The St. Croix Foundation’s 2023 Wine in the Warehouse Fundraiser is one of the community’s favorite ways to give. Guests were beckoned to embark on a “night flight” through a culinary adventure at Bohlke International Aviation.
The hangar was filled with wall-to-wall folks savoring a myriad of premium spirits from CC1 Virgin Islands Wines and Spirits, delectable appetizers by St. Croix’s finest chefs and caterers, alongside Celebrity Chef Tiffany Derry’s favorites. It was a Friday evening “jam” with live music by the R&B Connection, who kept the crowd in the mood and in the groove.
Friday night was the second Wine in the Warehouse event after COVID.
“It is a little bigger than last year and it’s the first time in this hanger. It was different and smaller after Hurricane Maria. We attracted a smaller crowd last year. We weren’t sure what the capacity would look like. Bohlke said we could bring it up 100 more this year, and we are at the maximum we agreed to. I think it was just a perfect fit for this venue. Everybody seems to be having a great, great time here,” St. Croix Foundation President Deanna James said.
“The St. Croix Foundation is an unendowed operating foundation, which means that we have to raise our money every year. This event allows us to cover some of our operating costs and our programmatic costs so that we can put our head down and do the work for the rest of the year,” James said.
Chef Tiffany Derry of Top Chef, Chopped, and many other foodie favorites was invited to serve up her signature charm, flavors, and style. “Tiffany participated in several of our Food and Wine events in the past. We don’t usually have a celebrity at this event, but we thought it might be a great touch to have her, and she was available. She’s lovely as a human and she believes in the work that we are doing at the foundation,” James shared.
Derry is a Texas native and the chef and owner of Roots Chicken Shak and Roots Southern Table. She is the founder of Tiffany Derry Concepts and the co-founder of T2D Concepts. Derry has been a winner in different categories on the Food Network and currently serves as recurring advisor and judge on Top Chef, Top Chef Junior and Bar Rescue. Asked about her stay in St. Croix, Derry said, “This is my fifth visit. I eat well, I get a little rest, I love every moment, and I feel like I go back rejuvenated.” She has a new show on the Food Network coming January 7 with Anne Burrell… “The Worst Cooks in America.”
This year’s raffle is a trip to Panama, which was won by visitor Gwen Smith from Atlanta.
Smith’s purchase was a last-minute decision. After doing the math and seeing the percentage of her winning the trip, she figured it out. Congrats to Gwen Smith! “I really respect what this foundation is doing in support of non-profit organizations. I operate a non-profit organization in Atlanta, GA,” Smith said.
Thanks to St. Croix Food & Wine Experience 2023 sponsors:
CC1 Virgin Islands Wines and Spirits
Virgin Islands Lottery
Bohlke International Aviation
The Buccaneer Beach and Golf Resort
IPB International Private Bank
Calabash Real Estate
Federal Home Loan Bank New York
Marshall & Sterling
Caravelle Hotel & Casino
U.S.Virgin Islands Casino Control Commission
Seaside Market & Deli
Bank of St. Croix
United States Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority