Crucian Collaboration Full Moon Dinner
There are more than 50 islands that comprise the US Virgin Islands, each with its own unique beauty and charm. The largest, St. Croix, with its massive size in comparison to the other Virgin Islands, is known for its laid back vibe and as the agricultural leader of the islands. It was this diverse availability of local ingredients on St. Croix and the way local chefs were using those products that first inspired Chef Mathayom to begin the Crucian Collaboration dinners inviting chefs from the big island to come to St. John to share the bounty of their island and meld it with the St. John food scene.
The first Crucian Collaboration Full Moon Dinner was held in August 2017 and was a collaboration between St. John Catering and guest chef Ryan Bennet from St. Croix. The dinner was a hit and a second Crucian Collaboration Full Moon Dinner was planned for November 2017 with guest chef Frank Robinson. However, before the second dinner could take place Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck in September 2017 and the plans for the continuation of the Crucian Collaboration dinners were put on indefinite hold. Now, almost two years after the original date, with substantial rebuilding on both islands (including the opening of Lucky Chops in 2018) the second Crucian Collaboration Full Moon Dinner finally came to fruition in July 2019.
The evening was held at Lucky Chops in Cruz Bay and featured the food and flavors of guest Chef and Master Mixologist Frank Robinson, a St. Croix native. Robinson currently owns and operates BES Craft Cocktail Lounge in Christiansted, STX where his food and drinks are well-known for his use of local ingredients and unique island flavors (such as passion flower infused gin). His ability to showcase Virgin Island flavors in food and beverage won Robinson several awards including being named the Caribbean Bartender of the Year at the 2016 Taste of the Caribbean.
Bringing not only his flair for island cuisine, but also many local ingredients, Robinson joined the chefs of St. John Catering and Lucky Chops on July 14th to present the second Crucian Collaboration Full Moon Dinner. The menu for the evening (with photos below) was designed by Robinson to not only enchant diners with a delectable meal, but also to connect the diners to the islands themselves by using locally sourced ingredients in his interpretation of traditional Caribbean dishes.
Crucian Collaboration Full Moon Dinner Menu
Mixed Local Greens Salad with Sugar Cane Vinaigrette
Drink Pairing: Gin Cocktail with Gin, Ginger, Aperol, Candied Lemon, and Club Soda
Lemongrass and Ginger Snapper Ceviche with Curried Plantain Tostones
Drink Pairing: Rum Cocktail with Chai Rum, Coconut Milk, Spices, and Sugar
Charred Chicken Egg Drop Soup in a Recao Lime Broth
Drink Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc
Bay Rum Braised Oxtail with Turmeric-Jasmine Rice topped with Green Papaya Pickle
Drink Pairing: Big Red Blend
Basil & Mango Sorbet
Drink Pairing: Rum Cordial with Rum, St. Germain, Port, and Orange Zest
The second Crucian Collaboration Full Moon Dinner was not only a culinary success, but also a fun night for chefs from St. John and St. Croix to come together and celebrate the cuisine of the Virgin Islands. Thank you so much to Chef Robinson for gracing St. John with his wonderful flavors and personable vibe which made the evening so enjoyable, and also thanks to our guests for coming out to be a part of the second Crucian Collaboration Full Moon Dinner.
After taking August off, Full Moon Dinners will continue in September with the Thai One On Again! Full Moon Dinner on Friday the 13th. The four course menu (available with with drink pairings) was designed by Chef Mathayom and will showcase the best of Thai cuisine while utilizing local island ingredients (full menu below). Seating for the September Full Moon Dinner is limited so make your reservation today by calling (340) 690-3868 or email Office@StJohnCatering.com.