The opening night of this year’s Food and Rum Festival was billed as one of Barbados’ most talked about experiences of cultural and culinary fusion, and the organizers did not disappoint.
Locals and visitors packed Oistins, Bay Gardens last night for the official start of the eighth edition of the festival, where they were treated to local fare as well as cultural performances.
Creig Greenidge, one of the featured chefs, told Barbados TODAY that patrons can expect more of the island’s culture being exposed by the chefs and mixologists over the next few days.
“The guys have basically stayed closer to home-grown products, and we are taking it to another level,” he said.
Greenidge, who described himself as “a living part of the festival”, said the event compares favourably with similar events globally.
“I do a lot of travelling representing the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc [BTMI], doing a lot of festivals around the world . . . and what we produce here is on a higher level than a lot of the other ones that I’ve been to,” he said, adding that he would like more locals to participate.
Mixologist Dameain Williams will also be featured during the November 16-19 festival. The former nutritionist told the audience he left that profession after 15 years to feed his passion for bartending, and he encouraged young people to pursue a career in that field.
“A lot of people frown on bartending and mixology, but if that’s what you want to do it can work for you. But you need to study and know the correct way and broaden your horizons,” he said.
Meanwhile, BTMI Chairman Alvin Jemmot said he anticipated a successful festival this year, with increased participation from visitors.
“We continue to see great tourism performances over the last couple years, this year being no exception, as we are clearly poised for another record-breaking year of long-stay tourism arrivals into Barbados.
“This festival continues to grow, and I believe that this year we will see the largest number of visitors to Barbados as a result of the Food and Rum Festival from all our major source markets,” Jemmot said.