Visitors made the rounds to the dozen Anegada restaurants participating in this year’s Lobster Festival over the weekend, taking in sun, sand and live entertainment along the way. (Photo: DANA KAMPA)

Despite a bit of rain early in the weekend, visitors from across the Virgin Islands and beyond packed the bars and restaurants of Anegada for much of the island’s annual Lobster Festival.

“I think it went amazingly,” Tourism Director Clive McCoy said of the event, which got under way with preliminary events on Friday and continued through Sunday. “Saturday was not as we expected because of the weather, but on Sunday everyone seemed to show up.”

On the final day, patrons were greeted with live music at the ferry dock, and the tunes continued at many participating restaurants with performers including Karnage, Millennium King, DJ Ipod, The Awesome Jam Band, Ova Drive, Evolution Band and more.

Throughout the day, attendees danced at foam parties, watched towering moko jumbies, and filled their colour-changing reusable festival cups.

  • (Photo: DANA KAMPA)

Mr. McCoy said the festival was incident-free to his knowledge, and guests seemed to thoroughly enjoy the experience.

Family recipes

Bell Creque, chef at Cow Wreck Beach Bar and Grill, said she was glad to see the turn of weather and a high turnout for the final day. In addition to their regular menu offerings, the staff offered four bites on their featured lobster “sampler.”

Every participating restaurant created a special $10 dish for the festival, and Cow Wreck decided on stewed lobster, a fresh chilled lobster salad, a mini lobster fritter, and white rice.

“I change it every year,” Ms. Creque said.

She was particularly proud of the savoury stewed lobster, which she said is a recipe she learned from cooking with her mother.

To anyone planning on coming next year, she advised booking any necessary hotels or transportation early, walking with cash, and being prepared to enjoy a day of fun.

Patron Elena Alvarez said she greatly enjoyed the half lobster she ordered at the restaurant, as well as the sampler she got at Anegada Reef Hotel.

Just a taste

The various lobster dishes on offer during the weekend ranged widely. Anegada Reef Hotel served up crispy fried lobster bites in mango dip. The Big Bamboo Beach Bar & Restaurant showcased its lobster fritters, as did other restaurants. KG’s Cafe got creative with lobster pizza, Pink Flamingo Restaurant and Bar highlighted its jerk lobster sandwich, and The Wonky Dog Restaurant & Bar brought back its lobster ice cream.

Participating restaurants on Anegada each offered a special sampler dish for $10 during the Lobster Festival over the weekend. Options included curried lobster, stewed lobster, and even lobster ice cream. (Photo: DANA KAMPA)

Ana Magno said this was her second time coming to Lobster Fest, and she felt the turnout was much bigger than in 2020.

“Last time I was seeing more locals, and this year I’m seeing more tourists as well,” she said, adding that the sampler plates were a fantastic option to try various crustacean preparations.

‘It worked well’

Flash of Beauty Chef Monica Joseph said her native Trinidad and Tobago inspired her sampler this year.

“Curry is one of our specialities,” she said. “And usually we make fritters, but not with the lobster. But because we have it here, I incorporated it and it worked well.”

To balance out the lobster’s sweetness, she said, she seasoned the batter at every stage of the cooking process.

However, she added that there are a few secret touches that only the chef knows.

“I’ve been cooking for a long time, since I was about 8 years old,” she said. “I really love cooking, so I put everything in it. If you taste my food, you will see there’s no shortcut. I cook with love, just like how I cook for myself, and it’s what I bring to the restaurant.”

Next year

Organisers are already brainstorming for next year’s event, which is scheduled for Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.

Mr. McCoy said it may include a chef-judged competition for the samplers.

“We have to keep finding ways to freshen it up,” he said, adding, “It’s an amazing attraction in the BVI. You’re able to meet the people, get a feel for the culture of the destination, and have some Anegada lobster. You can’t beat that.”