A wealth of food festivals bring revelry to islands across the Caribbean each fall. These are the gastronomic events worth traveling for.
Caribbean Food and Wine Festival, Turks and Caicos
Bringing food lovers to the low-lying coral Turks and Caicos Islands is the annual Caribbean Food and Wine Festival (October 11th to 16th, 2023), which hosts everything from tastings to culinary demonstrations in a weekend of food and wine. This year’s festival showcasing the traditions and flavors of the Caribbean will include events such as the open-air TCI Food Festival hosted by the culinary ambassador of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Nikita Skippings, and a culinary trends symposium moderated by James Beard award-winning chef Meherwan Irani.
The Bahamas Culinary & Arts Festival
A three-day event taking over the island of New Providence’s Baha Mar resort complex, The Bahamas Culinary & Arts Festival (October 27th to 29th, 2023) pairs a series of demonstrations, tastings and gastronomic dining experiences hosted by a series of top chefs with parties, performances and an introduction to Bahamian art. This year, as it returns for its second edition, highlights are to include the Welcome Beach Party featuring a performance by Sting, a two-day Bahamas Culinary & Arts Expo promising to showcase the best of the Bahamas, and the premiere showcase of Caribbean-inspired art, FUZE, with artwork from seven different Caribbean nations.
Barbados Food & Rum Festival
Local and international chefs and mixologists come together at this five-day event celebrating the island’s culinary heritage and rum culture based on the nation’s claim as culinary capital of the Caribbean and the birthplace of rum. This year, the Barbados Food & Rum Festival (October 19th to 22nd, 2023) will include gastronomic events and activities such as the Chefs Classics cooking demos led by world-renowned culinary talent, the Rum Route tour between distilleries and the Bajan Fair offering entertainment and an introduction to local products.
Anegada Lobster Festival, BVI
Each November, visitors to the British Virgin Islands have the opportunity to be a part of the archipelago’s northernmost island’s celebration of seafood, Anegada Lobster Festival (November 24th to 26th, 2023). This remote island known for its long white-sand beaches, flamingos and 18-mile-long Horseshoe coral reef system is also celebrated for fresh fish and lobster. The annual three-day lobster festival gives visitors the chance to try the island’s famous shellfish prepared by a number of local vendors, with music and revelry adding to the occasion.
Jamaica Food and Drink Festival
Across four days, Jamaica Food and Drink Festival (November 2nd to 5th, 2023) satisfies food lovers’ appetite for Caribbean flavors with a series of food and drink events featuring the island’s best chefs along with wine and spirits experts. The 2023 line-up includes both the Pork Palooza and Picante: Spice + Flavors Combine at Hope Gardens, Meet Street + The Market bringing together a number of food trucks and artisans at Port Royal and a Sunday Brunch in the Hills. More than 40 chefs will be a part of the culinary showcase.
Caribbean Rum Awards – Saint Barth Rum Festival
The Caribbean Rum Awards – Saint Barth Rum Festival (October 31st to November 4th, 2023) will return for its sixth year this fall with a series of rum-focused events across the island. This year, join the VIP Rhum Party at Le Barthelemy Hotel and, after the Rum Judging event, be a part of a rum pairing dinner at the hotel’s restaurant Amis St. Barth. Spend the subsequent days making the most of tastings, dinners and celebrations across venues including Rosewood Le Guanahani St Barth. The festival culminates with a bartending competition and Rum Expo.