Award-winning chef Paul Wedgwood is set to cook up a fusion of flavours as he returns to the Celtic Festival Barbados from 7-14 June, an annual event which celebrates the historical connections between Scotland, Ireland and Wales and the sunny Caribbean island.
As part of a week-long event of cultural exchanges, heritage, music and food, Paul will be hosting a lunchtime food demonstration as well as preparing a special dinner at one of the live musical events.
Paul’s ability to explode our taste buds is frequently awarded in the food industry and recognised by his clientele – last year his Edinburgh-based restaurant, Wedgwood, was the second most talked about in the UK on Trip Advisor, and was voted Scottish Licensed Trade News’ Restaurant of the Year 2011 for the second year running.
The festival has attracted some big names as sponsors this year including Chivas, Scotland’s second-largest whisky distiller, and Mount Gay Rum, one of the biggest rum brands in the Caribbean. It’s fitting, therefore, that Paul will be using both drinks as key ingredients in this year’s festival menu.
“I’ve already done lots of research into the local produce and flavours in Barbados, and they’re absolutely amazing,” says Paul. “I’ll be combining the very best of both cultures, including a completely unique version of cranachan. For this, I’ll be exchanging the usual ingredients of oats and raspberries for locally sourced mango, pineapple and coconut. And, instead of using whisky I’ll be blending the fruit, and the usual whipped cream, with the finest Bajan rum.
“I’m delighted to be returning to the festival again this year and hope that everyone enjoys the fusion of flavours on offer.”
Barbados has a strong historical connection with Scotland Ireland and Wales, as white indentured servants were sent from these “Celtic” countries 400 years ago. And the St Andrews Society based in Barbados which brings together ex pat Scots, celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. In November last year the Scottish Parliament recognised the efforts of the Celtic Festival Barbados organisers to connect Scotland with Barbados in a Members Motion raised in Parliament.
This year’s event will be headlined by top Scottish folk band the Peatbog Faeries, who will be performing live at The Plantation Theatre, supported by Sandra Macbeth and her band. Irish piano accordion maestro Alan Kelly will also be playing this year along with guest fiddler John McCusker and Irish singer Heidi Talbot, at the fantastic venue of Holders House, the plantation house owned by the Kidd family.
Other acts taking part include top accordion player Fiona Young and her band, piper Martyn Graves, and Celtic Fusion, a 30-strong dance troupe from Nova Scotia.
Thousands of visitors from each of Scotland, Ireland and Wales, make their Barbados their holiday destination every year, and this is the most “revisited” island in the Caribbean with a repeat visitor statistic of 43 per cent.
The festival is also supported by The Barbados Tourism Authority, Barbados Beach Club and Island Inn Hotel. Other partners in the event include Drive-A-Matic Car Rentals, Banks Brewery, and Love From.
This from Carol Anderson, the Business tel: 0131 718 6022 or mob: 07836 546256
Lorna Waddell, the Business tel: 0131 718 6022, or mob: 07500 015421
Notes to editors:
Paul Wegdwood – Restaurateur, Wedgwood the Restaurant
Paul Wedgwood began cooking in the Lake District working in a variety of establishments, and was particularly inspired by working under celebrity chef John Tovey at Miller Howe in Windermere. A passionate and ambitious chef, Paul realised his dream to open a fine dining restaurant four years ago. Wedgwood the Restaurant has won a string of awards including Scottish Licensed Trade News’ Restaurant of the Year 2011 for the second year running and being placed in The Sunday Times Top 10 Foodie Destinations for the second year running.