The Barbados Food and Rum Festival is “coming of age” and can eventually become an integral part of the calendar of events in Barbados.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, shared this view on Tuesday evening, as he delivered remarks at the Festival’s launch at the Blackwood Screw Docks, Bridgetown.
Mr. Sealy told tourism officials and industry partners that he had a dream in 2009 about a Food and Rum Festival which could be elevated to the heights of the island’s Crop Over Festival. Today, he said, this dream was now coming to fruition.
“We are on the cusp of something really large here, and I see a food festival that will take into account all of our many local offerings…, embrace our entertainment element, celebrate our fashion, our mores and our habits as Barbadians.
“I’m not suggesting that we’re going to eclipse Crop Over, but I believe we should think large and understand that sometimes when tourism officials get together and partner with industrious, creative Barbadians, great things can happen,” he stated.
The event, previously known as the Barbados Food, Wine and Rum Festival, has also been rebranded, and is now being called the Barbados Food and Rum Festival.
According to the Tourism Minister, the renaming displayed that “we are proud of what we have”, and celebrated it in such a way that would be compelling to the rest of the world.
He continued: “In the traditional format of the food festival, we brought in a number of celebrity chefs and the local component was minimised. However, we have come of age to the point where in our 50th year of nationhood, the local chefs are now taking the charge; and are in fact doing the heavy lifting for the food festival.”
As such, Mr. Sealy said it was a “real pleasure” to see some of the stalwarts and original culinary team who continue to work closely with the festival, alongside key upcoming players who are “coming on very strong”.
The Barbados Food and Rum Festival begins on Thursday, November 3, with an appetizer event entitled: Celebration of Rhythms, at Pirate’s Cove, Lower Bay Street, Bridgetown.