AFTER PARTY PRESS RELEASEThursday 10th December 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Food & Drink Industry Party 2009
Review written by: Brenda Lee Browne, Communications Specialist
The highly anticipated party of the season – the Food & Drink 2009 Industry Party was held at Sugar Ridge Hotel, the newest boutique hotel and spa to open in Antigua. Officially 750 invited and paying guests – the crowd felt like more like a thousand – rubbed shoulders with politicians, business people, restaurateurs, media types, fashionistas, musicians, models, tourists, future culinary stars and international artists.
On arrival one was greeted by a long line of cars – a good sign and the arrival of the shuttle gave a hint that something special was happening. The reception area was a buzz with people – nobody seemed too concerned about the activities on stage, as they mingled and drank specially concocted cocktails – admit that my favourite was the ‘Cointreaupolitan’ by Best Cellars – it was probably the fact that the drink was served in a mini pink cocktail shaker that tipped it over the edge.
The evening’s events centred around, the bars – the Canapés – the Caribbean BBQ Cook-off sponsored by the US Meat Export Federation – plus a Fashion Show and Body Art Performance by 6 Degress Below Zero, and a demonstration by the very entertaining Rhyming Chef from Toronto, Canada, but of Barbudan heritage. All of this being shown on a pair of giant screens. The sheer number of persons and the lighting made it easier to watch the screens unless you were standing near the pool area, which allowed you to get up close and personal with the models. The models preened and smiled whilst wearing the most staggering heels.
Virgin Atlantic’s Club House Booth offered massages and manicures as well as samples of Cowshed’s Daily Moisturiser and Natural Lip Balm, plus a lucky guest won premiere economy tickets to London.
The sponsors really made sure that the patrons had enough samples of their wares. One of the major sponsors on the night were A.S. Bryden & Sons (Antigua) Ltd. who represented the likes of Carib Beer, Baileys Irish Cream, Smirnoff Vodka, Johnny Walker Whiskey, Ceres natural fruit juices, Nescafe coffee, Lipton teas, San Benedetto Water and Cavendish frozen produce. The ingredients for the event canapés were provided by Island Provision Ltd. Quin Farara’s rum bar featured some of the best Caribbean rum labels including Appleton, Bacardi & Angostura. Their bistro style wine bar was almost drank dry by the guests.
There were prizes - auctions and a V.I.P. guest goody bag loaded with gifts from cup holders to magazines, jewellery and towels just a name a few. Guests claimed a slice cake from Caribbean Alliance Insurance’s mammoth carnival cake which was made by the staff of Blue Waters Hotel.
It was also an opportunity to network and try out new dishes courtesy of the chefs, in their formula one style jackets supplied by Chefs World, from some of the finest hotels and restaurants across the twin island state, assisted by students from the Antigua & Barbuda Hospitality Institute. One tiny problem though, no cutlery! Not too hard to negotiate unless you tried to eat the salsa or the sensational pickled vegetables – a blend of local vegetable – thinly sliced – delicious on their own.
Some of the action got lost during some pretty heavy downpours; however, the rain did not deter the party goers. In fact a few had their own ‘Flash Dance’ moment and boogied in the downpour to Rico Anthony and his band “Fourplay”. Rico’s new single “Get Rated”, was launched at the party.
Sister Sledge’s appearance was almost ruined by some technical dificulties with the sound – yet, being the professionals that they are – they allowed for some quick fixing and got on with the business of entertaining with their popular hits “We are Family” and “Greatest Dancer”. Their singing and dancing got the audience moving, then lady mixologist DJ Misbehaviour took over – playing tunes from back in the day.
It is obvious that the Food & Drink Industry Party has grown beyond even the organiser’s expectations – not only in number of attendees but also expectations – its’ going to take some serious organising, perhaps with a dedicated event team to give the public what they want – a fabulous evening with great food and drink – just like the publication.
Click here for all News and Specials for Food and Drink Guide