A Look Forward to Barbados Food & Wine and Rum 2011

An interview with Richard Sealy, the Barbados' Minister of Tourism

Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival Dinner Please note answers from Hon Richard Sealy, M P, Minister of Tourism to questions from journalists who participated in inaugural Barbados Food, Wine and Rum Festival.


When introducing the Food & Wine and Rum Festival on opening night you said there was a new player on the scene, and that Barbados would be a stalwart for years to come. Where do you see the festival in five years?

Barbados aspires to be the best in whatever it undertakes and the Food, Wine and Rum Festival is no different. We aim to be the international destination of choice in terms of food and spirits festivals. In the next five years Barbados’ goal is to be top of mind in food and spirit festivals if not in numbers certainly in quality.


What was your favorite part/moment of the 2010 Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival?

My favorite moments at the inaugural Barbados Food, Wine and Rum Festival were the interaction of world class chefs and our own local Bajan chefs. Our Bajan chefs were as impressive as their international counterparts. The fascinating culinary dexterity expressed by the international exponents and their Bajan counterparts was a joy to the senses not least the sense of taste.


Did any one dish stand out to you?

The dishes were spectacular and excited the taste buds. From the feedback I received that was not only my opinion.


What's the biggest challenge for a nascent food festival?

Staging culinary expos like BFW&R is defined by challenges. The key is to hurdle the challenges and turn them into opportunities. Barbados’ foremost challenge in this respect is to become a known and noted player on the food and sprits festival stage. Against the backdrop that Barbados taught the world the intricacies of rum making we believe we can lift the two other components of the event and boss them as we do our world class rum.


What are the goals for next year's festival?

The objectives for next year’s festival are straight forward: To announce and promote the event widely on the global stage in collaboration with our partners abroad and at home; With clear vision and purpose target the highest quality standards for every segment of the Festival; To induce and bring culinary enthusiasts and other visitors to Barbados for the culinary and destination experience of a lifetime.


What are some things about the food in Barbados that you think most people would be most surprised to learn?

Barbados’ food is an eclectic smorgasbord of West African, native Caribbean (Arawaks /Caribs) and British fare. In more recent times East Indian, French, American, Chinese and pan Asian cuisines were sprinkled into the melting pot that creates the mouthwatering Bajan dishes visitors constantly praise.


What's the best sandwich on Barbados?

The best sandwich in Barbados is a flying fish cutter ( Bajan for sandwich) or dolphin (dorado/ mahi mahi) cutter. With a light spread of inimitable Bajan hot sauce cutters are delicious.


Do you have a favorite rum shop?

Barbados contains over 1000 rum shops, as Minister of Tourism they are all my favourites. I urge travelers to Barbados to visit and enjoy our rum shops.


What's your favorite of the Mount Gay rums?                                                                                  

My favourite Mount Gay Rum is Extra Old however I have a close colleague who swears by Mount Gay Eclipse with coke, a twist of lime and five cubes of ice, shaken not stirred. The truth is Barbados is the original home of rum and the multiplicity of brands we produce are outstanding in their own right. Long live the rums of Barbados.