BVI Cuisine promoted at London’s Rum Kitchen
From the BVI Tourist Board
Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands – The week of March 17-23, the British Virgin Islands hosted a week-long celebration dedicated to the splendors of BVI cuisine at The Rum Kitchen, a popular Caribbean restaurant on All Saints Road in London, United Kingdom.
The British Virgin Islands Tourist Board UK team was excited to welcome Londoners to experience a menu of traditional dishes that surprised and delighted guests with each soulful bite. All dishes were prepared by popular BVI cook Cynthia George of The Sugar Apple Restaurant, Virgin Gorda, who visited London for the event. Guests were greeted warmly with rum punches, Pusser’s Rum Painkillers and the famous, personable BVI hospitality during the week.
Director of Tourism Sharon Flax Brutus, who was in London for the event, said “we thought it would be a fantastic way to promote the BVI and its magnificent cuisine at one of London’s trendiest Caribbean restaurants. The BVI cuisine presented guests with the opportunity to savour flavourful food that was not too hot or spicy. The feedback from guests and The Rum Kitchen team was overwhelmingly positive and has encouraged us to continue promoting our authentic Caribbean cuisine and culture in our key markets.”
Each night, The Rum Kitchen’s menu featured a different BVI specialty, including stewed brown chicken, pea soup with pig tails and dumplings, stewed pork chops, fish in mayonnaise sauce, baked and barbecued chicken and saltfish and Johnny cakes.
Cynthia George was taught by her mother, Perlene King, to cook all the dishes the chef now serves at her restaurant in her native country of St Vincent and the Grenadines. She moved to Virgin Gorda, BVI, in 1974 and married Allen George. They have a family of six children and 12 grandchildren, which she raised while working as reception manager at luxury hotel, Biras Creek Resort, for 35 years.
In 2013, with children all grown, she saw her sons Alic and Greg build her “dream restaurant” right in the prized garden of her home in The Valley, Virgin Gorda.
George epitomizes the farm-to-table experience by rising early every day to pick herbs from her garden and cook “from the heart” – no measurements are done. As one of the most popular local food restaurants in the BVI, her restaurant is sold out early by lunchtime due to locals “in the know” who come for a take-out lunch and tourists looking for good old-fashioned, friendly Caribbean hospitality, food and stories.
“I started this dream business at 63 years old, and it’s been so successful, I should have started it many years ago,” George said.
Collaborating with popular food establishments in source markets is one of the tourist board’s strategies for enhancing awareness of the BVI as a destination. Additionally, the British Virgin Islands has a growing reputation for culinary excellence, highlighted by the November celebration of BVI Food Fete, a month-long celebration of culinary events and activities throughout the island chain. It includes events presented by BVI food and beverage partners and the BVI Tourist Board’s anchor events, such as the Barefoot Gourmet Soiree, Jost Pork and the Anegada Lobster Festival.