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Toronto Chowfest: Os sabores e misturas das frutas de Trinidad e Tobago

Um festival muito aclamado pelo público na cidade é o “Toronto Chowfest”, que será realizado no próximo dia 24 de agosto, já vai a sua quarta edição, sendo a primeira deste ano. O festival de Trinidad e Tobago, que celebra os sabores extremos das frutas, traz pratos incríveis com misturas dessas diversas frutas, culinárias típicas e grandes apresentações.

Todo verão, o “Toronto Chowfest”, que começou em 2016, traz boa música, performances ao vivo e o grande diferencial deste ano é que será realizada a primeira competição de “Chow” de Toronto, onde ocorrerá uma saborosa disputa do melhor prato apresentado com ingredientes e frutas típicas. O grande prêmio terá o valor de US $ 250.

Este evento tão incrível está sendo organizado por Savannah Taylor, que conversou com o Jornal Milénio Stadium sobre a expectativa e os desafios de realizar mais um evento.

Milénio Stadium: How did you come up with the idea of making this event so important for Toronto?
Savannah Taylor: Toronto and the GTA has a very big Caribbean population but each island is unique in its own way. We wanted to create something that could cater to our Trinidadian community in the city. We strive to celebrate our Trinidad and Tobagonian culture and provide a “laid-back” environment for everybody to enjoy, Trinidadian or not! “Liming” is a big thing in our culture which is really just a group of people hanging out, drinking and listening to music. Trinis can lime anytime and anywhere. Seriously. Anytime! So, we decided to host an all-day lime with our Trinidadian dish “chow”, as the focal point.

MS: Do you care about reaching a specific audience? If so, what kind of audience are you looking for?
ST: While Toronto Chowfest is a Trinidad and Tobagonian festival, we want to reach anybody that enjoys Caribbean culture and food. We have partnered with Kalypso hut and many other restaurants in the GTA, so that we can reach a wider audience. A lot of Caribbean restaurants are not found on the main strips, they are in plazas or hidden spots across the GTA. So, Toronto Chowfest seeks to celebrate our culture, while exposing our audience to new restaurants. Although we are primarily based in the peel region, We plan on expanding all throughout the GTA.

MS: What are the challenges for those who organize street festivals?
ST: We actually partner with restaurants to put on our festival so we don’t have the same challenges that street festivals may have. This year, our main event will be at Kalypso Hut in Mississauga. However, our festival is primarily outdoors so a big challenge for us is the unpredictable weather! Last year, we got rained on! Even though we still had a good turn out and a successful event the weather is something we will have to watch out for this year.

“Chow is synonymous with liming in trini culture. it’s a local dish that’s been handed down over time and has become part of our culture” – Savannah Taylor

 

MS: What led to the organization to put this event together? What are your motivations to keep on hosting this event every year?
ST: Toronto Chowfest started as an idea to bring business to Caribbean bars and restaurants. Toronto doesn’t really have a festival specifically for the Caribbean bars and restaurants. We strive to celebrate our culture and food while supporting our local Caribbean restaurants.
The focal point of our festival is our chow competition. Every year at Toronto Chowfest, our restaurants, and the public compete with their best chow for a cash prize of $250! Chow is synonymous with liming in trini culture. it’s a local dish that’s been handed down over time and has become part of our culture. Simply put, its a dish of seasoned fruit. However, it’s elaborated with particular spices so that it blends with the particular fruit that’s being seasoned. The most popular chow is mango but you can make chow out of any fruit. Especially more tropical (or exotic fruits) like pomerac, pommecythere, and even the cashew fruit.

MS: What kinds of difficulties do you encounter organizing the festival?
ST: We are a fairly new festival and are 100% family-run, so a lot of the things we are learning in terms of planning and promotion are very new to us. We are learning as we grow and having a lot of fun while doing so. Fortunately, we have not encountered any major issues that we could not handle.

MS: Is there any support from the people, the government and the community as a whole?
ST: Yes! This year we have had a lot of support from our community. A lot of people are sharing the event on social media and word of mouth. In addition, with the help of our sponsors especially UA Local 46, we’ve been working to provide our community with a memorable and exciting day.

Informações sobre o evento:

Saturday, August 24 at 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Local: Kaylpso Hut
1455 Britannia Rd E, Mississauga

Adriana Marques


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