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Around the World Food & Drink Festival in Ghana

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Ify from Ify’s Kitchen demonstrating some cooking ideas during her masterclass. [Image courtesty ATW Food Festival].

The Around the World Food and Drinks Festival brought together global citizens in Accra for a culinary experience over the Christmas weekend.  The 3-day festival took place from the 24th – 26th December 2021 and celebrated the food culture of 20 different countries with the aim of boosting tourism through food.  The festival was endorsed by the Beyond the Return Secretariat and was part of the DecemberInGH activities under the Ghana Tourism Authority.   

Since President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo launched the Year of Return 2019 campaign, Ghana has quickly risen in the ranks of travel destinations for people of African descent living in the diaspora and other parts of the continent.  The month of December has especially become the time of year Ghana is seen as a ‘go-to’ destination for the holiday season.  Although the Covid-19 pandemic has hindered international travel due to increased restrictions and protocols, it didn’t stop many travellers from making the journey to Ghana this year.  

Some of the foods at the festival included Qdoba Queso and Chicken Taquitos from Mexico, Creole Fish Sauce from Seychelles, Bunny Chow from South Africa, Tom Yum Gong from Thailand, Briam from Greece, and Pesto Mash from India.  Everyone at the festival had the chance to take their taste buds on a journey around the world. The festival hosted several events over the three days and featured chefs and food experts from around the world.  Ghanaian International Chef Sweet Adjeley, Tacos God Chef Keeks, and Ify of Ify’s Kitchen all hosted a Masterclass sharing tips on cooking.  There was also a family brunch session with Menscook, Kofi Kinaata and a Hawaiian brunch hosted by Nyonyo and friends.  WhiteMoney, winner of Big Brother Naija Season 6, also hosted a masterclass sharing some of his secrets to how he cooked his way through Big Brother Naija. 

The festival also featured performances by some of Ghana’s best artists each night including  Efya, Kidi and Gyakie. EchoHouse Ghana Limited was responsible for organizing the event and their team was pleased with the outcome of this festival with plans to host it annually.  “In celebrating our diverse cultures and seeing how unique we are and the things we have in common, we are reminded of our shared humanity,” said the CEO of EchoHouse Ghana Ltd., Beryl Agyekum Ayaaba.  She said that this festival created a place where we could all be part of a global cultural scene.  “Often during global events such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, we forget that we are in this together and that what sometimes seems to separate us, can also bring us together”, she added. “Spaces such as Around The World Food And Drinks Festival creates a meeting place where people of diverse backgrounds come together with a shared quest of exploring new culinary palates and appreciating other cultures.”

The festival was the first of its kind in Ghana bringing the best cuisine from around the world together in one place. Each country has its own cuisine that tells the story of who they are through food. The festival is a great way for people who appreciate global cuisine to come together and enjoy without having to travel. It was a melting pot of diverse culture celebrating great food from around the world.

Story by: Ivy Prosper