By: Rhe-Ann Prescod
The 2022 Barbados Food and Rum Festival came to a spectacular end in the most delectable way.
Liquid Gold Feast brought hundreds of people to Ilaro Court to experience the grand finale event.
Attendees were welcomed to an elegant ad hoc ballroom, through a red carpet, to the renditions of Angel Stringz. The décor beautifully represented the title of the event as gold and black were draped throughout the room.
Behind the Menu
With 14 local chefs and seven mixologists, attendees truly got a taste of what the best of Barbados had to offer. Behind the chef menus were Andres Antoine, Marvin Applewhaite, Danielle Gibson, Javon Cummins, Rhea Gilkes, Creig Greenidge, Nicholas Ifill, Anne-Marie Leach, Damian Leach , Shamar Griffith, Seth Hasin-Bromley, Thaddeus Sealy, Trevon Stoute and Jamal Whittaker. The mixologists were Ryan Adamson, Philip Antoine, Jamaal Bowen, Dameain Williams, Alex Chandler, Shane McClean and David Barker.
Let’s just say there was a plethora of food and cocktails for all to indulge in.
One station that immediately caught everyone’s attention was Chef Trevon Stoute and Marvin Applewhaite. The station was designed to represent Barbados’ local offerings with the tabletop covered in grass, local edible flowers, local mushrooms and wood as they cooked a lot of their foods through wood fire smoking. On the right, was a shelf in the shape of Barbados “stacked with flavour from St. Lucy to Bridgetown” as Chef Marvin described it.
Speaking on the inspiration behind the menus Chef Trevon said “A bit of home cooking and a bit of the farm-to-table regime. We wanted to showcase that Barbados has quality ingredients because all that differs is the process and how you go about preparing.”
Chef Marvin added, “For me, it was about trying to utilize local cuisine, you see I have a ground provision Cou Cou on the menu and I was inspired by the wood fire cooking.”
Furthermore, what made the night extra special for Chef Marvin was seeing all the chefs attired in chef jackets designed by his best friend Chef Trevon Stoute.
The event was a first for pastry chef Danielle Gibson and words couldn’t explain just how privileged she felt to be at the event.
She worked for months to create the night’s menu, going with locally infused flavors mixed with a few international concepts. The favourites on the menu were her Rum N’ Raisin Bread Pudding and the Vanilla Bean Gateau.
The finale even brought a friendly pigtail showdown between Chef Creig’s Deep Fried Cornmeal Rosemary Crusted Pigtail and Chef Damian’s Ginger BBQ Pigtail. Each was exquisite so attendees couldn’t bear to choose which was the ‘best’.
More than a Cocktail
The mixologist pulled out all the stops as each drink of the night was a different experience.
Jamaal Bowen, who has been a part of the festival since its inception, explained that more of the local talents and ingredients are being utilized this year. His drink the ‘Kafuffle ya Brain’ embodies that sentiment.
“The name was because of an ingredient called Clitoria Ternatea, also known as the butterfly pea flower. We are utilizing the scientific term to make people think about what that could possibly mean. We used the Mount Gay Silver with the Clitoria Ternatea with locally made cucumber and ginger liqueur, citrus, and then topped it with lychee and pomegranate popping pearls and saffron,” Jamaal explained.
Mixologist Dameain Williams described the cocktail as ambrosia, only fit for the gods.
David Barker’s Moon Town cocktails also had attendees dazzled as he served them on fire and smoking.
Enjoying the Experience
The Moon Town was Californian Sarah Singer’s favourite drink of the night. She was very excited to attend the event after finding out about the festival from a Google search.
Lisa Ruck was ecstatic that she finally got the opportunity to attend the festival for the first time as living abroad always made her miss it. This year, she attended every event and named Liquid Gold Feast her favourite.
“I love elegance, pomp and pageantry so for me this is definitely the creme de la crème. This gala is definitely a beautiful top off to the weekend,” she said.
What also added to the experience was the diverse lineup of local entertainment. Some of the artists that had attendees were enthralled by 2 Mile Hill, Kirisie, Keisha Christian, Biggie Irie, Edwin Yearwood and Red Blastic Bag.
By the end of the night, ministers, chefs, mixologists, locals, tourists and staff were all on the dancefloor enjoying the last moments of an unforgettable festival weekend.
The Execution of a Vision
Aprille Thomas, Director of PR and Communications at the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc was overwhelmed seeing the vision of the festival come to life.
“Standing here now on the finale night and seeing hundreds of people enjoying exactly what we wanted them to enjoy is absolutely overwhelming. This moment at the very end is the highlight of the festival because you see all the work that has been done. I’m just really happy with how everything went,” she stated.
Ms. Thomas further gave her hearty thank you to the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc team, the National Cultural Foundation and everyone who played a part in helping to bring to life the vision of the event and overall festival.
Liquid Gold Feast brought a luxurious end to a successful festival weekend with many asking for a redo. Next stop…2023!