The British Virgin Islands (BVI) hosted a week-long celebration dedicated to the splendors of BVI cuisine at The Rum Kitchen, held late last month.
The Rum Kitchen is a popular Caribbean restaurant located at All Saints Road in London, United Kingdom.
According to the BVI Tourist Board (TB), the BVI Tourist Board UK team was excited to welcome Londoners to experience a menu of traditional dishes that surprised and delighted guests with each soulful bite.
All dishes were prepared by popular BVI cook, Mrs. Cynthia George of The Sugar Apple Restaurant, Virgin Gorda, who visited London for the event.
Guests were greeted warmly with rum punches, Pusser’s Rum Painkillers and the famous, personable BVI hospitality during the week.
Director of Tourism, Mrs. Sharon Flax Brutus who was in London for the event said, “We thought it would be a fantastic way to promote the BVI and its magnificent cuisine at one of London’s trendiest Caribbean restaurants."
She added, "The BVI cuisine presented guests with the opportunity to savour flavourful food that was not too hot or spicy. The feedback from guests and the Rum Kitchen team was overwhelmingly positive and has encouraged us to continue promoting our authentic Caribbean cuisine and culture in our key markets.”
Each night, The Rum Kitchen’s menu featured a different BVI specialty, including stewed brown chicken, peas soup with pig tails and dumplings, stewed pork chops, fish in mayonnaise sauce, baked and barbecued chicken, and saltfish and Johnny cakes.
Cynthia George was taught to cook all the dishes she serves at her restaurant by her mother Perlene King, in her native country of St Vincent & the Grenadines. She moved to Virgin Gorda, BVI in 1974 and married Allen George, and now has a family of 6 children and 12 grandchildren.
She raised her family while working as Reception Manager at luxury hotel, Biras Creek Resort for 35 years. In 2013, children all grown up, her sons Alic and Greg built her "dream restaurant", situated in the prized garden of her home in The Valley, Virgin Gorda.
Cynthia epitomizes the farm to table experience by rising early every day to cook, picking herbs from her garden and really cooking from the heart – no measurements are done.
As one of the most popular local food restaurants in the BVI, she is sold out early lunchtime by locals "in the know", who come for their take-out lunch and tourists looking for good old fashioned, friendly Caribbean hospitality and great local food (along with some great stories!).
Commenting on her major career shift upon retirement, Cynthia said, “I started this dream business at 63 years old and it's been so successful, I should have started it many years ago."
Collaborating with popular food establishments in source markets is one of the Tourist Board’s strategies for enhancing awareness of the BVI as a destination. Additionally, the British Virgin Islands has a growing reputation for culinary excellence, highlighted by the celebration of BVI Food Fete annually in November.
BVI Food Fete is a month-long celebration of culinary events and activities throughout the island chain. It includes events presented by BVI food and beverage partners and the BVI Tourist Board’s anchor events, such as the Barefoot Gourmet Soiree, Jost Pork and the Anegada Lobster Festival.