Tag Archives: Drink

Cayman Islands Chefs Cookout

Caribbean Food Festivals in 2023


There’s no better place than the Caribbean to celebrate food. The scenery is idyllic, and the culture is diverse and fascinating leading to a culinary explosion of flavors from Spain, India, Africa, Asia, and Britain. Combine the local culinary scene with a host of international chefs and you’ve got an amazing food fiesta.

More events are being announced daily. Keep checking with us for updates.

Cayman Cookout Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

January 12-16, 2023

After a two-year hiatus the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman will once again host the long weekend event that got its start in 2008. Celebrity Chef Eric Ripert will be at the helm presenting a variety of events and experiences. The roster of top chefs, wine, and spirit experts invited include Andrew Zimmern, Tom Colicchio, Jennifer Carroll, Adrienne Cheatham, Aldo Sohm, Antonio Bachour, Daniel Boulud, Dominique Crenn, Emeril Lagasse, José Andrés, Kristen Kish. Back in the line-up are the signature events as well as a series of lunches and dinners paired with spirits, a focus of this year’s festivities. Mingle with chefs at Beach Bash, Barefoot BBQ, and Rum and Robusto, and sign up for demonstrations and tastings.

For more information: www.caymancookout.com Hotel packages start at $1,724 per night for two and include accommodations, a breakfast buffet, and tickets to signature Cookout events and parties. www.ritzcarlton.com

Grand Cayman Cookout

Chefs gather beachside during the 2021 event beachside. Join in this January and meet the talented teams. Photo: Cayman Cookout

Taste of St. Croix, St. Croix, USVI

April 20, 2023

Now in its 23rd year, the brainchild of two local restaurateurs, the Taste of St. Croix is a much-loved event showcasing local talent and cuisine while helping to promote what St. Croix is known for, its hospitality. Proceeds help foster up and coming chefs, farmers, and caterers. Participants can enter judging for appetizers, entrees, local fare, desserts, and more. The one- night event will offer tastings from over 60 restaurants, chefs, cooks, caterers, and farmers with businesses on the island. It’s a night of socializing, tasting, and acknowledging that comes together under one roof. Rum distilleries, winemakers, and beer breweries will be on hand to fill glasses throughout the night of mingling, tasting, and experiencing the culture of St. Croix. To book your tickets: https://www.tasteofstcroix.com/

St. Croix Taste of St. Croix

Local talented bartender, Frank Robinson and his crew showcased their cocktails during the 2022 Taste of St. Croix. Photo: Taste of St. Croix

Anguilla Culinary Experience Anguilla

May 3-6, 2023

Anguilla showcases chefs from the island as well as hosts famed chefs from around the globe at the second annual epicurean festival in early May. The Anguilla Culinary Experience will take place at several world-class resorts and luxury villas as well as designated restaurants. Guest chefs will team up with local talent to host Prix Fixe menus where Anguilla’s farm-to-table and sea-to-table ingredients will be presented. The event kicks off on Wednesday, May 3 at Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club where chef Michel Greggio and co-chefs will host a taste of all six restaurants located at the resort. Chef’s multi-course dinners, cooking demos, and tasting menus will move throughout island locations. Activities include hikes, harvesting salt, and making Johnny Cakes and the final day culminates with a traditional Anguillan beach barbeque. A portion of the ACE proceeds will support culinary training for young Anguillans. For more information and tickets visit: https://anguillaculinaryexperience.com

Anguilla Culinary Experience

Prepping and peppering steaks for the grill during the first Anguilla Culinary Experience in 2022. Photo: Zuri Wilkes/Anguilla Culinary Experience

Cashew Festival and Agriculture Show Crooked Tree Village, Belize

May 11-12, 2023

Every year this small village in the interior of the country hosts the Cashew Festival where farmers and artisans showcase these drupes in various forms. Just like the almond and pistachio, the cashew is classified not as a nut but as a drupe because of its fleshy outside and shell covering the seed inside. Call it a nut if you want. Here, you can try cashew wine, cashew jelly, and pastries and pies filled with cashews. You’ll see how local chefs use cashews in cooking demonstrations, and cashew roasting and learn how the farmers grow and harvest this highly regarded local crop. To find out more: https://www.travelbelize.org/event/cashew-festival-agricultural-show/

Belize Crooked Tree Village Cashew Festival

Mounds of unroasted cashews after the annual harvest in Belize. The festival sells roasted cashews that are ready to eat. Photo: Belize Tourism Board

Grenada Chocolate Festival Grenada

May 17-21, 2023

Grenada, known as the spice island, is also home to cocoa plantations and is quickly becoming the center of chocolate production in the Caribbean. With five chocolate tree-to-bar companies making incredible Grenadian chocolate, you’ll want to load up on bars to take home. At this event, chocolate lovers will follow the journey of cacao growing, to roasting and into bars. There will be tastings, journeys, stories, and hands-on opportunities to make your own. For more information: https://www.grenadachocolatefest.com/

Grenada Chocolate Festival

A chocolate lovers dinner from Grenada Chocolate Festival in 2022. Lunches, dinners, and tastings take place during the week-long festival in May. Photo: Grenada Chocolate Festival/Flickr

Pineapple Festival Gregory Town, Eleuthera Bahamas

June 2-3, 2023

Celebrating the sweetest pineapple in the world, Eleuthera will host its annual homage to the syrupy fruit. There will be pineapple eating competitions, cooking demos and recipe contests, music, games, and of course a Junkanoo parade. The festival pays tribute to the farmers who work to grow and harvest these juicy fruits year after year. Try local food made with pineapple and pineapple deserts, plait the pineapple pole, tour the pineapple farms and check out local crafts. For details: https://www.bahamas.com/events/pineapple-festival

North Eleuthera Pineapple Festival

Nevis Mango Festival Nevis

June 30-July 2, 2023

Every summer the mango trees are loaded with yellow, orange, pink, and red-colored fleshy fruit, that the island of Nevis is known for. Mango trees grow everywhere on the island and most people will have a tree or two in their yards. So, it’s only fitting with 44 varieties of mango that there would be a festival celebrating the sweet and juicy fruit. Festivities begin on June 30 with a cooking class and evolve over the long weekend where highlights include mango eating contests and hands-on cooking classes all presented by international and local celebrity chefs. You’ll try mango chutney, mango slaw, mango hot sauce, mango cocktails, mango ice cream, and more dishes with mango as the star since every course served will demonstrate the use of mango. For more info: https://nevismangofest.com/

Nevis Mango Festival

Fish tacos from Mango Festival in 2022 where mango is the main ingredient in all the tastings during the Nevis Mango Festival. Photo: Nevis Mango Festival

Key West Sloppy Joes, Florida

Key West’s Infamous Duval Crawl


When the sun sets over Key West, the flicker of street lamps turning on in the dusky light means one thing: It’s time to start the Duval Crawl. There’s never a shortage of bars, cocktails or colorful characters on Duval Street, which cuts through the western part of the island’s Old Town neighborhood, but it’s after dark that the crazy comes out in full force to kick off the party. By getting an early start, you can sample the island fun without going full tilt and also avoid the crowds while still taking in the sights, sounds and tastes of Duval Street’s must-stops. Or you can start your crawl well after dark when the party is in full swing and the rousing crowds overflow onto the sidewalk and road and the sounds of laughter compete with blaring music.

Key West Duval Street, Florida Keys, Duval Crawl

Key West’s Duval Street is where the nightly party known as the Duval Crawl takes place, with crowds moving from one bar to the next. Photo: Mike Cherim/iStock

When it’s time to head out, simply walk north to the 200 block. Every Duval Street experience must include a stop at Sloppy Joe’s, a Key West icon made famous by author Ernest Hemingway back in the 1930s. Photos of Papa line the walls, and local bands strum island tunes, light rock and jumpin’ jazz. Slip into the adjacent Joe’s Tap Room for a taste of craft beers on draft before heading one door down to the Lazy Gecko. This is your place for a frozen daiquiri or a Gecko Rum Punch, which really packs a wallop. Watch for people dressed in oddball getups, with anything from neon wigs to fuzzy animal-print hats perched on their heads in an attempt to attract attention.

Cross the street and stroll into the Hog’s Breath Saloon to blend with Key West locals, known as “Conchs.” This famous pub prides itself for pouring strong drinks. Slightly quieter than other nearby bars, it’s a good stop for grabbing some munchies like fish nuggets and conch fritters. For a taste of authentic Old Town, you have to stop at the Bull. Murals of old Key West line the walls in this open-air bar, and the balcony of the upstairs room, dubbed the Whistle Bar, is a prime spot for gazing down on the antics of Duval Street while enjoying a finely crafted margarita. The truly adventurous can head to the Garden of Eden, a rooftop bar, which, true to Key West’s anything-goes spirit, is clothing optional.

When you need to soak up the alcohol with a bite to eat, turn south, away from the increasingly celebratory crowd, and onto the 900 block for the delectable offerings at Nine One Five. The chic setting of a Victorian home and an upscale menu belie the restaurant’s relaxed vibe. Dine alfresco on the porch and share plates of beef carpaccio and lamb loin or dive into rich entrees like duck confit with butternut squash or seared scallops with pine nuts. For a taste of local seafood, Blackfin Bistro serves up adventurous versions of Key West favorites. Instead of conch fritters, they have conch cakes served with a house-made remoulade, and their pan-roasted grouper comes with couscous and Key lime avocado tartar sauce, a tasty way to ensure you’ll be walking back to your room rather than crawling with the late-night crowd.

Key West Sloppy Joes, Florida Keys

The action on Duval Street in Key West is non-stop, with daytime shoppers and strollers and nighttime partiers doing the Duval Crawl, the popular bar-hopping scene. Photo: Raul A. Rodriguez/iStock

Depending on how close you want to be to Duval Street, accommodations run the gamut. An ideal base for a quieter Duval Crawl experience is the Southernmost on the Beach Hotel, set on the calmer, southern end of Duval. Although you’ll have to walk a few blocks for party action, it’s steps from the sands of South Beach. Here you can watch palms sway in the breeze and the tranquil Atlantic water lapping up against the sand while sipping a mojito or Rum Runner at the Southernmost Beach Café, which is a relaxing way to start the evening.

If your style is more party hard and fall into bed, then choose a hotel in the heart of Old Town on the opposite end of Duval. The Westin Key West Resort & Marina sits on the waterfront, three short blocks from Duval Street and next door to Mallory Square, where crowds gather nightly to celebrate the sunset. From here you’ll be doing the Duval Crawl in just minutes. The Ocean Key House Resort & Spa, with the address 0 Duval St., is at the very northern end of Duval, tucked between the Key West Harbor and Mallory Square. Staying here, you can start or finish your night on the resort’s Sunset Pier with food, drink, music and dancing.


exumas, chat n chill, Bahamas bar

Best Beach Bars in the Bahamas


Barefoot on the beach, keeping time to an island beat with a tasty libation in hand is the quintessential tropical vacation indulgence. Here are seven of the Bahamas’ best bars where you can do just that.


best beach bars in the bahamas, Nippers, Abacos, BahamasGuana-Cay

Nippers overlooks the Atlantic on Guana Cay, Abacos. Photo: Debbie Snow

The view alone is intoxicating. Perched high atop a dune overlooking the blue Atlantic, Nippers is the place to spend the day on Guana Cay. Steps lead up from a sparsely-settled swatch of powder sand to a multilevel complex of decks, outdoor and indoor serving areas and a pair of swimming pools. Beach games, televised sports and live music add to the fun, creating at atmosphere that is festive but still family friendly.

Where: Great Guana Cay, Abacos

Must Try: Nipper Juice

Get There: Fly into Marsh Harbour airport, taxi and ferry to Guana Cay, short walk to the beach

Stay There: Dolphin Beach Resort on Guana Cay; Abaco Beach Resort in Marsh Harbour

Chat ’n’ Chill

Join the cruising crowd who take daily shore leaves from the sloops and trawlers that bob in adjacent anchorages. You’ll be rubbing shoulders with grizzled boat bums and CEOs alike, and the action spreads beyond the bar to the pine-shaded picnic tables and volleyball courts. Come for open-air worship on Sunday morning and stay for the pig roast, where banker-turned- restaurateur KB Bowe presides over the pit.

Where: Stocking Island, Great Exuma

Must Try: KB’s Rum Punch

Get There: Fly into Exuma International Airport, taxi to Georgetown, water taxi to Stocking Island

Stay There: St. Francis Resort on Stocking Island; Grand Isle resort or Sandals on Great Exuma


A respite from the hustle of Nassau and the swank of Paradise Island, Nirvana is an old-school board-and-thatch beach club where you can grab a bite, savor a cold one or rent a beach chair to enjoy access to the uncrowded—and otherwise inaccessible—Love Beach. The vibe is low key during the day, but the action heats up at happy hour, and the party can go well into the night.

Where: New Providence

Must Try: Margarita

Get There: Cab, rental car or the #10 bus from Nassau

Stay There: Compass Point Resort is next door; mid-range Blue Water Resort and Sandyport Beaches Resort are a few miles to the east

Billy Joe’s On the Beach

Billy Joe's, Grand Bahama

Billy Joe’s in Port Lucaya, Grand Bahama. Photo: Debbie Snow

This long-time landmark sits beachside, and in appealing contrast to the sleek, upscale Port Lucaya developments next door. There are no apologies for the rough plank flooring or plastic beach furniture because this place is all about direct water views, local music and what many consider the best conch salad in the islands.

Where: Lucaya, Grand Bahama

Must Try: Conch salad and a Kalik beer

Get There: Cab, rental car or stroll down the beach

Stay There: Pelican Bay and the Grand Lucayan are within walking distance; the value-priced Bell Channel Inn is a short cab ride

Bishop’s Big Boy Bar

It’s 45-minute pilgrimage east from Freeport to the quiet settlement of High Rock, where it may take a bit of searching to find Bishop’s Bonefish Resort. The reward is a near-deserted beach, and fresh run-and-juice concoctions served by Mr. Bishop himself. Rent snorkel gear to enjoy the reefs, then head over to the restaurant for some local seafood. It’s a no-frills place, but when sand, sun and sea are the focal points, you won’t miss the crowds, the DJs or the tiki torches.

Where: South shore, Grand Bahama

Must Try: Bahama Mama

Get There: Rent a car in Freeport and drive 25 miles east

Stay There: If quiet and simple are for you, book into Bishop’s adjacent seven-room resort

Sherri’s Paradise

The simple sundeck overlooking Bimini’s spectacular Radio Beach oozes island time; the adjacent yellow clapboard kitchen, with its variable hours and whatever-we-caught menu confirms the pace. Relax and order a cold one, because the cracked conch and lobster are worth the wait. You may want to linger even longer when there’s local music, or to catch a memorable sunset.

Where: Alice Town, Bimini

Must Try: Sherri’s Pina Colada

Get There: Fly to South Bimini and water taxi, or take a seaplane into the harbor

Stay There: Bimini Big Game Club remains the first choice while the future of Resort World is solidified

Pete’s Pub and Gallery

Pete's Pub, Abacos, Bahamas

Unique bar at Pete’s Pub, Little Harbour, Abacos. Photo: Debbie Snow

Eclectic doesn’t begin to describe Pete’s Pub and Gallery. Part beach bar, part art gallery, it features the works of Peter Johnson and his progeny, who form their bronze creations in the on-site foundry. Wade right into the harbor to cool off, climb the upper deck for water views, or walk the sandy path to the surf-washed Atlantic.

Where: Little Harbour, Abacos

Must Try: Pete’s Rum Blaster

Get There: Drive a half-hour south from Marsh Harbour or go by boat

Stay There: On site is Barnacle Bill’s Cottage, or the Abaco Club in Marsh Harbour


postcard inn Islamorada, best tiki bars in florida

Best Tiki Bars in Florida


Thatched roofs, bar stools and crazy concoctions, made with lots of potent rum, are what you’ll find at these old and new tiki bars. Set on the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico, these Florida bars continue to attract the party folk. It doesn’t have to be happy hour to visit any of the on-the-edge-of-the-water bars, where making new friends gets easier with every sip.

Isle Tiki Bar, Islamorada

Back in the day the old salts packed this bar at the Holiday Isle Resort. And even after a 21st century face-lift and rebranding turned the property into the Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina, the outdoor Holiday Isle Tiki Bar with its thatched roof and vistas of the Atlantic Ocean continues to draw a crowd.

The Drink: Nothing will do but a Rum Runner, which supposedly was invented here.

Casey Key Tiki Bar, south of Sarasota

Any Saturday afternoon, the hogs are lined up roadside at the Casey Key Tiki Bar. Perched on an island between Casey Key and the mainland, the open-air bar is packed with the regulars in T-shirts and shorts and the visitors with signature Tommy Bahama attire. Squeeze in under the fringed roof or hang out on the little beach in the back, where doggies are welcome. 

The Drink: A pina colada on a hot sunny day works really well in this setting.

Stan’s Idle Hour, Goodland near Marco Island

If you’re on Marco Island on a Sunday, you have to make the drive to Goodland, an obscure spot made famous by the late Stan Gober when he opened Stan’s Idle Hour almost 30 years ago. This is a let your hair down kind of place where folks arrive by boat, bike and Benz to party the afternoon away with live music and curious conversation.

The Drink: You got to have the signature Stan’s Buzzard Punch, a concoction of light and dark rums, orange and pineapple juice and splashes of grenadine and sour mix.

Guanabanas, Jupiter

Definitely one of Florida’s more sophisticated choices, Guanabanas’ horseshoe-shaped bar is tucked behind thick tropical foliage under a palm-fringed roof just steps from the Loxahatchee River. Locals, from boaters to golfers, mix with visitors. During season, February to May, the line’s out the door.

The Drink: Topping the list is the My Wave Mojito, made with the Dominican Republic’s Atlantico Platino rum, muddled mint, lime juice and sugarcane.

Lido Key Tiki Bar, Sarasota

This tiki bar is right on the sand, so stroll on over sans sandals. One of the oldest around, the traditional Lido Key Tiki Bar was saved from bulldozers in 2003 by preservationists with help from the Ritz-Carlton, which now owns it. Guests from the hotel’s nearby beach club mingle with the locals who love this breezy Gulf-front spot.   

The Drink: Hurricane Category 5 is one of the strongest drinks served here. Banana, coconut, mango and pineapple rums get a 151-proof-rum floater, and the mix of orange, pineapple and cranberry juices disguises its potent character.