Grace jerk fest to serve up culture

Saturday, November 11, 2017

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THE 16th staging of the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival Florida edition is set to unfold tomorrow at Markham Park in Sunrise, Florida.

Among the entertainers scheduled to perform are Morgan Heritage, Yellowman, Tarrus Riley, Leon Coldero, Ken Boothe and the Code Red Band.

Presented in association with Publix, the event has grown each year with increased attendance from patrons.

“Jamaican culture is international and infectious, and we want to share it with as many people as possible by attracting all ethnicities and demographics,” Eddy Edwards, CEO of the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, told the Jamaica Observer.

“This year's festival is an opportunity to create a bigger experience that appeals to a broader audience of South Floridians who can appreciate the culture, music, cuisine, and the Caribbean energy,” he continued.

In addition to the musical headliners, patrons can expect to experience Jamaica's culture. The air will be thick with the flavours of Caribbean-inspired cuisine filling the festival grounds, with more than 30 food vendors offering a variety of food choices.

The Grace Village will offer culinary demonstrations, product sampling and interactive activities, with prizes and giveaways. The Publix Jerk Cook-Off Pavilion will see battle lines drawn in 'Taste the Island's' as Chef Irie and Food Network's two-time Chopped champion Chef Andre Fowles will showcase their culinary skills with food demonstrations. Over at the Party Pavilion will be a party within a party, with some of the hottest DJs and selectors creating a club atmosphere for the young and the young at heart. Additional entertainment will include the Kids' Zone, the Western Union Cultural Stage, and the Fuzion Sound Stage.

Top chefs and celebrities will bring lots of heat to The Publix Culinary Pavilion. Activities will include cook-offs, culinary demos, and celebrity competitions by the likes of Chef Alain Lemaire, a contestant and runner-up on Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen Season 8, and Chef Roderick Smith of Jaxs Diner. Local 10 Weekend News anchor, Todd Tongen, will be defending his title against Jamaica's Interim Director of Tourism Donnie Dawson in the Celebrity Quick-Fire Challenge. Last year Tongen defeated Miss Jamaica World 2016 Ashlie Barrett to walk away with the trophy and bragging rights.

“We've enhanced this year's Publix Culinary Pavilion with a dynamic line-up of chefs, coming together to add more excitement to our competitions and culinary demos,” said June Minto, managing partner, and coordinator of the Publix Cook-off Pavilion.

As the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival continues to grow, new experiences

For the first time, three female judges will decide the winner of the cooking competitions — Chef Chrissy Benoit, Chef Treisha Hall, and wine expert and sommelier, Shari Gherman of the American Fine Wine Competition. Patrons will also be treated to some mouth-watering cooking demos by Chef Max Hardy, author of the Rohan Marley Cookbook.




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