Jamaica Food and Drink Festival 2020: An Experience in a Box!


Jamaica Food and Drink Festival 2020: An Experience in a Box!

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Thursday, November 05, 2020

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Even celebrity chefs have had to develop creative ways to stay afloat and keep hope alive, during the pandemic. Jamie Oliver and Padma Lakshmi have peppered their respective Instagram feeds with home-made cooking videos. Next week Nigella Lawson releases yet another cooking series on the BBC — Nigella's Cook, Eat, Repeat. Nina Compton is taking orders for a Heat and Eat Thanksgiving dinner at her Bywater American Bistro in New Orleans. And Daniel Humm, chef and owner of Eleven Madison Park (EMP), has “created a very delicious, high-end eating experience for home cooks” — EMP To Go. In this same spirit, the organisers of the Jamaica Food and Drink Festival (JFDF) are using technology and a curatorial approach to bring this year's festival to Jamaican homes.

Via a virtual media launch on Monday, the festival's organisers shared that they did not want to disappoint their fans. Fun fact: JFDF 2019 had seven events that attracted over 10,000 patrons. That's fandom, all right! This year the festival is entering a “new chapter” and with that comes a “new look, and new experiences”.

Jamaica Food and Drink Festival Company Director Matthew Lyn reminded press launch viewers that five years ago, the JFDF was birthed from an idea to position Kingston as the food destination of the Caribbean. This year, despite all odds, organisers have kept the festival's mandate of curating “innovative concepts that highlight Jamaican cuisine”. Cue: Experience in a Box.

Each day, between November 18 and 22, patrons can enjoy a pre-ordered meal created by two of The Rock's most sought-after chefs. Just like the real-life festival, each day delivers a new themed experience. As Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said during the virtual launch, “Everything we do in Jamaica is larger than life, even with a pivot.”

The JFDF 2020 line-up is as follows:

• Wednesday, November 18: Mid Sum — a mid-week fusion dim sum created by Alexa von Strolley and Shea Stewart.

• Thursday, November 19: Bakers and Bubbles — inspired desserts made by Rebecca Karram and Trevanne Donegal that will be paired with chilled prosecco.

• Friday, November 20: B-Box — Andre Sewell and Christina Simonitsch put their spins on burgers with “exotic” sides and condiments.

• Saturday, November 21: Pig Out — Simon Levy and Charissa Skyers will make pork lovers very happy with “charred, grilled, and barbecued” pork served alongside hearty sides and beer.

• Sunday, November 22: Brunch In — reclaim #SundayFunday with brunch prepared by Oji Jaja and Damion Stewart paired with sparkling wine.

Visa cardholders can place their orders once the online portal goes live on jafoodanddrink.com. QuickPlate Jamaica will handle the delivery, and strict cleanliness and COVID-19 protocols will be overseen by the festival's sanitisation partner Mint Cleaners. Stay atop of updates and be first in line by visiting the festival's website and social media channels.

JFDF 2020 is presented by Visa, hosted by CB Foods, and is made possible by the support of many sponsors including the Tourism Enhancement Fund.

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