St Lucia will be host to the first Rum & Food Festival to take place in Rodney Bay Village 26-29 October as announced by Rodney Bay Village Chairman, and St Lucian hotelier, Allen Chastanet. The festival aims to highlight the cuisine and rums of the region.
“St. Lucia will have 3,200 new rooms and two designer golf courses under construction by the end of the year,” said Chastanet, President of the St Lucia Hotel Association. “The destination really is on the move and we wanted a gastronomic event with St. Lucia as the venue that would focus on and promote the Caribbean rums, restaurants, chefs, food and drink products.”
St. Lucia has the Pitons, “but I think we have fallen short in terms of highlighting some of the island’s other attributes, which certainly include food,” he said.
The festival will take place in Rodney Bay Village and will include food demonstrations by several international and local chefs; rum tastings in the Rum Pavilion in town, demonstration kitchens; a cookbook shop; a cigar rolling station; rum boat cruises to the Pitons; and live musical performances from Third World, Monty Alexander and Arrow, among others.
The festival price of $500 per person will include three five-course dinners at a choice of five restaurants and VIP passes to the concerts.
A number of properties are expected to offer packages with special accommodations rates that can be tied into the $500 price for the event itself, according to Chastanet. For example, the four-night rate at Chastanet’s Coco Palm Resort will be US$350 per person, double occupancy.
“We hope to make this an annual event, much in the way of the St. Lucia Jazz Festival held each May,” he said. More than 24 rum companies from across the Caribbean are scheduled to participate in the event.
Chastanet, under whose initiative both the St. Lucia Jazz and the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festivals were started, said the new event would also highlight village tourism and would feature a number of leading Caribbean dance and Jazz bands.