Regional

Getting set for Pan Chicken grand final

Monday, October 21, 2019

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Carlene Daley from Hibiscus Gardens, Manchester, and Alva Morrison from Corn Piece District in Clarendon, will be among those competing in the grand finale of PAN 2019, which takes place on Sunday, October 27 at Grizzly's Plantation Cove in St Ann.

Daley finished in first place for Manchester at last month's staging while Morrison finished in second place at last month's PAN 2019 Regional 2 Competitors Cook-off in Black River.

Daley says her father inspired her to enter the jerk chicken business.

“My father jerked chicken for a living and that was his sole income to send us to school and provide for the house. I decided that I would do the same because I have always had a love for food,” Daley explained.

After a friend insisted, she decided to enter PAN 2019 and her natural skills saw her through in Black River.

“Oh, God! It was the first time I was entering anything and I am so happy to have won but you know what, during the day I did not smile at all because things just were not going my way. So when my name was announced I smiled non-stop,” she said.

A mother of three, Daley has been a pan chicken vendor since 2011. The revenue from her business, which is situated on Manchester Road, provides for her children.

“I studied food and nutrition when I was attending Belair High, so the interest has been there for a long time. I prepare food from my heart, so a lot of love goes into it,” she said.

Affectionately called 'Flickin Lickin' by his customers, Morrison, who has been jerking chicken for 37 years, sells pan chicken between the May Pen market and the clock in the town square.

“I have been doing this since 1982. I was introduced to jerk by a man called 'John' who set up business on the street, and at the time, he had several customers. I was selling ice cream and icicles and he said I could assist him with selling the chicken,” Morrison recalled.

Morrison perfected the craft of pan chicken, which would later become an income earner for him when he went to the United States on the farm work programme in 1988.

“When I went away on-farm work, I saw a lot of the men in the fields, some were from Jamaica, some were from other Caribbean countries and some were Americans. I asked the boss on the farm if I could do some jerk chicken on weekends and he said yes and those same men from the fields supported me. They said the chicken reminded them of life back home in Jamaica,” said Morrison.

“I have been doing jerk for all these years and I said, why not enter and aim for first place. I really wanted to win this competition because jerk is something I love to my heart,” he said.

Just the mention of his name in second place for the parish of Clarendon was enough to send Morrison on cloud nine.

“Wow, I was really excited. I felt so joyful and I am appreciative of coming second because now I get a chance to aim for first place at the final,” Morrison said.


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