THE SPICE IS NICE: Grenada earns ‘culinary capital’ chops
Grenada has been named world’s first “Culinary Capital” by The World Food Travel Association, recognizing the Caribbean destination’s unique culinary and cultural attributes, including its status as “the spice isle.” The regenerative tourism program has been devised by the WFTA to put the spotlight on culinary cultures around the world as the tourism industry begins to recover after its long hiatus.
Acting CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) Kirl Grant-Hoschtialek says the Culinary Capital destination accreditation is a “huge achievement” for Grenada.
“We are known around the world as the Spice of the Caribbean, so it is fitting that we are the first Caribbean island to earn this designation,” he says. “This will undoubtedly attract discerning travellers who want to explore the link between food and culture, and who want to ensure that every dish they have on their vacation tastes amazing!”
The WFTA says the integration of spices into Grenada’s cuisine has resulted in an “overall robust and flavourful national food profile,” and adds, “from fine dining to casual beachside restaurants and even street food, it is undeniable that Grenadians have a taste and flair for delicious food. The islands are perfectly positioned as a Culinary Capital, with their many distinctive culinary assets to showcase.”
Examples include the cultural festival tradition of saraka, and culinary staples like chocolate, nutmeg ice cream, handcrafted rums, and of course, the ubiquitous national dish dubbed “oil down” – a stew of breadfruit, salted meat, chicken, dumplings, callaloo, and other vegetables, all stewed in coconut milk, herbs, and spices and served as a tasty one-pot meal.
WFTA also noted the many uses of the spices on the island – both in food and for medicinal and wellness purposes.
With its unique culinary culture now “official,” the GTA is set to market the destination to “foodie travellers” and further develop the island’s food tourism offerings in an attempt to put Grenada on the map for consumers who travel for unique and memorable food and beverage experiences.
Erik Wolf, executive director of the World Food Travel Association, the world’s leading authority on food and beverage tourism, says, “Smaller destinations like Grenada need every competitive advantage, and that is what Culinary Capitals provides. Savvy food-loving travellers are adding destinations like Grenada to their bucket lists right now, eagerly waiting for when they can travel again.”
The Culinary Capitals program accredits eligible destinations through a rigorous application process. The program is about much more than just earning recognition. Successful destinations also receive marketing and strategy support for the coming year as leverage their new moniker for marketing purpose. And for food- and beverage-loving travellers, Culinary Capitals designation gives them new choices with under-visited destinations, which, according to the WFTA, is exactly what travellers now seek post-pandemic.
Grenada, along with sister islands Carriacou and Petite Martinique, comprises one destination located in the southern Caribbean near Barbados. Beyond its culinary fare, the islands boast 50 white sand beaches, 15 waterfalls, countless hiking trails, and 60 dive sites including the largest shipwreck in the Caribbean and the world’s first Underwater Sculpture Park.
• Royalton Grenada Resort and Spa (opening October) is Royalton Luxury Resorts’ newest all-inclusive property with 269 rooms. Located on two white-sand beaches in Tamarind Bay, the resort offers relaxing ocean views and a host of water sports.
• Spice Island Beach Resort (reopening October) is a luxury, AAA Five Diamond all-inclusive resort located on Grand Anse Beach offering beachfront gourmet dining, romantic getaways, luxury spa and more.
• Six Senses at La Sagesse (opening 2022) will mark the brand’s debut resort in the Caribbean. Spread over 15 hectares over the natural topography of the land affording space, privacy and uninterrupted views over the turquoise sea. The resort will offer 56 guestrooms, seven one-bedroom villas and five two-bedroom villas.
• Kimpton Kawana Bay Grenada Resort (opening 2022) will be a 146-room hillside retreat, tucked away between tropical rainforest cliffs and the world-renowned Grand Anse Beach. Amenities include private pools overlooking Grand Anse Beach, chef-driven restaurant, lounge and beach bars, fitness center, spa and water sports facilities.
• Levera Nature and Beach Resort (opening 2022) is set on 125 hectares of Grenada’s pristine northeast coast with airport accessibility and offering sweeping views of the Eastern Caribbean Sea and southern Grenadine Islands. The resort complex will feature boutique hotels, hotel cottages, private homes sites, villas, and access to two private islands for secluded, intimate getaways.
Air Canada will restart mainline service to Grenada on Nov. 3 with direct weekly flights from Toronto Pearson on Wednesdays and Sundays.
All persons (over 12) entering Grenada either by air or sea must be fully vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccination and present a negative PCR test result, taken within three days of arrival. A ‘Pure Safe Travel Authorization Certificate’ is needed by each traveller, including children, arriving in Grenada. Fully vaccinated travellers are only required to quarantine until clearance is received from health officials within 48 hours, pending a negative PCR test on entry.
First published at Travel Industry Today