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Countdown To 'Flaavors Of St. Maarten Food & Wine Festival;' Top Chefs To Participate Beginning Wednesday

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PRESS RELEASE #156


PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten (Nov. 8, 2010) - The countdown has begun for what is expected to become the biggest and best gastronomic party in the Caribbean as St. Maarten prepares to host the first ever "Flaavors of St. Maarten Food & Wine Festival" (www.Flaavors.com) this week from Nov. 10 - 14.

"Flaavors" will showcase the best that St. Maarten has to offer in culinary offerings, in combination with top chefs visiting from around the globe who are eager to be part of this first-ever event and celebrate the island's gastronomic excellence.

Frankie Meyers, Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, and Telecommunication for St. Maarten, is anticipating a successful inaugural event, noting: "Flaavors will not only highlight the diversity and richness of St. Maarten food, but also help attract visitors to the island and generate new business for our wine and food distributors."

Kicking off the "Flaavors" festival, Iron Chef Contestant Marc Forgione will be participating in the Champagne Tasting taking place at Porto Cupecoy on Wednesday, Nov. 10. Forgione is known as one of the rising stars in the culinary industry and is stunning audiences around with his incredible recipes in The Next Iron Chef.

Also sharing his culinary secrets will be Chef Wayne Nish and his assistant Chef Doug Psaltis. They will both prepare several dishes for the crowd to see and taste. Chefs Nish and Psaltis will participate in the Winemaker Dinner taking place at Temptation Restaurant on Thursday, Nov. 11. In collaboration with local chef and restaurant owner Dino Jagtiani, Chefs Nish and Psaltis have created a fantastic menu centered around the wines of Oakville Ranch.

Chef Ken Frank, who has spent more than two-thirds of his life in the kitchen, will participate in Flaavors alongside Luna Vineyards to create a delectable dinner on Saturday night, Nov. 13. He will share his tricks and "culinary knowhow's" with participants during his cooking demonstration on Saturday morning.

In addition, five chefs from the Netherlands will be part of the Celebration Dinner and Benefit Auction. Chefs Jan Klein, WicherLohr, Niven Kunz, Gerard Wollerich and Gerrit Graveling will be participating in this year's Fete de la Cuisine and will be forming part of this Flaavors event along-side Nish, Psaltis and Frank to create an unforgettable.

During the Celebration dinner, a live auction will take place to benefit the St. Maarten community. The Sundail Students and the National Culinary Team will benefit from proceeds from the auction.

For complete details as well as to purchase event tickets for the first "Flaavors of St. Maarten Food & Wine Festival" visit www.Flaavors.com.

St. Maarten

St. Maarten is the smallest island in the world to be shared by two nations, Kingdom of the Netherlands and France, creating a European-influenced vibe with a Caribbean flair. As "the culinary capital of the Caribbean," St. Maarten offers an eclectic array of cuisine fusion for food lovers with more than 365 restaurants, one for each day of the year to satisfy the tastes of every palate and pocketbook.

Located at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles, the island's 37 square miles has 37 breathtaking beaches and is home to many historical and family-oriented attractions. During the day, watersport enthusiasts can take full advantage of the island's scuba diving and snorkeling facilities. The capital of Philipsburg offers duty-free shopping with a bustling city atmosphere, while 14 casinos and numerous nightclubs provide endless entertainment.

Accommodations are varied and include elegant private villas, family oriented resorts, quaint cottages and luxury spa resorts. Air service is available to Princess Juliana International Airport from numerous U.S. and Canadian cities as well as from Europe, South America and the Caribbean.

Find St. Maarten on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VacationStMaarten and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/StMaartenTravel.

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