The only limitation to plantain dishes you will find during 'Restaurant Week' will be the chef's imaginations.

By Monique Washington

How many ways can a chef prepare plantain dishes?

Who can resist tasting plantains prepared by the best local chefs at 40 different restaurants across St. Kitts and Nevis?

During St. Kitts and Nevis “Restaurant Week,” which began July 20 and ends July 29, local chefs are answering these questions as they prepare favorite plantain dishes. During this annual event they are providing customers with every type of tasty plantain imaginable for breakfast, lunch and dinner, including appetizers, entrees and desserts.

The area’s most experienced chefs have taken on the challenge to provide restaurant customers with every type of plantain imaginable and proving the possibilities are endless.

More than 40 restaurants are participating including: Weekendz Bar and Grill, Sunshine, Lime Beach Bar and Grill, Nisbet Plantation, Oualie Beach Resort, Hermitage, Paradise Drive Thru, Boddie’s Café, Pump Road Barbecue, Rodney’s Cuisine, The Gin Trap, Yachtsman Grill and Montpelier Plantation and Beach, as well as Mango Restaurant at Four Seasons Resort.

The Observer spoke with the Permanent Secretary of Tourism John Hanley, who highlighted the importance of the event to restaurants.

“Restaurant Week” boosts business for restaurants in St. Kitts and Nevis, especially local restaurant,” he said. “A tasting showcase allows persons to sample what the restaurants have to offer during Restaurant Week so customers might be inclined to come back to their favorite restaurants.”

As a “Restaurant Week” preview, leading restaurant chefs prepared unique plantain dishes last weekend at the Nisbet Plantation to show off their favourite recipes that will be available.

A similar event was held the previous week at the Park Hyatt Hotel on St. Kitts. The Kitts-Nevis Restaurant Week tasting has been dubbed a “success,” by Permanent Secretary of Tourism John Hanley. The weekend’s event was sold out. Over 150 guests attended the event to taste local cuisine made from local plantain. The Kitts-Nevis Restaurant Week runs July 20-29. A total of 40 restaurants will be participating, 15 in Nevis and 25 in St. Kitts. The event is now in its fourth year.

“The tourism industry in St. Kitts and Nevis is very seasonal and restaurants really do struggle during the slow season,” Hanley said. “That is why during the slow season every year we have this event to try to boost business for the restaurants.”

According to Hanley, one of the objectives for Restaurant Week is to promote eating local food and vegetables.
“Every year we focus on a different ingredient. First year, bread fruit; second year, pumpkin; third year, Tanya; and forth year, plantains.

“In choosing the theme ingredient we consult extensively with the Department of Agriculture, because they know what the demand is and what fruit and vegetables need to be promoted,” he said.

Hanley pointed out that over the years the event has grown. He said it went from an invitation only event to being open to the public.

“At the preview last year, 80 persons attended,” he said. “This year that number almost doubled, to 150 people attending. Some people had to be turned away. It was very successful.”

During this week, members of the public have the opportunity to dine out at reduced rates.

According to Hanley, special cost system will feature three fixed price points. At very exclusive restaurants, a three-course meal will cost US $60; other restaurants will offer a three-course meal for US $40 and others for US $20.