“Taste the Islands Experience” a Scrumptiously Spectacular Success

FORT LAUDERDALE – Hundreds of South Floridians and visitors gathered at the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society’s New River Inn for the second annual “Taste the Islands Experience” to kick-off Caribbean-American Heritage Month on Saturday, June 2nd.

At this Caribbean Culinary Event, food and drink enthusiasts enjoyed delicious island bites, live cooking demos, artisan shopping, live music, and a variety of unique cultural elements. Part proceeds benefited the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society.

Attendees were fabulously attired in island chic garb. The sweet sounds of a steel drum band, provided by partner event Miami Broward Carnival, greeted guests at the entry, where they were welcomed with champagne and mimosas before stepping into a Caribbean-themed paradise.

The aromas of gourmet curry, jerk and creole recipes by the featured chefs wafted through the island pavilions as guests savored dishes from Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad, plus cocktails from Barbados.

Chef Irie Spice doing a live demo at Taste The Islands Experience with Dj Richie D providing the music

Chef Irie Spice doing a live demo at Taste The Islands Experience with DJ Richie D (L) providing the musicPhoto by David I Muir

Guests enjoyed live demos featuring celebrity chefs including “Taste the Islands” TV show hosts Cynthia “Chef Thia” Verna of Haiti and Hugh “Chef Irie” Sinclair of Jamaica, as well as Chef Amit Raval, head chef of Amtar Fine Foods in Trinidad, and award winning mixologist Philip “Casanova” Antoine of Barbados.

Culinary support was offered by top Caribbean brands Lakay Food and Grace Foods, and by the Jamaica Tourist Board.

A wide variety of Caribbean fare was available at Restaurant Row, where local cafes and caterers representing multiple islands including the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands, offered mouthwatering menu selections from vegan to meat lovers to jerk grape nut flavored ice cream.

An open bar served island specialties including Red Stripe Beer and Appleton Rum.

DJs Nickymix and Richie D created the audial atmosphere, taking guests on a musical island journey, while the incomparable Steve “Sir Rockwell” Warner kept guests in high spirits throughout the event.

In the Caribbean Culinary Museum and Culinary Theater, funded in part by multiple Broward County Cultural organizations, guests enjoyed an immersive cultural foray into the region’s history.

Attendees were given VIP treatment, with complimentary massages by Goldson Spine, Makeup by Rory Lee and hair touch-ups by Miss Jessie’s.

One lucky winner received the raffle prize of a 5-day, 4-night all-inclusive trip for two to Barbados, including hotel and air travel, compliments of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

Yellow Cab of Broward, the event’s official transportation partner, was on-hand to transport guests to and from the event.

The 2018 “Taste the Islands Experience” was supported by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, and presented by media and production company Island Syndicate whose directors include the visionaries behind the “Taste the Islands” television series and Island Origins Magazine.

It was co-presented by the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society, proud steward of our community’s past by making our heritage accessible and engaging to residents and visitors.

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