Patrons to this year’s NIFCA Culinary Arts exhibition at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre were treated to a special cultural surprise.
On display was a range of traditional local products, including sugar cane, ginger, breadfruit and golden apple.
Saturday’s exhibition, though one of the smallest events on the NIFCA calendar, provided a welcomed culinary platform for Bajan food enthusiasts to prepare and present their individual masterpieces.
From hot dishes to cakes and pastries, iced cakes, confectionaries, seasonings, preserves, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, a wide range of Barbadian delights were on show.
Chief Executive Officer of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) Cranston Browne said the size of the event belied its impact.
“NIFCA Culinary Arts is first and foremost about its developmental aspects, it is designed to furnish these potential culinary entrepreneurs with the desired exposure to take their craft to the next level, igniting the possibilities available just beyond their kitchen to commercial enterprise and export for the world.
“These exhibitions highlight the potential for products that could be brought to market quite easily with funding, manufacturing, sales or distribution and even export channels,” Browne said.
This year’s winners included Greg Mosley-Clarke who created a sugar cane mead sorrel and was awarded the BIMAP prize for Most Market Ready Product.
Lucia White, a teacher at the St Winifred’s School, received the NIFCA Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to the culinary arts.
Representatives of Massy Stores, the main sponsor of the exhibition, expressed satisfaction with the high quality of products on display.
The company’s senior marketing manager Karen Alleyne said Massy would continue to source more locally made items for their customers.
“Our desire is to have locally manufactured items represented in every major category of our stores, and in the past ten years we have witnessed an increase in the variety of locally made goods available to us,” she said, while urging manufacturers to step up their efforts to meet the rising demand for their products.
“We still have a long way to go, and, far too often, demand seems to outstrip product supply,” she said.
This year’s exhibition saw a 33 per cent increase in participation from schools, with St Matthew’s Primary joining the competition for the first time, according to the NCF.