written by
Clifton Joseph

The Antigua and Barbuda government recently rolled out its roster for the very first "Restaurant Week", just two weeks after its successful inagural "Artweek" met with rave reviews. The menu for this week of delectable eats and treats as outline in the Tourism Authourity's sweet press release will have your mouth watering and your belly ready to eat:

"A unique Antiguan and Barbudan gastronomical experience poised to titillate your senses. Spanning 14 days, the inaugural Antigua and Barbuda Restaurant Week will celebrate one of the destination’s best qualities – its food, its people and its culture. Diners can expect a variety of delectable cuisine, offering visitors and nationals an opportunity to experience special menus and/or experiences at prix-fixe (discounted) prices across a range of restaurants. During the fourteen-day food experience, diners can also enjoy local food, international Chef appearances and the Food and Art Experience.

Taking place from May 7 to 21, 2023, this new annual event has been designed to showcase the best the twin-island has to offer in culinary – from favourite local casual hotspots to three course menus at the best restaurants on the islands. Not only will local chefs be showcasing their best work, but celebrity chefs from around the world will be joining to help elevate awareness of this exciting new event."

For the kickoff of Restaurant Week, Antigua and Barbuda will be welcoming a trio of celebrity chefs for the first week: US-based Chef Tanya Holland, Jamaican-American Chef DeVonn Francis and Antiguan-born Chef Claude Lewis. Acclaimed for her inventive take on modern soul food, as well as comfort classics, Tanya Holland is the Executive Chef/Owner of the internationally renowned and beloved Brown Sugar Kitchen restaurant, in Oakland, California.

She’s also had incredible success in front of the camera as a fan favorite on the 15th season of Top Chef, as well as hosting Food Network’s Melting Pot, and appearing on the HBO Max show Selena + Chef featuring Selena Gomez and is the host of “Tanya’s Kitchen Table” on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

Chef DeVonn is a Jamaican-American Chef who founded the creative studio Yardy, where he is able to combine his two passions of art and cooking. He has affiliation with Bon Appetit, and HBO’s Selena and Chef. DeVonn Francis is the chef and Founding Director of Yardy World, a culinary studio that specializes in creating immersive food experiences and reimagining Caribbean cuisine.

Francis has created chic, sensual meals in partnership with brands such as Gucci, Converse, and Burberry as well as being featured in notable publications like The New Yorker, New York Times, Bon Appetit, and Interview Magazine Chef Claude Lewis’ mission is to bring West Indian cuisine to the forefront in the United States, specifically Antigua and Barbuda cuisine, and to educate on the various health benefits and flavors of Caribbean ingredients.

He competed on Food Network’s flagship competition show Chopped where he won the title of Chopped Champion. He then went on to compete in other competitions, such as Fire Masters in Canada, and Kitchen Crash on Food Network.

Chef Claude owns and operates the restaurant Freetown Road Project named after the village of Freetown in Antigua. The celebrity chefs will collaborate with local chefs, with Chef Tanya Holland hosting with The Wild Tamarind Restaurant at Tamarind Hills, a culinary experience on Tuesday evening.

The chefs will also spend time touring the country with guides, tasting the local cuisine and produce, to learn more about the history of gastronomy in Antigua and Barbuda.