The Virgin Islands is well on its way to achieving its goal of becoming a renowned culinary destination if last week’s Gourmet Soiree at Scrub Island Resort was any indication. From the minute mixologist Emerson Rawlins pulled out his blowtorch and made a pineapple ginger basil cocktail, to when a Beaconite tasted chef Kevin Jones’ jerk pork belly tacos, every detail was just right at the event, which is part of the annual BVI Food Fete. The impressive young chefs of the BVI Culinary Team speak well for the territory’s food future. At one point, one of the organisers expressed some scepticism early on about holding the event on a Thursday, because “nobody wants to go out then.” On the contrary, everyone the Beaconite spoke to agreed that it was great to have an excuse to be out of the office toward the end of a long week. The best detail, however, was the surprise change in location for dessert at the “secret” beach at the back of Scrub Island, where guests were even given free flip-flops. It was a thoughtful detail to a great night out. The Back in Road Town, Taste of Tortola on Saturday proved similarly successful, with attendees sampling fare ranging from chicken wings to VI-themed gourmet dishes at the Queen Elizabeth II Park.
A Beaconite covered Remembrance Day on Sunday, where veterans were honoured for their service in the past and present. Though the Virgin Islands doesn’t have an army of its own, many of the service men and women who were honoured served in the British forces, Canadian forces, and American forces. Though Veterans Day is celebrated in America, where the reporter is from, she never knew the full history behind the commemoration. She was pleased to learn about Armistice Day and the change in name to Remembrance Day. Armistice Day began the year after the World War I ended, and it honoured the time the Germans called for peace on Nov. 11, 1918. In 1919, a journalist proposed that Australia take two minutes of silence to honour the fallen on Nov. 11. The same day, a South African statesmen proposed a two-minute silence to the British Cabinet. King George V personally requested all people of the British Empire to suspend activities for two minutes on the hour of the armistice. It was popularly adopted and became a central feature for Armistice Day. After World War II, the name was changed to Remembrance Day to commemorate all who had fallen during war.
Feliz cumpleaños a mi
In celebration of his birthday, a Beaconite spent last weekend in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he had a wonderful time exploring the city and its environs. The Beaconite’s home base during the weekend was a hostel situated in the swanky Condado neighbourhood, and he found the establishment’s communal vibe to be warmly reminiscent of places he’s stayed in previous travels. Almost everyone staying at the hostel ventured to the crowded and bombastic Santurce neighborhood Friday evening, bouncing from one dance-floor to another. On Saturday, his only full day on the island, the Beaconite ventured into El Yunque National Forest, where he shimmied his way behind a pounding waterfall and zipped down a natural waterslide. He spent the majority of that night wandering through the different rooms comprising La Factoria, a bar in San Juan that is really four different bars with distinct personalities mashed into one. The Beaconite so enjoyed all that Puerto Rico had to offer, he didn’t even mind that the city’s water supply was cut off for much of his trip.