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Grace Bay Club Curates Sold Out Event Featuring Stars of the Culinary World
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos (November 18, 2011) – World-renowned Grace Bay Club, the first luxury all-suite resort in Turks and Caicos, hosted the First Annual Caribbean Food &Wine Festival on November 4-5, 2011 in Providenciales. The island’s leading culinary event, formerly known as ‘Gourmet Safari,’ expanded into a weekend-long celebration of Caribbean cuisine and culture, and launched as a tremendous success for locals and visitors alike. The sold out event brought together the best and brightest in the hospitality and culinary industries, and Grace Bay Club recently announced it will expand the weekend into a three-day event in 2012.
“We are thrilled with the turnout and feedback from the First Annual Caribbean Food & Wine Festival, and feel strongly that because of the collaborative effort throughout, we set the benchmark for future food and wine festivals in the Caribbean,” says Nikheel Advani, COO of Grace Bay Resorts and Co-Chair, Caribbean Food & Wine Festival. “By far, this was the most impressive and exciting array of talent and resources that Turks & Caicos has ever offered, and we would like to thank everyone who had a hand in this year’s event, from the Chefs to the Winemakers to the Lit’l Chefs. We greatly look forward to expanding on the experience and the festival in 2012 when we welcome back past participants and new talents.”
Weekend festivities commenced with cocktails from the esteemed Infiniti Bar at Grace Bay Club and a book signing with Divya Gugnani, CEO and Founder of Behind the Burner, a culinary media brand focusing on tips, tricks and techniques for everything related to food, wine and mixology. 
Following the reception, guests enjoyed a five-course welcome dinner,prepared by Guest Chef Beau MacMillan, the Iron Chef winner who proudly defeated celebrity chef Bobby Flay for the title, complete with wine pairings from Duck Pond Cellars. Guests dined on Grilled Hamachi with Yuzu Kochu, Avocado, Citrus; Seared Diver Scallop with Fragrant Black Beans, Creamed Corn, Thai Lobster Curry; Foie Gras Crème Brulee with Black Truffle Meringue, Spiced Korean Pear, Szechuan Pepper Caramel; Miso Glazed Sea Bass with Forbidden Rice, Shitake Snap Pea Salad, Coconut Sake Foam; and Salted Caramel Panna Cotta, Candy Corn, Toasted Peanut, Vanilla Bourbon Cream for dessert. A cigar and rum tasting followed, where guests sampled 15 house-infused rums created by the Grace Bay Club culinary team.
On Saturday, guests participated in a four-course Tasting Seminar at The Veranda Resort & Residences.  The seminar featured a selection of the island’s best chocolates, cheeses, seafood and meats accompanied by fine wines in 45-minute sessions. Of the tastings, a few highlights included Serrano Ham paired with the 75 Wine Company’s North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon, Brie Blue Cheese with Far Niente Chardonnay and Ocean Water Poached Lobster paired with Duck Pond, Columbia Valley Chardonnay.
The Fifth Annual Gourmet Safari took place on Saturday evening. The event commenced with welcome drinks hosted by Krave at The Estate at Grace Bay Club.  Guests then proceeded to Coyaba restaurant to enjoy appetizers, a duet of Ahi Tuna, created by Chefs Paul Newman and Martin Davies, who recently won the acclaimed Iron Chef title in Toronto. Following, guests indulged in Wild Atlantic Halibut served with Spiced Pumpkin, Mango and Chorizo Emulsion at Seven restaurant at Seven Stars.  Diners were then escorted to Parallel 23 at The Regent Palms for a tropically-inspired meat course – New Zealand Lamb Cannon served Oven Roasted with an Herb Crust, Braised Shoulder Ravioli Provencal Style.  The Gourmet Safari closed with Molten Chocolate Cake and cigars at The Gansevoort’s Bagatelle restaurant.
Throughout the weekend, Grace Bay Club showcased the best in wine from around the world, featuring carefully curated pairings from renowned wine experts and sommeliers.  This year, the Caribbean Food & Wine Festival welcomed Tuck Beckstoffer of Napa Valley, the owners of Duck Pond and Desert Winds wineries – operated by the Fries and Jenkins families – and Geoff Kruth from The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant in Forestville, California. 
To further develop young talent in Turks & Caicos, the Festival partnered with the Department of Youth Affairs to create the Lit’l Chefs mentor program. The partnership was a terrific addition to the event in supporting local young chefs and encouraging young people to pursue careers in hospitality, a vital industry in Turks & Caicos Islands.
Sponsors of the weekend included: The Wine Cellar; Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association; Melbourne Studios; Kenny Caughlin, KBC Productions – Power 92, KISS FM; Miller Simons O’Sullivan; IGA Wholesale; Nancy Krampe – All Ohio; Royal Jewels; Donna Davies, TY Eye TV; Steve Passmore, Provo Pictures.
About Grace Bay Club
Perched on 11 acres of immaculate beachfront, the world renowned Grace Bay Club was the first luxury all-suite resort in Turks and Caicos, offering guests a haven for uninterrupted relaxation.  The resort, divided into three separate sections for discerning travelers of all tastes includes: the adults-only Hotel area with private restaurant, bar, and swimming pool, the family-friendly Villas with their own restaurant, bar, and pool, in addition to the uber-luxe Estate, with a complete set of exclusive amenities.
About Grace Bay Resorts
Grace Bay Resorts is a boutique developer and operator of high-end, luxury resorts and branded residences, founded from its flagship property Grace Bay Club in Turks and Caicos which opened in 1993. Led by Mark Durliat and Nikheel Advani, the developers and hoteliers behind this renowned resort, and Michael Brewster, Managing Partner of Denver-based SV Capital Partners, Grace Bay Resorts provides development, branding and management for its brand and is expanding its award-winning services into other Caribbean destinations and Latin America, with a target of 10 properties in the next few years.
Media Contacts:
Katie Fontana / Courtney Marzahn
Susan Magrino Agency
[email protected] / [email protected]
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