By Ciara Long, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This Saturday, February 11th, food fair Junta Local will take place from 10AM in the grounds of Botafogo’s Christ Church. With free entry and continuing until 6PM, the artisanal culinary fair hopes to promote cultural inclusivity and exchange through different international cuisines.
In its first event of 2017, Junta Local, which normally features creative culinary efforts from producers and chefs across Rio, has teamed up with refugee and immigrant groups living in the city to provide an even broader offering for the occasion.
The fair wants to integrate these groups as regular producers in their normal events in the near future, as a part of its message that “food crosses walls, borders and prejudices”.
This Saturday, the typical selection of locally produced breads, cheeses, mushrooms, kombucha and other offerings will be accompanied by food stalls from Rio’s Syrian, Haitian, Colombian, Venzuelan, Indian and Peruvian residents among others in Botafogo’s Christ Church.
Christ Church’s pastor Mark Simpson said that Junta Local’s messages of inclusivity fits with the Church’s own key philosophies. Simpson says that the Church, which is coming up to its 200th anniversary in Rio, was originally based on this sense of welcoming those who approached it and wants to continue this legacy today.
“Welcoming is in the heart of our Christian faith,” Simpson told The Rio Times. “We’re very aware that there are many people having to move all over the world, because of violence and persecution, or due to extreme economic hardship. It feels like an automatic response to want to welcome others.”
Simpson is enthusiastic about the opportunity to build and strengthen diverse communities in Rio, but he is also keen to sample the range of food on offer from cultures around the world.
“I’m looking forward to the Pakistani food, which comes from a lovely family who turned up in Rio a few month ago,” he told the Rio Times. “They make beautiful curries and little snacks – and a good curry can be particularly hard to find in Rio.”
What: Junta Local de Verão + Chega Junto
When: Saturday, February 11th, 10AM – 6PM
Where: Christ Church Rio, Rua Real Grandeza 99, Botafogo, RJ