Barbados has rolled out the proverbial red carpet for Caribbean and international journalists as well as delegates who are on island for the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) business meeting and State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC).
Tuesday night, the visitors were given a taste of Barbados usually reserved for the rich and famous.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Sealy hosted a ministerial reception at Alaya, a US$88 million villa owned by millionaire John Cutts and his wife.
Cutts, a Sheffield-born property entrepreneur, made his name in the Midlands industrial market in the United Kingdom but made his fortune in pioneering industrial and retail development in several countries.
Ranked the 229th wealthiest man in the UK on The Sunday Times Rich List a few years ago, with more than £320 million , he wears his wealth quietly, as befits a man who few would know outside the industrial and retail property market.
Delegates and journalists were in awe on entering the beachfront villa located at Queens Fort, St James.
On arrival at the heavily guarded property, guests were greeted by waiters clad in black, who served a wide variety of cocktails as they lined both sides of the entrance to a patio almost the size of a ballroom.
Barbadian jazz vocalist Kellie Cadogan, who provided entertainment for the evening, told Barbados TODAY it was one of the most exquisite venues at which she has performed locally or overseas, in her career that spans more than ten years.
Guests were treated to a wide variety of gastronomical delights. The menu for the evening consisted of chicken karaage (Japanese fried chicken) tossed with a sweet chilli sauce and caramel sauce; pork spare ribs (baby back ribs) off the bone, served with ginger barbeque sauce with a bit of Oistins sauce; tempura shrimp made with a tempura batter and a tempura sauce; and pumpkin and ginger fritters. There were also flying fish fingers; breaded flying fish and sweet potato fries tossed with cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar; spicy tuna sushi and spicy crab served with avocado and cucumber.
“I wanted to have a bit of Caribbean so they can have a flare of the Caribbean, like with the pumpkin fritters and also the flying fish and breadfruit balls,” John Hazzard, the caterer for the evening, told Barbados TODAY. “And I also wanted to have a bit of international flavour as well.”
John Hazzard Events has been in business for approximately six years and the entrepreneur said he was trying to build “a really nice catering organization” where people can depend on quality both in the food and in service.
Nickeel Griffith, who has worked with Hazzard for about three years, described it as a learning experience full of fun.