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Since 2016, Dale and Yvette Browne of Sejah Farm VI have organized a local food competition on St. Croix that focuses on bringing community awareness on local food availability in the territory. Bush Cook Chef Cook is where the island’s best and brightest chefs use their ingenuity to prepare unique dishes using locally grown crops and produce available to them. As an island with a 95% import rate, the ability to own, control and consume our food is how we ensure food sovereignty and security in the U.S Virgin Islands.

At 10am on Friday, October 21st, the three-day event kicks off with a free event featuring a host of family-friendly activities. Cooking workshops, elementary school cook-off, live music, farm tours and school supplies giveaway are a few of the activities to expect on Day 1. This day will also highlight ways to bridge the locally grown food gap between local farms and government assisted programs like SNAP & WIC. “We want the local food system to impact everyone,” said Yvette. “Oftentimes, families in these programs are unable to afford the best of the produce and crops available in the stores where they typically shop, and we want to change that for them.”

The main event takes place on Day 2. This all-day cooking challenge is where trained chefs and home cooks compete by preparing dishes using only locally grown ingredients and traditional cooking methods such as the coal pot, three stone setting or the pit oven. The cooking starts from 7am with food samples available from 1pm for attendees. Tickets are $40 for adults, $20 for children 6-12 years old and those under the age of 6 are free. Live music will be provided by DJs alongside the popular Cool Sessions Brass plus enjoy a spirited performance from Guardians of Culture Moko Jumbies. For the final day, attendees will experience an expertly prepared farm-totable dinner complete with five courses. The most formal event of the weekend, this dinner will be a collaboration prepared by the Bush Cook Chef Cook participants. Attendees are welcome to bring their own bottles of wine, spirits and beer to enhance their farm-totable dinner experience. Two dinner times available – 5pm and 8pm. Advanced reservations are required due to limited seat availability. Tickets are $70 for adults and $30 for children.

Bush Cook Chef Cook takes place from Friday, October 21st through Sunday, October 23rd at Sejah Farm located at 9B Estate Castle Burke in Frederiksted. Tickets are available online at Eventbrite or at Sejah Farm. For more information, visit their Facebook page at

Written by Anquanette Gaspard (