Grace Bay Resorts Reveals Chefs & Winemakers for Turks and Caicos Islands’ Celebration of Cuisine and Culture
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands (August 24, 2015) – Grace Bay Resorts, in partnership with the Turks and Caicos Tourism Board and The Wine Cellar, today announced the headline chefs and schedule of events for the Caribbean Food & Wine Festival, celebrating its fifth anniversary in November. The annual event pairs internationally renowned chefs and winemakers with Turks & Caicos’ diverse local talent for an authentic and innovative celebration of Caribbean cuisine.
This year’s headliners include:
- Alex Guarnaschelli, Iron Chef and Food Network star
- Justin Quek, renowned Franco-Asian cuisine innovator and Principal Chef of Singapore’s Sky on 57;
- Kyle Bailey, Executive Chef of Birch & Barley and ChurchKey in Washington, DC;
- Vintners from Davis Bynum Vineyards, Michele Chiarlo and JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery.
“We are thrilled to welcome three of the most outstanding chefs from their respective hemispheres to the Turks and Caicos Islands for this year’s event–Chef Guarnaschelli & Chef Bailey of the United States, and Chef Quek of Singapore,” said Nikheel Advani, Co-Chair, Caribbean Food & Wine Festival. “Following four successful years welcoming prestigious chefs and winemakers, this year’s event is a true reflection of the festival’s graduation into a new echelon upon the international culinary scene, and we hold a deep pride in having developed this one-of-a-kind international experience with a distinctly Caribbean flavor.”
Taking place November 5 – 8, 2015, the non-for-profit festival will raise funds for The Department of Youth Affairs and the Lit’l Chefs mentor program, which supports and encourages young local chefs to develop skills that will assist them in pursuing careers in hospitality, a vital industry of Turks and Caicos.
“The Festival offers a chance not only to showcase the incredible skills and variety of culinary talent we have here in Turks and Caicos, but to elevate that experience for visitors and guests by partnering with some of the world’s best chefs and winemakers,” said Anthony Garland, Co-Chair, Caribbean Food & Wine Festival. “Perhaps most importantly, our partnership with Lit’l Chefs and The Department of Youth Affairs ensures these experiences will pass to a new generation, who will expand upon the tradition with their own exciting flavors.”
Already acclaimed as the Caribbean’s leading culinary event, the festival is hosted annually to celebrate Caribbean cuisine and culture with an international flair.
“In just a few short years, the Caribbean Food & Wine Festival has become both a treasured island tradition and a notable event on the international culinary scene, providing an authentic taste of local culture and inspiration from the latest global culinary trends,” said Ralph Higgs, Director of Tourism for Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board.
The fifth annual event welcomes Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, who is known to millions from her frequent appearances on Food Network, particularly on the popular program Chopped. Early exposure to a wide variety of cuisine shaped her future in food, and upon graduation from Barnard College, Alex set out to further explore her culinary interests. She has worked in some of the world’s top restaurants including Guy Savoy’s eponymous Michelin three-star kitchen in Paris, Larry Forgione’s An American Place, Daniel Boulud’s namesake Daniel in New York City, and Joachim Splichal’s Patina restaurant in Los Angeles. Since 2003, Guarnaschelli has helmed the kitchen as executive chef of Butter Restaurant, where she brings New Yorkers a menu of eclectic American and green market-inspired fare.
Sky on 57 Principal Chef Justin Quek, one of Asia’s most celebrated chefs, brings his distinguished take on Franco-Asian cuisine to this year’s festival. His modern approach and mastery of technique has been instrumental in putting Singapore on the global gastronomic map. In a career that has spanned over three decades, he has risen through the ranks, starting as a trainee at the Mandarin Oriental in Singapore followed by The Oriental in Bangkok. He withdrew his life savings to finance a year’s trip to Europe, where he worked in the kitchens of some of the most illustrious Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, honing his skills and establishing his own personal culinary style, which marries the precision of French technique with occasional hints at his Chinese heritage.
Chef Kyle Bailey will round out the festival’s roster of top-tier culinary talent. In his current position as Executive Chef at Birch & Barley and ChurchKey in Washington, DC, Bailey draws from the finer points of his past experiences, melding his farm-to-table approach with the uniquely beer-forward mission of both establishments. His pioneering approach has earned him the honor of Rising Culinary Star from the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington and The People’s Best New Chef from Food & Wine. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Bailey has worked in world-famous luxury resorts in the Caribbean and Florida, including Restaurant St. Michel in Coral Gables, Florida, and the La Palme d’Or at the historic Biltmore Hotel in Miami, among others.
Winemaker Greg Morthole, of Davis Bynum Vineyards, sky-rocketed through the ranks from lab analyst to winemaker thanks to his exceptional skills. Morthole currently directs the winery’s small lot winemaking facility, overseeing Rodney Strong reserves and single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons that have been celebrated with 90+ scores by leading wine publications including Wine Spectator, Connoisseur’s Guide and Wine Enthusiast.
One of Italy’s finest winemakers, Stefano Chiarlo of the renowned Michele Chiarlo brand will also join this year’s lineup. His accomplishments include two wines listed in the Gambero Rosso Guide—Chiarlo’s Barolo Cerequio received a “3 Glasses” rating for 5 consecutive years, a more consistent record of excellence than any other Barolo—as well as accolades as a top-10 Italian wine in Wine Spectator’s “Readers Choice Awards.”
Founder of JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery, Justin Baldwin has focused his efforts on producing world class Bordeaux style blends for the JUSTIN label. Justin is a pioneer in producing this style of wine on the Central Coast and his efforts have been rewarded with past and present vintages earning 90+ points by the major wine trade publications.
Schedule of Events
Thursday, November 5
Welcome Dinner – Seven Restaurant
The kick-off dinner for the weekend-long events, features exceptional creations by headlining Chef Alex Guarnaschelli.
Friday, November 6
Women of Wine Luncheon – Fire & Ice Restaurant, Blue Haven
This event caters to the adage “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” by offering an extended lunch break in a relaxed environment for women who love wine.
Gourmet Safari – progressive dinner
Grace Bay Club – innovative cocktails
Coyaba – appetizer course
Seven Stars and The Regent Palms – dinner
Gansevoort – dessert
This interactive ‘dine around’ gives festival guests an opportunity to discover the Island’s incredible restaurants. Now in its ninth year, the Gourmet Safari was the original event that served as a catalyst for the festival and continues to be a guest favorite today.
Saturday, November 7
Food & Wine Pairing – West Bay Club (by Grace Bay Resorts)
Intimate food and wine pairing seminars highlighting meat, seafood, cheese and dessert with tasting rooms showcasing the guest chefs and winemakers with support from the aspiring local talent of the ‘Lit’l Chefs’ mentor program.
Island Street Food Fair
A fun, family-friendly event featuring local entertainment that showcases island restaurants’ expert grilling & barbeque techniques for the enjoyment of locals and tourists alike.
Dinner under with the Stars – Grace Bay Beach
Headlining Chef Justin Quek pairs his signature recipes with the winemakers’ rarest vintages for a lavish dinner experience, allowing guests toGuest Chefs
Sunday, November 8
Brunch – Amanyara
Hosted by Chef Kyle Bailey, this brunch marks the conclusion of the festival events by showcasing an immaculate spread certain to leave guests craving a taste for more.
About the Turks and Caicos Islands
The 40 islands of the Turks and Caicos Islands, of which eight are inhabited, are renowned for their award-winning beaches, diving and array of world-class resorts. Additional activities include tennis, golf and horseback riding. The Islands feature a variety of spa and body treatment services and is home to the world’s only conch farm. In 2015, Providenciales was selected as the World’s Best Island in TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards. There are three daily 90-minute direct flights from Miami, a US Airways direct flight from Charlotte, twice weekly flights from New York and weekly flights from Boston,
Philadelphia, Atlanta and Toronto. For more information on travel, visit the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board’s website at www.turksandcaicostourism.com or call (800) 241-0824.
About Grace Bay Resorts
Grace Bay Resorts is a boutique developer and operator of high-end, luxury resorts and branded residences, founded from its flagship property Grace Bay Club which opened in 1993. The brand has grown in recent years with an ownership stake in the management of West Bay Club and The Residences, a micro resort with exclusive luxury beachfront villas all in Turks and Caicos. Led by Mark Durliat and Nikheel Advani, the developers and hoteliers behind this renowned brand, and Michael Brewster, Grace Bay Resorts provides development, branding and management expertise for luxury five-star boutique hotels and branded residences. Grace Bay Resorts is expanding its award-winning brand and services across the Caribbean destinations and Latin America, with a target of 10 properties in the next few years. www.gracebayresorts.com
Laura Lopez Magrino 212.957.3005