Kingston Kitchen: The Night Market Scores 10!
Creamy jerk pea hummus with taco chips and sweet and spicy salsa from Grace. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)

After what seemed like an extended two-year hiatus due to the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Kingston Kitchen: The Night Market returned in spectacular form Saturday last. There was no cake-cutting or candles to extinguish for this, the 10th anniversary, but the hundreds upon hundreds who converged on the lawns of the West and East Palm Drive of Hope Gardens showed their loyalty to conceptualisers of the cultural food festival, Jacqui "Juicy Chef" Sinclair, Melanie Miller and Leisha Wong.

Sinclair told Thursday Food that Kingston Kitchen: The Night Market was derived from the 'Eat Good Movement', the concept of eating well whilst using predominantly local produce. "Since its inception in 2011 Kingston Kitchen has always been about the Jamaican food community and eating healthy. We created a welcoming space for foodies from all backgrounds. Each year food and beverage handlers are encouraged to showcase their products as food is love — and that is what Kingston Kitchen is all about."

Sinclair also shared how grateful she is for the turnout with the return of the festival. "We are very humbled that we could have an event after the pandemic. Everyone kept asking when we were going to bring it back, and even though we had mixed feelings coming out of COVID-19, we just went with it. The expectations we had pre-pandemic, we lowered them and now it's just surprising — yet fulfilling — to see those expectations being exceeded. There is so much more to Kingston Kitchen than the food festival, and we want to bring all of that back. Usually, we would have our signature series, in which we would invite celebrity chefs from both here and abroad. This is something we look forward to restarting, as well as our food magazine. This year we celebrate 10 years of flavour, savour, spice and delight, and I'm truly grateful for the turnout looking back at how we started with just 12 artisans."

This year's staging saw a suite of over 50 vendors, including The Best Dressed Chicken, Grace Foods, Aperol Spritz, and Kisko. As in past stagings, this year's Kingston Kitchen: The Night Market featured. Live entertainment, chef demonstrations, a kid's village and a diverse selection of pop-up kitchens and food trucks.

Thursday Food shares highlights.

From left: Kingston Kitchen founders Jacqui Sinclair, Leisha Wong and Melanie Miller flash satisfactory smiles as they welcome patrons to their 10th staging. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
Sous-chef Salahe Logan shows off the creamy jerk pea hummus with taco chips and sweet and spicy salsa from Grace. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
CEO and founder of Kande's Delights Kevin Dean shows off a cup of Pistachio Raspberry Ripple ice cream at his booth. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
A Cryogenic ice cream machine is used to make vanilla ice cream. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
Vanilla ice cream with sprinkles from Kande's Delights (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
Jacqui 'Juicy Chef' Sinclair's bar Boisson was quite the rage at Kingston Kitchen: The Night Market. (Photo: IG:@juicycheffoodie)
From left: CEO and founder of Press Café Sheri-Ann Toppin, Hamilton's Smokehouse ambassador Clovette Harris-Swaby, and Press Café ambassador Jhanelle Thompson share a moment at the Hamilton's Smokehouse x Press Café booth. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
From left: Hamilton's Smokehouse ambassador Clovette Harris-Swaby and Best Dressed Chicken ambassadors Kashae Brown and Aretha Martin pause for a photo op at the Best Dressed Chicken booth. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
The Best Dressed Chicken brand ambassadors Aretha Martin (left) and Sanya Schloss welcome patrons to their booth at which a selection of beef burger, chicken tacos and jerk chicken were on offer. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
Mexican-style Chicken Tacos from The Best Dressed Chicken (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
Grace three beans soup (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
Grace three beans soup (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
Grace Foods representative Breanna Golding welcomes patrons to her booth to enjoy crispy fish served with dollops of Grace Sweet and Spicy Sauce. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
Crispy fish served with dollops of Grace Sweet and Spicy Sauce. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
A display of Aperitivo from Aperol Spritz (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
Patrons trying beverages at the Aperol Spritz booth (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
(Photo: Karl Mclarty)
Baker and founder of Alex's Creations Sophia Harris showcases a selection of cupcakes at her booth. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
Bartender Akeil White readies an Aperol Spritz (Photo: Karl Mclarty)

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