The Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Housing, and the Environment (MALHE) in collaboration with the Montserrat Arts Council and the Montserrat Tourism Board will be hosting its first Breadfruit & Mango Festival at the end of August.
The event, slated for Sunday, August 28, 2022, at the Montserrat National Trust in Salem, will feature several competitions, with cash prizes to be won.
The brainchild of the ministry’s new Agriculture Development Specialist Dr. Kevin Crooks, the one-day event seeks to discover value-added products, which have the potential to be scaled for export.
Crooks stated, “Montserrat has an abundance of breadfruit and mangoes, which can be used in lots of different ways. This festival is our way to discover the innovators who are using these fruits to create new products. The Department of Agriculture can then provide additional support to these entrepreneurs”.
Festival attendees will get to participate in a silent vote for the best products, which use breadfruit and mango as the main ingredient. There will also be a cooking competition for both adults and children. The mango eating competition is also expected to be a highlight of the day.
“Breadfruit is very versatile. Not only can one tree feed a family of four for a lifetime. It can be used to make gluten-free flour, in cosmetics and as a substitute for meat,” Dr. Crooks explained. “Mangoes are equally versatile, and we are excited to see what the people of Montserrat will produce.”
Supporting the festival will be the Montserrat Tourism Division, who will co-sponsor the participation of award-winning chef, Todd Manley of St. Croix. Manley is the co-founder of Mutiny Island Vodka, the world’s first vodka distilled from breadfruit. Mutiny Island Vodka won a gold medal at the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
While on the island, Manley will take part in a pub-crawl, which will allow guests to sample his breadfruit-based vodka. He along with other local presenters will share information about using breadfruit and other local foods as part of our daily nutrition. The festival will close with a special dinner prepared by Manley and local chefs at Summer Breeze Restaurant in Little Bay.
Director of the Montserrat Tourism Division Rosetta West-Gerald, said, “This festival aligns with our current thrust to promote our natural environment and our indigenous products as part of Brand Montserrat. We believe the Breadfruit & Mango Festival can become another important expression of what Montserrat has to offer.”
There will be lots of entertainment, a play zone for children and something for the entire family to enjoy. The Breadfruit & Mango Fest kicks off at 11AM and ends at 7PM on Sunday, August 28, 2022, at the Montserrat National Trust.
To enter the product development and cooking competitions, adults must pay a registration fee of $50 and must be paid at the Montserrat Arts Council by Friday, August 19, 2022. Children must register but do not have to pay the fee.