Dominican cuisine: supporting and promoting the travel and tourism sector
Counting culinary travelers is almost impossible, after all, everyone eats. However, food is a point of differentiation for many destinations and, in the case of the Dominican Republic, it influences the reasons why tourists arrive in the Caribbean country. “There are three things for which travelers go to a destination: a good climate, a good beach and delicious food”, as summarized by the chef of the Barceló Bávaro Grand Resort and Occidental Caribe, Hilario Martínez, during the opening ceremony of the Culinary Week 2022, an event that seeks to publicize the hotel’s gastronomic offer.
The World Food Travel Association is more specific. A survey found that 59% of tourists believe that food and drinks are “important” when traveling. During the opening of the seventh edition of the culinary event, the commercial director of the complex, Zarina Montalvo, said: “we try to bring diners a small sample of the diversity of flavors, textures and smells that gastronomy can offer”. “Gastronomy is much more than food. It reflects the culture, heritage, traditions and sense of community of different peoples. Tourists seem to be aware of this.” Chef Martínez indicated that travelers from any country want to know what the local gastronomy is like. “The first thing they ask is what are your typical dishes?” He maintained.
“It’s a requirement that we see daily,” he continued. That is why both during the event that will culminate next Sunday, October 23 with a menu of local dishes, and in his restaurant, he offers “everything”. “We make our moro, goat, mofongo, mangú in a cauldron, everything local. Also the stewed chicken and sancocho… everything that is our food is presented there”, he explained. Chef Nelson Minaya, who will be part of the last day of Culinary Week 2022, added that customers or tourists communicate with each other. “They come with an expectation”, or failing that, they ask “what is the local food here?”, “what do you recommend?”.
Montalvo, for his part, said that holding this type of event allows the hotel chain to diversify its offer and contributes to enriching the diversity of options available in the market.