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ST CROIX — Bush Cook Chef Cook is back for its sixth installment on St. Croix! This local food competition, spearheaded by Dale and Yvette Browne of Sejah Farm VI, focuses on bringing community awareness on local food availability in the U.S. Virgin Islands. This is where the island’s best and brightest chefs use their creativity to prepare dishes using locally grown crops and produce available to them. Many are surprised to learn that St. Croix’s import rate sits around 95%! Dale reveals that this number is probably closer to 99%. “Who’s really counting at this point?” he questions. “What we want to focus on is getting that number as close to zero as possible.” To ensure food sovereignty and security in the U.S. Virgin Islands, we must learn how to own, control, and consume our food as a community.

The three-day event kicks off with a free event on Friday, October 20th at 9am. Enjoy several family-friendly activities, as well as cooking workshops, elementary school cook-off, live music, and school supplies giveaway. Day 1 highlights different ways to bridge the locally grown food gap between government assisted nutrition programs and local farms. Yvette shared their desire to see the local food system’s impact on everyone. “It’s no surprise that families in these government assistance programs are unable to afford the best of the produce and crops available in the stores where they typically shop,” shared Yvette. Sejah Farm VI and other farmers in the community are passionate about changing this for these families.

Day 2 — the main event — is the all-day cooking challenge where trained chefs and home cooks compete. They prepare dishes using only locally grown ingredients and traditional cooking methods such as the coal pot, the three stone setting, or the pit oven. The cooking begins from 7am; food samples are available from 1pm for attendees. Tickets are $50 for adults and $25 for children 6-12 years old, and those under the age of 6 are free. Live music will be provided by DJs alongside a live performance from Ronnie Benjamin of the world famous Midnite Band. Day 3 is the final day of food and fun, with a five-course farm-to-table dinner and coordinating cocktails prepared collaboratively with participating chefs from the weekend festivities. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own bottles of wine, spirits, and beer to elevate their farm dinner experience. Dinner starts at 5pm; advanced reservations are required due to limited seating availability. Tickets are $75 per person.

Bush Cook Chef Cook takes place from Friday, October 20th through Sunday, October 22nd on the 15-acre grounds of Sejah Farm located at 9P Estate Castle Burke in Frederiksted. Tickets are available online at For more information, visit their Facebook page at

Written by Anquanette Gaspard