Anguilla will present a new epicurean festival, Anguilla Culinary Experience (ACE), from Wednesday, May 11 through Sunday, May 15, 2022. As the latest and most exciting culinary production in the region, ACE will bring together talented chefs from Anguilla and around the world with food-loving guests at Anguilla’s world-class resorts -- Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club; Cap Juluca, a Belmond Hotel; Four Seasons Anguilla Resorts & Residences; Malliouhana, an Auberge Resort; Tranquility Beach Anguilla and Zemi Beach House, LXR Hotels & Resorts; luxury villas – ÀNI Anguilla, and Villa Alegria; and award-winning restaurants -- Ember, Veya, Tasty’s, Celeste, Pimms, Salt and Stone. During the five days of curated experiences, chefs will draw on their diverse influences, as they combine their skills and creativity with Anguilla’s fresh farm- and sea-to-table ingredients. A portion of ACE proceeds will fund the Anguilla National Culinary Team and other local hospitality training programs, and students will have a chance to learn alongside the more experienced chefs.
“Anguilla Culinary Experience is being created for, and by, people who appreciate artistry and view food and wine as a way to celebrate life, make connections and explore a country’s history and culture,” said ACE co-chair and Villa Alegria owner Wendy Freeman of Chicago, IL. “Anguilla is already considered the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean. With over 100 bespoke restaurants within just 35 square miles and no commercial chains, plus Anguilla’s unique ability to deliver an upscale, luxe experience in an approachable and authentic manner, you can’t find a more perfect environment for an epicurean festival.”
ACE will center around three signature events, including the opening night Ultimate Barefoot Luxury Party sponsored by Tradewind Aviation at Cap Juluca, an afternoon Rosé Soirée party at Malliouhana, and a Caribbean beach barbeque on Meads Bay where local grill-masters will offer up freshly-grilled seafood and ribs, while members of the island’s competitive culinary team battle in a mystery basket competition. On May 13th, local and guest chefs at Ember, Veya, Tasty’s, Celeste, Pimms, Salt and Stone will also present inventive prix fixe menus with wine pairings as part of the festival’s Restaurant Night.
Festival guests choose either the ACE or VIP level ticket package. Both packages include entrance to all three signature events, as well as a full or partial credit towards the prix fixe meal at one of the participating restaurants on Restaurant Night. Packages are available for online purchase at www.anguillaculinaryexperience.com at an early bird rate of $425 USD for the ACE level and $1,150 USD for the VIP option. After March 1, package prices increase to $450 and $1,250 respectively.
The VIP package provides exclusive access to VIP-only events including an afterhours rum tasting at the famous Zemi Beach House Rhum Room and an intimate, 5-course dinner accompanied by wine and live music at one of Anguilla’s private luxury villas or specialty resort venues. The VIP dinners will be held on Thursday night (May 12) and are limited to only 20 guests at each venue. Diners will be able to get to know the chefs and each other while savoring inspired cuisine in a one-of-kind location.
In between the main events, festival guests can relax on Anguilla’s 33 beautiful beaches, explore the island, or partake in ticketed small group activities where they can pick salt from a natural salt pond, learn how to make ceviche or traditional Caribbean Johnny cakes, fish off the shore, paddle-board past sea turtles, or search for the island’s best rum punch as they tour Anguilla’s beachside bars in a chauffeured open air Moke.
“We are justly renowned for our spectacular beaches and exceptional cuisine, but Anguilla offers so much more,” stated Stacey Liburd, Anguilla’s Director of Tourism. “Guests who come to ACE, which is a thrilling addition to our event calendar, will excite not only their palates but all their other senses as well as they discover our unique island attractions and experiences. We look forward to sharing our rich cultural traditions and heritage through these specially curated tours.”
New York-based wine and food curator, Michael Green, will serve as master of ceremonies for ACE. Green has shared his story-telling talents on MSNBC, CNN, The Today Show, The Food Network and at Naples Wine Festival and the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. Green was the food and wine consultant for Gourmet for 20 years, before serving as wine curator for The Moth and consultant to Departures.
“The mentoring and financial support ACE will provide will be life-changing for our Anguilla National Culinary Team and the island’s next generation of hospitality professionals,” said Gilda Gumbs-Samuel, Chief Executive Officer of the Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association. “By buying a ticket or donating to ACE, guests will help ensure Anguilla continues its legacy of exceptional cuisine for years to come.”
The highly-decorated Anguilla National Culinary Team competes at international food and beverage events including the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s annual Taste of the Caribbean and Miami 305. Alumni have worked in elite kitchens around the world and now run and own many of the island’s top restaurants.
For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.AnguillaCulinaryExperience.com. The following resorts, villas and restaurants will host ACE ticketed events. Additional specials may be offered by other businesses during the festival. Accommodations are not included in ACE packages. Guests and travel advisors may contact the below lodging partners for rates and availability.