‘Before Vegan, There Was Ital’: Food Fest Celebrates Jamaican Plant-Based Cuisine

A new food festival aims to celebrate Ital cuisine as well as the Rastafari community's role in the plant-based movement


3 Minutes Read

Dr. Aris Latham, founder of Sunfired Foods cooking plant-based cuisine Dr. Aris LaTham, founder of Sunfired Foods, is headlining the food demonstration stage at Ital Food Fest - Media Credit: Aris Latham

Following a successful New York media launch, hosted by Rastafarian celebrity Chef Troy Levy, the stage is set for an extraordinary international affair as the highly anticipated Ital Food Fest takes center stage in Jamaica.

This unique food festival – said to be the first of its kind – is the brainchild of British-Jamaican Michael and Felicia Cunningham. They created the event to celebrate the island’s rich culinary heritage, and promote the vibrant world of plant-based cuisine and wellness.

With a mission to showcase the wonders of Jamaican cuisine and its cultural significance, Ital Food Fest is a ground-breaking event that transcends borders. The festival brings together a diverse range of international talents, drawing inspiration from various corners of the world and attracting a global audience eager to explore the beauty of plant-based dining.

“We are thrilled to bring the Ital Food Fest to Jamaica,” says festival founder Cunningham. “This event represents a culmination of my passion for Jamaican cuisine and a desire to share our rich culinary heritage with the world. It’s an opportunity to showcase Jamaica’s commitment to sustainability, health, and wellness through the power of plant-based foods.”

“Rastafarians have been living this lifestyle,” Cunningham says. “Before vegan, before plant-based, there was I-tal.”

What’s on at Ital Food Fest 2023

  • A post by Ital Food Fest advertising the upcoming festival in Jamaica celebrating plant-based dishes
  • A post by Ital Food Fest on the Rastafari principles of eating plant-based in Jamaica

The festival promises an immersive experience that combines tantalizing flavours, captivating performances, and a celebration of the island’s natural beauty. 

From renowned chefs presenting their culinary masterpieces, to performances from top international Reggae artists on the main stage, to wellness experts guiding attendees through holistic practices, Ital Food Fest offers something for everyone.

Dr. Aris LaTham, founder of Sunfired Gourmet Foods and a leading figure in the raw food movement, is headlining the food demonstration stage at the festival. Dr. LaTham has been an advocate for plant-based diets for over 50 years and has dedicated his life to promoting the benefits of raw and organic plant foods for optimal health and wellness.

His expertise in the culinary arts and his passion for natural foods make him the perfect fit to showcase his delicious and innovative plant-based dishes on the food demonstration stage. We look forward to experiencing the unique flavours and creativity that Dr. LaTham will bring to the festival.

Dr. Aris LaTham, founder of Sunfired Gourmet Foods, speaking about the upcoming Ital Food Fest 2023 in Jamaica

This year’s festival is set to attract both local and international visitors, establishing itself as a must-attend event on the global food festival calendar. With attendees interested in eco-tourism, cultural tourism, and gastronomy, Ital Food Fest serves as a platform to promote Jamaica as a premier destination for those seeking an authentic and sustainable culinary experience.

The inaugural Ital food festival will take place at the stunning Plantation Cove, Jamaica’s premier entertainment venue in Saint Ann, on July 15. With an expected attendance of over 20,000 patrons, the festival promises to captivate visitors with its diverse line-up of performers, engaging workshops, and immersive culinary experiences.

To learn more about Ital Food Fest 2023 or to purchase tickets, visit the website here.

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