The City of Hamilton’s Taste of Bermuda culinary experience attracted thousands of attendees this past weekend, leaving taste buds tingling and stomachs satisfied.
A spokesperson said, “The three-day event brought throngs of foodies into Hamilton for the biggest food-centric event in Bermuda and one of the most anticipated events of the year.”
The City’s Director of Marketing and Communications Jessica Astwood said, “We couldn’t have asked for a better turnout at Taste of Bermuda this year, despite the less-than-ideal weather conditions on Sunday which prompted a change of venue from Front Street to Victoria Park.
“Tickets sold out almost immediately for Set the Bar: Cocktail Competition as well as Front Street Formal: Live Dining Experience – which we feel is a testament to the confidence the public has in this event being an unmissable experience! To all of the participants, the emcees, our sponsors, and of course to all those who came out and enjoyed Taste of Bermuda, I hope we satisfied your tastebuds and delivered an event you’ll not soon forget.”
The spokesperson said, “On Friday evening, the City teamed up with Bacardi at the newly renovated Pier 6 to present Set the Bar: Cocktail Competition, Bermuda’s premier cocktail competition. A selection of craft cocktails were curated by Bermuda’s most elite bartenders for sampling and the Mash-tini Bar proved to be a huge hit among attendees who enjoyed musical offerings by DJ Chubb and unrivalled views of Hamilton Harbour for a quintessential Friday sunset happy hour in the City.
“Five local bartenders – Brianna Bodden-Trott [Huckleberry], Keirston Samuels [Intrepid], Ryan Gibbons [Bacardi], Janico Burrows [Greenhouse] and Kierra Lee [Astwood Arms] – all brought their A-game to the table and wowed a packed house of more than 300 assembled guests with their impressive skills.
“Kierra Lee from Astwood Arms was the winner of the People’s Choice Award by more than 30 votes as well as the overall competition champion with her cocktail ‘Papas Dream’. Double-winner Kierra was one of two female bartenders who entered the competition this year [the other being Brianna Bodden-Trott who placed second in the competition] – marking the first time that the prestigious contest has featured a female competitor in its 10-year history.
“A full list of prizes and recipients are as follows:
- 1st Place – $1000, Bacardi product and a Golden Shaker Trophy: Kierra Lee [Astwood Arms]
- 2nd Place – $500, Bacardi product: Brianna Bodden-Trott [Huckleberry]
- 3rd Place – $250, Bacardi product: Janico Burrows [Greenhouse]
- People’s Choice Award – $200 Gift Certificate, Chef Shop: Kierra Lee [Astwood Arms]
“Participants and their cocktails were judged on visual appeal, balance of flavours and taste, creativity/originality, inventive use of ingredients, knowledge and accuracy of the recipe, and time of production.
Live Dining Experience
“Judges were George Hayward [Bartrain Bermuda at Bermuda College], Brenda Faiella [Global VP of Strategic Insights and Analytics, Bacardi] and Dennie O’ Connor [Owner White Horse / Snorkel Park]. DJ Chubb and hosts Laurel Burns and Vernon Pemberton kept energy levels high throughout the evening.
“On Saturday night, Front Street Formal: Live Dining Experience proved a huge success when Front Street was shut down in style to assemble Bermuda’s longest dinner table. Attendees dressed all in white and indulged in a 3-course plated meal with wine pairings and enjoyed live local entertainment showcases and the hosting talents of Powergirl, Patrina O’Connor.
“The fun-filled evening included welcome cocktails and canapes, champagne aerialists, custom photo activations, body art stations, personalized illustrations by Carlos Santana, a cigar bar and a dessert parade. Attendees closed out the evening with a nightcap and dancing in the centre of Hamilton’s most iconic street to music by The Wall Street Band and DJ Rusty G. In total, more than 400 people came out to enjoy the experience on Saturday night.
“Sunday afternoon featured the Tasting Village: Festival of Flavours – a lively food festival which offered a range of entertainment, an ultimate kid’s zone [inclusive of bouncy castles, mini scramblers, face-painting, temporary tattooing, inflatable games and cookie decorating – all for free] and culinary delights served up via Bermuda’s most beloved food vendors in Victoria Park.
“Hosts Patrina Power Girl O’Connor & Town Crier Ed Christopher kept audiences engaged, entertained and informed throughout the fun-packed afternoon while DJ Chubb lived up to his reputation as one of Bermuda’s most-popular DJs.
“There were live demonstrations by Ashley’s Lemonade, Chef Antwan Ellis [Intrepid], Chef Daamian Simmons [Royal Bermuda Yacht Club], Picky Little Eaters, Hindsight Fitness, Kamel Dickinson and Tyka Edness and performances by the Bermuda Squad Dancers. The event concluded with performances from Bermuda’s beloved Gombeys.
Festival of Flavours
“There was something to suit all tastes and satisfy any craving at the street festival, with a variety of food available, from Caribbean-inspired cuisine to sweet treats and gourmet teas!
“The City successfully partnered with PTIX for the ticket sales which resulted in participating vendors at the Tasting Village generating $24, 639 in revenue collectively.
“Prizes were awarded for the ‘Best of the Fest’ – a public vote cast in person at the Tasting Village for attendees’ favourite vendor. Prizes included a $4000 Crown Verity grill courtesy of Ultimate Grills and, of course, our prestigious trophy which both went to Chopsticks.”
Ms Astwood added, “The City would like to thank our sponsors BGA, Bacardi Ltd., Burrows Lightbourn Ltd., Exclusive Group of Companies, Take 5, John Barritt & Son Ltd and Ultimate Grills for helping us to showcase our island’s culture, celebrate our community and support Bermuda businesses through this one-of-a-kind event. It is through this collaborative effort that Taste of Bermuda has become the biggest curated food-centric event in Bermuda and one of the most anticipated events of the year, for both residents and visitors alike, attracting thousands of attendees each year.
“This bespoke culinary experience has been designed to create an atmosphere which connects attendees collectively with both old traditions and new trends in the culinary industry while also adding to our tourism product. One of the reasons for the event’s success is that Taste of Bermuda appeals to such a wide range of Bermuda’s residents and visitors – from those seeking family-friendly activities for the weekend to those interested in unique, memorable eating, drinking and entertainment experiences and anyone with a simple love of food!”
Part proceeds from Taste of Bermuda went to aid Zhamir Denbrook-Pitt [Reg. Charity #T2185].