Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, firmly believes that much of Barbadian history lies in the island???s cuisine, and has stated that oftentimes ???our cuisine tells more about our history than the history books do???.
The Minister expressed this view during his remarks at the official opening of the NIFCA Culinary Arts Exhibition, which took place at Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall, last Friday evening.
Alluding to the inclusion of the culinary arts within the cultural industries, Minister Lashley stated: ???We could not fail to do so. The preparation of our food has always been a very important aspect of our culture.
???And so we must be proud, and we must be ready to share our cuisine with the world. We must be confident enough to serve authentic conkies, cou-cou and steamed flying fish, macaroni pie, pudding and souse – in the most prestigious restaurants.???
The Culture Minister added that similarly to other countries that have successfully utilised their local cuisine as a tourism marketing tool, Barbados could also be promoted as a place where visitors could come and enjoy food. This development, he pointed out, would ???undoubtedly make great savings on our food importation bill???.
Minister Lashley also applauded the entrants of this year???s Culinary Arts competition, and wished them much success as they vie for the various prizes being offered.
???The achievement of excellence in the Culinary Arts will be rewarded with such prizes as the coveted NIFCA Gold, the Enid Maxwell Award for the Culinary Arts, the Prime Minister???s Scholarship award valued at $35,000 and other general sponsored awards in the non-professional category. Entrants in the professional category are also eligible for the Governor General???s Award and the Prime Minister???s Award for the best original NIFCA entry,??? the Minister outlined, adding that two top chefs will be selected to be part of the National Culinary Team which will compete in the Taste of the Caribbean competition to be held in Miami next year.