The Caribbean Food & Wine Festival Is Just What Island Morale Needed Post-Hurricane

Grace Bay Lounge
Grace Bay Lounge

After the devastating hurricanes that tore through parts of the Caribbean, the island is back on it’s feet and eager to welcome visitors. The 40 islands that make up Turks and Caicos (8 are inhabited) are known for their incredible award-winning beaches and diving, crystal clear water, the only conch farm in the word, and surplus of world-class resorts.

This weekend marked the 7th annual Caribbean Food & Wine Festival, the Caribbean’s leading culinary event, which kicked off at the luxurious property Grace Bay Club in ProvidencialesGrace Bay Resorts itself is a boutique developer and operator that provides development, branding, and management expertise for luxury five-star boutique hotels and branded residences. The brand has rapidly expanded over the past few years with an ownership stake in the management of West Bay Club and The Residences, a micro resort with exclusive luxury private, freestanding beachfront villas.

The Residences at Grace Bay Club
The Residences at Grace Bay Club

“Turks & Caicos strong is a special kind of strong, and the resilience and passion of our nation to recover from these hurricanes has left no question that the festival will continue this year,” said Nikheel Advani, Caribbean Food & Wine Festival Co-Chair. “Following six successful years, this year’s Caribbean Food & Wine Festival will continue its stellar reputation of blending the world’s best chefs and winemakers together with our local community for a one-of-a-kind taste of local culture with inspiration from the latest global gastronomic trends. We’re still cooking!”

Every year the not-for-profit festival completely sells out and this year was no exception especially since this year raised funds for Turks & Caicos educational institutions damaged by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria with grants for rebuilding efforts. The three day festival paired internationally renowned chefs and winemakers with Turks & Caicos’ diverse local talent for an authentic and extravagant celebration of Caribbean cuisine.

Women of Wine Luncheon – Solana Restaurant

After kicking off with dinner at Grace Bay Club on Thursday, a Women of Wine Luncheon was held on Friday at Solana Restaurant catering to the adage “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” hosted by Chef Melissa D’Arabian. Later in the evening attendees took part in a progressive gourmet dining experience known as the Gourmet Safari. This gave festival-goers the chance to discover some of the island’s most incredible restaurants and hotels. The first stop on the safari was at Grace Bay Club where innovative cocktails were served poolside as a mermaid swam throughout the pool. The first course was then served at Coyaba, the fish course served at Seven Stars, the meat course served at The Palms, and finally dessert was served at the Gansevoort.

“The Caribbean Food & Wine Festival has become both a key calendar event and a noteworthy island tradition—and this year serves as a special testament to the strength of the Turks & Caicos Islands people and government in our efforts to recover from recent Hurricanes” said Hon. Ralph Higgs, Minister of Tourism. “The festival showcases our nation’s exceptional culinary reputation with a taste of global culinary trends, and furthers the Turks & Caicos Islands place as leaders in the Caribbean food and beverage scene.”

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Sunset at Grace Bay Club

The incredible vibe and demeanor of the island is alive and thriving and the morale could not be in a better place. In light of the devastation everyone on the island has really come together to get their beloved home back on the map and in your travel purview. With easy and quick flights, it’s the perfect place to escape to before peak season begins on Thanksgiving.