Basseterre St. Kitts — The first ever St. Kitts-Nevis Restaurant Week will take place July 16-26, 2015, with participating restaurants offering special menus at discounted rates.
Last week at a media launch held at Ottley’s Plantation Inn, organizers revealed that nearly 40 restaurants between St Kitts and Nevis are already on board for the event.
Participating restaurants will offer meals at one of three price points, including restaurants such as the new Verandah at Ocean Terrace Inn which will offer a 3-course dinner at EC$162 (US $60). Restaurants such as Serendipity and Rock Lobster will serve 3-course dinner at EC$108 (US $40), while other dining spots such as Sunset Café at Timothy Beach Resort and Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack will offer meals at EC$54 (US $20). Prices are inclusive of tax.
Additionally, all Restaurant Week dinner menus will feature drink specials sponsored by Carib Brewery, Opus Fine Wines & Spirits, and Ram’s Trading Ltd.
Smaller, local lunch-only restaurants, such as Oscura and Shekina Glory Snackette, will also offer lunch specials for Restaurant Week at attractive prices.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Lindsay Grant, spoke at the media launch and pointed out that the St. Kitts-Nevis Restaurant Week embodies sustainable tourism at its best.
“First and foremost, Restaurant Week is about supporting local livelihoods on St. Kitts and Nevis—farmers and fishers who work so hard to provide quality local food supply, and our restaurants who prepare and serve it day after day. We are especially focused on inclusion of small enterprises, with participation in Restaurant Week ranging from street vendors and snackettes, to our highest-end dining establishments,” Minister Grant said. “Second, Restaurant Week showcases the Federation’s vibrant culture—our competitive restaurant scene, and our distinct local cuisine and food. We all know our local food and culture—and St. Kitts and Nevis vibes—are like nowhere else on Earth. Restaurant Week is about highlighting our distinctiveness and celebrating what makes our dining culture special.”
Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Dianille Taylor-Williams, chairs the organizing committee of the St. Kitts-Nevis Restaurant Week. She pointed out that the organizing committee is making an effort to include more than just the large well-known fine dining restaurants in the Federation.
“We’re really looking to promote smaller, locally owned restaurants that visitors don’t necessarily know about but that locals know are the spots for excellent Kittitian and Nevisian cuisine. We want to shine a spotlight on those local hot spots for the world to see,” Taylor-Williams said.
Taylor-Williams said travel trends show that culinary and heritage tourism respectively, are becoming more popular.
“Increasingly, people are looking for a chance to live like locals when they travel. They want immersive experiences. They want to know the local food, they want to enjoy the local culture together with local people. Restaurant Week offers the opportunity to do just that.”
Marketing Officer in the Department of Agriculture, Tom Buchanan, said that as a means of emphasizing local ingredients, prior to the official launch, a “Breadfruit Challenge” will take place, where residents will be invited to compete for creating the best-tasting breadfruit dish, as judged by a panel of local celebrities.
The winning dish will be named after its creator, and featured on the Restaurant Week menu of all participating St. Kitts restaurants.
Deadline for entering the Breadfruit Challenge is May 22, and everyone is encouraged to participate. To enter, simply send: Your name, Name of your breadfruit dish, and Your full contact information (address, telephone, and email) to: Racquel Williams de Ezquea, Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 39, La Guerite Basseterre, St. Kitts;email@example.com. Or call to tell her the information: 465-2335/765-7200.
Also, Nevis will integrate Restaurant Week into its Mango Festival slated for July.
Chief Executive Officer of the Nevis Tourism Authority, Greg Phillip, said the Nevis Mango and Food Festival is an event they are extremely proud of because it celebrates the mango, Nevis’ sweetest resource.
“Restaurant Week and the Mango and Food Festival will let the world know that Nevis is a world class destination for travellers who enjoy food. Having Restaurant Week in July has proven to be a good complement for the Mango and Food Festival as it will serve to introduce many to restaurants on Nevis at a time when diners can get the double benefit of a special price and a mango inspired meal.”
St. Kitts-Nevis Restaurant Week is intended to promote the dining scene and to raise the profile of local cuisine and culture all with the aim of boosting tourism during the low season.
The Ministry of Tourism, the Tourism Authorities on both St Kitts and Nevis, and the Department of Agriculture in partnership with the Hotel and Tourism Association are organizing the inaugural event.
St. Kitts-Nevis Restaurant Week website and social media pages will be coming soon, and will feature updates on exciting Restaurant Week activities. Official hashtag of St. Kitts-Nevis Restaurant Week is #SKNRestaurantWk.