It’s October 1st, which means…

Image credit: Yelena Rogers Photography

Image credit: Yelena Rogers Photography

Hey everyone, it’s October 1st! Rabbit! (How many of you say that on the first of the month like me???) Today marks the first day of registration for those of you off island who plan to participate in next year’s 8 Tuff Miles. Can you believe it’s that time of year again? Neither can I!

Here are the details:

The 2015 8 Tuff Miles race will be held on Saturday, February 28. As always, the race will begin at 7:15 a.m. behind the National Park Visitor’s Center in Cruz Bay. For those of you unfamiliar with 8 Tuff Miles, it’s a pretty intense race that begins and ends at sea level; however runners reach an elevation of 999 feet during the course.

Curious just how tough this course is? Check out this quick video we made last year of most of mile one:

If you live off island, you can register now by clicking this link. 

We hear that there is some pretty cool stuff happening at next year’s race. For starters, organizers are planning a kick off event the weekend of February 21-22 that will include an overnight, community-support and family oriented “light up the night” event.  We’ve also heard that there is a pretty major pasta dinner planned for runners the night before the race. It’ll be held at Cruz Bay Landing for $25 per person. There’ll also be a fun recovery party happening on Sunday, March 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Oppenheimer.

So we’re curious… who plans on running next year? Mr. News of St. John plans to sign up for year two and Mini News of St. John plans to run his first race. Me… well, I’ll be cheering you all on on the sidelines. :)

On a completely different note… 

Does anyone remember what happened on October 1, 2013??? Two words: Government Shutdown. Seriously, how crazy was that? Here’s a little reminder to jog the memories of those of you who may have forgotten…

shutdown

Lastly, today’s the day that the Coastal Zone Management will announce whether they’ve decided to approve or deny a permit for the proposed Coral Bay marina. We’ll let you know how that turns out as soon as we can. Have a great day everyone!

Ocean 362 to Reopen Under New Chef

Ocean 362 sunset

Sunset at Ocean 362 at Gallows Point Resort

When Ocean 362 reopens for the season at Gallows Point Resort next month, it will do so with a new look, new menu and a new chef operator, and we have to admit, we’re pretty excited about this.

shaun brian sells

Chef Shaun Brian Sells

The new and improved Ocean 362 will be headed by Chef Shaun Brian Sells. Shaun Brian was born and raised on St. John and most recently worked as a chef at La Tapa. Shaun Brian said Ocean 362′s new focus will be on thoughtfully sourced, chef-driven island to table cuisine. His goal is to create spectacular dinners for guests that they would otherwise not be able to create on their own.

What we find to be pretty cool about Shaun Brian’s vision is that he plans to source as many products locally as possible. For example, he plans to source grass-fed beef from St. Croix and has already planted herb beds near the restaurant at Gallows Point in order to make certain he always has fresh herbs on hand. He plans to incorporate Josephine’s organic greens – grown in Coral Bay – into dishes as well.

We got our hands on a copy of the tentative menu, and it looks pretty delicious. The menu includes everything from bites – small plates similar to tapas – to full entrées. Here is a sample of the restaurant’s new menu:

  • Salt fish croquettes with Creola Barbados aioli, parsley & citrus
  • Johnny Cake Sliders with crispy pork belly and local turmeric mustard
  • House lemon infused farmers cheese with roasted roots, spicy arugula and truffle vinaigrette
  • Local tuna tartar with pan-seared watermelon, avocado mousse, feta, radish micro greens, pickled rind & bermuda onion
  • St. Croix grass fed beef burger with munster cheese, butter bread, tamarind ketchup , avocado and house cut fries
  • Farmers plate: a chef-inspired vegetarian & vegan crafted dish
  • Freebird farms chicken and dumplings with cracked pepper, gravy, baby carrots & chives
  • Local grass fed Senepole ribeye with fungi (the Caribbean’s version of polenta), stewed okra and Santo Domingo tomato marmalade
Bluefin tuna, togarashi popcorn with toasted nori and local seasalt - Prepared by Ches Shaun Brian - Photographed by Antoinette Bruno, CEO and Editor of StarChefs

Bluefin tuna, togarashi popcorn with toasted nori and local seasalt – Prepared by Chef Shaun Brian – Photographed by Antoinette Bruno, CEO and Editor of StarChefs

Ocean 362 will have a soft reopening Wednesday, October 8. A grand opening event complete with a guest chef is planned for Friday, October 10.

The restaurant will be open six days a week through November 3. Beginning November 4, it will be open seven days a week. Ocean 362′s upstairs lounge will open at 5 p.m. and bites will be available beginning at 5:30 p.m. Dinner service will begin in the main dining area at 6 p.m. The restaurant plans to close at 9:30 p.m., although hours will be extended during high season.


When You Can’t Make it to St. John…

st john party

What do you do when you simply cannot make a trip down to the most fabulous island in the world? You bring the island to you! Well that’s what a group of people did in Pennsylvania recently.

News of St. John readers and St. John lovers Carol A. and Flo W. live in Irwin, Pennsylvania. The ladies recently threw a St. John party with some friends, and we have to admit, it looked like a lot of fun.

According to Carol, the group held its first St. John party back in 2012. At that time, the party was an homage to Woody’s, but in 2013 they decided to expand the party to include a few more of their favorite St. John spots. This year’s party featured The Beach Bar, Woody’s, Barefoot Cowboy Lounge, Across the Street, Joe’s Rum Hut, Castaway’s, 420 to Center, and of course some Cruzan and Blue Chair Bay Rum. Here’s what Carol had to say about the party:

“All the food selections have to come from a St. John bar menu. We had artichoke dip from the Beach Bar, wings and shark bites from Woody’s, pulled pork and smoked ribs from The Barefoot Cowboy and southwest egg rolls from the Across The Street Bar. We had Kenny Chesney’s St. John tunes playing and of course there was a lot of rum too … This year we also added a St. Johnopoly area away from the small kids.”

“I think everyone had a great time,” Carol continued. “The only problem is that the party makes us miss being on St. John!!!”

bcl st john party

st johnopoly st john party

group pic st john party

How many of you have thrown a St. John party? If so, feel free to send us some pics at jenn@newsofstjohn.com