The experience of an authentic taste of The Islands Of The Bahamas is a major highlight of Junkanoo Summer Festival 2018, which takes place every Saturday this month and on August 4 at Arawak Cay.
The array of culinary delights on sale at the festival include mouthwatering dishes like conch fritters, guava and tamarind wings, seafood duff, stuffed crabs and lobster, fried snapper, gyros, sweet treats and icy cool drinks.
According to Culinary Manager at the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (BMOTA) Deanne Gibson, there are over 40 vendors participating in this year’s festival.
“Every week you can come and you may not see the same vendors because they are on different rotations. We have some very different food this year. We have the favorites like the Batter Girls and Andros Crab-A-Ganza. It’s crab season so we have crab in many different ways. The creativity is really being seen in our food and beverage industry and so I am really excited about what we have to offer this year,” she said.
Among the vendors at the festival site are Gussie Mae Restaurant, Batter Girls, Dancing Cooks, Lil Laura’s Fresh Fruit Smoothies, Party All The Time, Talk of The Town, Island Flavor, Cotton Ice, Pigran, Mokomo Culinary Services, Sea Duffs and Ocean Foam by Rock Oven, and Andros Crab-A-Ganza, just to name a few.
Ms. Gibson said that prior to the festival, a seminar was held to ensure that only the most creative dishes are presented. “We are looking for Bahamian fusion. That real out-of-the-box item so that you can see the difference in the culture,” she noted.
Many of the vendors are happy to be a part of Junkanoo Summer Festival because they get exposure locally and internationally.
Antoinette Glinton of the Batter Girls said the company’s following has grown tremendously because of Junkanoo Summer Festival.
“It is very beneficial for us and we have both local and international customers and we have returning international customers who come looking for the Batter Girls,” she said.
“Some of the things that they like are our conchy conch fritters, our shrimp fritters, cinnamon ice tea and our Cajun lobster and shrimp baskets. This is one of our main events and we intend to keep coming.”
Joan Lockhart-Culmer of Sea Duff and Ocean Foam by Rock Oven from Ragged Island agreed. She said her savory seafood duffs have been getting a lot of attention.
“We never do things in a normal way. I decided that everyone else was doing a duff as a dessert and we are surrounded by a sea of wonderful things to eat like lobster, crab, conch and fish. Tourists and Bahamians are very interested and we have been bombarded with people wanting to share the entire loaves with their families,” Ms. Lockhart-Culmer said.
“I’m hoping that it will take off and the loaves will get to the hotels, to visitors so that they can experience real, authentic Bahamian cuisine.”
Arementha Curry of Island Flavor is a first time vendor, but she said the experience will keep her coming back to the festival. “We wanted to be a part of the experience that would give people an opportunity to sample The Bahamas by the means of the items on the menu. We have things like grilled fish straight out of waters in Exuma and the reception for that has been good. We will definitely be back,” she said.
In addition to the vendors, renowned chefs are also participating in culinary demonstrations. Over the last two weeks, chefs Kevyn Pratt and Seanette Brice-Cooper have shown patrons how to make crab and coconut crusted conch cakes, respectively. Chef Mildred Evans has also demonstrated how to make potato and coconut breads.
Junkanoo Summer Festival is an explosion of Bahamian culture that features music, food, games, crafts, a kiddie corner and the exhilarating sounds of Junkanoo.
The festival begins at 1:00 p.m. to until.
For more information on Junkanoo Summer Festival visit www.Bahamas.com/summerfestivals.
Media Contact: Kendea Smith | email@example.com | 242-397-2786
Writer Credit: Kendea Smith
Photo Credit: Kemuel Stubbs