The British Virgin Islands hosted a week-long celebration dedicated to the splendors of BVI cuisine at The Rum Kitchen from March 17 to 23. The Rum Kitchen, is a popular Caribbean restaurant located at All Saints Road in London, United Kingdom. The British Virgin Islands Tourist Board UK team were 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. 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 & 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 & 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.
About the British Virgin Islands
Known as a treasured destination, rich in undiscovered experiences, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is an alluring archipelago comprised of 60 islands and cays located 80 kilometers (60 miles) east of Puerto Rico, in the northwestern region of the Caribbean Sea. The main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke have attracted travelers globally with its cultural Caribbean authenticity. Located in Tortola, Road Town is the British Virgin Islands’ capital.
Recently ranked #1 Best Place to Visit in the Caribbean for 2017-2018 by U.S. News, the BVI is where nature’s best secrets are kept with an abundance of pristine beaches, azure seas, towering sage mountains and burnt-orange sunsets. It’s no wonder the BVI’s Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke were featured on the “Top Islands in the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Bahamas” list in Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards 2017.
Despite its status as a United Kingdom territory, the BVI uses the U.S. dollar as its official currency.
The BVI Tourist Board invites everyone to experience the tropical mystique of the country’s unparalleled and enriching offerings. For more information about the BVI, visit www.bvitourism.com.