Prepping For Jamaica Food & Drink Festival

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

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The chefs and caterers for the third staging of the Jamaica Food & Drink Festival (JFDF), which kicks off on Saturday, October 21, have been announced, as well as the partnership with the KSAMC as part of the celebration of Kingston's 145th anniversary.

There's more on the plate this year, however, as JFDF platinum sponsor, National Baking Company, partnered with Marcia Woon Choy of ActionCOACH to offer several chefs and restaurateurs an opportunity to experience a better understanding of business techniques.

While Jamaica's culinary personalities rule the kitchen, many welcomed the opportunity to learn more about growing their small and medium enterprises, as they shared the difficulties of business planning at a workshop convened at Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Monday, September 18.

“I got a lot from this seminar, and it has helped with establishing my action plans. Don't just say what needs to be done, but state who needs to do it. 'Who is best to do what' is on my to-do list; assigning who needs to do a task is important. Everyone should have an action plan, but implement innovative ways that will make it achievable and interesting,” shared Debe-Ann Lange Chen, principal of Cutting Edge Gourmet and participating chef in the festival's kick-off event, Pork Palooza, on Saturday, October 21.

Woon Choy explained that as an action coach, she works with individuals or groups to improve their effectiveness at the workplace and impact their performance, which will ultimately lead to increased sales and profits.

Mahaish Alexander from the House of Loaves food truck, and JFDF featured chef at Meet Street & The Market on Saturday, October 28, expressed that, “The focus was mainly on money management and accountability of money as well as the team players, which are your staff. My take-away is to keep them motivated, involved, and interested in the vision you have for the business.”

The presentation was tailored to help the chefs develop specific action plans and to achieve their desired goals.

Oji Jaja, presenting chef at Picante on Friday, October 27, also shared, “The seminar was affirming and enlightening and I am happy that I got the opportunity to attend.

“Thank you to JFDF for your constant support of the culinary industry of Jamaica and the development of the talent.”

The Jamaica Food & Drink Festival 2017 begins on Saturday, October 21 with its annual Pork Palooza event at Hope Gardens. It welcomes its newest offering, Chopstix, with an Asian- inspired theme on Wednesday, October 25. Tickets are available online at and at select outlets including Fromage Brasserie, Fromage Gourmet Market, Opa Greek Restaurant & Reggae Mill Bar and Candy Craze.




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