St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): This year’s Nevis Mango and Food Festival will feature Mango-inspired Korean and Spanish Cuisine. The 4-day Festival kicks off on Thursday and features a number of events that should offer a unique culinary experience.
As Nevis is known for having mangoes in abundance, the Nevis Tourism Authority decided to use the fruit to the island’s advantage by creating an attraction during the Tourism off-season, according to the Chief Executive Office of the Authority, Greg Phillip.
“It came about really because we needed to have something to take advantage of what we have in Nevis. In so many places you go there are food and wine festivals, well we have food, good food and we have mangoes, we don’t have wine. So we decided to do that 1) to celebrate what we have to celebrate from a culinary perspective and 2) it was also important for us to do something around this time of year to ensure that we’re generating not only travellers to come to Nevis but also to make sure that we are doing a lot of other things to keep the name of Nevis out there especially at the time of year when its considered to be the off season. We really need to ensure that people are talking about us throughout the year and this is one of the key things that we decided to do.”
Celebrity Chef Judy Joo will be featured and her mango-inspired Korean dishes will be served at a dinner at the Mango Restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort Saturday night. She is a restaurateur, a United Kingdom Iron Chef, has authored a cookbook and has appeared on the Food Network.
“Why Judy is back is because she came to Nevis for a day trip a few years ago, fell in love with it and heard about what we’re doing with the Mango and Food Festival and decided well I have to be a part of this. She came and was a part of it last year and by the time it was done she said look I have to continue to do this and who’s going to say no to an Iron Chef, we couldn’t. So we really had to accept the fact that she wanted to come back and look at that as something great and she’s back this year with so many new things, so many new ideas it’s really a big plus for us here who are here and have a opportunity to be a part of this festival to have her involved.”
Also being featured is Celebrity Chef Seamus Mullen whose Spanish dishes with a mango flair will be served at dinner at the Gin Trap Restaurant and Bar Thursday night. Chef Seamus is also a restaurateur, an award-winning New York chef, has also authored his own cookbook. He too has appeared on the Food Network.
The Nevis Mango & Food Festival will feature four days of dining experiences, cooking demonstrations and cook-along classes by the international chefs as well as local Nevisian chefs and cooks. The events will take place at restaurants, beach bars and resorts around the island, culminating with Nevisian chefs and mixologists cooking at Oualie Beach on the final day. While coordination was an issue, Mr. Phillip felt that the Authority had the right formula this year.
“There are so many different things, one of the things that is happening that Sunday for example is a mango tasting. Remember we started off saying there are 40 different varieties of mangoes, the challenge we have then is which ones do we choose for the mango tasting? This is something that you can do on that Sunday afternoon where you have an opportunity to sit down and taste the different varieties of mangoes while somebody is there telling you about the history of them etc. So pulling together unique things like these so that we can really and truly provide a good experience, that is where the challenge really lies but we are quite pleased that with all the things that we have going on we’ve really have an opportunity to do something special and we’re always going to have challenges when you’re trying to do something creative and something that has never been done before and we feel that we really have it right this time.”