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Festival promises to sizzle

When the 2012 Barbados Food and Wine and Rum Festival was launched this morning it was clear that organisers, participants and sponsors were ready for the main course.

This year’s festival, which is scheduled to run from November 16-19, will again feature a star studded cast of some of the best international and local chefs who are expected to excite the taste buds with a pantheon of culinary delights.

There is also an estimated target of between 10,000 and 11,000 patrons over the four days, almost double last year’s attendance of 6,200, which was up from the initial festival in 2010 of 4,000.

One of the features of this year’s festival and the new craze sweeping the culinary world is street food.

This aspect will be highlighted on November 17 in Queen’s Park from noon until 7 p.m. under the theme Sizzle Street, and President of the Barbados Tourism Authority, David Rice, said at this morning’s launch at the Mount Gay Visitor’s Centre that Barbados as host of this mega event for three consecutive years spoke to the expertise and positiveness the international world see in the Island.

“It speak to the positive nature of what is happening in Barbados. This event could have gone anywhere, to many different countries. But the fact that we have sustained this over a number of years speaks volumes,” he said.

Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association’s Executive Director, Sue Springer, also endorsed Rice’s comments, noting that partner American Express chose Barbados because it was asserting itself as the culinary capital of the Caribbean where there is something for everybody.

“From a good pork cutter in Oistins to Cin Cin and The Cliff. But the fashionable thing now with the ‘foodies’ is street food and the festival has taken that on board this year with Sizzle Street,” she said.

Springer, in drawing reference to the international names expected to be cooking for the festival, also stressed that the local chefs continued to prove themselves with consecutive wins annually at the Caribbean culinary competitions.

“These events are not easy to do and the people we are bringing are not easy to get. But we do it and we get them despite television shows, running their own restaurants and packed schedules,” she added.

Jerome Ishmael of Premier Event Services Inc said the goal of the Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival was to reinforce Barbados as the culinary capital of the Caribbean.

“The Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival consists of a series of events, or better yet — culinary and beverage experiences — designed to tantalise the taste buds, while offering a variety of other colourful and flavourful experiences to stimulate the other senses as well.

“This festival is produced and managed on behalf of the Barbados Tourism Authority by Premier Event Services Inc. and is promoted in all of the Barbados Tourism Authority’s international and regional markets as well as the local market. PES’ marketing and promotional responsibility is focused mainly on the local market.

This year’s international talent are: Marcus Samuelson, award winning chef, restaurateur and cookbook author; Food Network star Anne Burrell. Food Network’s Chopped judge Marc Murphy; winner of The Next Food Network Star season four and host of Big Daddy’s House Aaron McCargo Jr.; Toronto cooking legend and food author Marc McEwan; the recently nominated Best Chef: Great Lakes Area Stephanie Izard; wine expert and one of the top five sommeliers Joshua Wesson; and son of the soil and New York-based Paul Yellin, who is one of the world’s best when it comes to cooking with rum.

Local talent to be featured include Romeo Moscardini of Spago Restaurant and Bar, Mark DeGruchy – Caf? Luna, Glen Bent – Cariba Restaurant, Jemma Oneal – Caf? Sol Mexican Grill and Margarita Bar, Carsten Flindt – Patisserie and Bistro Flindt, Scott Ames – Scott’s Catering, Dan Brinckmann – Temptations Bakery, Barry Taylor – Naru Restaurfant and Lounge, Michelle Maloney – The Crane Resort, Jamal Bowen (Mixologist of the year) – Sandy Lane Resort, Angela Garraway-Holland, Wilwore Jordan, Mitchell Husbands, Henderson Butcher, Janelle Crawford, Julian Broome and Creig Greenidge. (DB)

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