prepared by local chefs as it was taken to the judges’ tent. Incidentally, our winner of the St. Croix giveaway on our site was there as one of the judges! Congratulations again Jackie, we hope you had a great time!
6:00 PM: With loud, festive music and happiness in the air, the event began! There were whole roasted pigs, margaritas, star fruit cocktails, plenty of pulled pork sandwiches, and some incredible burgers from over 60 local artisans.
9:00 PM: The winners of the festival were announced and, as you’ll see below, were divided into categories. The first place winners are below! (We'll update soon with the names of the winning dishes.. but for now, here are the restaurant names!)
Beachside Café at Sandcastle on the Beach
Tavern 1844: A lobster and bacon burger
Tha Palms at Pelican Cove
Rowdy Joe’s Northshore Eatery
St. Croix Central High School After School Cooking Class
St. Croix Libation Society
Lori’s Blue Water Terrace
People’s Choice Award