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Caribbean chef launches culture cooking expo

DOING IT FOR THE CULTURE: Chef Lorenzo Richards, left, with Willard Wigan MBE

AWARD-WINNING chef Lorenzo Richards is cooking-up a storm with the launch of the largest indoor African and Caribbean food and drink expo to be held in Birmingham next month.

The three-day event is being held at the Quantum Exhibition Centre, River Street, Digbeth between Friday September 29 and Sunday October 1.

Chef Lorenzo recently held a Caribbean Bellini drinks reception to offer guests a taste of what the expo will have to offer. His mouth-watering selection of fusion food canapes included miniature Jamaican dumplings with salsa and Caribbean Scotch bonnet peppers, pumpkin rice arancini balls, and jerk Scotch eggs. He also served his signature ackee and saltfish bammy stack.

Chef Lorenzo is working in collaboration with three high profile partners from Birmingham’s African and Caribbean community. Vanessa Kelly, who is experienced in managing large scale-events including the annual Birmingham Caribbean Festival, is project manager for the expo. She is supported by Kadi Wilson, as event manager. Businessman Jonathan Leon is an approved contractor for the event. Together the quartet are organising the three-day food and drink event, which has been planned over the past two years.

THE UNVEILING: From left - Jonathon Leon, Kadi Wilson, Vanessa Kelly and Chef Lorenzo Richards

The expo is an ambitious project, which will bring together celebrity chefs and restaurants to help raise the profile of the diversity of African and Caribbean cuisines, which are both steeped in cross-cultural food influences. The event provides a platform for positioning African and Caribbean cuisine as a mainstream fine dining alternative to the popular cultural foods which have monopolised the UK restaurant scene for many decades.

High-profile personalities associated with the project include award-winning master chef Collin Brown, who will have one of six fully operational pop-up restaurants at the expo, where he will be serving his fusion between Caribbean and European cuisine.

English sculptor Willard Wigan MBE and celebrity Jamaican chef Rustie Lee, have both endorsed Chef Lorenzo’s role in the project.

Dr. Martin Glynn, a lecturer at Birmingham City University will be providing expert advice on the health benefits of African and Caribbean food.

Chef Lorenzo said:

“This is a very exciting time for everyone involved with the project. The expo has the ability to change the way people think about African and Caribbean food and drink. We are keen to attract industry professionals, food critics and foodies alike, from across the UK – anyone who is passionate about quality food but may never have considered African and Caribbean cuisine as a mainstream competitor for fine dining.”

For more information or to book tickets for the Culture Cooking Expo, click here.

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