Flavors of Curacao Food Festival – Willemstad Curacao

A food festival on a tropical island? Can there be a better thing for me to do in Curacao? I think everybody who reads this blog regularly knows how important food is to See Her Travel. It is high up there in my favorite things, with like air and my Mom and Dad. I also love being warm, preferably on tropical islands, islands which typically have phenomenal seafood and tasty cocktails. As luck would have it, the second annual Flavors of Curacao Food Festival was scheduled for the exact weekend that Jeremy, Mark and I were vacationing on the island. This could not be more perfect! Bring it on Curacao!

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Food Festival in Willemstad Curacao

Glad to be with equally gluttonous friends like Jeremy and Mark, we three made for the parking lot of the Hilton, where Flavors of Curacao 2016 was held. Basically, the festival invited restaurants, bars, bakeries, cafes, and food trucks to open tents at the festival and offer taster sizes of their best dishes, and full sizes of their best drinks.

Upon entering the grounds, my eyes widened with wonder, and my heart leapt at the sheer possibilities laid out in front of me. First things first, we needed to buy tokens from the token booths. We would then exchange these tokens at the various tents and booths for anything we desired. We had no concept of how many tokens we would need, so we walked around pricing things out and finding how far a token would go.

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Turns out, a token could get me three risotto balls and four tokens would get me ceviche and garlic bread from the Curacao Culinary Institute booth. I’ll take it all! The boys tried some amazing red snapper sliders, and we all washed our culinary delights down with 4 token-worth glasses of pinot grigio.

But this was only the beginning!

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Oporto Seafood Restaurant Curacao

Next up was the Oporto tent, the offerings of one of the best seafood restaurants in Curacao awaited. I spotted pasta with tomato salsa and mussels. I asked if I could just have a bunch of mussels. Sure! 4 tokens! BARGAIN! The lovely head chef of the tent gladly made me up 12 mussels with the tomato salsa, no carbs, no gluten.

Not that I can’t eat carbs or gluten, I do. Oh do I ever! But I knew that the pasta would merely fill me up and leave me with less capacity to eat more delicious food.

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So my plan was not out of restraint, but out of forward thinking gluttony. I’m basically a genius. Mark was jealous.  My mussels were divine! I don’t eat such high flooting food very often (hot dogs are legitimately one of my favorite foods), but when I do, it really is mind-blowing.  Well cooked mussels, in the shell, topped with a light tropical salsa fit the night and fit the vibe of the evening perfectly, I couldn’t have had a better main course!  While I was gloating about my mussels, the guys ate an equally delicious fillet of red snapper with fries, really we all came out on top!

After my mound of mussels, I needed a chewing break, so I hit the bar and found another glass of wine. Nothing like wine and mussels to make a gal feel classy! By this time we were all looking towards dessert…

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Dessert at the Flavors of Curacao Food Festival

While Jeremy was leaping into a box of chow mein from the Eastern Dynasty Chinese food booth, I wandered to the dessert area, distinguished by a cupcake truck and the smell of waffles. Tempted by the waffles and chocolate sauce, I kept looking and found what I never knew I needed: hot fudge lava cake with vanilla ice-cream and strawberries.  

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Does it get better than this?

My manners abandoned me, and enthralled by the look of the lava cake, I interrupted the hostess by abruptly asking “What’s THAT!?” I probably sounded like my 3 year old buddy Alice when she’s feeling curious.

The hostess chuckled at me, she was probably used to patrons losing all senses in front of such art.

I will take that please!

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Hot fudge lava cake, you are my favorite. I proudly brought my dessert back to the boys who were sitting contemplating their next moves. “What’s THAT!?” They were both very impressed and Mark didn’t even need a taste before heading in the lava cake direction for his own portion.

The lava cake was out of this world. I would go back to Curacao just for more lava cake. I would go back for many other reasons, but the lava cake is up there! I made Jeremy what he calls a “perfect bite”, a forkful that includes all of the best parts of the dish. He then accepted a bite of Mark’s 2 minutes later, sly dog.  And then the boys had a SECOND dessert, of apple cake.  Such handsome gluttons!

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Live Musical Entertainment at Flavors of Curacao

For our last few tokens we had some Prosecco from the Flavors bar, and enjoyed the live entertainment on offer, an energetic island band that made you feel the need to shake a little bit. Unfortunately my body was laden down with seafood and wine, so shaking would not have been a wise decision at that moment.

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The Second Annual Flavors of Curacao festival

It’s truly hard to believe that this event is only in its second year! This event was awesome! The grounds may have been in a parking lot, but that meant the restaurants could bring in comfy furniture and tables so no need to stand and eat our grub. There was chic décor and lighting; with some touches even the most Pinteresty of designers would have appreciated. Each booth had a different look given the restaurant behind it, and the people working the tents and the bars were super friendly.

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I felt food and drinks were very reasonably priced, especially given the quality they were providing! The food being served was some of the highest quality from the best restaurants in Curacao, and to get to have tastes of it was a true treat!

Thinking of planning your trip to Curacao around this event? Maybe I’ll just have to go back with you…

One of the best events in Curacao is the now yearly Flavors of Curacao Food Festival! Taste exquisite samplings from some of the island's best places to eat and leave so satisfied you will want to return the next year!

Have you been to Curacao? What was your experience? Did you make the Flavors of Curacao in 2015? Let me know your thoughts!

 

4 thoughts on “Flavors of Curacao Food Festival – Willemstad Curacao

    1. Hi Carol,

      A set of ten tokens set you back $14USD. So when I say that I got a big bowl of mussels for 4 tokens, I paid around $5.50 usd for them. The food was generally a steal! Booze, not so much, but hey, a $5 glass of wine isn’t a bad deal either! I definitely think you would like this event!

      Cheers,
      Emily

  1. I’m always trying to be super thrifty while I’m travelling. There is one thing I never scrimp on though….food! I’d nothing better than tasting new foot while I’m travelling :). This festival looks pretty amazing, must check it out!

    1. Absolutely Claire, I am right there with you! All about trying new things, whether it be fancy and posh or questionable street food! I tried guinea pig in Peru, iguana in Curacao and chicken feet in Laos. All of it settled shockingly well! This food festival was a complete blast, we were so glad we went and basically pretended like money was no object (which clearly it is but it’s fun to pretend!) I found the food in Curacao very tasty generally speaking, caribbean with a european zest so to say. And the cocktails are definitely Caribbean!
      Cheeers,

      Emily

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