International celebrity chefs to host workshops at Taste T&T Culinary Festival
Cuisine plays a major role in promoting a country’s national identity and culture, and Trinidad and Tobago’s culinary treasures such as shark and bake, roti, doubles and curry crab and dumpling, have long drawn global gourmands seeking an extraordinary taste experience reflective of our multi-ethnic heritage and indigenous flavours.
As the Tourism Development Company (TDC) prepares to host the Taste T&T Culinary Festival from September 2 to 26, branding Trinidad and Tobago’s distinctive cuisine and culinary products to attract an international audience remains a major priority.
“Initiatives such as Taste T&T and our participation in trade shows and other international events where our indigenous cuisine is highlighted - such as the recent Caribana Taste of the Tropics food festival in Toronto - help to support the growth of the local sector while positioning our destination to tap into the lucrative culinary tourism market,” said Ernest Littles, TDC’s President and Director of Tourism.
He added that through partnerships with the Ministry of Tourism and the Trinidad Hotels Restaurants and Tourism Association (THRTA), the TDC is working to create an internationally recognisable brand identity for Trinbago’s culinary product.
“Trinidad and Tobago is blessed with a delicious diversity of foods and unique cooking styles,” said Littles, who added, “we recognise the importance of our indigenous cuisine as one of the main attractions of this destination and the TDC is expanding our brand through an enhanced programme of public awareness and culinary diplomacy.”
Focusing on education and community development, the Taste T&T Culinary Festival will comprise of two major elements - skills enhancement workshops targeting local chefs, cooks and the restaurant/food industry, and a nation-wide roving community food festival.
More than 400 professional and aspiring chefs are expected to take part in the culinary workshops, scheduled for September 2 and 3, and led by celebrated Danish chef, restaurateur and noted professor of food science Claus Meyer; Rahman “Rock” Harper, season 3 winner of the reality cooking series Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen and top local chefs.
The workshops will focus on chef training and cater to foodies, caterers, culinary students and lecturers, community cooks and persons employed in the culinary industry.
Following the workshops, the TDC will launch a nation-wide, roving community food festival which will highlight the home-grown culinary styling of three geographically dispersed communities - Toco, Tunapuna and Debe/Barrackpore.
Sumptuous seafood will be on the menu, with the traditional Fish Broth the featured dish, when the community food festival kicks-off on Sunday, September 12, in Toco; eclectic Trini Creole cuisine will then take the limelight as Caura Road in Tunapuna plays host to a Curry Duck cook-off on September 19 and for lovers of tasty East Indian street fare, all roads will lead to Debe/Barrackpore on September 26 when area teams compete in the Doubles competition.
In addition to highlighting the talents of local cooks in each community, festival patrons can expect a fun-filled day of family friendly activities including displays of local craft and condiments, entertainment and a farmers’ market.
The TDC will also partner with the THRTA in encouraging visitors staying at local hotels to visit the featured communities during the food festival by providing a shuttle service.
To learn more about the Taste T&T 2010 contact the TDC at 675-7034.
Monday, August 16, 2010