There are several ways to become immersed in a new culture. Visits to museums, tours of cultural sites, and chats with the locals are usually at the top of the list, but perhaps the heartiest way to experience a culture is through its food. Each November, Barbadians and visitors from all over the world gather for the island’s greatest celebration of food — the Barbados Food & Rum Festival.
Now in its eighth year, the festival pairs Barbados’ cuisine with the spirit they lay claim to — rum. Steeped in history and rich in culture, this festival has become one of the most anticipated and treasured events on the culinary calendar. One might argue that the true essence of this festival is the way it combines top local chefs and mixologists with some of the world’s best international ones for a fusion of flavours sure to tantalise every taste bud. What’s more, in the lead-up to the festival, pop-up events such as culinary competitions and popular entertainment shows across the island will whet your appetite.
Ready to dine?
The Festival will officially open on Thursday 16 November at the renowned Oistins Bay Gardens — a historic fishing village, and weekly Friday night hotspot for fresh food and local entertainment. On Friday 17 November, the Barbados Concorde Experience will be home to Taste of the Exotic: A Signature Rum Event, featuring food and rum pairings. On the weekend, spend Saturday afternoon at the Taste the Spirits Polo Event, where you will be treated to rum cocktails, canapés, and a thrilling game of polo. And while the night is young on Saturday, feel free to select a west coast dinner at The Cliff, or be treated to a surprise Caribbean celebrity chef at The Crane Resort on the east coast. The Festival will climax on Sunday evening with a flotilla and beach party, giving you the opportunity to sink your toes in the sand. But if you’re a land crab, you can opt for a fine dining experience at The Tides restaurant.
At a glance
Thursday 16 November
Night Out in Oistins
Venue: The Oistins Bay Gardens
Friday 17 November
Taste of the Exotic a Signature Rum Event
Venue: The Barbados Concorde Experience, featuring top Barbadian chefs
Saturday 18 November
Taste the Spirits of Polo
Venue: Holders Polo Field
Food & Rum 2017 Dinner Series — Gourmet Safari
Venue Option 1: The Cliff, with Chef Jean-Geroges Vongerichten
Venue Option 2: The Crane, with Chef Chris De La Rosa
Sunday November 19
Flotilla & Beach Party
Venue: The Boatyard
Food & Rum 2017 Dinner Series – Gourmet Safari
Venue: The Tides with Chef Tom Aikens