Chef, Paulette Tejada; Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to Canada, Pedro Vergés Cimán; Chef, Indhira Peguero; Director of the Tourism Promotion Office for the Dominican Republic in Montreal, Cosette Garcia.

(Ottawa, March 5, 2019). – Last week, the Embassy and Ministry of Tourism of Dominican Republic successfully held its annual Dominican Gastronomic & Culinary Festival in Ottawa to commemorate the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations of Dominican Republic and Canada, and celebrate the country’s diverse gastronomy. The 2019 festival gave Dominican Republic the opportunity to share the warmth of their country with the people of Canada who have been loyal visitors since the first tourists arrived on their beaches.

From February 24 to 28, a variety of activities were held as part of the festival, beginning with a culinary tasting event at one of the most popular Dominican restaurants in Ottawa “Bistro Alegría”. A special presentation of our national dish “El Sancocho” was created by the famous Canadian chef “Soup Guy” of Ottawa; following a 3-day culinary experience held at the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel, which showed all the flavors of the Dominican Republic in its culinary baggage.

Additionally, and taking into account the commercial and travel aspect, meetings and lunches were held with important tour operators such as Sunwing, Air Canada and Air Transat, informative seminars were held with the aim of highlighting various aspects of the Dominican Republic as a tourist destination for travel agents, specialized media and guests. The seminars included presentations of important representations of the public and private sector, including Viva Resorts, Sirenis, Hodelpa, Ocean, Casa de Campo, Iberostar, Be Live, Senator Resorts, Bahia Principe, La Romana Airport representation, the Tourist Cluster of Puerto Plata and important Canadian travel partners such as Air Transat.

An exhibition of Dominican artisans open to the public, hotel guests and special visitors were the actions carried out in the Albert Hall with prominent Dominican artisans such as CAYENART & FRICA Jewelry, the presence of the chocolate factory of Puerto Plata CHOCAL, as well as local Dominican artisans such as Nadal Creations, YML Designs and EkoWrap.

The seminar led by the Trade Facilitation Office of Canada (TFO Canada) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA-Canada) gave insight into Inclusive International Trade and Food Science to create links between Dominican exporters and Canadian buyers.

Also, a special presentation of Dominican chocolate producers from the chocolate factory CHOCAL from the town of Altamira in Puerto Plata was held with the objective to present to the Canadian Market the inspired story of the Dominican cacao.

The highlight of the meeting was the reception in commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the National Independence, which was attended by businessmen, Canadian authorities, ambassadors and other representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Canada, representatives of the Dominican community and members of the various delegations. They visited the Canadian capital to participate in the activities.

On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Assistant Deputy Minister for the Americas, Michael Grant, made an appearance during his speech, referring to the evolution of Dominican-Canadian relations, highlighting the attractive culture and climate of the country for tourists from Canada. The reception was also attended by the President of the Canadian Senate, George Furey, and the Senator from Quebec, Rosa Galvéz, as well as the Chief of Protocol of Canada, Stewart Wheeler.

To finalize the festivities, a Dominican Carnival night, open to the public, media and special guests, was celebrated on February 28th at the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel. This event revealed the richness of Dominican culture in an environment in which Canadians and Dominicans celebrated together to the rhythm of live merengue accompanied by the colours and excitement of the traditional “Diablos Cojuelos” or “Cojuelos” devils. Guests also had the opportunity to win a surprise trip to the Dominican Republic courtesy of Air Canada Vacations.

Renowned Dominican chefs Indhira Peguero and Paulette Tejada catered the festivities with delicious Dominican cuisine that mixed traditional flavours with a modern twist. Traditional dishes such as seven meat Dominican stew, yucca casserole with cheese and pork leg with plum and bacon were served.

“Dominican Republic has always been proud of its cuisine, however this is its time. The country has become a gastronomic destination, in fact, it has been an evolution more than a revolution. Over the past decade, local chefs, inspired by international influences, have been adapting traditional dishes to meet the modern tastes expressed, “said Cosette Garcia, Director of the Tourism Office of the DR in Montreal.” Many of the ingredients Dominican basic foods are now considered super foods, which have health benefits and promote longevity. The organic dark chocolate, made with Dominican cocoa beans, is among the best in the world. Today, a new generation of fans of the Foods publish their culinary adventures in the Dominican Republic on social networks “.


About Dominican Republic
Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the north and the Caribbean Sea on the south, our lush tropical and paradisiacal country boasts nearly 1,000 miles (1,609 km) of coastline, 250 miles (402 km) of the world’s top beaches, magnificent resorts and hotels, and a variety of sports, recreation and entertainment options. Here you can dance to the pulse pounding thrill of the merengue, renew in our luxurious and diverse accommodations, explore ancient relics of centuries past, delight in delicious Dominican gastronomy or enjoy ecotourism adventures in our magnificent national parks, mountain ranges, rivers and beaches.

Known for our warm and hospitable people, Dominican Republic is a destination like no other, featuring astounding nature, intriguing history and rich cultural experiences like music, art and festivals, plus uniquely Dominican specialties such as cigars, rum, chocolate, coffee, merengue, amber and larimar.

Dominican Republic features the best beaches, fascinating history and culture, and is a chosen escape for celebrities, couples and families alike. Visit Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism’s official website at:

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