Toronto Events

Ackee Fest: A Festival So Delicious, You Have to Try It

Written by Staff Writer

Ackee Fest Returns for a Third Year with a New Spin on a Traditional Dish

Toronto, Ontario – Celebrating Jamaica’s national fruit, 2015 marks the third anniversary of the Caribbean culinary festival, Ackee Fest. On Sunday, August 16 from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm at the Jamaican Canadian Centre, 995 Arrow Road this family friendly event will leave attendees with their stomach and hearts full.

From hot and mild, to savoury and sweet, Ackee Fest 2015 showcases the versatility of Ackee serving both traditional and contemporary fusion dishes. From Ackee and Saltfish to Ackee Lemon Cheesecake attendees can expect a mouthwatering experience.

This year’s festival highlights include an Ackeelicious booth serving unique Ackee dishes including; coconut soup, chocolate mousse, ice cream and lemon cheesecake highlighting a sweeter side to the fruit traditionally used in savoury dishes.

“Nothing brings people together quite like sharing a meal does,” says founder and organizer Lona Hughes. “What makes this festival unique is that attendees are sharing more than just a meal. Many are sharing their heritage with their children, and stories of their childhood in Jamaica with their friends and community. Meanwhile we also have so many people experiencing Ackee for the first time and building their own memories.”

Ackee was first brought over to the Caribbean from Africa during the 18th century, and is traditionally served with salt fish. Ackee Fest inspires attendees to celebrate the fruit by using it in new ways.

Each year the festival hosts a competition challenging local chefs to present an innovative Ackee dish to a panel of judges. This year chef Gene Campbell will return to defend his title as the reigning champion. The competition will be judged by 2015 Miss Caribbean Canada, Valarie Steele, President of Jamaican Diaspora-Canada Foundation, Francesco Serpe from sponsor TD Canada Trust and Christopher Jones from TTC’s ATU Local 113.

This year’s festival features live entertainment including; drummer Muhtadi Thomas, Little Mr. Philippines Canada, singer Edward Jones, folklore storyteller Letna Allen, singer Nana McLean, dance group Arch Angels Dance Academy as well as a Kid Zone with face painting, art classes, games, and story telling.

Attendees can also browse the marketplace where they can purchase vegan delights, books, Ras Stone’s Art, one of a kind pieces from local artisans, and more.

An authentic Jamaican style brunch will be served from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, and dinner from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Both meals are included in the ticket price. Dishes served will include favourites like Ackee and Saltfish, jerk chicken, fried plantain, and less traditional dishes like Ackee fritters, Ackee pasta salad and Ackee lasagna.

Ackee Fest raises funds for The Sage In Me Education Services; a Toronto based non-profit organization, which aims to provide programs, services and events that focus on academic development, mental wellness, and self-empowerment to build healthy communities.

Advance tickets for adults can be purchased for $30 from select ticket outlets or for $35 at the door. Children’s tickets are on sale $15. For more ticket information please visit Ackeefest.com.

 

About Ackee Fest

Founded in 2013 to support The Sage in Me Education Services, Ackee Fest celebrates Caribbean culture and the heritage of Jamaica’s national fruit; Ackee. The festival is only possible with the support of sponsors. Ackee Fest thanks all of this year’s sponsors, including; Toronto Arts Council, OAKS, TD Canada Trust, ATU Local 113, JCA, 404 Media Group, PM Multi-Link Services, Don’s Meat, Kisko, Grace, Gay Lea. For more information about Ackee Fest visit ackeefest.com.

About the author

Staff Writer