August 23, 2007


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Enjoy the Caribbean sans hurricanes
African/Caribbean Celebration offers exotic eats, music
By Lisa Brown

You don’t have to buy a plane ticket and worry about the weather in order to enjoy the tastes and sounds of the Caribbean. They’re all in Manchester’s backyard. The annual African/Caribbean Celebration happens this Saturday, Aug. 25, at Veterans Park, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The day-long food-and-music festival is an annual event recognizing the growing ethnic diversity in the Queen City and surrounding areas.

“One of the things that make this event characteristic and significant is that we really focus on involving local community members,” said Woullard Lett, chairman of the African/Caribbean Celebration. “The main purpose is community-building, to provide the opportunity for social interaction and relationship-building among members of the very diverse community of African descent.”

“I really like it because being in Manchester it is very difficult to connect with the minority population and the festival is an opportunity to meet and greet a variety of people, black and white or whatever,” said Zelma McKinney, of Premier Pallette, a restaurant on Elm Street. “I like the camaraderie of meeting different people, especially other professionals, and the entertainment is normally very good.” This is the third year Premier Palette is providing food at the event. McKinney says she shuts down her restaurant and tells all her customers to meet her at Veterans Park if they’re hungry. McKinney isn’t about to miss the festival.

The lineup of entertainment is likely to make you wish for an island vacation, or at least an umbrella drink at a tiki bar. Expect steel drums, hip-hop and maybe even a little reggae. Performers include Albert and Family (from the Republic of Congo), Caribbean Youth Dance Troupe (Dominican Republic), Mystic Vibes (Jamaica), NFBC African Drumming Gospel Group (Pan-African), Rhumbafrica (Republic of Congo), Somali Dancers (Somalia), Sudanese Traditional Dancers (Sudan) and the Ziyaddah Komfum Drum and Dance Troupe (Pan-African).

Food for the festival is being prepared by several area restaurants and specialty cooks. There will be African barbecue, Jamaican cuisine including jerk chicken and beef from Soucy Caribbean Catering, and Southern cuisine from Premier Palette including fried fish, collard greens, fried corn, corn bread, dirty cole slaw and a few festival surprises.

The dirty cole slaw is a secret recipe of Zelma McKinney’s.

“My recipes are family recipes and I don’t give away my recipes,” McKinney said.

“They [festival-goers] love that dirty cole slaw. It is vinegar-based, it has special spices and seasonings and it is drizzled with homemade barbecue sauce,” McKinney said. “It has a sweet-tart taste and is very refreshing.”

McKinney plans on serving a mix of southern and soul food, including smoked beef brisket and southern fried fish with hush puppies. She will also serve ox tail, a Haitian-African dish that is popular in Jamaica and at the Premier Palette.

“I braise them [ox tails] in canola oil, season them and then put them in a pan and cover them with water and season them with onion and pepper and cook ’em slow,” McKinney said. “We serve it over rice; it has a really nice gravy.”

For dessert, there’s sweet potato pie and Georgia Butter Pound Cake.

Vendors will sell traditional African and Caribbean arts and crafts at the festival. The African/Caribbean festival is free and organizers say they expect several thousand people to attend.

“This annual event serves as a salve for the feeling of social isolation and cultural alienation experienced by New Hampshire residents of African descent, “ said Woullard Lett. “Our motto for the event is ‘Understanding is the only antidote for intolerance.’”

For more information on the African/Caribbean festival call 627-4631.

8/16/2007 Festival weekend

8/9/2007 Still time to scream
8/2/2007 Perfecting a pound of pasta
7/26/2007 Gourmet Concord?
7/19/2007 Tart treats of a New Hampshire summer
7/12/2007 Reintroducing ratatouille
7/5/2007 Time to hit the grill
6/28/2007 Peanutty dinner delight
6/21/2007 Spicy meat, grilled meat and saucy meat
6/14/2007 Holy Barbecue
6/07/2007 A wine for Red Sox
5/31/2007 Pinot noir romance
5/24/2007 Josh Logan eats (not before shows)
5/17/2007 Baklava, spanakopita and souvlaki — a.k.a. dinner
5/10/2007 Cremeland celebrates 60 years of burgers and shakes
5/3/2007 New eats in bloom
4/26/2007 Pho sure
4/19/2007 Cakes, cow-free
4/12/2007 Serving up the first square
4/5/2007 More than just a chocolate bunny
3/29/2007 New 'nuches
3/22/2007 A taste of genuine sweetness
3/15/2007 From homemade to home business
3/8/2007 Shop the farmers' market year round
3/1/2007 Feeding Mama Kicks
2/22/2007 Keepers of the vino
2/15/2007 Noodly comfort food
2/8/2007 The luxury of osso bucco
2/1/2007 Super platters for the Super Bowl
1/25/2007 It's a wrap
1/18/2007 The writing foodie
1/11/2007 Where the beef is, piled high and hot
1/04/2007 The healthy foodie
12/28/2006 The return of pasta and fall of the diet: the year in eats
12/21/2006 Organic on the ice
12/14/2006 French but not fussy
12/07/2006 Southeast U.S. culture, in sandwich form
11/30/2006 Bites of comfort with chips of happiness
11/23/2006 Cityside adds class to conveniece
11/16/2006 Easier-to-enjoy Thanksgiving feasts
11/9/2006 The new classic
10/26/2006 Whip up a quiche
10/19/2006 A new way to crepe
10/12/2006 Comfort food for blokes and birds
10/05/2006 Smaller crop but still red and delicious
09/28/2006 The crunchier, lighter, healthier wrap
09/21/2006 City bagels in suburbia
09/14/2006 Cracking the custard code
09/07/2006 Eat your way down the block
08/31/2006 New flavors for an old summer dish
08/24/2006 Way down south in Hollis
08/17/2006 Frappe vs. milkshake
08/10/2006 Enjoy the bluest month
08/03/2006 Death of Toro
07/27/2006 Vacation on a plate
07/20/2006 Hitting barbecue big time
07/13/2006 Relishing the raspberry
07/06/2006 Are your edible souveneirs kosher?
06/29/2006 Fish, upscale
06/22/2006 Sweet rosey taste of summer
06/15/2006 When to pull out the EVOO
06/08/2006 What can you grill?
06/01/2006 Taste of downtown Nashua
05/25/2006 Deulge at farms
05/18/2006 Adorable and delicious
05/11/2006 Rub down
05/04/2006 Pinot to go
04/27/2006 A bit Italian, a bit egg foo young
04/20/2006 Meatier than breakfast...
04/13/2006 Let yourself eat cake
04/06/2006 Fear not the Risotto
03/30/2006 Making Friday a fishy delight
03/23/2006 The Thin Mints are here
03/16/2006 Divining your personality from pizza
03/09/2006 Cooking up a big bowl of comfort
03/02/2006 Dumplings demystified
02/23/2006 Carbs and comfort all the way
02/16/2006 She sells sushi by the sea shore
2/09/2006 Biting into the burger with bling
02/02/2006 Forget formal dining, head to the bar
01/26/2006 Goodbye rooster, hello year of the dog
01/19/2006 The secret lives of chefs
01/12/2006 Cooking up a pot of delayed gratification
01/05/2006 A sunny Italian side dish
A year of eats

All-you-can-read guide to breakfast
A bagel by any other l
A picnic — it’s romance with ants
A sweet burst of summer, in stages
Beef, It's What's For Dinner, Lunch, And Dessert
Be it ever so humble, the burger rules
Blockbuster snacks for your movie
Box Of Chocolates
C Is For Cookie And Christmas And Cool Combo
Celebrating A Holiday For The Rest Of Us
Celebrate Easter In A Sugar Coma
Chat And Chew

Chinese soup is magic
Chocolate cake makes everything better
Chocolate, Part II
Competition flows like chocolate
Corn Flake Chicken, Honeycomb Salad
Dining at the "Your House Bistro"
Don't Dread The Bread
Dress Up Your Next Meal
Drinking Out Of The Box
Eating Your Way Back To Health
Enter Soup
Experiments With Very Bad Brownies
Feeding A Crowd The Morning After
Follow the cider house rules
Fresh Herbs
Go ahead — run silent, run deep
Goodbye corn syrup, hello organic oatmeal
Go Indian for Thanksgiving
Grilled Cheese Junkie

Halloween candy for grown-ups
Have a Happy Meal and a happier wallet
Holiday Cookies - The Easy Way
Holiday Potluck 101-Tips For The Kitchen Novice
Home-Based Date
How do you like them apples?
In-A-Pinch Love Feast
It's not easy to be cheesy
It’s not Christmas without tamales
Lest We Forget The Humble Squash
Keeping your cool while you eat
Living through your salad days

Looking Beyond The Hot Dog Stand
Lunching your way to a less toxic you
Meat's meat and a man's gotta eat

Moist and delicious chicken — no, really
Oatmeal Cookies, The Miracle Cure
Oscar Night, When The Stars Come Out To Eat

Offering Up A Slice Of Teriyaki Pie
Pot Pies Are Darn Tasty
Pumpkin-Flavored Treats
Small Plates Are The Next Big Thing
Speedy 'za not pie in the sky
Steak: it’s what’s for dinner, again
Summer coolers, just add sunlight
Summer Squash
Super Bowl Grub
Take A Walk On The Dark Side
Taste of Manchester Event
The Cosmopolitan
The joys of a simple oatmeal breakfast
The return of comfort food
The One-Note Cook Book
The New American Plate Cookbook
The Stickiest, Hottest & Sweetest Of Love's Labors
The taste of retro
The Unheralded Peanut Butter Cookies
The union of sweet and heat
The Weekly Dish (12-16-04)
The Weekly Dish (12-23-04)

The Weekly Dish [1-13-05]
There's a Barbecue Bonanza Next Door
Week Four: Adding Diet To The Mix
What Was Hot And Haute In 2004
When $$ trumps urge to dine out
When in doubt, go for the organic
When nothing else will cool, Slurp it
You Say Potato, She'll Say Potato,Too
You say tomato, writer says lunch