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FEBRUARY 2020

In This Issue…

TASTEFUL ISLAND FOOD TOURS

FLAVORFUL GIFT IDEAS

A FAMILY WEEKEND TO LOVE

DON’T FORGET DESSERT

MBW:  RECIPES FOR SUCCESS

DO IT RIGHT – KEEP LEFT

HIGHLIGHTED EVENTS

Welcome to the Food Lovers Edition of 

Coconut Post

VI News ’n Views

Virgin

Islands

It’s Valentine month — an ideal time to publish the “food lovers” issue of Coconut Post. 

With that in mind, the spotlight is focused on St. Thomas Food Tours. Locally owned and operated, the tasteful adventure through Charlotte Amalie’s historic district gives guests the opportunity to fall in love with Caribbean cuisine while learning fascinating facts about the islands.

A popular stop on the tour is My Brother’s Worksop Bakery where love for the community runs deep. A local non-profit charitable corporation, MBW provides “hope, faith, and purpose” to young islanders by offering mentoring, counseling, paid job training and placement. By the way, taste treats at the bakery are spectacular — and a first-rate local cookbook by Chef Julius Jackson is featured.

Speaking of luscious baked goods,  next time you dine at Root 42 Bar and Grill at Flamboyan On The Bay, save room for custom house-made desserts by Chef Bonnie Gerard. 

 Flamboyan On The Bay also is home to Northside Grind. The coffee shop, deli, and mini mart carries food and beverages for all occasions — including a selection of popular spirits, wine and champagne. Cheers! 

In addition to Coconut Post spotlighting slices of life in paradise, look for “Coco-bits”  — tidbits of tasty info, island history, and fun-to-know facts scattered throughout the publication. Keep in mind here in the islands ‘views’ are visual — not so much editorial, LOL 

A display at Gladys’ Cafe reflects the beauty of fresh, locally sourced food.

Server Pauline Alexander explains a selection of local dishes featured at storied Gladys’ Cafe — a popular stop along St. Thomas Food Tours. 

Margaret and Dwayne Bell and Bonnie and Ray diMartini toast with a cup of Strawberry Dream iced tea at E’s Garden Teahouse and Things.

    St. Thomas Food Tours
features local fare – and more

Whether you are on island for a day, a week, a season or a lifetime, the one tropical culinary walking tour not to be missed was created for you by St. Thomas Food Tours. 

The intimate, upbeat experience blends tastes of the territory’s colorful history with flavor-filled stops along the way. Popular eateries offer items such as pate, kallaloo, saltfish, tropical fruits, rum cake and other delights.

Established in 2016, St. Thomas Food Tours earned a coveted 5-star review status on Trip Advisor as well as the 2019 Certificate of Excellence.

Proprietor and host Gerard Sperry perfectly reflects the company slogan “Come hungry and leave happy.” A true to life history buff and foodie, he is an encyclopedia of intriguing island info. On each unique tour he shares stories ranging from fascinating pirate tales to architectural aspects — and plenty of fun facts, too.  

On a recent tour, Dwayne Bell, his wife, Margaret, his sister, Bonnie and her husband Ray diMartini gathered by Fort Christian at 10 a.m. for the downtown Charlotte Amalie excursion. 

The foursome had flown in from Chicago the day before. It was their first visit to St. Thomas and the couples seemed anxious to learn some island history — and taste local food.  Comments they shared throughout the tour suggested the experience did not disappoint in any way.

Said Bonnie, “This really is just great; so informative. The food’s delicious.” With a warm smile, she added,
“…and so entertaining. I’m loving this.”  

Echoing his sister’s enthusiasm, Dwayne found himself caught up in conversations with Gerard about local farming as well as island breweries. 

Although the walking tour itself takes place in the downtown area, Gerard is happy to share his islandwide dining out expertise and make recommendations to please all palates. 

For information, visit
www.stthomasfoodtours.com
or call 340-642-1995

A display at Gladys’ Cafe reflects the beauty of fresh, locally sourced food.

Server Pauline Alexander explains a selection of local dishes featured at storied Gladys’ Cafe — a popular stop along St. Thomas Food Tours.

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COCO BITS


A BIT ABOUT OCEANA RESTAURANT

Located on Frenchtown’s south shore, the estate dates back to the 17th century; it was settled by Jurgen Iversen, first Danish Governor of St. Thomas. In 1894, the property sold for $12,000 and served as the Russian Embassy for a decade. Formerly a Chart House, Cordon Bleu chef/ owner Patricia LaCorte established Oceana in 2002. She has been part of the island culinary scene since the 1970s. 

Flavorful Gift Ideas at Northside Grind

When it comes to special occasions, Trish Dahl, co-owner of Northside Grind, suggests a bottle of Veuve Clicquot.

Much more than a friendly neighborhood coffee shop and deli, Northside Grind makes life easy whenever you’re looking for thoughtful or last minute gifts. 

Think of it! At Northside Grind you can select popular spirits, red and white wine and bubbly — including classic Veuve Clicquot champagne. If you have a sweet tooth, there’s plenty of fresh baked goods and quality chocolates to choose.

Are you planning a romantic evening at home? Pick up quality cheeses and premium crackers to accompany that bottle of wine.

Northside Grind is famous for gourmet coffee. In addition to  aromatic by-the-cup options, you have a choice of Messenger brand — or the signature Northside Grind label in 12-ounce and five-pound bags. Flavors include Colombian, Decaf, and Espresso. What perfect gifts for the coffee lovers in your life!

Not sure what to give? Pick up Northside Grind gift cards in any denomination.

Northside Grind makes gift-giving easy with a selection of thoughtful items — including custom gift cards.

There’s plenty of parking on the grounds at
Flamboyan on the Bay Resort & Villas.
The shop is open seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more info call 340-642-2421.

A Family Weekend

         Getaway To Love

Heather Stewart and 12-year-old-son Jasper Stoneberg pose by the art display at Root 42 Bar and Grill on the grounds of Flamboyan Resort.

When Manhattan resident Heather Stewart realized her 12-year-old son’s school schedule afforded the duo an opportunity to escape the Big Apple’s frosty climes for a long weekend getaway in January, she explored travel options online. She found her way to the Caribbean, booking a stay at Flamboyan On The Bay Resort & Villas.

“We’re on St. Thomas for the first time,” Heather explained. “We found this resort purely by chance. It looked great online.” Asked her in-person impression of the property, she shared, “It’s exactly as I pictured it — casual and very comfortable. We’re very happy We have everything we need.”

In addition to enjoying the resort’s two pools, she and Jasper dined at Root 42 Bar and Grill several times. The duo also ventured to Magens Beach, snorkeled at Secret Harbour and took the SkyRide tram to Paradise Point.

In the spirit of relaxing in “home-away-from-home” style, Heather and Jasper invited one of the resort’s felines-in-residence to spend time in their studio unit, as well. 

Heather is a TV writer by trade; the resort staff expressed delight in getting to know Heather and Jasper and are hopeful there will be more to the story with a return engagement.

If you get the impression Flamboyan On The Bay strives to have guests feel like part of the family-owned operation, how right you are!

During his last evening on island, Jasper appeared reluctant about leaving but anxious to tell his schoolmates about the tropical weekend getaway. 

Said Heather, “We loved it here. We’ll be back.”

COCO BITS

A BIT ABOUT 3 QUEENS GIN

Produced exclusively on St. Thomas by Virgin Islands Craft Distillers, 3 Queens Gin custom blends authentic ingredients hand-picked in “bush tea” tradition. The juniper-based gin is enhanced with locally sourced basil and lemon grass to create an uncommonly smooth flavor. It’s available at retail shops including Cost U Less and Dynasty Dazzlers.

Dining at Root 42

Save Room for Dessert

Originally from Boston, Bonnie Gerard is a 12-year resident of the Virgin Islands, For a decade she earned an impressive reputation as a skilled St. Thomas chef and caterer. 

After hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the islands in 2017, her career focus shifted to property management but her heart remained at the same restaurant kitchen she worked in at  Flamboyan Resort before the storms. 

Today, although the restaurant’s name has changed to Root 42 Bar and Grill, once a week Chef Bonnie returns to create a selection of taste-tempting confections — including Root 42’s celebrated signature white chocolate cinnamon bread pudding.

Other luscious desserts by Chef Bonnie include classic tiramisu as well as brownies and cheesecakes. “I try to make cheesecakes in fun flavors,” she said.

With a thoughtful smile, Chef Bonnie added, “I create desserts to match the ‘comfort food theme’ of the Root 42 menu.”

By the way, ice cream at Root 42 also is made on-premise. Be sure to ask about the vanilla ice cream; it’s made exclusively with fresh vanilla beans. 

General Manager Jamie Walthall and the friendly staff will be happy to advise you of daily options — so be sure to save room for dessert.

Chef Bonnie Gerard and General Manager Jamie Walthall showcase a thin mint brownie a la mode, and signature bread pudding at Root 42 Bar and Grill.

Root 42 Bar and Grill opens seven days a week at 11 a.m. Seating is available poolside or in the friendly sports bar area. 

For information and reservations
call 340-513-1688.

Gerard Sperry of St. Thomas Food Tours recommends a stop at MBW Cafe & Bakery where you can check out “My Modern Caribbean Kitchen” cookbook by Chef Julius Jackson.

When hurricanes Irma and Maria hit St. Thomas in 2017, these extraordinary students stepped up to the plate, becoming “Hurricane Heroes” by establishing a feeding station that served 37,000 meals to community members affected by loss.

MBW Café & Bakery is conveniently located in downtown Charlotte Amalie at Bakery Square on Back Street.

For more information visit
mybrothersworkshop.org or call 340-715-2767.

MBW Café & Bakery

Recipes for Success

My Brother’s Workshop is a non-profit Virgin Islands charitable corporation founded by Scott Bradley and organized to provide hope, faith, and purpose to young people in the islands by offering mentoring, counseling, paid job training, education, and job placement. 

Originally focused on carpentry and related construction skills, the organization expanded to include the culinary arts and customer service.

When hurricanes Irma and Maria hit St. Thomas in 2017, these extraordinary students stepped up to the plate, becoming “Hurricane Heroes” by establishing a feeding station that served 37,000 meals to community members affected by loss.

These days, the comfortably appointed café is a terrific place to enjoy coffee, artisan baked goods, freshly made soups, salads, sandwiches and more.  

You also will find a display of signature gifts and coffee mugs as well as a cookbook titled “My Modern Caribbean Kitchen” by Chef Julius Jackson.  

A celebrated former Olympic boxer, Jackson is head chef and manager of My Brother’s Workshop Bakery and Café.  His 176-page book features 70 local recipes; many were handed down orally in true island tradition and now are beautifully preserved.

MBW Café & Bakery

Recipes for Success

My Brother’s Workshop is a non-profit Virgin Islands charitable corporation founded by Scott Bradley and organized to provide hope, faith, and purpose to young people in the islands by offering mentoring, counseling, paid job training, education, and job placement. 

Originally focused on carpentry and related construction skills, the organization expanded to include the culinary arts and customer service.

When hurricanes Irma and Maria hit St. Thomas in 2017, these extraordinary students stepped up to the plate, becoming “Hurricane Heroes” by establishing a feeding station that served 37,000 meals to community members affected by loss.

These days, the comfortably appointed café is a terrific place to enjoy coffee, artisan baked goods, freshly made soups, salads, sandwiches and more.  

You also will find a display of signature gifts and coffee mugs as well as a cookbook titled “My Modern Caribbean Kitchen” by Chef Julius Jackson.  

A celebrated former Olympic boxer, Jackson is head chef and manager of My Brother’s Workshop Bakery and Café.  His 176-page book features 70 local recipes; many were handed down orally in true island tradition and now are beautifully preserved.

Gerard Sperry of St. Thomas Food Tours recommends a stop at MBW Cafe & Bakery where you can check out “My Modern Caribbean Kitchen” cookbook by Chef Julius Jackson.

When hurricanes Irma and Maria hit St. Thomas in 2017, these extraordinary students stepped up to the plate, becoming “Hurricane Heroes” by establishing a feeding station that served 37,000 meals to community members affected by loss.

MBW Café & Bakery is conveniently located in downtown Charlotte Amalie at Bakery Square on Back Street.

For more information visit
mybrothersworkshop.org or call 340-715-2767.

DO IT RIGHT — KEEP LEFT

Keep Left

Once upon a time, donkey carts were a common mode of transportation in the Virgin Islands. As the story goes, those four-legged critters had a natural tendency to travel left. 

When motorized vehicles began sharing the road, they simply followed established paths; driving left became the rule of the road in paradise.

Whether or not that explanation holds water, one thing is certain: in the Virgin Islands it’s imperative that drivers “keep left.”

A trick to help newbies and visitors remember is the phrase: “shoulder to shoulder.” Your shoulder should match up with the shoulder of the road. Of course, on multi-lane roads and intersections, that guideline isn’t totally helpful.

Finding your way around in the islands as a driver isn’t as simple as plugging into GPS, either. In addition to unfamiliar surroundings, lack of street signs, poorly defined lanes, missing traffic lights, and ongoing pothole challenges, it takes time before most drivers feel confident. Switchbacks and narrow, winding mountain roads can drain your sense of direction dry, as well.

The good news is, it’s a small island. How lost can you get?  St. Thomas is only thirteen miles long and three miles wide. Speed limits are 35mph in the country and 20mph in the city, unless otherwise posted.  

One more thing to keep in mind: visiting pedestrians are sometimes disoriented by left hand traffic patterns. Watch carefully for visitors in crosswalks.

Take it slow —
and enjoy life in the left lane!

COCO BITS

A BIT ABOUT HOOK BRACELETS

The original “hook” bracelet was created on St. Croix by Sonya Hough in the 1960s. It evolved into an iconic jewelry piece recognized the world over. “Wear the hook up or down, depending on your luck or love,” the saying goes. When the hook faces away from your heart it signals you’re single; facing toward the heart means you’re in a relationship.

Highlighted Events This Month

1st Annual Beer, Wine and
VI Spirits Festival

February 9, 2020

Yacht Haven Grande

12pm – 4pm

 

Mark your calendars! This is a first-time event for the Historic Synagogue in Downtown Charlotte Amalie! Instead of their annual auction, they will be hosting the first annual Beer, Wine, and VI Spirits Festival at Yacht Haven Grande!

Lots of great beer, wine and spirits to taste, yummy food, and music by Cool Sessions! This is sure to be a blast with fun for the whole family; a terrific vibe, a bouncy house and games for the kids – the works! Please come!

For more information and to invite your friends
CLICK HERE!

AGRIFEST 2020:
“Agriculture:  Trendy in 2020”

February 15th – 17th, 2020  |  9am – 6pm

Adults – $6, Seniors – $5, Vendors – $3

Children 12 and Under – $4

3 day passes available for $12, $10, or $8

What a fun-filled event — an ideal reason to visit St. Croix! The 49th Agriculture and Food Fair serves up fascinating activities for the entire family to enjoy.

Designed to blend local agriculture, arts and crafts with cultural activities, AGRIFEST gives fairgoers the opportunity to learn more about products grown and manufactured in the Caribbean.

Hosted on the Fairgrounds at #1 Estate Lower Love, AGRIFEST is jointly sponsored by the VI Department of Agriculture, The University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service, and the VI Department of Tourism.  

For more information or to book your tickets

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