Tuesday 20 August, 2019

Food and Rum Festival can tip the tourism scale in Barbados' favour

Drunken cupcake anyone?

Drunken cupcake anyone?

Barbados' tourism industry can benefit from the Food and Rum Festival and the move to October seems to have put it right in the travel agent and tourist spotlight.

Persons came out in their numbers to the climax of this year's Food and Rum Festival last Sunday evening entitled 'Taste The Spirits Of Polo' and like the event, the week of activities appeared to be a success.

Held at Holders Polo Field, St.James, on Sunday, October 21, 2018, the event gave a platform for local chefs and mixologists to showcase their talents and creativity as patrons witnessed a short game of polo.

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From 3:00 pm until just after 7:00 pm DJ Alvin Toppin spun tunes as PlayMakers the Band created a festive mood around the polo field. Simpson Motors Limited gave car lovers an exciting treat with their Mercedes A-Class display plus a few vouchers and giveaways.

As it relates to the kitchen, Chef Marcel Clarke showed the versatility of the breadfruit with her Breadfruit Parmesan Soup served with Rum Braised Lamb and Bacon Jam. This was an absolute favourite for the evening, as many patrons went back for seconds and thirds.

Created by Chef Malachai Knight, the Chicken Twisted Souse, a variation of the traditional souse dish also sparked the interest of patrons. However, it was Knight's Drunken Mojito Chicken dish sprinkled with Doorly's Rum, Lime and Mint Sauce, and served with Herb Infused Basmati Rice which won out.

In the area of dessert, Coral Reef Club Chef Alicia Olton satisfied patrons 'sweet teeth' with her array of colourful treats including Mango and Passion Fruit Filled Drunken Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Chocolate Frosting, Minted Berry Trifle with Baileys and Nutmeg Cream, and Lemon and Blackpepper Macaroons.

Mixologist Dameain Williams' Absolut Vodka cocktails were loved by all, but particularly his Sunset Sangria harboured long lines by the cocktail bar. Those who preferred something a little stronger, mixologist Cherie-Anne Charles was on hand with her two creations using Doorly's Rum. She whipped up an Old Fashion Bajan Jem garnished with Chocolate Covered Orange and a Watermelon Festival Swizzle to patrons delight.

For those who just wanted the traditional rum and coke or non-alcoholic drinks, there was a fully-stocked bar to do so.

CEO of the Barbados Tourism and Marketing Inc, William 'Billy' Griffith highlighted the Food and Rum Festival as an event which can benefit the tourism industry in the island, and he pinpointed the benefits of its timing this time around.

Mentioning the recently concluded Tourism Media Awards, as well as a Megafam being held by the United States Office, Griffith professed that there would be a large number of journalists and travel agents on the island all at the same moment, which would bring great publicity to the Food and Rum Festival and by extension the island.

"It just so happens that last Wednesday night [October 17, 2018] we hosted the Tourism Media Awards. Now that wasn't part of Food and Rum per se but we put it alongside Food and Rum Festival.

"We have over 65 journalists on the island this weekend enjoying the festival and that's going to equate to more writing and actually more coverage for the festival overall.

"In addition to that, the US Office is having a Megafam as well, so they are 150 travel agents on island all at the same time."


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