• By: Samantha Lapierre

Experience Trinidad and Tobago at the OWFF

All photos courtesy of Allison Ferguson

The Ottawa Wine and Food Festival is here!

This year, The Tourism Development Company Limited of Trinidad and Tobago is teaming up with The High Commission for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to bring two Trinidadian-born Chefs, Marida and Narida Mohammed, to the festival.

You may recognize the twins as former contestants of MasterChef Canada, as well as the team behind the Toronto catering company Twice De Spice.

This year’s festival will be held at the Shaw Centre from October 30 to November 1. 

The Chefs will be preparing dishes of Trinidad and Tobago, such as pelau, curried shrimp and callaloo soup.

Resa Solomon St. Lewis, owner of Ottawa’s Baccanalle Catering, will also be appearing alongside the twin chefs. St. Lewis is an Ottawa born chef with roots in Trinidad and Tobago.

Many yummy samples will be available to festival guests. These include Trinidad and Tobago rum cake (made with dried fruits soaked in a spiced rum concoction. The cake is typically served during the Christmas season in Trinidad and Tobago), as well as Angostura 1919 Rum.

Angostura Limited will be featured in the Trinidad and Tobago section of the festival, and will be providing samples of its popular 8-year-old rum. This rum is one that is specially blended and it won multiple awards.

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The rum gets its name from a surprise development in Trinidad and Tobago’s rum history. A terrible fire in 1932 destroyed the Government Rum Bond, and master rum blender J.B. Fernandes bought the surviving, if a little smoky, casks. Those casks had all been filled in the year 1919, so Ferndandes named it “1919 Aged Rum.”

The rum will be presented on its own and alongside a specialty cocktail with the featured dishes prepared by the Mohammad sisters. Trinidad and Tobago’s food and rum pairings will grace the “I’ll Be Host for the Holidays” stage at the festival Friday October 3 and Sunday November 1 at 1:00 pm.

Cultural performances will also be at the festival, featuring the Nepean Pan Harmonics, an Ottawa-based steel pan group, as well as the Mason Hall Folk Performers. The Performers will be showcasing a mixture of folk songs, drumming, dance and calypso at this year’s Festival.

The Tourism Development and The High Commission of Trinidad and Tabago are hoping that the festival provides a great experience for those who are curious about the island’s culture and food. Many Canadians are unaware that flights to Trinidad and Tobago are available via West Jet.

To find more information about The Ottawa Wine and Food Festival, visit their website.