With a set of strict rules and testing protocols in place, Saint Lucia reopened to international travelers on June 4, but the number of available beds remains limited as hotels work to achieve COVID-19 certification or simply open at their own pace. The good news for this island that reported 100 percent recovery in all 19 cases is that almost a month has passed and there are still no active cases. But that doesn’t mean Saint Lucians are out of the woods yet, and as such they will continue to limit the number of activities available to visitors, as well as large gatherings.
That includes the 13th annual Mango Madness Festival, which would have been hosted at the acclaimed Jade Mountain resort on July 8. Instead, travelers from all of the world seeking to enjoy, celebrate and even defend their favorite mangoes—julie is usually the crowd favorite but I’m a huge mallika aficionado—will have to settle for a different venue: their homes. Yes, the mango show will go on, but this year’s will be the virtual festival, Mango Madness at Home.
On Wednesday, July 8, at 4 p.m. ET, James Beard Award winner and serious mango enthusiast Chef Allen Susser, who also oversees Jade Mountain’s culinary programming, will host the 2020 Mango Madness Festival along with native Saint Lucian and fellow Beard Award winner Chef Nina Compton (you might also know her from Top Chef) and the resort’s Executive Sous Chef Elijah Jules. This year’s unique event will be live-streamed on Jade Mountain’s Facebook page, as well as the resort’s YouTube channel.
“Growing up in St. Lucia, mangoes were always the indication of blissful summer days,” Compton recently explained. “Mango is a staple in so many local dishes on the island. When Chef Allen asked me to participate in Jade Mountain’s mango festival, I was excited to go back to my roots and come up with recipes that honor my heritage and culture. There are lots of beautiful, unexpected mango recipes that can be easily made at home.”
Together, these chefs will introduce viewers to a variety of simple food and drink recipes that all showcase Saint Lucia’s favorite summer fruit. There will also be a Q and A session with the trio of chefs, during which guests can attempt to start a mango feud between the chefs by asking their favorites. Tropical hilarity could ensue.