LONDON, England – The Ice Tank in central London was recently transformed into a tropical culinary haven as Barbados’ tourism officials launched the sixth annual Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival.
Scheduled for 19-22 November 2015, this event in Barbados is the perfect reason to escape to the Caribbean’s culinary capital where delectable food prepared by leading local and international chefs with some of Barbados’ is paired with some of the most exciting holiday experiences.
During the VIP preview it was announced that Andrew Pern, chef and proprietor at the Michelin-starred Star Inn at Harome in Yorkshire, would be among this year’s headliners. Pern invited foodies to follow him to Cobbler’s Cove, a four-star hotel in Barbados where he will reside during the festival. He fashioned scallop and veal into delightful dishes to provide a taste of the aromatic and mouthwatering fare in store for festivalgoers.
William Griffith, CEO of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., while acknowledging the long history between London and Barbados, promised repeat festival attendees that several surprises are in store for them, during the revamped festival.
“This year we have incorporated some great new elements to create that unique holiday experience bearing in mind the high level of repeat clientele we receive, especially from the UK.” A quick glance at the calendar of events on foodwinerum.com, shows that this year the festival will incorporate one of Barbados’ most breathtaking beaches, rocking parties and after parties, a friendly polo match and lifestyle shopping, for a truly remarkable experience.
Cheryl Carter, Director of BTMI’s UK unit, vouched for the authenticity of the festival, stating that its unique medley of events truly separated it from other food festivals across the world.
“All of us at the BTMI are hugely excited about the upcoming celebrations of food, wine, rum and all things truly Bajan. We look forward to welcoming all our British guests to the island to experience what hospitality really means!”
For those yet to visit Barbados, this year’s festival is designed to give visitors a sophisticated introduction to Bajan fare including a number of food pop-ups and rum trails during the weeks leading up to the 19 November start. In addition to London’s own Andrew Pern, the headliners include San Francisco-based restaurateur and offal expert, Chris Cosentino; Carla Hall, co-host of ABC popular Daytime’s lifestyle series, The Chew; and Craig Harding, chef/ owner of Toronto’s famous Campagnolo restaurant, which focuses on farm-to-table cooking.
Perennial favourite, Marcus Samuelsson of New York Red Rooster-fame, who is also an accomplished author, James Beard Award winner and Top Chef Master champion, will once again headline the al fresco opening event, Oistins Coastal Blend. The launch event, dubbed Evening Reserve by Fusion Rooftop at the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre is set for the Friday night. Then on Saturday gents and ladies are invited to wear their fashionable fedoras and broad rimmed hats to Taste the Spirits of Polo at Holder’s Polo Field.
On Saturday guests will follow their favourite chefs to leading eateries, namely The Cliff Beach Club, The Crane, Fairmont Royal Pavilion and Cobbler’s Cove during the Gourmet Safari featuring five, six or seven-course dinners and wine pairings.
The festival, which climaxes with a Feast in the Sun at the gorgeous Needham’s Point beach on the property of Hilton Barbados, is the perfect opportunity to experience Barbados’ year round sunshine and fantastic hospitality.
Pern remains ecstatic about his upcoming stint in Barbados.
“I’ve always been blown away by the freshness and array of ingredients in Barbados and have visited with my family on a number of occasions. I am really looking forward to the festival and can’t wait to get cooking!”
Guests at the launch were also treated to a rum tasting session with newly installed BTMI senior business development officer, Marc McCollin, who reminded patrons that Barbados is the undisputable birthplace of the fiery brew.
“Rum is a beautiful thing but needs to be treated with respect and knowledge. Learning to appreciate the complexities only adds more pleasure to the drinking experience!” Tours of the island’s centuries-old distilleries have also been added to the event calendar.
Other special guests included His Excellency Guy Hewitt, Barbados’ High Commissioner to London and Deputy High Commissioner, Alphea Wiggins.