At Harbourfront this Saturday
By Lincoln DePradine
For Torontonians, especially young people, craving for a taste of the Caribbean, an opportunity is being presented to enjoy the region’s cuisine, without ever leaving the city.
Harbourfront Centre – beginning this Saturday, May 20, to next Monday, May 22 – is presenting “JUNIOR, Toronto’s International Children’s Festival’’.
The three-day event, of ticketed and free programming, will feature “a full range of performances, workshops and inclusive events for the entire family’’, according to Harbourfront officials.
“JUNIOR’s 2023 programming invites children of all ages to step off the beaten path to discover the many adventures of growing up. Follow stories of resilience, revel in cultural celebrations and experience the limitless possibilities of movement and creativity, led by local and international artists and storytellers.’’
However, one of the highlights of the festival is also the “Noir Experience Food Workshops’’. They are being hosted by a Black chef collective showcasing cuisine from the Caribbean and Africa.
Each of the Noir Experience chefs will work with a group of children and their guardians in an interaction that promises to bring “culturally rich and tasty dishes to life.’’
“What’s going to be exciting about attending this weekend is people are going to learn from three Black chefs about making food that should have been defining Toronto for a long time,’’ said Noir Experience founder, Chef Adisa Glasgow, who is originally from South Oropouche in Trinidad.
“I often watched my mother and grandmother cook,’’ Glasgow told The Caribbean Camera, explaining that he has no formal training as a chef.
He left Trinidad for Canada and began studies in anthropology. After abandoning his studies, he landed a job as a dishwasher in Vancouver.
“I started washing dishes and when people called in sick, I told the chef that I could work the station,’’ he recalled.
Noir Experience held its first public event last December. “It was so well attended that we figured that we could do more with it,’’ said Glasgow.
He said many people have admitted never having attended a tasting menu with all-Black chefs.
“Noir Experience is an opportunity to give under-represented chefs a platform to perform, to cook and showcase their skills and talents. And then, the proceeds typically go to a charity. We’re not really doing this for profit,’’ said Glasgow.
Other than Glasgow, other Noir Experience chefs to be featured at Harbourfront are Jamaican Latonya Bentley, who will make a “quiche florentine with plantains’’; and Ethiopian Yohannes Asres, who will prepare “lentil sambusa’’.