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SPEAKERS – 2017 – Caribbean Food and Drink Conference
Food Conference postponed until
further notice
Write to us
Skype: Carib-Direct
Call us
44(0) 207 856 0376
44(0) 750 814 2478

The following are our confirmed speakers for the Caribbean Food and Drink Conference on Friday 18th August 2017 at Lambeth College, 45 Clapham Common South Side, London SW4 9BL. Start Time: 10:30 – End Time: 17:30

Ambassador Edwin Laurent:

Director of the Ramphal Institute and Visiting Senior Research Fellow King’s College London where he leads policy research, sustainable development and facilitation of diaspora investment in the Caribbean and West Africa.

Prior to this he was Contract Manager of a CARIFORUM Capacity Building programme which involved training in Competition, Public Procurement and Trade Facilitation. He was also Senior Adviser to UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative for the Caribbean, promoting an holistic approach to policy making in sustainable development. He worked for seven years at the Commonwealth Secretariat undertaking research and capacity building in trade and development policy.

Ambassador Edwin Laurent’s career began at St Lucia’s Ministry of Finance and later he was appointed Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade Industry and Tourism. Since then he has held various diplomatic postings including; Ambassador to France, Germany and Belgium, East Caribbean States’ Permanent Representative to the EU, St Lucia’s Permanent Representative to the WTO, the Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO and OPCW, and Special Envoy on bananas for the Heads of Government of Dominica, St Lucia and St Vincent.

He has lectured in Central and West Africa and the Caribbean on Trade and multilateral negotiations and written and published extensively on trade and development issues. In 2013 he was awarded the St Lucia Cross for services to development. He was educated at the Universities of the West Indies, Manchester and the Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies.


Julian Edwards

 Julian is the CEO of the national allergy aware scheme: Allergen Accreditation. and the current chair of the FCSI (UK&I) a member of the Institute of Hospitality.

He advises organisations on optimising catering services by means of best value tendering and reviews. Design and planning for new restaurant and refurbishments also forms part of his work as well as administering the Allergen Accreditation scheme in schools, hospitals, B&I, restaurants and the general catering sector.

2017 represents his 21st anniversary as an independent food service consultant, prior to which he was a chef and operations manager at various contract caterers including catering on London Buses in Shepherds Bush in the early 90’s!

He studied at Neath Tech, South Wales, in the 80’s after a stint as a head chef and has never left the food industry.


Dr Dalip Ragoobirsingh

Dr Dalip Ragoobirsingh, BSc(Hons),MPhil, PhD, FRSPH(UK) is Professor of Medical Biochemistry and Diabetology and Director, Diabetes Education Programme in the Faculty of Medical Sciences University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica. He is also a Consultant in the Diabetes Outpatient Clinic, University Hospital of the West Indies.

He was most recently a Fulbright Scholar to the Non- communicable  Diseases  Unit  of  the  Pan  American    Health Organization  (PAHO)  Headquarters,  Washington,  USA,  where  he  developed  a  Diabetes Education Curriculum for Caribbean Health Care Professionals.

Professor Ragoobirsingh has been honoured with invitations and accepted membership in several distinguished professional societies for his sterling contribution to the understanding of the metabolic events in diabetes and the use of these findings in informing patient care. These include the Association of General Practitioners of Jamaica, the Caribbean Diabetes Association, Caribbean Public Health Association, American Diabetes Association, New York Academy of Science, and The International Diabetes Federation. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health.

Professor Ragoobirsingh is a graduate of the UWI. He was later a Rhodes Research Scholar at the Human Diabetes and Metabolism Research Centre, Department of Medicine, University of Newcastle-upon -Tyne, UK. He was also Visiting Fellow at the Mayo Medical School, Minnesota, USA and Visiting Professor to the University of Pittsburgh and Miami School of Medicine, USA.


Michelle Berriedale-Johnson

has been involved with food sensitivity for nearly 30 years, ever since her baby son was diagnosed with milk intolerance.
 Since then she has manufactured ‘freefrom’ food, run a magazine about food sensitivity for both health professionals and patients, written a number of books on food allergy/intolerance, devised over 1,000 ‘freefrom’ recipes and started the hugely successful FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Eating Out Awards – as well as editing the FoodsMatter family of at
Michelle is a regular speaker at conferences and seminars on food allergy, food intolerance and freefrom food.



Levi Roots, entrepreneur

In 2006, Levi was spotted at the World Food Market by a BBC researcher and invited to appear on the programme Dragons’ Den. Levi had never even heard of the show, and went home to his kids asking them what Dragons’ Den was. They begged him not to appear saying; Dad, don’t go on that show, they’ll just tear you to pieces! Although he was doubtful about the programme, Levi’s mother encouraged him to come back as a ‘Dragon Slayer’. Levi put his faith in Reggae Reggae Sauce to win over those fiery Dragons.



Bryan Treherne

is a key player in the development of Croydon Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the South London Export Club. He also received an MBE and was nominated for the award by senior colleagues at UK Trade and Investment, the government organisation that supports British businesses overseas – with whom he works three days a week. Bryan has unstinting support for existing and would-be overseas traders in south London – particularly those in the Croydon area.
 He has devoted over 40 years to London business – whether he is working for a company, running his own business or, in his
current capacity, as an International Trade Adviser with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). He has an incredible level of knowledge to help your business succeed overseas and relates his passions locally and to all ages and levels. He also sits on the Croydon Education Business Partnership board and has received a national award for his work, as a trade adviser, in helping companies break into the export market.


Dr Gilbertha St Rose, M.B., B.S. Dip. Derm.;

She is an Integrative Health Care Consultant, Dermatologist and  Herbalist at Creative Health Centre, Rodney Bay, Gros Islet, Saint Lucia and Managing Director of the herbal manufacturing and distribution enterprise – EDEN HERBS LTD. She is past president of Caribbean Association of Researchers and Herbal Practitioners [CARAPA] and president of Caribbean Association for Plant Science, Industry, Commerce and Use in Medicine [CAPSICUM]. Dr Gilbertha St. Rose is also founding member and past coordinator of TRAMIL [Traditional Medicine of the Islands Project] for the Eastern Caribbean.
She trained as a General Practitioner at St. George’s Hospital Medical School in London and Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica where she achieved Distinction in Anatomy. She also trained in Practical Dermatology at the University of Wales School of Medicine.
Canadian International Development Agency [CIDA] award, based on the UWI open scholarship examinations.
In addition to her medical training she qualified as a herbal specialist having studied herbal medicine at the College of Phytotherapy, Sussex, England, where she was awarded the Diploma in Pythotherapy.  Dr St. Rose was awarded the Canadian International Development Agency [CIDA] award, which was based on the UWI open scholarship examinations.


Emma Reeves, Attorney

Emma is a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney. She collaborates with her clients to build an intellectual property portfolio that fits with their strategic business growth and protects their company asset value. Emma also creates an evolving intellectual property strategy with each business she works with.  The desired result is delivering and implementing the goals set by intellectual property right holders to maximise their growth.  To achieve this Emma works as an extension of a company’s internal team absorbing all the relevant information to devise an effective and cost-efficient intellectual property strategy.    Emma has extensive experience in the food and drink sector, which includes long-standing relationships with award-winning food and drink start-ups and multinationals.  Emma has been instrumental in the management and enforcement of trade mark and design portfolios for two major supermarkets and a global alcoholic beverage company.    She successfully works with companies to launch new product names, logos and labels.  Emma’s work also includes adopting suitable strategies to assist brand owners with enforcing registered and unregistered trade marks against imitation products, which is essential in maintaining brand protection.  Emma has been described by clients as having “exceptional legal skills, admirable professionalism and unequalled gracious amicability.”

Ian Burrell, Entrepreneur

Founder of UK RumFest described as the world’s first ever International festival to celebrate the diversity of Rum..
Ian’s career began in the early 90’s mixing fun cocktails such as Long Island Ice teas, Sex on the Beach. He attracted the attention to drinks companies such as J Wray & Nephew, who made him the first Rum Brand Ambassadors in the UK. Today he is consultant to spirit companies such as Bacardi, Pernod Ricard, Diageo and J Wray & Nephew; travelling around the globe. He is also owner of Cottons Restaurant in Camden. Town, London and has won many Awards, Accolades andTrophies. In 2014 Ian became The Guinness World record holder for the largest rum tasting and master class. In 2013 he became the first person to set up a pop up rum shack in Antarctica. He was nominated Global Spirits International Ambassador of the Year 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014 at the world most respected spirits and cocktail event “The Spirited Awards” at Tales of the Cocktail. He was also voted 16th in Theme Magazine’s Top 100, most influential people within the drinks industry. And No.1 trainer to the UK drinks industry. Other accolades include: Drinks International Bartender of the Year 2008 Gold medal winner
 Drinks International Cocktail Challenge 2008 Gold Medal winner
 One of the Observer/Courvoisier Future 500 for 2008. To honour 500 future people to watch within their respected industry. He is included in the Maxxium Yearbook 2007 for the most influential people within the UK Bar industry of all time.
 He is contributor to spirit magazines all over the world. Ian has also presented on ITV and performed on stages around the world as rapper, “Via B” and his group called “The Dude” had songs in Hollywood movies such as “Scooby-Doo and Kangaroo Jack”. He has played professional basketball in the British Basketball league and has many Music and Basketball awards.

Carol Hay currently serves as Marketing Director Caribbean Tourism Organisation
Carol Hay has over 25 years in the tourism sector, her primary areas of expertise include marketing, destination branding, product development, sustainable tourism development, public relations, crisis management and social media. Carol is currently Director of Marketing UK & Europe for the Caribbean Tourism Organization, a positon she has held for the past 8 years. Previously she was the Director of Tourism UK & Europe for the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority.
Carol has also held senior positons with The Jamaica Tourist Board, BWIA International Airways and the Jamaica Promotions Corporation. She is an accomplished speaker and has addressed audiences across the globe on female leadership, destination branding and competitiveness.  She currently sits on the Advisory Board for Women in Travel.
She holds a Masters Degree in Marketing, Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and numerous professional qualifications including Cultural Diplomacy, Public Relations, Human Resources Development, Coaching, Mentoring and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).
In her spare time Carol coaches and mentors professional women and young people, and also volunteers to support young people preparing for work. She loves to travel, cook, meet new people and generally make the most of life!

Racquel Peters

Head of Trade & Investment for International Trade, Kingston, Jamaica with trade remit for the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos Islands.
Racquel Peters has a Bachelor of Science degree in International Relations. She has also achieved a Master of Science degree in Governance and Public Policy from the University of the West Indies.
 Before being appointed to her current position Ms. Peters operated within the private sector which spanned many different spheres. These include the food industry, information technology, security and defence.
Racquel Peters is also an author and have published works in the Asian Journal of Business Management.



Ashanti Bentil-Dhue

Ashanti Bentil -Dhue is the founder of Female Foodpreneur Collective and Nourish w/Ashanti. She is an experienced Business Consultant, Virgin Start Up Mentor, Podcast Host with a background in the finance and food industry. Ashanti provides visibility, content and digital marketing support to companies, start-ups and entrepreneurs. You can connect with her on Twitter and Facebook, and via her website.



Dr Ava Eagle Brown

Multi-award winning International Speaker, Author and Transformation mindset coach, Dr Ava Eagle Brown is in a class by herself.  Ava coaches, trains and speaks globally to help others shift their mindsets to change their lives and businesses . She is the author of her memoir The Mango Girl ( out in Waterstones , Barnes & Nobles, WH Smith and Amazon)  soon to be a feature film. Ava has moved from incest, rape, failed marriages and being homeless to a household name globally. She has shared stage with the likes of Eric Thomas, Lisa Nichols, Nick Vujicic, Andy Harrington, Hollywood -Sheryl Lee Ralph,  Paul O’Mahony, Darren Winters, Mac Attram, Reena Marla, Simon Coulson, Paul Preston , Joseph McClendon 3rd among others  of influential and status in this space.



Vee Roberts

A multi-award winning Brand and Marketing Coach. A mother to 4 children aged 2 to 21, she is also dedicated to serving and empowering business owners – developing credible, consistent brands, using online and offline strategies.

Running more than one business, both as the Director of insight2Marketing and Founder of inspireUrBiz networking events, Vee regularly shares her knowledge on marketing, branding and social media as a Guest Speaker and Trainer. She studied marketing and communications to Post Graduate level and has also worked in a range of senior marketing roles – a total of more than 22 years in the industry.



Mavis Amankwah

Multi-Award Winning Entrepreneur – Diversity Ambassador – Motivational & Public Speaker – PR Guru – Author – Wealth Creator – Advisor – Coach. I had a traumatic childhood and horrendous teenage life but I did not let that hold me back. From the age of 10, I looked after my two younger brothers everyday to help my mum and at the age of 12, I started working on a market stall earning my own money and helping others! Today, I am a business woman/entrepreneur wearing many ‘hats’.

My dream is to continue to make a contribution to society and fulfil my God-given purpose to help others through my business, social and personal life in whatever shape or form, whether it’s from making a small difference to inspiring, encouraging and motivating others.  I have won many awards and have been recognised for my achievements (and challenges). Despite the challenges I have faced, I believe I can create a legacy by just being ME!


Vishal Morjaria

Award-winning author of the book WOW Your Way To Wealth, which teaches you about the one secret that rich people, tell you that you’ve never heard. He has spoken to audiences in Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America inspiring people to live the life of their dreams. His style of speaking is engaging, high energy, and entertaining. As he speaks, you’ll start to get aha moments, you’ll learn the art of what it takes to go from success to extreme success, from ordinary to extraordinary with the powerful methods that he teaches.

Vishal has learned from some of the top speakers, teachers, and leaders in the personal development and growth industry. Vishal’s talks will get you moving into action and will have you taking a giant leap towards your dream lifestyle. Her Majesty The Queen of England and Former Prime Minister David Cameron have both acknowledged Vishal for his great work. Vishal is also friends with and is acknowledged by some of the top speakers, leaders, and trainers in the personal development and self help industry.