The other evening we were invited to Annaly Mill for one of St. Croix’s food and wine experiences. This was the Cork & Fork, an intimate dining experience with a celebrity chef and winemaker. The featured chef was renowned Iron Chef winner Kevin Rathbun, the featured winemakers were Kathy and Kent Rosenblum of the celebrated Rosenblum Cellars.
We drove out into the rainforest and arrived at Annaly Mill around sunset. The renovated sugarcane mill was bigger than I expected, about 4 stories high with very thick walls. There were glimmering tiki torches, lush plants and flowers, stone walls and a moist tropical breeze to top off this special night’s ambiance. The feeling was of another time and place… old world, working mill, charming, tropical.
We were greeted by the hosts and introduced to Kevin, Kathy and Kent right away. This was going to be a fun evening! With a glass of Kathy’s Cuvee Viogner in hand we wandered around the mill, the home and the manicured grounds of Annaly Mill. Right in the center of the mill the main dining room was charmingly decorated with white linens, Danish china, candles, and sparkling silver. The long table was set for sixteen. Before dinner was served we climbed the winding stairs to the tip top of the mill where one could see for miles, past mountains and valleys right out to the ocean.
A toast was made in honor of this charitable event and dinner was served. We enjoyed an incredible five courses with different wines chosen for each course. Kevin Rathbun and his team served one delicious course after another while Kent Rosenblum explained why each wine was chosen to compliment each particular dish. Kent also had interesting stories and entertaining history about wine making. We had lots of laughs, interesting guests, and heard many “oohs and ahhs” about the amazing foods and wines.