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No fast food chains in VI good for culinary tourism- Sharon Flax-Brutus

Some of the fast food chains that exist worldwide. Photo: Internet Source
Director of Tourism Sharon Flax-Brutus said the fact that the Virgin Islands is void of fast food chains is good for culinary tourism. Photo: VINO
Director of Tourism Sharon Flax-Brutus said the fact that the Virgin Islands is void of fast food chains is good for culinary tourism. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Director of Tourism Sharon Flax-Brutus says with the dramatic rise in travelers from the major niche market of the US opting for unique food experiences, she is pleased that the territory is void of food chains and instead provides authentic locally produced foods.

Flax-Brutus was addressing the 3rd annual BVI Food Fete at Callwood Rum Distillery in Cane Garden Bay on Friday September 23, 2016.

According to the Director of Tourism, by combining travel with these edible experiences, culinary tourism offers both locals and guests alike an authentic taste of place. She quoted the 2016 Food Travel Monitor, which is a global study conducted by the World Food and Travel Association, indicating that ninety-five (95) percent of American travelers are interested in some kind of unique food experience when they travel, an increase from 47 percent in 2013.

“The reason we quote the US here is because it is our number one source market and it also represents about 50 percent of the travelers to the Caribbean that translates to about 14.1 million persons,” she noted.

“One travel agent, based in Florida, noted that people are looking for an authentic experience. They don’t want to go to another chain restaurant, they want to experience the local foods and culture that they find within the islands and of course, the BVI is the perfect destination for this experience. We do not have chain restaurants and we all know that I am extremely happy about that.”

The Director of Tourism pointed out that in the Virgin Islands there are many homegrown restaurants that offer excellent local cuisine and this is what the BVI Tourist Board wants to boast about and it is with this in mind that the BVI Food Fete was berthed and it continues to develop each year.

“We focus on keeping our month of activities unique so that we as a destination remain true to ourselves and stand out,” she remarked.

Calendar of events:

•    Barefoot Gourmet Soiree - October 30, featuring seven international and local chefs to prepare their signature dishes at food stations along the beach. The lineup includes Chef Christopher Faulkner, a New York City restaurateur with a heavy Caribbean influence. Reservations are encouraged for this event, as space is limited. 

•    Taste of Tortola - November 5, several top class restaurants are participating in this year’s Taste of Tortola, and participants will have a chance to not only sample food of the highest quality, but also experience other highlights such as a new demonstration kitchen, live music, and dancing. A judging panel will be on hand to officiate the annual Fish & Fungi Competition, a Mixologist Competition, and announce the coveted “Best Of” awards.

•    Peter Island Caribbean Food Festival - November 11-12, this event will bring together chefs from all over the Caribbean to celebrate Caribbean food and cooking techniques. Popular chefs including Nina Compton, Ron Duprat and more will gather for a weekend of elegant meals and fun competition.

•    The Jost Crawl - November 13, this tour features some of Jost Van Dyke’s most iconic bars, where visitors can pop in for a cocktail before heading to the next stop.

•    Taste of Virgin Gorda - November 19, will be held on the grounds of the Nail Bay Sugar Ruins, this event will mirror the Taste of Tortola and has attracted many of Virgin Gorda’s top restaurants. Secret judges will make their way around in search of the best food, best booth, best drink, and more. There will be jazz entertainment and those in attendance will each get to cast a vote for Virgin Gorda’s Favorite Restaurant.

•    On The Rocks Bar Crawl - November 19, this bar crawl around Virgin Gorda will bring participants from bar to bar, sampling some of the island’s best spirits.

•    The Lobster Crawl - November 25, this event serves as the perfect prequel to the famous Anegada Lobster Festival. On the night before the festival begins, participants can enjoy this bar crawl around Anegada, before sampling the island’s best lobster dishes the following days.

•    Anegada Lobster Festival - November 26-27, earning the reputation as the “BVI true lobster haven”, Anegada’s visitors will learn while they explore it’s many culinary variations during this two-day festival. Local chefs will prepare, cook and serve samples at a number of local restaurants. Attendees will restaurant hop around the picturesque island, trying lobster in a variety of preparations (grilled, curried, lobster salad, and more). It will officially close the BVI Food Fete for 2016.

62 Responses to “No fast food chains in VI good for culinary tourism- Sharon Flax-Brutus”

  • Nobody (27/09/2016, 16:03) Like (9) Dislike (16) Reply
    Good call
  • VG (27/09/2016, 16:05) Like (14) Dislike (16) Reply
    This one for sure she is right on!!!!
  • been to this world (27/09/2016, 16:08) Like (11) Dislike (20) Reply
    Americas fetish for fast foods is for the feeble minded. The US culture, if that is what it is, caters to morons.
    US president is and has been Ronald McDonald for years.
    • Grooseville-SS (27/09/2016, 17:26) Like (30) Dislike (5) Reply
      Is this why you morons get on the boat to St. Thomas to bring back our feeble minded American fast food back to the BVI? God help the people in Virgin Gorda. If they had a Burger King or Wendys here, thats much healthier than the pre-salt-brined slop they whip up out here.
    • !!!!!!!!@ (27/09/2016, 18:31) Like (15) Dislike (3) Reply
      @been to this world, you sound so damn stupid. Bet when you go down to the US, you be the number 1 person on line to order some of the same Ronald McDonalds.
    • Been under a rock (27/09/2016, 18:36) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
  • Jay (27/09/2016, 16:12) Like (29) Dislike (4) Reply
    Struuupeeess...chatting piss. Man cant get a little Subway, instead I have to trade my kidney for a little wrap at Dockmasters.
  • AIGHT (27/09/2016, 16:18) Like (43) Dislike (1) Reply
    but it is okay for the NDP investment club to bring margaritaville?
  • So? (27/09/2016, 16:26) Like (14) Dislike (5) Reply
    Is Margaritaville in, or Margaritaville out; or is it, you just looking ting to talk? Everybody seems to be trying to make themselves look relevant these days.
  • one eye (27/09/2016, 17:20) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    You wait until the ndp see them loosing the next election they will give thomas permission for his Kfc
  • Foody (27/09/2016, 18:08) Like (31) Dislike (4) Reply
    A nice cheesecake factory restaurant would be nice here. Good healthy food at decent price.
  • zoe (27/09/2016, 18:23) Like (10) Dislike (4) Reply
    I love my KFC
    • Enterprising (02/10/2016, 15:53) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
      The KFC recipe is supposedly on the Internet so that you can try it at home. That said.....I read an article sometime ago that in certain countries in the Middle East, who like Tola doesn't allow western fast food chains, their citizens got creative.

      They simply changed the name: Pizza Hut is Pizza Hat; KFC is Kabooky fried chicken and McDonald's is well Mash Donald's LOL
      • @enterprising (03/10/2016, 01:09) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        I have no problem with people having their own spin on something why not a place that sells they're own fried chicken rather than KFC. a burger place rather than McDonalds. When it comes down to it, if a tourist or resident alike would like some american comfort food a cheese burger is still a cheese burger. Why does it have to be from a chain that does not care about this country except for takinf our money? Why should the money go to a US corporation rather than kept locally?
  • wow (27/09/2016, 18:26) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    from flax to mars now brutus?
    • At wow (27/09/2016, 22:56) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
      You think you know so much. You forgot Rice!! Guess you are a babe and don't even know Elizabeth Taylor lol
    • Dinky (28/09/2016, 08:07) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      No you don't have it all right, its Flax to Rice, to Mars and now Brutus
  • Number 2 Foody (27/09/2016, 18:35) Like (17) Dislike (5) Reply
    Also a Chipotle restaurant. There food is healthy. Better than all the starch and grease they cook with here.
    • Wendy (01/10/2016, 10:06) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Except for an e coli outbreak now and then,here and there, it is a_ OK.
  • tom (27/09/2016, 18:45) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well if there were establishments starting at the pier where they can have a taste of local cuisine that would have been great instead we have businesses offering the pizza and soups they can get at any other destination in the world.....just saying
  • Michael (27/09/2016, 18:51) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    I think with catering to tourist sometimes it is good having restaurants that they are familiar with, after having several encounters with visitors it is very interesting to see the look on there faces when you have to inform them that there are no Mc Donalds or other fast food chains on the islands, I am not saying that we need to have every fast food chain out there but one or two would not be such a bad idea
  • What about us (27/09/2016, 20:03) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
    So she is concerned about what the tourists want and this and that. But what about what we the people of the B.V.I want? We want t have immediate access to these fast food outlets.
    • i'm just saying (28/09/2016, 10:16) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      I mean she is working for the tourist board i mean you should talk to your heads of state with respects to what the people of the BVI
  • SMH (27/09/2016, 20:36) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    They more concerned about the tourists who just barely pass through, share a can of coke between 2 people and ask how close everywhere is so they don't have to pay for taxi. But us who live here concerns don't matter to them! We can't want what we want. Sick a$$ place, sick a$$ government
  • 2 grand (27/09/2016, 21:01) Like (10) Dislike (7) Reply
    fast food =bad health & quick death do your research people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge
    digging your grave with your teeth. like or dislike ignorance is a bliss. organic is king
    • Online Now (28/09/2016, 08:51) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
      Your argument would only stand if there were healthy alternatives. In the place of well known fast food restaurants, we have grease filled unsanitary chicken buses and unhealthy restaurants.
    • Health (28/09/2016, 20:39) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      I agree BUT there is nowhere to get affordable health food in road town. I am so sick of all the crap on sale. Organic is a joke. You can't even find decwnt fruits and veggies in the supermarkets. Govt need to start producing organic affordbale veggies from the expensive green houses. And someone please open a place selling a wide range of affordable soups salads and wraps. Docmaster trying but too expensive for regular folk.
  • stranger (27/09/2016, 21:31) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    US fast food is steadily killing them and we want it so bad. Uncleaned deep fried chicken and all their health problems with our feeble health services. Eat it on vacation just like tourist eat our food when they come here.
    • Afu (28/09/2016, 07:35) Like (8) Dislike (5) Reply
      Talking about deep-fried unclean chicken, you forgot to include the American copycat in the Valley Virgin Gorda. You complain about American fried chicken, but it's a "far-cry" better than that outdated Frozen Bouquet brand chicken you buy from the wholesale. You natives need to use HORSE SENSE, and welcome Popeyes, Burger King, Wendy's with open arms. Just think of the hundreds of jobs there are for the marines in VG. Driving up and down in the Valley, VG. playing loud music, is not employment.
      • officer (28/09/2016, 08:39) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
        And you haven't reported them to environmental health??? Shame on you!!!
        • Afu (28/09/2016, 09:14) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
          You live here fool! You should be the one complaining to the health department. I live in St. Crouch.
      • lookwuk (28/09/2016, 13:32) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
        Afu, persons born in the Virgin Islands, primarily black citizens, are considered by some as 'natives.' I am a native, and Afu, I got far better than 'horse-sense.' You out of order with your insulting descriptive classification of our intelligence. No, Afu, we do not need no Popeyes, Burger King, Wendy's and the 'relse here in the BVI; that's only invitation to quick death. We thrived and flourised on fresh, natural foods before, so let us return to that than that fast-killing food you are advocating for. We know some 'non-natives' want to kill us faster than our ancestors ready to call us home so they could thief our land, but be careful, when you start your insulting piss in the country. When you mash corn, we say 'ouch' and turn around and 'kick.' Where it land, it stop.
        • Afu (30/09/2016, 17:48) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
          See what I'm talkin about- mr. lookwuk! You don't even have a clue. You don't even know whether I'm native or not. Nothing from nothing leaves nothing. The fast food burger king etc. may be death to you, but what's here is death also. I go to places in town there, I don't even see native foods like fry fish and Johnny cakes anymore. So what native food are you all talking about available anywhere in bvi.
        • Afu (02/10/2016, 09:11) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
          I am a born native here in bvi. 2-If you thrive on natural foods here, then how come everywhere I go here, I see US food being served here instead of native food which should be served here?. 3-you mentioned about so called NON-NATIVES thiefing your land, that's not theft. The truth is that y'all are DUMB ENOUGH to sell land dirt cheap and at a steal price, of course non -natives are gonna dig in. So you're the one that needs to be careful, and stop with your OWN PISS YOURSELF! Mr. "Lookwuk", you may have been all spark when you responded, but you HUNG YOURSELF this time from what you spoke

  • wise up (27/09/2016, 21:40) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    All we need is a choice to choose from who don't want that's fine there are people who have preferences,also talking about creating jobs this is the bang Kfc , subway,McDonald's,Burger King,Popeyes couple hundred jobs right there for u stupid locals
    • Exactly (28/09/2016, 07:51) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
      For real, they don't want fast food in the BVI talking about it is unhealthy, so if that is the case, why is so many people here overweight? What are they eating? Fast food business is a billion dollar business. That is why the BVI will always be dragging behind. They will never keep up. They don't want fast food but how they allow Chinese restaurants?
      • Yesssssss (28/09/2016, 10:25) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
        Chinese cook with MSG which is very bad. But see, Chinese people cook different at home. But it is ok to allow them to sell their greasy MSG laced food over a damn burger, fries and a coke or a kids happy meal.
  • yes (27/09/2016, 22:54) Like (5) Dislike (5) Reply
    When you want to treat yourself to some sinful fast food support the bvi economy and go to st Thomas on the ferry. The ferry companies and customs will thank you. We absolutely DO NOT need fast food restaurants in the bvi. We are unique and this is one of the ways that will continue to keep us unique. When the cruise passengers get on the ship in Florida, then sail to Puerto Rico, St Thomas, St. Martin, Antigua. That's five destinations with fast food. Next stop bvi and no fast food. What a healthy relief
  • Hmmm (28/09/2016, 04:58) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    I think the issue with franchises is more that they couldn't reliably get the raw ingredients delivered.

    Can you imagine KFC trying to get a regular supply of good quality chicken?

    It's raining, so no-one does any work at the port and all the chicken sits out in the heat and goes off.

    It's festival so no-one wants to do anything for 3 days...
  • in the kitchen (28/09/2016, 05:18) Like (16) Dislike (4) Reply
    Until the investment club ready to do it..NDP and investment club have this place sinking..investment club is all about greed and selfishness... What has investment club done that benefit us...Now they have we at Rite way suffering.. We need and support the new owners.. We need the change,..Seems like we have to wait for a new government, this one is only for one small group of people...

  • !!!!! (28/09/2016, 07:53) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    @Yes, unique? you mean unique in crime?
  • WTF (28/09/2016, 09:13) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    How much do we pay this woman? Jesus Christ man....
  • WTF (28/09/2016, 09:52) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    Flax should go to the West End or Road Town docks when the boats come from St. Thomas, and she will she practically everybody with a bucket of KFC. The stand that they have taken against a fast food franchise is plain simple and stupid. Every Caribbean island that I have visited that have fast food franchises, have no problem with show casing their local cuisines. The tourists want a local experience, residents want a choice. A franchise will put tax monies in government coffers, and jobs for locals. These people who are making these non-substantive decisions, need to take their heads out of their a****.
    • @wtf...Thank you! (28/09/2016, 12:57) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Thank you! It is stupid how they only think about these visitors. No hoots to us who live here. Life is about choices. Create jobs for the jobless for God's sake. Give them boys on the streets, even girls, lil jobs. Some can even do deliveries. Crime will decrease. Stealing for example because people will have jobs. It is hard. Locals are going to buy. NHI killing us faster than anything else around here, they worrying about fast good! The food is affordable. Some of us (atleast me) cannot afford local food nowadays. So why not! We cannot just think about our guests. Listen to the voice of the people first. C'mon man
  • True (28/09/2016, 10:57) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    @WTF, I'm not going to front, when I go to ST. Thomas, yeah I go to KFC, Subway, and Burger King. And I bring some home and put in the fridge because every now and again I like fast food. You know how many people from Tortola be up in the fast food joints in ST. getting their eats on? And on the ferry they be chowing down. Then they come on line talking against it.
  • Hhmm (28/09/2016, 11:10) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    What about Olive Garden?
    • Oh yeah (28/09/2016, 16:20) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      Oh yes Olive Garden, all types of soups, salads, pastas and bread sticks. Everytime I visit my mother in North Carolina we hit up Olive Garden and Red Lobster. Man they holding back Tortola.
    • Olive Garden (28/09/2016, 16:24) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      It is VERY unhealthy. First it's not real Italian food. And second its very high is sodium and fats. Not good stuff at all.
  • st. thomas (28/09/2016, 11:21) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
    Hey Ms. Flax, thanks for banning fast food in the BVI. When the people of your Country come down here to shop or what ever business they are doing, they spend lots of money on fast food down here. Very good for the fast food industry. Next time you are down here, stop in to KFC and try the extra crispy chicken, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw, biscuit and a large drink. Delicious.
  • Wonderful!!! (28/09/2016, 12:47) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    Good call! All that junk is not real food anyway. If you do research you will find Youtube vids of burgers and fries being left out for years and not decomposing. People come here for VI local food not soy burgers and steroid pumped up chicken. All that corporate stuff only "tastes" good because it was manufactured that way. But it is by no means "real food".
  • suggestion (28/09/2016, 13:48) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    They can come but government need to have rules in place to control them. Don't let what happened in Jamaica happen here. When farmers start getting loans to increase their farms only to have the fast food companies bringing all their stuff...They can operate here but they have to shop here. Support One Mart, Supa Valu. Rtw. PPP. Bolos. That how it will work and benefit us. We will have choices. And improved service and quality from all
  • crucian (28/09/2016, 16:02) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thank you for sharing this event. Im certainly circulating to all my family and friends who live abroad. #NaturesLittlleSecretToTheWorld!
  • yes (28/09/2016, 16:32) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Bring a few fast food franchises. This will bring up the quality of the other restaurants. People like to eat at affordable, good tasting restaurants, not expensive places with barely any options.
  • Mr. Ut. (28/09/2016, 19:21) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Thanks miss Sharon Flax-Brute!. You just robbed willing natives here seeking jobs or some sort of small income the need in order to survive. Your actions bring shame on the BVI, which is supposedly known to one and all as paradise. Just recently, these fast food chains have healthy menus that accomodate the appetites of the health conscious natives as well as the tourists.
  • B Savage (29/09/2016, 09:33) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
  • morning (29/09/2016, 10:43) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Why would one want fast food that would kill you faster? Go and grow your own food.
  • right (29/09/2016, 12:20) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    The biggest health threat isn't fast food it's Peebles Hospital
  • Me (29/09/2016, 15:58) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Fast food is for fat losers .
  • Wendy (01/10/2016, 10:52) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Even without fast food, from observation,the average person in theBVi is a walking add for a slab in the mortuary.
    Read their comments and blogs,theyare depressed,clueless uninformed,lazy,hateful,ungrateful,dissatisfied government dependent and irresponsible.
    No surprise that this article brings out the suicidal and no class segment in full force.

    A mellanated society void of Amerikkka's nonfood toxic addictive fast killer products,coupled with minimum crime,, mellanated business and property owners,millionaires and financial success,is no doubt,a harrowing uncomfortable rude awakening for
    some tourists during their few hours visit,including some expats who made a decision to live here and attempt to revise and impose their known to impale and degrade ideas of what we should be.
    They will survive, but more importantly,the success and the survival of the VI depends on who we are just the way we are.
    Blessings on the (B)VI.
  • ddb (03/10/2016, 10:11) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    I agree. Keep them out!
  • ann (04/10/2016, 08:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    That's why people travel to St. Thomas, freedom of choice. This place is too socialist.

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