Picture collage from Wine in the Warehouse (12.1.22) By CRUSELDA ROBERTS/V.I. CONSORTIUM
The St. Croix Food and Wine Experience came back after a three-year, Covid-induced hiatus on Thursday, and though only one event was held this year — its signature Wine in the Warehouse — the St. Croix Foundation, which organizes the elegant affair was pleased with the turnout which exceeded expectations.
Held at the Bohlke International Aviation hangar on St. Croix, Wine in the Warehouse coincided with the completion of the private carrier's new hangar. The event included the participation of eight restaurants and for the first time hosted a celebrity chef, Tallahassee, Florida chef Shacafrica Simmons. Mr. Simmons, who is widely known as Chef Shac was on site with St. Croix Career and Technical Education (C-TECH) students serving meals. The Foundation has traditionally included C-TECH in the Food and Wine Experience and this year was no different.
"We had a capacity number that we had to meet, we exceeded it just a little bit," stated Deanna James, St. Croix Foundation president. "We are really, really grateful for all of the co-operation of businesses that have faithfully sponsored this event and sponsor the foundation's work."
Guests, elegantly attired, patronized the vendors while a band played jazz music in the background, making for a mellow atmosphere as event attendees mingled.
The Food and Wine Experience normally features several events, but this year the organizers — taking into consideration the Covid-19 pandemic (now an endemic in the USVI) — decided to put on one, Wine at the Warehouse, which proved safer because of its open-air setting, said Ms. James.
Among the major sponsors of the event were the V.I. Department of Tourism, Bohlke International Aviation, The Buccaneer Hotel and CC1 Virgin Islands, the latter providing all the wines and spirits for the event, according to Ms. James. "They've always come through with supporting the Foundation's work and its vision even outside of this event," she said of the sponsors.
This year's event featured a silent auction, where participants scanned a QR code that took them to a website. After registering for the site, access is given to bid on items such as art provided by Lucien Downes and Anita Dawson; hand-made vases by Sara Lee Hayes; local boutique Asha provided a pillow and gift certificate; a wine basket was provided by Diageo; a water collection jewelry set was supplied by Crucian Gold; and hoop earrings and labradorite drop hook earrings provided by Let's Get Loud.
Along with the mix and mingle, participants toured a variety of private planes that can chartered for personal and medical purposes, tasted fine wines paired with a variety of cheeses, fruits, locally prepared dishes from local restaurants and danced to the sounds jazz music.
Here's the full list of event sponsors: Sponsors: