Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival 2015
Known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean, Barbados plays host to the Annual Barbados Food, Wine and Rum Festival every November.
The Festival which takes place during the third week of November showcases Barbados’s unique and delicious local cuisine as well as wine and the famous mount gay rum. Visitors can enjoy a series of culinary events taking place throughout the island. The festival feature acclaimed international and local chefs as well as some wine experts and mixologists.
Every year at the Festival, you will be able to experience some of the top local and international visiting chefs. You will also have an opportunity of learning some of the secrets behind the amazing cuisine.
Festival Events Schedule
Typically The Festival kicks off on Thursday evening with the opening night at the Oistins Bay Garden Cook Off. Oistins is a lovely and active fishing town on the south coast. The food is simple and always delicious. They specialise in serving the freshest of fish such as tuna, swordfish, marlin, mahi-mahi and flying fish which are all cooked to order and in front of you. You will also see lobster and chicken on the menu all served in a wonderful laid back atmosphere
On Friday there is a Rum and Food Pairing. Traditionally on Saturday afternoon there is a friendly Polo match at Holders. It is a fun exhibition match where you will also be able to taste a variety of rums, cocktails and canapés.
It’s also a great opportunity to do some people watching as you will almost definitely see some famous faces as well as lots of fashionable guests wearing fabulous fashions, broad rimed hats and fedoras.
On Saturday evening the most glamorous of the events takes place with a Fine Dining Night where both international and local chefs prepare a gourmet feasts for all visitors.
The festival then finishes on Sunday evening with the Grand Finale event which takes place at the Needham’s Point Beach at the Hilton Hotel. It is a fabulous All Inclusive Beach Party. There are a variety of live performances and entertainments as well as food demonstrations and opportunities to do lots of food sampling. One of the highlights of the night is the Cook Off of lamb dishes using local black belly sheep and hosted by the Minister of Tourism.
Many of the restaurants in Barbados participate at the event and offer special menus, good deals and gourmet tastings. Some of our favourites are Tides, Champers, The Cliff, Cin Cin, Daphnes, The Fish Pot, Café Luna, Lone Star and Zen.
Barbados is the birth place of rum and therefore no Barbados Gourmet Festival would be complete without it. As well as learning how to make the perfect rum punch, you will also have plenty of opportunity for tasting many different types of rum.
Rum was first created in Barbados over 350 years ago and it is recognised by many experts as both the best and the strongest rum in the world today.
Mount Gay Distillery
One of the most well known and popular rums produced on the island is Mount Gay. The Mount Gay distillery was first established in 1703 and they therefore have the benefit of over 300 years to perfect the recipe.
If you have the time, then a visit to the Mount Gay Visitor Experience is really worthwhile. Very knowledgeable and well informed guides will take you through the history of the distillery as well as the production process. And of course the best bit is left to last where you will get the opportunity to do some tastings!
St Nicholas Abbey is also very well worth visiting. Here you will have the rare opportunity of actually visiting a working sugar plantation. You will get to see the raw sugar cane and how it is grinded. You will also be able to observe the traditional distillation process. The barrelling is actually done in bourbon oak casks. And the best bit of all is to be actually able to spend time looking around the magnificent abbey itself. It comprises of a stunning great house and beautiful tropical gardens.
West Indies Rum Distillery
Lastly we recommend you visit the West Indies Rum Distillery. It is where some of the most famous brand names were originally created such as Cockspur and Malibu.
Click here for the full event schedule. if you are lucky enough to be on island this November here is our guide to our favourite restaurants in Barbados. More information on the Food, Wine and Rum Festival can be found here.
Published: Oct 16, 2015
Updated: Nov 21, 2016
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