Toasted Coconut Cream Tarts

Toasted Coconut Cream Tarts 2

Earlier this summer, yes summer is still in full swing in Austin even though school is back, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Antigua with the tourism board. I went to learn about the Mango Festival and the culinary scene in Antigua. I got to visit a mango farm, eat at some wonderful restaurants and course sneak in some beach time and cocktails.

One of the most memorable parts of the trip for me was the cooking class we took at Nicole’s Table. Nicole was born and raised on a neighboring island but spent a lot of her formative years on the East Coast where she met her husband and had two girls. They moved back to Antigua a few years ago and Nicole started a cooking business out their kitchen. This kitchen has sweeping views of the island and the sea. I kept saying to myself that I can’t believe someone actually gets to live here! It was truly a lovely experience and Nicole was so gracious in sharing her home with us.

Antigua_Nicole

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Take A Trip: Antigua

Antigua_ Dennis's Beach House Antigua_ Jolly HarbourI still can’t get over these pictures! How gorgeous is the scenery in Antigua? I mean just look! This summer I was lucky enough to get the chance to visit Antigua courtesy of Visit Antigua and Barbuda.  Beyond the beaches, mountains and jungle, the people of Antigua were so kind and friendly, I felt right at home within minutes of deboarding the plane. I was visiting for the Mango and Pineapple Culinary Festival that takes place in Antigua every summer. Mangoes are one of the major fruits grown and sold in Antigua. Unlike the mangoes we get here in the States, Antigua is home to many different varieties! Like purple mangoes, I didn’t even know those existed! Plus the mangoes in Antigua are so much sweeter and bigger! Think mangoes the size of my head, seriously, see below for photographic evidence!

I’ve written a lot about mangoes in the past for the National Mango Board, so I was very excited to see where the mangoes are grown and how locals use them in their daily cooking! On the trip we got to meet with lots of local chefs and mixologists, visit several restaurants and even attend a cooking class in the home of a chef! It made for such a wonderful trip! I even talked about it so much on Instagram that one of my engaged friends even booked their honeymoon there this fall! Get ready for lots of photos and my guide of what to do, where to stay and most importantly what to eat on the island!

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