SKN preps for third annual Restaurant Week

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The third annual Restaurant Week in St. Kitts and Nevis is slated to get underway in July as part of the government’s efforts to stimulate activity in that sector during the slower periods.

Restaurant Week is expected to take place July 19-30 and will see more than 40 restaurants from both St. Kitts and Nevis participate in the activities.

Tourism Minister Lindsay Grant said that Restaurant Week is a partnership of the federal and Nevis ministries of tourism, the St. Kitts and Nevis Tourism Authorities and the St. Kitts and Nevis departments of agriculture and the St. Kitts and Nevis Hotel and Tourism Associations.

“Every year, Restaurant Week focuses on a local ingredient to promote local production and sourcing and to strengthen the linkages between local producers and local restaurants and food retailers,” Grant said.

In 2015, the first time the week was held, the theme was breadfruit. Last year saw pumpkin being the focus and this year, the emphasis will be on yam.

“Restaurants all across St. Kitts and Nevis will create special menus focused on yam and offer discount prices [that are] extra affordable to make dining out attractive during the period which is typically the low season,” Grant explained.

Grant disclosed that Nisbett Plantation and the Veranda at OTI will offer three-course dinners for US$60, whereas restaurants such as the Kitchen at Kittitian Hill, Marshalls and Serendipity will offer three-course meals for US$40. Shigidy Shack’s combos will be priced at US$20.

“Just like the CPL and the music festival and other special events, Restaurant Week is strategically scheduled in July to help drive traffic to local dining establishments during what is considered to be the slow period to stimulate the local economy and to help provide added incentive for our locals to enjoy our own tourism product at an affordable rate as well as to visitors to our shores during the summer months,” Grant said.

He added that Restaurant Week is a proven successful partnership not only between St. Kitts and Nevis, but also between tourism and agriculture.

“The linkages between these two sectors of our economy is inextricably bound,” Grant said, “and we are working hard to make them stronger to promote local production and sourcing of ingredients that we can grow here to support livelihoods of local producers.”

Grant further explained that Restaurant Week also strategically focuses on local dining spots, including snakettes and street vendors, in an effort to include them alongside fine dining restaurants as participants in week of celebrations.

“Our market research shows that travellers more and more are seeking local experiences and connections to the local culture and a sense of place in destinations,” he said, “especially when it comes to food.”

He added that earlier this year the organisers of Restaurant Week gave opportunities for local agro processors to attain contact with the various restaurants. “To help make these needed connections in April of this year,” Grant said, “restaurant week organisers held an agro processors showcase providing them critical market access to restaurants hotels retailers in the federation.”

Grant said a tasting showcase will take place in both St. Kitts and Nevis July 15-16, and the week will open on July 19 with a meet-the-artist predinner event.