Food brings together people around the world, and the Caribbean is no exception. Many island favorites are inspired by our beautiful home with several of the ingredients grown locally. The USVI Culinary Team seeks to bring the flare of Caribbean recipes to the world stage as they dedicate their talent to creating unique dishes from ingredients found in the territory.
USVI Culinary Team Pastry Chef Natalie Buckner said the team has helped her learn more about local ingredients. “We use a lot of local flavors like passion fruit, cashews and guava. It’s very rare you get the opportunity to use a fresh [ingredients] that still have the fruit attached to it. Being on this culinary team has made me more aware of the magnitude of things that grow locally.” Buckner believes an important part of her role on the Culinary Team is spreading awareness about supporting local farmers in the territory and region.
In addition to supporting the local agriculture industry, the team seeks to educate locals and island visitors about the importance of the culinary industry. Food and beverage businesses are a huge contributor to the economy, and being a part of the USVI Culinary team allows members to work with a diverse group of individuals, learning new techniques and helping one another prosper.
“Our culinary team has truly highlighted the incredible talent we have in the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said team captain Michael Grau. “I want to show off how special the food scene is here, and how a visit to the territory will be a memorable experience not only for our beautiful beaches, but also for our unique cuisine.”