Each April, foodies and epicureans the world over converge on St. Croix for a prestigious week-long festival that celebrates the joy of food and wine while raising funds for some of the island’s charities. Hailed as one of the ‘Ten Best International Food and Wine Festivals’ by Forbes Travel, the St. Croix Food and Wine Experience showcases the diverse cuisine and wines available on St. Croix. This well-anticipated, well-attended event series engages local chefs, celebrity chefs, cooking show personalities and top winemakers from the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, California, Florida, and abroad to showcase their talents and promote their products. Even more incredible is that the event itself is a fundraiser designed to support The St. Croix Foundation, a community organization.
bond @ balter
Friday, April 7, 2017 | 11:00am – 1:00pm | balter | Invitation Only
bond @ balter is a special reception for the 2017 St. Croix Food & Wine Experience that is more than appetizers and tasty drinks. Hosted by Chef Digby Stridiron, Patrick Kralik, and the Foundation, this invitation only-reception is all about holistic community development.
Cork & Fork
Friday, April 7, 2017 | 5:30pm – 9:00pm | Private Villa | $1,000 per person
This intimate dinner takes place in a spectacular private home mid-island and boasts a sumptuous menu specially crafted by Anguillan Chef George Reid, which is then perfectly paired with fabulous wines. This is luxury at its finest. Spaces are extremely limited, so please contact the St. Croix Foundation at (340) 773-9898 for the location and to reserve a seat.
Friday, April 7, 2017 | 5:30pm – 9:00pm | Frederiksted Pier | $50 per adult, $25 per child (12 and under)
Enjoy St. Croix’s premier Rum Picnic at this mouth-watering, finger-licking BBQ overlooking the waters on the Ann E. Abramson pier in Frederiksted. Savor all the best St. Croix has to offer – great food, great rum, great music, great people! A barbeque feast will be prepared by local grilling experts who team up with our very own culinary students from the Career and Technical Education Center and Anton Doos.
Wine in the Warehouse
Saturday, April 8, 2017 | 6:00pm – 9:00pm | Bohlke Airways Hangar, Henry Rohlsen Airport | $125 per person
Grab your passport for night flights and sip wines from around the globe! Sponsored by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Saturday night will bring everyone together with fabulous wine tastings with winemakers, small bites, and music. The one-night transformation of the Bohlke Airways hangar will be a beautiful, unforgettable, and fun experience for all wine lovers.
Gourmet Vintner Dinner
Monday, April 10, 2017 | 6:00pm – 9:00pm | Ha’Penny Bay Beach Club | $250 per person (includes gratuity)
Join us for a sophisticated and lively dining experience where we celebrate the Foundation’s Territory-wide work with celebrity guest chefs! Chefs Robyn Almovodar, Tony Castellucci, Sam Choy, and Negust Kaza combine their expertise to build an incredible, five-course meal that pairs every dish with renowned wines. With its gourmet-themed auction and elegant atmosphere, the Gourmet Vintner Dinner is the ultimate in indulgence and generosity.
Tony Castelluci | Executive Chef for the corporate offices of Facebook, the global social media company. Castellucci, who first joined the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience in 2013, worked his way up the culinary ladder from washing dishes when he was 15 to joining the culinary teams at corporate giants including Sun, GE, Lockheed Martin, Cisco, SAP, and Google. Chef Castellucci and Chef Dean Spinks manage the food programs at Facebook campuses around the world.
Robyn Almodovar | Winner of Food Network’s CHOPPED and Cut Throat Kitchen, Chef Robyn Almodovar is a Staten Island native and Florida resident with a half Puerto Rican, half Italian background. Almodovar’s childhood was filled with culture, vibrancy and a deeply ingrained passion for food. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Almovodar’s diverse career has ranged from executive chef of a 172’ yacht on the high seas to popular South Florida restaurants. Casted for FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen Season 10, Almovodar finished as a Top Finalist. In 2011, Almodovar purchased a 24’ food truck and founded “Palate Party”, a fresh, mobile café that utilizes locally sourced ingredients. Palate Party was the first female-owned food truck in South Florida and in 2013 Miami New Times voted Palate Party as the Best Food Truck in Miami. In 2014 Almodovar served as judge for Food Network’s Food Truck Face Off.
George Reid | Anguilla’s premier chef, George Reid, has travelled the world through cuisine, working in world-renowned restaurants across the globe. On St. Martin, St. Kitts and Anguilla, Chef Reid has served as Executive Chef for Anguilla’s Cinnamon Reef Hotel, Cap Juluca’s three restaurants, and the Koal Keel Restaurant. Understanding the vital relationship between wine and cuisine, Chef Reid has worked with giants in the wine industry, and he has won more medals than any chef in the annual Taste of the Caribbean Culinary Competition. A dedicated mentor to young chefs, Chef Reid also pays his expertise forward to the next generation of chefs, training, hiring, and providing assistance to culinary programs, such as the Hospitality School in Basseterre. George Reid has been the Restaurant Chef for Coba Restaurant at Viceroy Resort / Four Season Resort on Anguilla since 2011.
Sam Choy | Regarded as one of the founding fathers of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, this charming and modest James Beard award winning chef defeated Masaharu Morimoto in Japan on Iron Chef, yet you won’t hear him bragging about it. Chef Choy is more likely to tell you about the preservation efforts of Hawaii and ways communities can unite to improve situations. Choy is providing an internship for two selected St. Croix students at his restaurant Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai in Hawaii. A graduate of Kapiolani Community College Culinary Arts program, Sam Choy is a chef, restaurateur, author and television personality.
Digby Stridiron | A native of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Chef Digby grew up around what many today call the “slow food” movement—fresh, locally harvested ingredients and proteins gathered from the sea just steps away. Chef Digby carries forward those childhood influences today by advancing elegant, contemporary West Indian cuisine that balances avant-garde influences with old-fashioned techniques. He insists on local ingredients and makes a point to establish sustainable working relationships with farmers. Chef Digby was named as CTO’s 2014-2015 Caribbean Chef of the year. He was later in that year awarded the roll as “Culinary Ambassador of the US Virgin Islands.” Now, after staging his finely honed cuisine across the Caribbean and finding new inspiration from as far away as Italy, Haiti and Peru, Chef Digby is living his childhood dream by opening balter in downtown Christiansted, St. Croix.
Negust Kaza | Chef Negust is a celebrated award-winning former member of the Virgin Islands Olympic Culinary Team who has spent over a decade learning from, and working with, gold standard chefs like Todd Grey and Govind Armstrong. With a heritage that spans from Portugal, to Trinidad, to Brooklyn, and finally to St. Croix, Chef Negust is quite at home creating dishes with flavors of the island. Chef Negust’s passion for food anthropology has developed into his most recent project Kaza House, where he explores his creative side through a myriad of unique projects that allow him to not only bring exquisite original recipes to the public, but also educate and promote Health and Wellness to families across the island.
William ‘Billy D.’ Desimone | Chef Billy D. is a self-trained chef, restauranteur and co-founder of the Josef L. Desimone “Giving the Dream Memorial Fund”, a non-profit organization in honor of his late brother. The Fund has assisted in covering the travel expenses of the internships at Facebook and Sam Choy’s restaurant in Hawaii. Billy D and his wife Deanna were part of the Facebook culinary team on their trip to St. Croix in 2013. They returned in 2014 to support the events, bought a house and are now permanent residents of St. Croix!
Proceeds from the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience support local education, community revitalization and public safety programs managed by the St. Croix Foundation, a non-profit organization. The event series also impacts and supports local culinary, hospitality and tourism programs. Now celebrating its 25th Anniversary, St. Croix Foundation for Community Development is the leading advocate for improved governance in our community and, since our inception, has served as both a grantmaker and operating foundation to address severe socioeconomic conditions in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“We are not an average community foundation. As a place-based operating foundation, the impact of your investment is indisputable and measurable, because it enables us to dedicate our resources toward solving some of the most intractable problems facing our Territory. We are currently working intimately with the VIPD and private donors to tackle crime by developing a new state-of-the-art surveillance system; we are collaborating with donors and social service organizations on the most comprehensive approach to homelessness ever undertaken in our Community; and we are spearheading the largest, focused convening of nonprofits around strategic partnerships for greater efficiency and sustainability in the nonprofit sector. We serve as both a fund manager and accountability partner as we advance a new format of philanthropy that has proven to be a real game-changer!” – The St. Croix Foundation
BOOK YOUR TICKETS TODAY!