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Ital Dishes Join UVI's Golf Course Feast

March 9, 2008 — For the first time at the University of the Virgin Islands' annual Afternoon on the Green Sunday, attendees were treated to steaming helpings of ital dishes, a new twist among the variety of local delicacies in a range of categories including soups, meat dishes and desserts.
The Dubmasters Competition offered lots of dishes filled with fresh veggies and tofu provided by the Bordeaux farmers collective We Grow Food Inc.
Now in its 19th year, the UVI event still continues to grow, pulling in hundreds of cooks, volunteers and attendees, according to Peggy Smith, chair of the university's Afternoon on the Green Committee. Smith said that the number of volunteers topped 150, while close to 200 cooks were housed under the traditional white tent set up in the middle of the Herman E. Moore Golf Course.
It took less than 30 minutes Sunday for organizers to transform the St. Thomas golf course into a jam-packed hub of music, games and of course, lots and lots of delicious food. Fish and meat dishes entered into the food competition featured ingredients such as salmon — mixed in a creamy sauce and topped with black olives in Arthur Raymo's famous "Brigo's Firehouse Salmon" — smoked turkey and beef grilled and barbequed to perfection. Other pots and pans rounding out the spread included a number of macaroni creations, Filipino egg rolls and, of course, stewed chicken and rice.
The five-hour event was a family affair, and the lush green course provided many choice sitting spots for mothers, fathers and children. What's more, Smith said, the event also served to bring together friends and volunteers from the British Virgin Islands, including the day's featured entertainers, the Lashing Dogs band from Tortola.
"What is really encouraging and positive to me is that we see a lot of people this year that we really haven't seen before," added UVI President LaVerne Ragster. "So we're obviously getting the word out more."
In addition to touting some of the university's newest programs — such as the master's degree program in marine and environmental sciences — Ragster also pointed out some of the afternoon's newest activities, such as a Jeopardy competition that tested residents' knowledge about the territory and university.
"We're also doing a maypole this year," she added. "I haven't done maypole since I was six or seven years old, so I'm looking forward to that as well."
Smith said her committee — a group of organizers hailing from almost all of the university's divisions — started planning for the event since last November.
"We met every two weeks to see how far we had gotten," she added. "And by the time we finished, we had assembled a great group of volunteers and cooks, so it really was such an amazing amount of support we received from the community."
Smith said she hopes to raise $15,000 from the event.
This year's winners will be announced later this week.
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