Full Moon Dinners Return

Before the storms last September, St. John Catering had the tradition of hosting monthly full moon dinners at our Windy Level Event Center. These monthly pop-up events were popular with locals and tourists looking for a unique, one of a kind dining experience on St. John. Each full moon dinner featured a themed menu and optional drink pairing served beneath a beautiful full moon on the patio at Windy Level Event Center.

Pre full moon dinners

However, this tradition stopped when Irma hit and the Windy Level Event Center was destroyed. Since then owner Mathayom and his crew have been working hard to rebuild St John Catering finding a new home at Lucky Chops Lounge in Cruz Bay. Now, a year after the storms the tradition of monthly full moon dinners is returning this time being hosted at Lucky Chops Lounge.

In the past menus for full moon dinners have ranged from explorations of local cuisine and produce, such as at our Crucian Collaboration Full Moon Dinner, to bountiful samplings of exotic and unique flavors such as our Thai One On or Kickin’ Ash dinners. For the return of Full Moon Dinners on September 24th the theme will be Arabian Nights, a celebration of bounty and thankfulness in honor of the harvest moon.

Arabian Nights menu

Reservations are recommended as seating will be limited for this special event; call Lucky Chops to make a reservation (340-690-3868). If you can’t make the first Full Moon Dinner mark your calendar with the upcoming Full Moon Dinner dates as this will again be a monthly event:

  • October 24: Let’s Play Dress Up
  • November 24: Black Friday, White Moon
  • December: no full moon dinner
  • January 21: Packages & Parcels
  • February 19: Little Baby Things

Like us on Facebook or follow our blog for updates and the latest information on full moon dinners and other special events.

St. John Catering: 6 months after the storms

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From destruction comes opportunity, and for us at St. John Catering & Mathayom Private Chefs, we have certainly borne witness to this truth. Having experienced both the destructive forces of the 2017 hurricane season on St. John as well as the new growth and rebuilding efforts on island that came as a result, we are proud to share our progress with you.

In September 2017 we lost our Windy Level Event Space in Hurricane Irma, a category 5 storm which along with Hurricane Maria ravaged the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. In the months since we’ve been working hard to rebuild under the guidance of Owner/Head Chef Mathayom Vacharat operating first briefly through the Little Olive Food Truck in Cruz Bay before moving to our new permanent home at Lucky Chops in the former Fish Trap restaurant (scheduled to open in Spring 2018).

Our new space at Lucky Chops has afforded us a new home with larger kitchen and storage facilities, plus a newly renovated space for events right in the heart of Cruz Bay. We have indoor and covered outdoor seating, as well as a private, 800 square foot, air-conditioned bar, where we can host upwards of 100 guests.  We will be serving fast-casual Asian inspired appetizers and small plates, and the vibe will be relaxed and spacious.

The new location will also serve as home base for St. John Catering and Mathayom Private Chefs. The kitchen is up and running, which means we are now ready, willing and 100% able to handle any catering or private chef needs for the 2018 season and beyond. Our prices will remain unchanged for this season, and we plan to revise our catering menus over the summer.

So please keep us in mind for all your catering needs from intimate in-villa dinners to extravagant beach weddings, and as the new culinary destination coming soon to Cruz Bay. We are here to serve the community of St. John and the Virgin Islands, and are extremely grateful to still be doing so.

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Transformation is underway at Raintree Court in Cruz Bay!

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The St. John Catering team is busy completing the process of renovating the former Fish Trap restaurant, which permanently closed its doors after the hurricane season in 2017.  We wish former proprietors Aaron and Lisa all the best in their future endeavors, and thank the entire Willis family for the opportunity to continue serving the community of St. John.

We are extremely excited to announce that our newest venture, the Lucky Chops lounge, will be opening soon in this space. With a welcoming, relaxed island feel right in the heart of Cruz Bay, Lucky Chops will feature an expansive covered outdoor seating area and an 800 square foot enclosed air-conditioned bar.

In addition to the bar menu which includes Chef Mathayom’s island-famous home-brewed Kombucha, cocktails, and cold beer; the small plates menu will showcase Asian-inspired dishes with a focus on being fresh, fast, frugal, and family-friendly – somewhere between regular bar fare, fine dining, and the currently-trending fast-casual service.

While the renovations are being finished at Lucky Chops, the kitchen is already open for our St. John Catering clients. Chef Mathayom Vacharat and his team are already hard at work with weddings, private dinners and charity events on St John, St Thomas and beyond.

Last month’s “Hit Makers and Rum Chasers” benefit in Nashville was a great success and brought in over $50,000 in much-needed donations to the Virgin Islands schools and children’s organizations, and we were grateful to be a part of it.

As we focus on our new venture, we will be ending our partnership with the Little Olive food truck at the end of February so that we can plan a grand opening for Lucky Chops sometime in March 2018. But keep your eye out on Little Olive’s specials board, you might get a taste of what’s to come as we test out recipes for Lucky Chops!

Stay tuned to the St. John Catering blog and Facebook page for more updates and information on our progress, and thanks to everyone who has supported us throughout the years.

 

Fish Trap gets new life with St. John Catering

We are excited to announce that Mathayom Private Chefs and St. John Catering is taking over the restaurant formerly known as the Fish Trap in Cruz Bay.

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The move represents a huge move forward for us after losing our previous space, Windy Level, in Hurricane Irma last September. Since then the team, under Chef/Owner Mathayom Vacharat, has been working hard to rebuild taking over the Little Olive Food Truck in December and the Fish Trap starting in 2018. We have also continued to provide the best in catering and private chef services across St. John and the Virgin Islands and are now taking reservations for the 2018 season.

As for our new space at the former Fish Trap restaurant owner Mathayom says, “We are going to make some big changes and hope to have our new space up and operating by mid-February,” so stay tuned for the grand unveiling in 2018. “And a big thank you to all the friends, family, and clients who have helped us get back on track so quickly; we look forward to serving the community once again.”

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Hit Makers & Rum Chasers: A hurricane relief concert for the children of the USVI

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Hello Nashville! Mark your calendars for January 30 because St. John Catering and Mathayom Private Chefs are coming to town for the Hit Makers & Rum Chasers hurricane relief concert. We are excited to be working on this event with the Charley Foundation, a non-profit organization in Nashville dedicated to improving the quality of life for children in need. Our own Mathayom Vacharat will be the guest chef at this night of food and music to benefit the children of the US Virgin Islands whose lives were adversely affected by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria in September 2017. We are forever grateful to organizations like the Charley Foundation for their continued support of St. John’s recovery, and we look forward to being a part of the Hit Makers & Rum Chasers hurricane relief concert.

Event information

  • Date & Time: Tuesday, January 30, 2018; 6:30pm dinner, 7:30pm concert
  • Location: City Winery Nashville
  • Ticket sales: charleyfoundation.org ($125 dinner & cocktails; $50 general admission)

Little Olive, our temporary home after the storms

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Owner Mathayom Vacharat leaning out the back of the Little Olive Food Truck, a new venture for his business St. John Catering. Inset picture shows Windy Level Event Space, his old establishment that was leveled by Hurricane Irma in September.

The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season is over, but it will not soon be forgotten. It transformed St. John and the Virgin Islands as one of the most destructive seasons in the Greater Antilles with damages estimated to be in the billions across the Caribbean. The storms changed both the physical landscape of the region as well as the lives of everyone who has come to live on or love these tiny, emerald islands.

With a resilient island spirit, St. Johnians would not wallow but rather rallied and days after Hurricane Irma struck reconstruction efforts were already underway. However, we’ve found that rebuilding after the storms hasn’t simply been about recreating things exactly as they were before because St. John will never be exactly as it was before. Instead we’ve had to adapt to unexpected opportunities and changes that arose in the wake of the hurricanes.

One of the most exciting opportunities we’ve had is to temporarily take over the Little Olive Food Truck in Cruz Bay (DMV parking lot). With Chef Shelly McElligott making breakfast and lunch daily we’re able to continue producing delicious food reflective of our dedication to rich flavors and the utilization of changing local ingredients.

Open weekdays from 11-5. Follow our Facebook page for daily menu specials and any changes to normal operating hours.

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August 2017 Full Moon Dinner – Crucian Collaboration #1

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When I went to St. Croix for their annual Taste of St. Croix this year, http://tasteofstcroix.com/ I was once again taken aback by the level of talent that the chefs there have on the regular, as well as the relationships that they cultivate with the local farmers. The agriculture community on Twin Cities is very in touch with the culinary world, and the final result is a food scene that is mature and robust.

While we do have our maintain our own garden next to the kitchen, have an organic farm in Coral Bay, and work with local fishing charters for product, the variety of locally sourced ingredients on St. Croix simply eclipses what we have on St. John.

As I was sitting at breakfast with other guest judges and one of the main organizers and producers of the event, Jane Watkins, and was expressing my jealousy of the chefs on our sister island having such abundant access to locally grown produce, she suggested that I try to find a way to collaborate with some of the passionate restaurateurs and chefs there. So I took her suggestion.

It has taken some time to organize, but this month, we welcomed our first guest chef of what we hope is many. Ryan Bennett is a former co-worker of one of our chefs, Vince Alterio, from back in their Chicago days, and has the culinary background to stand up with the best of them, including time working in some premier restaurants in Chicago, such as Gather and Graham Elliot before moving to St. Croix.

He is currently at Brew STX, an establishment not necessarily known for fine dining, but Ryan designed a menu that was both eclectic and familiar at the same time. We joined forces with Paul Kessock at Bellows International to pair a trio of Rose’s with the courses.

August’s menu was 90-95% locally-sourced and featured Caribbean-inspired flavors.  Here’s what our guests had to look forward to:

Sofrito Shellfish Consommé: Butter Sauce Conch / Avocado Puree / Salt Fish Lavash / Pickled Green Papaya / Fresh Racao

Pairing: Miraval Rose’

Roast Goat Roti: Crispy Roti /Tender Goat / Sweet Potato Puree & Chip / Mint / Turmeric / Coconut Rice

Pairing: Montes Cherub Rose’

Fruit: Mango ice cream / Pineapple Johnny Cake / Coconut Crunch / Lemongrass Gastrique / Basil / Crispy Plantain

Pairing: Josh Cellars Rose’

In addition, Chef Ryan and Chef Vince treated our patrons to some “one-bite” amuse bouche style plates.  This was the first time I got to attend as a guest, and although I won’t divulge what those one-bites were, I can tell you they were delicious!  OK, I may have had some wine and can’t remember properly at this time, so instead I will distract you with pictures of food.

The soup course was meticulously plated prior to being dropped in front of the customers.  The broth was a concoction of Thai Basil Tea and Habanera Peppers, and was poured table side from French presses after the bowls were set down.

Chef Ryan sourced out locally made roti shells on St. Croix, and chose to plate with braised local goat, sweet potato (two ways: chip and puree), mint, turmeric, and coconut rice.  All of the guests completed decimated their plates.

 

“Fruit” dessert: As promised, a combination of tropical flavors that seemed to explode on the plate, as well as on the palate.

We look forward to welcoming Chef Frank Robinson, a St. Croix native, in November for the second in our Collaboration Series.

Special thanks to St. John Inn for housing our guest chefs and providing a special rate for anyone wishing to stay the night and attend one of our dinners.  Check them out here: http://www.stjohninn.com/?gclid=CKO144bo8NUCFUxahgod9ckDAA

September’s dinner will be around the Harvest Moon and feature foods from the Great Midwest.  Friday, September 8th, so call us to reserve early!  340-777-5464.