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Nassau Paradise Island Food & Wine Festival (NPIWFF)

Source: Alexander Tamargo / Getty Images for Atlantis Paradise Island

The Nassau Paradise Island Food & Wine Festival (NPIWFF) is a new bucket list item for foodies, gourmets and connoisseurs of fine spirits. Over five days (March 13 – March 17), the NPIWFF left attendees stuffed with immaculate food and libations courtesy of famed chefs like Andrew Zimmern, Robert Irvine, J.J. Johnson and Jose Andres, and even a fiery concert performance from Grammy winner Wyclef Jean.

The Atlantis Paradise Island resort in Nassau, Bahamas, made for the perfect venue for the NPIWFF’s multiple events and festivities. To say the Commonwealth of the Bahamas is a vibrant destination is beyond an understatement. Just over 100 miles from Miami, the economy of the Bahamas is based on tourism, with visitors greeted by genuine smiles and a sincere desire to see vacationers have the best time of their lives while enjoying white sand beaches and clear blue waters.

Nassau Paradise Island Food & Wine Festival (NPIWFF)

Source: Alexander Tamargo / Getty Images for Atlantis Paradise Island

With Paradise Island’s high-end resort as a backdrop, there were options for tried and true foodies, the curious and those who happened to be on holiday looking for something fun to do. If you have bourgeois sensibilities and moved to book your ticket fast enough, you could have hung out with Snoop Dogg’s homie Martha Stewart for a wine tasting, ahem, Sunset Soiree. Want to have your kids get some culinary training—Food Network regular Chef Duff Goldman had you covered with Kids in the Kitchen. If you’re about activism, the renowned Chef Jose Andres, whose restaurant Fish is a must visit at the resort, was also on hand and recording his podcast. If spirits are more your thing, Master Mixologist Tony Abou-Gani offered cocktail creation classes.

Nassau Paradise Island Food & Wine Festival (NPIWFF)

Source: Alexander Tamargo / Getty Images for Atlantis Paradise Island

But what made the NPIWFF truly stand out, along with the who’s who of the culinary world participating, was the variety of beautiful people in attendance. This was perfectly encapsulated in the evening events we personally attended—including Tacos & Tequila, hosted by Chef Andrew Zimmern and DJ Kim Lee, on Thursday night (March 14), Taste of Paradise, hosted by Chef Alon Shaya, Chef Michael White and Zimmern on Friday night (March 15), and Jerk Jam, hosted by Chef Robert Irvine and Chef J.J. Johnson, with a performance by Wyclef Jean on Saturday night (March 16).

Nassau Paradise Island Food & Wine Festival (NPIWFF)

Source: Alexander Tamargo / Getty Images for Atlantis Paradise Island

With entry into the beach-themed venue seamless, attendees were able to partake in nothing but good vibes as a multicultural mix of beautiful people peacefully kicked it while enjoying incredible food from local and renowned chefs. The spotlighting of Bahamian restaurateurs, as well as the Bahamas as a culinary and entertainment destination, is one of the goals of the NPIWFF.

Despite the substantial attendance, the wait on even the longest of food and drink lines was never unbearable. Each night featured tastebud-smashing treats that had the people buzzing. At the Zimmern-hosted Tacos & Tequila—a winner off the strength of the name—one of our favorites was a jerk taco from a local spot called Twisted Lime Sports Bar & Grill that was sublime. In fact, for two nights straight Andrew Zimmern could be found mixing and mingling, urging people to eat his contributions (including ridiculously delicious nachos) while taking selfies with fans and other chefs.

Nassau Paradise Island Food & Wine Festival (NPIWFF)

Source: Alexander Tamargo / Getty Images for Atlantis Paradise Island

Also worth mentioning were the free-flowing spirits from well-known producers like Casa Dragones and Flor De Cana, and that kept the vibes well-lubricated all evening. Speaking of, even the desserts were lit with a particular standout being the Tipsy Scoop Boozy Ice Cream, which is opening a Bahamas location in April.

Nassau Paradise Island Food & Wine Festival (NPIWFF)

Source: Alexander Tamargo / Getty Images for Atlantis Paradise Island

Saturday evening was easily the centerpiece of a great weekend (even though there was still more to do, such as a Gospel Brunch hosted by Hezekiah Walker, Jr. on Sunday) with the Jerk Jam, hosted by Chef Robert Irvine, Chef J.J. Johnson (who should be familiar to TV One fans) and Wyclef Jean. While the jerk-seasoned food was top notch (we particularly liked jerk chicken loaded fries from Fries With Benefits. Wyclef did not disappoint. Noting that Bob Marley: One Love was currently his favorite film, he started with “No Woman No Cry” before he basically ran through his greatest hits that include his own solo (“Gone Til November”), the Fugees (“Ready Or Not”) and collabs (Santana’s “Maria Maria”).

Don’t be surprised if the NPIWFF only gets bigger and better. If this smoothly run operation was hitting on all cylinders in just its second year, we suggest you get in on the fun sooner than later.

Next year’s NIPWFF is already scheduled for March 12 – 16, 2025.

Cassius Trips: Add The Nassau Paradise Island Food & Wine Festival To Your Bucket List  was originally published on cassiuslife.com