Ignite amazed across all fronts
From the cultural show showcasing Bahamian storytelling, singing, playing, ringplay games; and tastebuds fired up with flavors from local as well as global chefs, Ignite was a success.
Chef Simeon Hall Jr.’s latest venture in his stellar series of events brought together the talents of several Bahamian as well as international chefs to participate in an event reminiscent of the way our ancestors prepared food – with no gas, no electricity and no modern equipment. The result was amazing culinary dishes prepared with raw skills and talent.
Coupled with an authentic all-Bahamian entertainment lineup, an art performance and the beautiful, historic venue of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, the entertainment was a throwback to the days of cabaret dinner shows such as those that were held at the Marriott’s Crystal Palace Theater and local haunts of the 60’s – The Silver Slipper and The Cat & The Fiddle, infused with the pulsating beats of goatskin drums, cow bells and conch shell horns.
The evening was both memorable and emotional to many as creative artisans of the diaspora reminded patrons of the importance of The Bahamas’ role in preserving, enhancing and sustaining global culture today. The goal to highlight and reinvent traditional Bahamian cultural experiences, and retell Bahamian history through a vibrant culinary and artistic lens, worked.
Farm-to-table and sea-to-table showcased the freshest ingredients possible foraged – from the Snappers to the island donkey sausage, to the heirloom vegetables curated for the event, to the red and purple hued grains from Geechie Boys Mill.
Along with the celebrity chefs, University of The Bahamas’ culinary arts and tourism studies students got valuable experience in helping to prepare and cook for the events associated with Ignite.
Ignite participating chefs also gave back to the Bahamian community by preparing 400 meals for Hands 4 Hunger with the assistance of the student volunteers.
The menu was exquisite. Pass around appetizers included donkey “salty” sausage, heirloom kettle popcorn with edible flower, Alfie’s conch fritters and Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) grown papaya salad served on heirloom plantains.
Mains included braised goat, dry-rubbed BBQ lamb, cast-iron skillet fried fish, flame-broiled conch or 12-hour roasted wild meat, 12-hour Heritage-bred pig, flame-broiled conch, 12-hour roasted wild meat, cauldron-roasted Andros vegetables, fennel salad, Green Leaf Farm salad with a mango vinaigrette, Geechie Boy Mills bean and rice pilau and crab and whelks soup.
Dessert featured Sun and Ice ice creams – soursop, guava fluff, caramel sugar banana and burnt coconut among the offerings, along with sticky tamarind rice balls, fire roasted fruits, banana leaf chocolate cake and slow-churned peach mango ice cream.