The Barbados Food and Rum Festival is BACK! After a small hiatus the biggest foodie weekend in Barbados has finally returned. Originally this article was going to be informational to help you plan your weekend, however it quickly became obvious that information is easily assessable and ultimately that may not be too helpful. As a result, we will be discussing the reasons you need to return to the 2022 Food & Rum Festival.
The first reason is that we’ve had a rough couple of years. The world has been a mess for two years because of Covid and we are finally getting back on our feet. The food industry has been hit particularly hard and it is still suffering the consequences; managing shortages, bearing price hikes and enduring fluctuating systems. In all of this, the food industry has somehow been cast as both the hero and the villain. We are good for providing the essential food that people need to survive but we are also evil for ‘overcharging’ for this precious commodity. Regardless, food is big business and it isn’t going anywhere. Over the past few years we have seen what a lot of hardship does to an industry. Everyone has suffered, a few didn’t survive, some have evolved and a couple have entered the arena. The Food & Rum festival was one of the ones I was not sure was going to survive. They took a break and it could have understandably just gone away. Personally I am impressed by that resilience. It is one of the best foodie weekends in Barbados and after that break I am excited to see what has changed and I’m hoping for an evolution. If there is one lesson we need to learn from the last two years it is that we should do what we can now because we never know what will happen tomorrow.
The changes in the Food and Rum festival have been very promising. The theme this year is ‘Feed the Future’. While I do believe it is sometimes nonsensical to have abstract themes for certain events, I have noticed there has been a significant push in creating programs for children interested in food with the Junior Chef Cook Off and even the line up of chefs is giving exposure to smaller names in the local industry. The shift towards thoughtful actions is one of the most promising aspects about this year’s offerings. With over a decade of festivals under their belt the truth is there was a sense of autopilot with many of the events. There was a template they followed and it has worked well enough so it was never changed. This year, their outreach seems to be significantly more genuine and meaningful. There was even a lecture series which I thought was a wonderful addition to this years events. Education should always be one of the key tenets of a thoughtful foodie. They even included a breakfast party which is very trendy in Barbados. I personally abhor breakfast parties (read more about that here), however the inclusion of one is an intriguing choice which I am looking forward to hearing more about. The changes this year, subtle and overt, are worth thorough investigation.
Another change they have introduced this year is the Rum Route Street Party in St. Lawrence Gap. This will be a new event for me to attend and I am looking forward to it because it is free. This year there are three free events. The Food Truck Mash Up which has passed already, Oistins Under The Stars which will be the launch of the weekend and then the Rum Route Street Party. The variety of free events that they are having is one of the best reasons to come out because you have no obligations and you can see it all for yourself. I went to the Food Truck Mash Up and it was loads of fun. It is a recurring event but this year it was better organized and well put together. It still had some problems but overall it was a great day to get out and see what different businesses are doing. There was a plethora of stalls ranging from established food trucks to new small businesses trying a t’ing. More than anything I am looking forward to see what the opening at Oistins will bring and find out what is planned for the Street party. These events will really show the value they plan on giving the audience since they will be arguably getting very little in return. Obviously there’s no substitutes for the paid parties or formal dinners but it is wonderful to be able to be part of the festivities without making a large investment. This is something that is fairly unique about the Barbados Food and Rum Festival. More than ever before there is a balance of paid vs. free events which allows for maximum participation. This is a food festival for all, not simply an elitist dinner trapped behind a massive pay wall.
At this point you have to attend at least one of Food and Rum events this year. If you didn’t attend the Food Truck Mash Up, you have already missed one great free event. Tonight (Thursday the 27th of October) is the launch at Oistins (another free event) and your last chance for freeness is the Rum Route in St. Lawrence Gap tomorrow (Friday the 28th of October). If you have never been to one of the events before, this is your opportunity to get out there and see what all the fuss is about and if you are a veteran, you should definitely come to see if there are any changes. It is all very exciting to see things normalize and be able to get excited about events that you have enjoyed and missed. So what events do you plan on going to? If none, why have you chosen to abstain? I’d love to hear everyone’s perspective on everything that is happening. If you do need more advice or information about any of the events please feel from to message, hopefully I can be of assistance. Here’s hoping to see you there!
Please like us on Instagram and Facebook. Also feel free to follow the Food and Rum festival here on Instagram. Just in case you aren’t full in the loop here are some basic details that may be helpful, but be sure to go to FoodAndRum.com to get all the details you may have missed. If you are interested in any of the past Food and Rum Festivals, you will enjoy my review of the 2019 Edition, here.
The official Festival weekend will be over the 27th – 30th of October 2022.
1st October – Food Truck Mash Up. – Completed Event.
- Opening Event: 27th October – Oistins Under The Stars. 7pm -12am. Free event.
- 28th October: Chef Classics Featuring an international chef lineup of; Anne Burrell, David Rose, Eric Adjepong and Huda Mu’min. 11am-12:30pm at various locations, ranging in price from $150 BDS-$250 BDS.
- 28th October: Rum Route St. Lawrence Gap Street Party. 7pm – 2am. Free.
- 29th October: R & R: Rum & Rise, the Breakfast Beach Party – 4am – 11am $250 BDS
- 29th October: Journey of Food: From Africa to Barbados to the Americas, Featuring International Chefs such as, Marc Murphy, Eric Adjepong and David Rose. Starting at 6pm for a 7pm seating. Various locations.
- 30th October: Cask: The Story of Rum Distillery Tours. Multiple Times and Locations for different experiences available, $100 BDS.
- Finale: 30th October: Liquid Gold Feast. 7pm – 12am at Ilaro Court for $400 BDS.
Where to Buy Tickets
- A & B Music Supplies – Wildey
- CS Pharmacy – Broad Street
- iShop – Sheraton
- Sports & Games – Roebuck Street
- Rubis – Sunset Crest
- Rubis – Wildey
- Rubis – Coverley
- mPowered – Sky Mall
- Ticketlinkz.com – Online