B’dos Food & Rum Festival Returns

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By Essiba Small

LAST Friday, the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI) hosted the Trinidad and Tobago launch of 2023 Barbados Food and Rum Festival at Estate 101 in Maraval.

Now in its 12th year, the festival takes place from October 19 to 22, following a two year hiatus. The event will see a renewed partnership with Conde Nast and the debut of the Bajan Fair, a 12-hour event,  geared toward families.

Harriet Smith,  business development officer of the BTMI  who was present at  Friday’s launch, said the BTMI team has been working diligently to promote the event, and is eagerly looking forward to the start of the festival.

“The Barbados Food and Rum Festival is our island’s biggest foodie festival, where local and international talent are celebrated,” Smith said.
“The  return of this year’s festival not only celebrates our local culinary talent  but also  helps  us to position Barbados as the culinary captital of the Caribbean.”

The theme of this year’s Barbados Food and Rum Festival is  “Feed the Future”. Part proceeds from the festival will go towards the grand prize of this year’s junior chef cookoff competititon, according to Smith.

The Barbados Food and Rum Festival began in 2009, in partnership with Travel and Leisure, and was then known as as The Barbdos Food, Wine and Rum Festival.

In 2016, the name of the event was officially changed to the Barbaos Food and Rum Festival, to own the fact that Barbados is known as the birthplace of rum.

Today, Smith assured that the festival “has since grown into one of the most sought-after festivals in the world”.

Smith was equally proud that the Barbados Food and Fum Festival has been nominated in the Caribbean Best Culinary Festival Category at the  2023 World Culinary Awards.

“This is the fourth World Culinary Awards. It celebrates and rewards excellence in the culinary industry for the annual awards programme.

“We are thrilled at this year’s nomination.”

This year’s Food and Rum Festival will  feature a star-studded lineup of international chefs  from the UK, US and Latin America, including Food Network  chef Anne Burrell,  UK master chef  Shelina Permalloo, Colombian chef Juan Diego and Pressure Cooker’s chef Renee Blackman.

Afrobeats sensation Ayra Starr (Oyinkansola Sarah Aderibigbe) will also be in Barbados to headline the Festival’s Liquid Gold Feast.

In all, 23 local chefs and mixologists will take part in the festival.

Another milestone for the Barbados Food and Rum Festival is the release of  its own cookbook, titled Flavours of the Festival.

The cookbook is a compilation of recipes from this year’s official chefs and mixologists and will be  available for  purchase at the official event pop-ups or where food and rum merchandise is being sold.

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