— Showcasing ‘food tourism’
Food is part of our everyday life, but the way we prepare it especially in West Africa leaves a lasting impression on visitors to the sub-Saharan region.
In the lure of promoting cultural exchange and tourism, the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, in collaboration with Liberia Professional Chefs Union, will for the first time host the West Africa Food Festival in Liberia.
Addressing the Ministry of Information regular press briefing Thursday, March 25, 2021, the President of Liberia Professionals Chefs Union, Alex Yamah, said the regional food festival is expected to take place from August 11-15, 2021 in Monrovia at the ministerial complex in Oldest Congo Town.
The Country’s selection comes as a result of Liberian professional chefs’ performance at the first and second editions of the annual regional food festival.
The Chief Chef said the five-day event will bring together a host of West African countries including Ghana, Benin, Sierra Leone, Togo, Nigeria, and The Gambia, being the main contenders.
The participants will be involved in a series of activities beginning with a Chef’s Master Class session on day one, City and Factory Tour on day two, Chefs move to the classroom on the third day, Countries Competition on day four, and climax with a dinner and awards night. As a side attraction, there will be many other local and international independent vendors marketing their creative brands, food merchandise, and other creative products.
Mr. Yamah said the annual regional event is expected to be jam-packed with exciting activities including national and international cooking competitions, practical culinary training workshops, and a grand dinner displaying rich West African cuisine.
“As you may well know that food delivery provides an opportunity to revitalize and diversify tourism, thereby promoting local economies while involving several different professional sectors along the food value chain,” he said.
He indicated that the festival is intended to showcase the vital role chefs play in promoting local cuisine and providing customers and tourists with the best of local products.
The Liberia Professional Chefs Union head also disclosed that food tourism represents a very essential and growing economic sector in West Africa and Liberia stands in the position to tap on said essentiality to impact the local economy.
Mr. Yamah says Liberians can exaggerate the need to highlight unity in diversity of the West African people through food culture, indigenous meals, methods of preparation, and ways in which they are promoted. He added that the festival seeks to primarily promote the traditional food segment of tourism in Liberia.