In celebration of National Heritage Week 2020, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the Embassy of Colombia in Jamaica jointly staged a virtual cooking exposition, which highlighted the countries’ culinary similarities.
The Gastronomic Cultural Exchange, dubbed, ‘A Conversation with Paula Silva – ‘Coachef’’, was streamed live from the Runaway Bay HEART/NSTA Trust Institute in Runaway Bay, St. Ann, on Wednesday (October 21), where Colombian culinary exponent demonstrated her versatility.
The Ministry also elicited the participation of renowned Jamaican culinary maestro, Brian Lumley, for the engagement.
State Minister in the Ministry, Hon. Alando Terrelonge, who was the keynote speaker, said the event highlighted the influence of “our African heritage” on Caribbean and Latin American cuisine.
“The concept is ‘Jamaica-Colombia shared heritage’, and as we celebrate heritage week, we thought – how better to celebrate [the occasion] than to do something novel by sharing [it] with our neighbours with whom we have special bonds… special linkages. It’s about that joint culinary experience coming from Africa with the influences of the Caribbean and Latin America, generally,” he stated.
Against this background, Mr. Terrelonge thanked Colombia’s Ambassador to Jamaica, Her Excellency Aguilar Pulido, for partnering with the Ministry on the initiative.
In her remarks, Ambassador Pulido said the event is a celebration of the “unbreakable bond” between Jamaica and Colombia and the sharing of a gift that “our African heritage has given to our kitchens”.
Chefs Lumley and Silva prepared traditional cuisines from Jamaica and Colombia respectively, using a common ingredient – gungo peas – which is known as ‘guandu’ in the South American country.
Chef Silva prepared a white yam cake layered with gungo peas topped with sugar cane and tamarind sauce, while Chef Lumley whipped up rice and gungo peas with oxtail and oxtail lasagna.
Among the other notable guests gracing the event were France’s Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Denys Wibaux, and Charge D’Affaires at the Embassy of Spain, Victoria Garcia.