by Brian Major
Last updated: 12:33 PM ET, Tue January 25, 2022
Several of Anguilla's luxury resorts and gourmet restaurants are partnering to host the Anguilla Culinary Experience (ACE), an island-wide epicurean festival scheduled for May 11 through May 15, 2022.
The five-day event will feature chef demonstrations, deluxe beach barbecues culinary competitions and an exclusive afternoon soirée, all focused on Anguilla's fresh farm- and sea-to-table ingredients.
The Anguilla Culinary Experience is intended for "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 Wendy Freeman, owner of Villa Alegria and ACE co-chair.
"Anguilla is already considered the culinary capital of the Caribbean," said Freeman. "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 spotlight talented Anguillan chefs and the destination's award-winning restaurants, including Ember, Veya, Tasty's, Celeste, Pimms and Salt and Stone. Several ACE events will be held at the island's luxury resort properties, including the Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club, Cap Juluca, the Four Seasons Anguilla, Malliouhana, Tranquility Beach Anguilla, Zemi Beach House, LXR Hotels & Resorts and the ÀNI Anguilla and Villa Alegria luxury villas.
The festival will feature three signature events: an opening night Ultimate Barefoot Luxury Party sponsored by Tradewind Aviation at Cap Juluca, an afternoon Rosé Soirée party at Malliouhana and a Meads Bay beach barbeque where local grill-masters will serve craft fresh grilled seafood and ribs. Members of Anguilla's competitive culinary team will also engage in a "mystery basket" competition during the beachfront event.
Meanwhile, local and guest chefs at Ember, Veya, Tasty's, Celeste, Pimms and Salt and Stone will also prepare inventive prix fixe menus with wine pairings as part of the festival's Restaurant Night On May 13.
Festival guests may select ACE- or VIP-level ticket packages; both include entrance to the three signature events and full or partial credit towards a prix fixe meal at one of the participating Restaurant Night eateries.
A portion of ACE proceeds will fund the Anguilla National Culinary Team and other local hospitality training programs, and students will have opportunities to learn from experienced chefs during the festival. Packages are available for online purchase at an early bird rate of $425 for ACE-level tickets and $1,150 for the VIP option. Package prices increase to $450 and $1,250 respectively after March 1.
The VIP package provides exclusive access to VIP-only events including an after-hours rum tasting at Zemi Beach House's Rhum Room and an intimate, five-course dinner with wine and live music at one of Anguilla's private luxury villas or specialty resort venues.
VIP dinners will be held on May 12 and are limited to 20 guests at each venue. Diners will be invited to interact with chefs while savoring inspired cuisine. "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 will excite not only their palates but all their other senses as well as they discover our unique island attractions and experiences," Liburd said. "We look forward to sharing our rich cultural traditions and heritage through these specially curated tours."
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