JYP Fetes Food Awards Scholarship Awardees
Countdown to the 16th Annual Table Talk Food Awards — Thursday, May 29, 2014
The Jamaica Yellow Pages (JYP) deemed a celebratory dinner befitting last Saturday for the Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards' newly minted quintet of scholarship and bursary awardees. The elected venue, Tracks and Records, was quite apropos as the sports bar's kitchen is run by Rochelle Grindley, herself a Food Awards scholarship recipient in 2008.
Still on cloud nine just three days after being awarded tuition, book grant and bursary monetary gifts for their final year of studies, the lucky five -- Lasanna Allen, Nashana Murray, Zola Davis, Leanne Morrison and Krystal Thomas -- styling in their evening-best threads, joined their hosts, JYP's general manager Lester Garnett, marketing manager Tshani Jaja, and director of sales Ladianne Wade, as well as Food Awards Chair Novia McDonald-Whyte, Food Awards judge Annaliesa Lindsay, and Observer Opinion Editor Miguel A Thomas at the table.
With a three-hour, multi-item tasting session of Tracks and Records menu to come, Executive Chef Grindley shared her culinary journey with the quintet of scholarship and bursary recipients. There were illuminating anecdotes of Grindley's time spent learning the ropes as a sous-chef at Sandals Whitehouse in Westmoreland, Beaches Negril, Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma, Bahamas, and Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel, all of which she said, guided her path to her current position.
Dinner, an impressive feast of epic proportions. Jerk chicken spring rolls; Red Stripe and Appleton barbecue wings; beef sliders; codfish fritters; vegetarian, shrimp Alfredo and Villa Italy flatbread pizza slices, jerk pork and jerk chicken; coconut cassava-crusted, pepper, and spicy jerk shrimp... a veritable feast indeed!
Easy conversation flowed across the table as the scholarship awardees, charming and engaging ladies all, shared personal stories of school life and their career ambitions to make a mark in the food business.
The celebratory dinner wrapped up with JYP execs Tshani Jaja and Ladianne Wade surprising the five awardees with gift-wrapped presents, and best wishes for a bright future in the culinary industry.
— Omar Tomlinson
(Photos: Lionel Rookwood)