Fish, Rum and Vibes

Fish, Rum and Vibes

By: Rhe-Ann Prescod

No one in the world can grill a fish like a Bajan and we proved that!

People from Spain, Australia, Texas, and of course, Christ Church flocked to Oistins Bay Garden to kick off the 2022 Barbados Food and Rum Festival at ‘Oistins Under the Stars’.

It was the return of a fan-favorite event and the best opportunity to eat the most mouth-watering fish, drink some rum cocktails and enjoy live local music.

Bajan Delicacies

The night began with a live cooking demo that featured local chef Creig Greenidge and was hosted by international chef Anne Burell.

Chef Greig described the event as the most natural event.

“Anybody can be here. From the people that go to the fancy events to the regular guys that sit in the rum shop. Simple Barbadiana at its best,” He expressed.

Like many others, Oistins is Chef Anne Burrell’s favourite event, so she was ecstatic to be this year’s host.

“This was my fourth time doing the Barbados Food and Rum Festival and I had always seen Marcus Samuelsson do it here before and this was always my favourite. So, when they came to me and asked me to do it, I was like absolutely yes! I felt like I grew up a bit. I love the food, I love the people, and just the feeling of family. Everyone is beyond welcoming here,” she said.

Chef Creig gave her the best Bajan welcome by showing her how to make a local delicacy, Bajan fishcakes but with a twist.

He made the fishcakes with all the regular components like saltfish, local herbs and flour but he added in breadfruit and salmon. So, when you bit into the fishcake you would taste pockets of salmon and breadfruit. On the side was the Chef Creig Tar Tar sauce, which is made of lime juice, mayonnaise, Bajan pepper sauce, sweet chili sauce, fresh thyme, fresh dill, and a little brown sugar.

Anne Burell described the fishcakes as a slow burner and the ‘talk up’ of the fishcakes was so good that even international chef David Rose, made a surprise appearance on stage to try them.

The Vibe of Oistins

Throughout the night people were seen lining up to try food samples from members of the 2022 Food and Rum Accelerator Programme while others could be seen with cocktails in hand from mixologists Adrian Byran and Natasha Jules.

Many were raving about the ‘Coffee and Cake’ cocktail from Adrian Bryan which was a cake and rum infusion with a lemon and vanilla tincture, rum and raisin syrup, sprayed with pure essence and garnished with a slice of cake.

Others kept going back for the ‘Island Star’ by Natasha Jules which contained Five Fingers studded syrup, passion fruit juice, lime, vanilla-infused vodka, and orange bitters. You had the choice of an alcoholic or non-alcoholic option.

PK Graham, from Texas was lining up for one of the cocktails raving about the food she had eaten earlier. She and her Trinidadian friend Miranda Ropchan went to Mo’s Grill and had the most delicious Mahi Mahi, Snapper and King Fish.

Another vendor many could not stop talking about was Uncle George’s Fish Net and Grill.

This was Jodie Robert's first time at the Barbados Food and Rum Festival, and she was having a blast.

“We have been here since 4’o clock. We ate at Pat’s and had kingfish with grilled potatoes. Our fave Bajan food is definitely fish. We have had all the fish we can have. Every day here we have tried something different, and we love all the fish,” she said.

It’s time to Party

After the dining was the entertainment!

Patrons got a cultural escort with a tuk band, stilt walkers, steel pan and a mother sally to the entertainment stage.

The night’s entertainment took people on a musical journey from spouge down to soca. The performances started with spouge renditions from Shadia Marshal and Ishaka McNeil.

Then Dale Marshall switched the vibe to soca and had the crowd jumping to ‘Soca Junkie’. Queen of Soca Alison Hinds graced the stage and made the crowd ‘wukkup all down to de ground’.

And Red Plastic Bag ended the night serenading the crowd as they formed a congo line.

The night left people ready for everything the festival weekend had in store for them.