Saint-Barths + gastronomy festival = peak pleasure
Foodies with a penchant for travel: There’s perhaps no better way to tick all the boxes when planning to attend this year’s St. Barts Gourmet Festival, a week-long celebration of French cuisine , celebrity chefs, high-end beach life and all the sparkle of St. Barths. Barth.
The ninth annual food festival runs Nov. 8-13 on the upscale island and will feature — for the first time in years — both an American chef and a female chef.
The week goes like this: celebrity chefs pledge to partner with culinary teams at the seaside resort of St. Barths. At each location, these teams prepare and serve unique multi-course dinner tasting menus. Think creative cuisine in a beautiful seaside setting.
There are other events, like a bartender’s challenge, where you can simply discover your new favorite beach drink, followed by the “Garcons de Café” race, a chef’s challenge and other events.
Most chefs call France their home base, which makes sense (Saint-Barth is in the French West Indies, just east of Puerto Rico), this year America is represented by Jean Georges Vongerichten , chef of the Jean-Georges restaurant in New York. Cedric Vongerichten, chef of restaurant Wayan, also in New York, will be the guest chef at Eden Rock St. Barts.
This is a bucket list trip – you won’t find any bargains. But if you’re looking for total indulgence in a breathtaking setting, it’s worth it.
Saint-Barth (Saint-Barthélemy is its full name) is located in the French West Indies and is part of the Lesser Antilles.
To get there, you will have to go through the Princess Juliana International Airport located near Saint-Martin. From there, you can choose to take a ferry or, as long as you indulge yourself, take a private flight to St. Barths. It is a flight of about 15 minutes with a spectacular landing.
On the island, there are a multitude of hotels and villas, all relatively close to each other. A drive across the whole island takes no more than about 15 minutes.
Renting a car is a great idea, and picking up and dropping off the rental at their small airport is a breeze. If you don’t want a car — or want to savor the event cocktails with abandon — car service is easily accessible across the island. Hotel concierges are always ready to help you book rides if needed.
You can make reservations for festival dinners at many luxury hotels.
There is the “on the beach” atmosphere of the Sereno (https://bit.ly/2QXdhf9), the almost jungle atmosphere of the Hotel Manapany (https://hotelmanapany-stbarth.com) and the famous elegance by Eden Rock (https://bit.ly/2CUiVFX).
You can use your free time to enjoy all the other things the island has to offer. There’s amazing shopping (lots of local stores mixed with high-end designer shops), beaches for every mood (all within easy reach), scuba diving (at beautiful reefs right next door island), water sports like jet skiing and sea kayaking, and just partying at iconic spots like Nikki Beach.
Saint-Barth is perhaps an island like no other. There is no chain store. The roads go up and down steep hills for spectacular views. Celebrities flock there and the private yachts that go there are the stuff of dreams.
The water is a warm, vibrant blue, and the weather is mostly near perfect.
St. Barts natives take pride in this island retreat – it’s not just where they live, it’s their home. Hospitality and charm convey this throughout.
It’s still a great place. But during the St. Barts Gourmet Festival, heaven kicks into high gear.
You can view a full schedule of events and make reservations at https://bit.ly/3PaJpGw.