Taste the world: Dayme Arocena

January 14, 2018
Taste the world: Dayme Arocena

Come March 16, New Plymouth's Pukekura Park will be transformed into a verified melting pot of different cultures, cuisines and musical tastes. The World of Music Arts and Dance Festival, better known simply as Womad, will return to TSB Bowl of Brooklands for three days of live music and arts, a drawcard for dozens of eclectic acts from all over the world.

With Womad scheduled to light up the stage come March, we get acquainted with some of the festivals' visiting and local musicians before the big gig, as they dish on life on the road and the feel-good recipe that reminds them of home.

Here, Dish touch base with Cuban-national Dayme Arocena, ahead of her Womad performance.

An artist renowned for fusing the genres of jazz, soul and classical music, the singer, composer, arranger and bandleader was recently dubbed by The Guardian as ‘Cuba’s finest vocalist’.  Mentored by Gilles Petersen and winner of the prestigious Juno Award in 2015, Dayme has a rich understanding of her heritage while constantly finding fresh musical inspiration and connection through her love of soul and jazz.


"I love Fried Rice – the Cuban way – especially my grandma's version. I have great memories of that, it was the meal of my sweet 15th and my friends still remember it."


glug of olive oil
4 cups cooked rice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup smoked pork, shredded
2 chorizo sausages, cubed
splash of dry white wine
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
salt and pepper, to taste 


Spoon brown sugar in to a pan and bring to a gradual boil, removing from heat when sugar begins to bubble. Add water, vinegar and tomato sauce. 

Cook the rice and add to the sauce. Add oil and salt and pepper. In a seperate pan, fry onions, chorizo, smoked pork, garlic and wine. 

Add the rice to the meat pan and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Serve with fried plantains and a crisp, seasonal salad.

Womad Festival New Zealand, Friday, March 16 – Sunday, March 18, TSB Bowl of Brooklands, New Plymouth. For festival and ticketing information, see their website here.