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Three Fall Food Festivals in Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos food festival

Conch shells on Grace Bay Beach. Image source: https://flic.kr/p/8q9RRW

These three fall food festivals on Provo, just in time for Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season 

Every fall the Turks and Caicos kicks off the winter travel season with a series of festivals that show off the culinary culture of this corner of the Caribbean.

There are three festivals over the course of one month in October and November. Two of them are perfect for families, while a third is one of the most glamorous and exciting culinary festivals in the Caribbean.

Lionfish Festival (October 29th)

Free to the public, on October 29th Providenciales will host its first annual lionfish festival and fishing derby. The point is to catch—and eat—as many lionfish as possible in an event sanctioned by REEF, a marine education foundation.

lionfishA lionfish. Image from Flickr.

“Although it is a beautiful animal, lionfish are not supposed to be in the wider Caribbean region,” says John Claydon, a senior manager with the Turks and Caicos Departments of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR).

According to Claydon, fishermen have been catching lionfish on a small scale for many years in the Turks and Caicos.However, while the lionfish has a reputation for being quite tasty, local fishermen do not typically target lionfish heavily because crawfish, conch, and other finfish are more profitable.

We hope that the festival results in many lionfish being caught (and eaten), which will give our reefs a helping hand and also raise awareness about this invasive species,” says John Claydon. “Above all we hope the events are fun and that many people from all walks of life come to take part.”

Free to the public, the Lionfish Derby will be held on October 29th from 2PM to 6PM at the Turtle Cove Marina. More details can be found here.

Caribbean Food & Wine Festival (November 3rd to 6th, 2016)

This three-day world-class event starting on November 3rd brings together celebrity chefs, cutting-edge cuisine and truly noteworthy wines and spirits, all right here on the island of Providenciales.

The Caribbean Food & Wine Festival is hosted at different resorts along Grace Bay Beach each year in early November, an ideal time of the year to visit Turks and Caicos.

“Partnering with some of the world’s best chefs and winemakers”

“The festival allows us to spotlight the remarkable culinary talent we have here in Turks and Caicos, and elevate the dining experience for visitors and guests by partnering with some of the world’s best chefs and winemakers for a truly unique experience year after year,” says Anthony Garland, a local expert on wines and co-chair of the event.

caribbean food and wine festival 2016

Image courtesy Caribbean Food and Wine Festival

The festival is an opportunity for anyone to enjoy amazing food hand-crafted by celebrity chefs as well as experience wines and spirits from all over the world.

The three-day festival features a number of events, from wine-tasting to sampling local street food and barbecue.

Packages are available, as well as admission for individual events. More details can be found here.

The Conch Festival: Kicking Off the Holiday Season (November 26th, 2016)

Next up is the Conch Festival on November 26th, and the message is, “Eat conch instead of Turkey for Thanksgiving in the Turks this year!”

Every November the Turks and Caicos kicks off the winter holiday season with the world’s only Conch Festival. The Turks & Caicos Islands celebrates Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s in traditional ways, but there are some holiday festivities that are unique to this corner of the Caribbean. The annual Conch Festival is one of them.

Now in it’s 13th year, the Conch Festival kicks off with a Calypso event on Friday November 25th, 2016. The next day, Saturday November 26th, is when the festival officially starts.

If you’re coming, show up hungry, because some of the finest restaurants of TCI will be competing in a “Conch-etition,” in which the categories are Best Conch Salad, Best Conch Chowder, Best Specialty Conch and Best in Show.

The Conch Festival is a full-day event and quite a party, marking the start of the winter holiday season on Providenciales.

On Saturday, November 27, the family-friendly Conch Festival will start at noon in Blue Hills. An entry fee of $25 enables a sampling of all the dishes and a vote for Best in Show.

Along with conch tasting there will be a host of conch-related and kids activities, a Mojito-making contest, local entertainment and the annual Pot of Gold drawing where Rotary Club of Providenciales gives away $10,000 to one lucky raffle ticket purchaser. A cameo appearance by Santa Claus is also highly likely.

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