When the 2nd annual Taste of St Barth Gourmet Festival called our names we were quick to answer. Sun, fun and gourmet food…was this a trick question? 😉 After experiencing it first hand last year, we were only seeing an upside and without further ado our flights were booked!
The festivities took place November 5th-8th when the island welcomed six extraordinary chefs, this time all from France. Each brought their unique culinary visions along with them as they collaborated with St Barth’s own top-notch chefs.
Reine-May Vigoulette, who was chosen by the St Barth Tourism Committee to be in been incomplete charge of the festival organization (and opening ceremony parties 😉 ) has been doing so since its first non-official edition in 2013. We were honored (and not going to lie, ecstatic) to be invited by Reine-May herself to the festival’s opening ceremony party which was held in a swanky, modern hilltop villa. In order to get to the secret destination guests met at the Gustaf Airport and were shuttled up a very steep hill to the glamorous tropical soirée. We nearly pinched ourselves upon arrival at this spectacular ultra-chic venue. The scene was laid back and fashionable and (as expected) beautiful people were aplenty. We loved meeting every one of this year’s superstar chefs and had a blast mingling with some of our local favorites from last year. True story…inner tears of joy were shed when we spotted the Taittinger Champagne bar and we made it our business to sample all the delicious appetizers that were passed around from the host restaurants. If this is island life sign us up…ASAP!
Three star Michelin chef Emmanuel Renaut served as ambassador of the event and was hosted by Eden Rock Hotel. Accompanying Emmanuel were pastry chef Laurent Jeannin (also hosted by Eden Rock Hotel) from the 3 Michelin star restaurant Epicure in Paris, 1 star Michelin chef Alexandre Mazzia (hosted by Cheval Blanc) from Marseille, 2 star Michelin chef Yoann Conte (hosted by Le Guanahani) of Maison Bleue Hotel and Restaurant, returning 2 star Michelin chef Jerome Nutile (hosted by The Christopher), 1 star Michelin chef David Toutain (hosted by Taiwana), from Paris and Top Chef 2011 winner Stephanie Le Quellec who was hosted by L’Esprit.
TIme was of the essence as there were 6 host restaurants but only 4 nights to fit in all of the tastings. Not to worry, since too many dishes went untasted last year we were all the wiser this year and made very good use of our time.
TIP: Relax, daytime activities (like the all-chef picnic at Le Guanahani) make it a cinch to sample each of the chef’s concoctions.
You heard it here before but we’re saying it again, just go! We LOVED it and promise that you will too 🙂
DO: Put the 2016 Taste of St Barth in your calendars!