The world-renowned Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival is set to kick off its fifth edition this year, from November 20 – 24. TV star and celebrity chef Roger Mooking will represent Canada, among the line up of well-known international chef personalities to be featured.
The Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival (The Festival) celebrates the best in ‘Bajan’ cuisine and culture, with a host of activities island-wide. Whether a casual foodie, wine and rum lover, an established epicurean, oenophile rum connoisseur, this festival comprises of numerous options to appeal to a range of palates.
Roger Mooking—fittingly of Caribbean heritage (born in Trinidad)—is one of North America’s premier chefs. As creator and host of his own international television series, Everyday Exotic, he is known for his globally-inspired dishes, using ingredients drawn from around the world. Mooking is also co-host of Heat Seekers (Food Network), hosts Man, Fire, Food (Cooking Channel), and is also a recurring judge on Chopped Canada (Food Network).
Additionally, Roger’s talents extend into the music realm (he is a Juno-award-winning singer-songwriter), which only adds to his buoyant personality, and unique knack for engaging those he meets—an ideal attribute to complement and convey Barbados’ lively atmosphere and people.
“My maternal grandmother has roots in Barbados, so I’m excited to explore yet another side of family heritage by coming ‘home’ to the Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival this year,” enthused Chef Roger Mooking. “I’m doubly proud to be the sole Canadian chef celebrating Barbados’ cuisine and culture among an esteemed list of local and international culinary stars. I can’t wait to meet all the guests and fellow chefs in such an idyllic location.”
Roger Mooking will join the likes of other top-name chefs such as Anne Burrell, Ed Baines, Tyler Florence, Stephanie Izard and Marcus Samuelsson for what is sure to be an extra-special fifth year of The Festival.
Beyond what one might expect with food and wine pairings, and rum-infused seminars, the line-up of exciting activities includes: The Taste of the Caribbean Dinner Dance Show and Cruise at Jolly Roger on November 20; cooking demonstration with Marcus Sammuelsson live at the Hilton Barbados Resort on November 22; Rum Seminar with Mount Gay Rum’s Ambassador Chesterfield Browne on November 22; and a dinner with Tyler Florence at The Cliff on November 23. New this year, The Festival offers “Rum Trails”, with three rum producers, where guests have the opportunity to visit each of the rum distilleries.
For those who know rum, conversations about ‘Barbados’ and the spirit are not mutually exclusive. The ‘rum shop’ is the social and cultural hub of the island. To put it in perspective, there are over 1,500 of them on only 166 square miles of island. Rum has been an integral part of the island nation’s heritage, history, and economy for over 350 years. Indeed, rum was born in Barbados. Barbados rum has garnered a worldwide reputation as some of the finest, silkiest, most complex and enjoyable rum to be found anywhere.
Coinciding with the rich list of activities at The Festival, participating restaurants on Barbados have a culinary offer, currently available, for bookings through December 15, 2014. The Re-Discover dine-around programme is featured at restaurants including Cobblers Cove, L’Azure and Port St Charles Yacht Club, to name a few. For US$50 per person (including 15% tax and service charge), diners can enjoy a special three-course dinner, including a bottle of wine per couple.