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Winemakers and Chefs

The Historic Sugar Mill Ruins at Nail Bay Resort were the romantic scenery for a reception held last Friday to welcome seven high profile Winemakers from Germany and Italy, along with 12 Top Chefs from the United States and Germany.

More than 250 guests from Tortola, Virgin Gorda, the US Virgin Islands and the United States attended the opening night for a one of kind Fundraising event to benefit BVI Charitable Funds, co-chaired by Ajit M. George, Managing Director of Nail Bay Resort and Premier Hon. R.T. O'Neal.

The World of German wines was represented by Gerhard Grans from the Vineyard Grans-Fassian; Philipp & Lothar Kettern (a father & son team) of the Vineyard Kettern, Oliver Haag of Vineyard Fritz Haag, Thomas Haag of Vineyard Schloss Lieser, Bernd Kirsten of Vineyard Kirsten and Theo Haart of the Vineyard Reinhold Haart. This Winemaker was named "Vineyard of the Year 2006 for Germany". All six Vineyards are located near the River Mosel, where some of the finest German wines are coming from. Bernd Kirsten is the brother of Gabi Romberg-Kirsten, the BVI's very well-known representative for Germany, Switzerland and Austria. New Zealand-born Geofrey Chilcot represented the well-respected Italian Winemaker Alberto di Gresy of Tenute.

In his welcome speech Ajit George said, he had invited seven Winemakers in the hope that two or three would accept. Here are all seven! He further said it was his dream to bring some Master Chefs from around the World to the BVI and he invited twelve, hoping to bring three or four here. Little did he know that all of them willingly gave up their time and even had to take vacation to volunteer and showcase their talents.

These Chefs include Italian-born Roberto Donna of Galileo in Washington, DC. Roberto is the recipient of the prestigious James Beard Award - comparable with the Oscar in the Movie World. Chef Thomas Hannum along with Pastry Chef Michele Mitchell are both from the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington, Delaware; Chef Clif Holt from Little Savannah Restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama; Chef Alain Ivaldi from Lycee Hotelier, Marseilles, France; Chef Bruce Moffett of Barrington's Restaurant, Charlotte, North Carolina; Chef Mark Salter from The Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels, Maryland; Chef Stephen Stryjewski from the Cochon Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana. From the School of Culinary Arts, Kendall College in Chicago, Illinois came Chefs Paul Tinaglia and Christopher Koetke. Chef Hubert Scheid came from the Castle Restaurant in Schloss Monaise in Trier Germany. Chef Hubert is a Michelin Star Chef. The famous red-covered Hotel & Restaurant guide, first published by Andre Michelin in 1900, is updated annually and lists all Gourmet Restaurants and Fine Lodging in Europe, who were worthy to receive star ratings. This book is a must in every Gourmet's car. (While in Germany we never left home without it). In addition Chef Hubert has also been awarded 15 points in GAULT MILLAU, a German travel guide for Gourmets. The highest awarded Chef in Germany is only 4,5 points ahead of him.

This team of exquisite Chefs is lead by Executive Chef for the BVI event Vikram Garg from American Karma in San Francisco. Chef Vikram is no stranger to the BVi as he worked at Little Dix Bay Hotel for about two years from 2000.

During their two weeks stay in the BVI they will prepare eight 7-course dinners in various locations on Tortola and Virgin Gorda.

Premier Hon. R.T. O'Neal warmly welcomed the guests and expressed his gratitude to them and Mr. George for showing such an overwhelming support to the BVI Charity Fund. Edris O'Neal thanked every one on behalf of the BVI Red Cross.


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