On Sunday, July 24th, at the Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, Grace Foods welcomes the community to participate in the inaugural celebration of the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival-NY with cook-off competitions and cooking demonstrations. See local celebrities, professional chefs and everyday food connoisseurs as they don their chef hats and coats to compete for cash, prizes and bragging rights at this auspicious affair taking place for the first time in New York City. The Jerk Festival has a long rich history in South Florida (9 years) and the producers of the show, Jamaican Jerk Festival USA, Inc., have taken great pride and worked diligently to bring this fun-filled, entertainment packed, family event to the great city of New York.
Officiating at the cook-off competition will be South Florida’s own Chef Irie Spice, former private chef to ex-Miami HEAT player, Lamar Odom (L.A. Lakers); today, Chef Irie continues to cook privately for Miami HEAT player Mario Chalmers. “Food is sexy and when you have the right combination of heat and flavor you have a masterpiece of culinary pleasure that can’t help but tantalize your taste-buds,” says Chef Irie. Sunday’s highlight features a cooking demonstration by Chef Irie who promises to prepare his mouth watering gastronomic dish Jerk Salmon with Butter Bean Ragout.
Show production assistant and cook-off competition coordinator, June Minto says,“Our jerk cook-off is a competition that showcases local aspiring chefs, (or ‘foodies’, as we often affectionately refer to them) as they compete for the title of “Top Jerkologist” with bragging rights and prizes that include the prestigious Dutch Pot trophy and $500 for first place. Second and third place finishers will receive $250 and $100 respectively. Vendors and competitors always come up with creative new ideas, and in the past, the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival has showcased menu items such as jerk rice, jerk burgers, jerk tofu, jerk lobster, jerk ice cream and jerk popcorn. And this year, patrons attending the event in New York will have an opportunity to sample some of the best culinary treats that jerk cooking has to offer.”
The Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival will truly be a family fun day with performances by Brawta Folk Singers, Something Positive and many more on the Cultural Stage. The Main Stage will feature Freddy McGregor, Agent Sasco (Assassin), Serani and comedic duo Ity and Fancy Cat, plus giveaways and contests for patrons. Children will have their own fun zone with rides and a video arcade; a domino tournament will also take place at the festival.
Advance tickets are $20 or $30 at the gate. Tickets are available online at JerkFestivalNY.com or at select outlets including VP Records retail stores. Kids 12 and under will be admitted free. Gates open at 12:00 PM and the fun and gastronomic experiences continue until 8:00 PM. It promises to be a day filled with fun, food and music for the entire family!
About Chef Irie Spice
Hugh Sinclair, a.k.a. Chef Irie Spice,“The Global Culinary Architect”, is the executive chef of Irie Spice Inc.-Personal Chef & Catering Services providing services to the tri-county area of South East Florida. Chef Hugh hails from the Caribbean Island of Jamaica, where he grew up on a sugar plantation. Before relocating to the sunshine state, Hugh migrated with his family to New York. He completed his college career at the Univ. of Florida earning a BS from the renowned School of Architecture. Hugh always had a passion for cooking and after working several years as an architect, the yearning to create culinary masterpieces vs. architectural aesthetics overtook his desires. It was then that Hugh enrolled in Johnson & Wales University’s Culinary Arts program embarking on his culinary journey. Graduating with an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts, Hugh has taken on the South Florida culinary landscape by storm. Being a personal chef has allowed him to work with entertainers, athletes and many of South Florida’s elite. Chef Irie provides services throughout South Florida but travels upon request.
Chef Irie Spice (iriespice.com) will be available for interviews in New York on Friday afternoon or early Saturday, July 22nd and 23rd. He is available for a cooking demonstration and interview on Saturday to enhance your island culinary experience. For bookings please call A Better Concept PR at 954.566.2712.
About Jamaican Jerk Festival USA, Inc.
The Jamaican Jerk Festival USA, Inc. was established to fully develop and expand the cultural culinary festival experience for the Jamaican Diaspora and lovers of Jamaican culture worldwide known as the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival. Founders Eddy Edwards and Sydney Roberts have been successfully producing and presenting events for over 26 years and have established themselves as the premier producers and presenters of high-quality events in South Florida’s Caribbean community. They are supported by a solid team comprised of Richard Lue, Abdul Muhsin, June Minto, Richard Elcock & Bridget Provost-Edwards. It is the goal of the Jamaican Jerk Festival USA, Inc. to set standards and work with other organizations in promoting this uniquely Jamaican culinary art form, while maintaining and protecting its authenticity globally. The 2011 Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival-New York is presented by Digicel and sponsored by, Western Union, VitaMalt, Air Jamaica, VP Records, Irie Jam Media, WBLS, WLIB, Caribbean Life and Jamaican Jerk Festival USA, Inc.