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Restaurant Week: Behaviours wouldn’t change overnight - PS Tourism

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C-H-M-PS-TBasseterre, St. Kitts, 21st April, 2017 (MyVueNews.com) - While no measurements have been taken regarding Restaurant Week, a joint venture between the Ministry of Tourism and the Department of Agriculture, officials are of the view that it is an essential exercise.

This year marks the third edition of Restaurant Week having as its focus the creative preparation and presentation of local yam. Past events have focused on the breadfruit and the sweet potato.

Local restaurants, even street food vendors, can register to participate, offering special menus with the focus on yam. In addition, persons can enter the Yam Challenge competition.

But after two years of Restaurant Week, have there been any measurable change in the purchase pattern of persons who visit restaurants. Are they purchasing more locally centered foods?

Carlene Henry-Morton, the acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Tourism responded, “I can’t say anything scientific has been done, but we have had some anecdotal evidence  that we have more of an awareness among the public about eating establishments.”

She indicated that a number of the dishes that were brought on stream - the breadfruit dishes, pumpkin and so on - are still being used and sold at some of the eating establishments.

Henry-Morton said, “We do not expect that behaviours are going to change overnight. That is why we are sticking to what we are doing.”

She continued, “I think we have enough evidence that people are listening and people are interested. This is significant enough. It is about food safety, food security, building that awareness… maybe in year five that would be the time to do something scientific, but for now, we feel it is pretty positive, and we’re moving in the right direction.”

Director of Agriculture Melvin James supports this view.

“This is a thrust that we must continue. We must continue to promote local, to feed ourselves and to depend less on external resources,” he said.



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