Barbados earns bragging with Food and Rum Festival
They say it is OK to ‘show off’ when you actually have something positive to show off about, and when it comes to food and rum, Barbados has earned bragging rights. They can “show off good”, as evidenced by their 10th Annual Food and Rum Festival.
Opening night of the Barbados Food and Rum Festival saw throngs of Bajans and visitors enjoying the food and a fabulous cultural programme at Oistins, which included food demonstrations by top island and visiting chefs and dance performances featuring folk characters like Shaggy Bears, a tuk band and ‘Muddah Sally’ – in traditional folkloric costume with dance movements designed to show off massive, exaggerated bosoms and hips and buttocks.
The hardest task is choosing from the wide range of offerings – national dish flying fish, tuna, swordfish, marlin, mahi mahi, lobster; and for the sides there were fries, salad, corn rice and the piece de resistance that demands seconds, the world-famous macaroni pie that beats any fancy 5, 6, 7- cheese version anywhere, hands down! The meals are very affordable and the portions man-sized.
A live cooking session punctuated by humour, banter and swigs of rum saw Barbadian Chef Creig Greenidge, Canadian Chef Craig Harding and British Chef Tom Aiken cooking a no-bake vegetable and seafood (fresh marlin and shrimp) macaroni pie that had many patrons lining up to taste.
Celebrated mixologist Dameain Williams combined a delightful combination of passion fruit, rum, basil, simple syrup, banana liqueur, lime and Ugli fruit, and the patrons enjoyed that too.
Oistins showcased Bajan cultural elements at its best, including steel pannist Judah Goddard, word artiste Adrian Green and several of the island’s top singers, including Shanta Prince, Jus D, Hupasounds and Marzville.
This year, for the fist time, the Food & Rum Festival introduced ‘Food Truck Mash Up’ at the Pelican Craft Centre, Bridgetown, which saw food trucks line the streets selling a range of ‘street’ fare. The event included live and recorded music and historical elements with costumed portrayals of ancestors.
A number of restaurants participated in the ‘Gourmet Safari Dinner Series’, presenting menus especially created for the night and paying homage to Bajan food and rum in creative pairings showing off fine-dining options that marry Bajan and international influences.
The finale of the festival was ‘Epicure’ – as the name suggests, an epicurean experience of amazing dishes and speciality cocktails, seasoned with Bajan and Caribbean culture. Hundreds of patrons enjoyed the elegant evening at LLanzo Court, official residence of the prime minister of Barbados.