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Popular workshop explores Afro Caribbean culture through food (14 photos)

In celebration of Newmarket's Black History Month, participants tasted their way through the islands, while hearing stories about how food and cuisine shape who we are

In celebration of Black History Month, York Region Food Network (YRFN) and the Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association (NACCA), in partnership with the Town of Newmarket, hosted an evening of Afro-Caribbean cooking and storytelling. 

Chef Maxine Knight, culinary program director for YRFN, led the workshop Friday night that explored culture through food at the workshop at the Newmarket Recreation Youth Centre and Sk8te Park Friday, Feb. 21. Participants went on a culinary journey, exploring the variations of pre-colonial food throughout the continent of Africa to modern day Caribbean cuisine. 

Participants tasted their way through the islands, hearing stories and experiences to better understand the impacts the trans-Atlantic slave trade and colonization has had on the migration of people and foodstuffs, and the historical significance of Afro-Caribbean cuisines and practices. 

“This event bridges the gap between the past and the present, teaches us to examine the historical significance of Afro-Caribbean cuisines and practices and assesses how food and cuisines shapes who we are as a people,” said NACCA chairperson Jerisha Grant-Hall. 

 “The African continent has had a tremendous impact on foodstuffs, cuisines and cultures throughout the Caribbean, South America and North America. This session offers an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate these influences,” she added. 

The popular workshop will be offered again in May.

York Region Food Network connects and empowers people to access healthy food through education and advocacy.