With its deep cultural roots, the gastronomic high of Jamaica is reflected upon the annual Food and Drink Festival which enthrals the guests with its sumptuous spread and choice liquor to enrich the taste buds.
The third edition of the extravagant culinary festival organised by the Islanders started off on October 21 and will be running until October 29.
The food and drink festival is an urban event that will be hosted in Kingston, the sprawling capital of Jamaica. It is an expression of the Jamaican cuisine and culinary culture, wherein the island nation is promoted as a top gastronomic destination. The Launch Event was the Pork Palooza which celebrated ‘everything swine’. Hosted in Palm Drive, Hope Gardens, an ornamental garden destination in Jamaica, the inaugurating event was a must-attend for pork lovers. One could savour the likes of crispy pork belly or ribs smothered in a secret sauce or even opt for chops grilled to perfection and desserts with a dangerous porcine twist.
Each of the events is uniquely themed to suit the myriad tastes of a diverse range of revellers. For instance, Crisp, an event dedicated to everything fried and crispy has been a crowd favourite. One can sink their teeth into crispy pork skin, pan-fried tenderloin or jerk fried chicken in a balsamic, scotch bonnet reduction with a glass of ice cold, local and international beer.
For the wine lovers, the Festival has a dedicated event that is an intimate, plated seven-course wine pairing feast. Named, ‘Vintage’, the event promises the patrons an evening of gastronomic delights and riveting entertainment brightened by the dazzling lights of Jamaica.
This year, the island gourmet feast is seeing the participation of 45 celebrated chefs from all over the globe, including Lij Heron, Andre Fowles and other culinary mastered connoisseurs, who would enlighten senses with a melting pot of world-famous Jamaican liquors and authentic jerked food, a local in Jamaica.
Food lovers with a penchant for Asian cuisine will not be disappointed as ‘Chopxtix’, an event launched this year will focus on the Asian side of food amidst sizzling favourites from all corners of Asia like Vietnamese pork belly and Peking duck, Indian naans and chutneys, and a smorgasbord of Japanese sushi rolls and sashimi. This East-West explosion offers “off menu” delicacies to keep true to the spirit of the theme-‘Asian with a Twist’.
Jamaica which has close ties with India, has a developed taste for all things spicy, much like its Indian counterpart. Picante, the event with its theme of ‘Hot, Zesty flavour’ showcases the spicier side of Jamaican cuisine that explores the intricacies of seasonings. Guests will be offered an array of choices ranging from curries, scotch bonnet infused canapes, pimento flavoured meats with a side of ghost pepper and much more. Picante will host Andre Fowles as the guest chef. “When I think of the origin of Picante, I think of Mexico!” he shared. “My menu is inspired by classic Mexican dishes and bold Jamaican flavours to bring it all together.”
— CHAROO, Stephen (@esteban876) September 13, 2017
Fusion when it comes to food marks the experimental range of cuisine and often results in interesting outcomes. The Food and Drink Festival’s event dedicated to urban food and fusion caters to a wide range of palates that shall witness food trucks, urban-themed restaurants, food booths, pop-ups, food supplies and urban crafts. Titled ‘Meet Street and the Market’, the event is designed as a food fair and marketplace, which also happens to be its theme.
The closing day will be marked by a signature event that shall celebrate the ‘artistry abounds’; to be held at the National Gallery of Jamaica, ‘Brunch at the Gallery’ presented by Suzanne and Michelle Rousseau will pay homage to the Gallery’s current exhibition, We Have Met Before. This shall be alongside a menu that celebrates Jamaica’s culinary history with deftly delicious modern elegance.
The tickets are priced differently for each of the events, ranging from USD 40 (~INR 2600) to USD 150 (~INR 9750).