St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Just one week away, the countdown to the 3rd Annual Restaurant Week is nearing an end. This year, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority has included a number of new events dubbed “Restaurant Week Experiences” which are being held by sponsors. Kathleen Pessolano is a consultant to the Ministry of Tourism. She said that there were over 40 restaurants and eateries participating in Restaurant Week and the challenge now, was to get the public to dine out more than they usually would during that time.
“The number one that is the key goal of Restaurant Week is really to get much more accessible and inclusive especially for the local population to be able to dine out and for people to want to find this exciting and come out of the house, put down the pots and pans, stop enjoying the wonderful food from the weekend and dine out more than one time in a week. It’s really on us to make this exciting, some of the prices are still kinda out of my personal price range, but we’re really looking for ways to make it more accessible and so one of the ways this year is to create these restaurant week experiences which is a new thing this year and a lot of these are complimentary tastings.”
It is also hoped that small-scale food vendors would also get an increase in patronage. Ms. Pessolano said that Restaurant Week came out of a partnership between the St. Kitts Tourism Authority and the Agriculture Department. She added that the intention was to make it as inclusive as possible.
“A few years ago the Department of Agriculture and Tourism partnered together, the idea really came out of agriculture, to create an event here. They had heard about other restaurant weeks, but they wanted to really customize the idea to make it appropriate for St Kitts and Nevis and that really meant focusing on getting some of the smaller, off the beaten path, micro-enterprises like street vendors and snackettes that may not be on the radar screens of the visitors when they come internationally or even some of the local population. Getting to know some of the smaller local spots known to other residents, and especially to the visitor population that knows about the fine dining restaurants that are very heavily marketed and have their own means, but to get the smaller spots that people are looking to go to. They want to eat local when they travel.”
The Ministry of Tourism Consultant said that it was not exclusive to traditional restaurants, but makers other naturally made products were participating as well.
“Three vendors that don’t have a brick and mortar store, they are offering a special yam product for restaurant week as well and the information about how to order is on the website.”
Although dubbed Restaurant Week, the activities actually run for twelve days, that is, July 19-30. During this period, restaurants will offer special dinner and lunch time menus at reduced prices. The special ingredient this year is yam.