Seafood+Beer @Jamaica Food+Drink Festival
The Rainforest team of Chef Evrol Ebanks (left) and Roger Lyn (centre) presented Berisford Grey, CEO of Sygnus Capital, with crispy fyah shrimps. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

Last Friday at the Kingston Waterfront, downtown was the place to be for seafood and beer lovers! The Jamaica Food+Drink Festival (JFDF) hosted the third in a series of food events: Crisp. And whilst the bar was set high by the two previous happenings — Pork Palooza and Vintage — Crisp which featured the much-loved seafood and classic beer, did not disappoint.

The multi-award-winning festival, now in its eighth year, secured Rainforest Caribbean, Heineken and Visa as the evening's presenting sponsors.

On the range were a selection of crispy seafood creations. Think: Lobster, shrimp, salmon, scallops and calamari, curated by chefs Theo Smith, Jacqui Tyson, Hiromasa Takahashi, Paul Bennett, Samantha George and Trevanne Donegal. The standout booth was Jacqui Tyson's which offered crispy fried sesame-crusted salmon with a trio of sauces — Scotch bonnet aioli, sweet chilli and classic mornay. Besides the mixed drinks served at the Heineken booth was its signature cocktail, Hei-chee Paradise (made with Heineken, lychee syrup, canned lychee, Tanqueray gin, apple juice and lime juice), a perfect complement to the delectable seafood. Other food and drink stations on site were Select Brands, National, Chive and Sora Japanese Sky Cuisine.

Nicole Pandohie, Jamaica Food and Drink Festival director, told Thursday Food, "The turnout for all our festival events has always been amazing and this year is no different. Post-COVID, people want somewhere to go, we're back live, we're back to seeing people, and this has always been a great event because it brings together great food, great drink, great people and great company. It brings out all the best that Jamaica has to offer in one space. Crisp's offerings focus on seafood; it's [Jamaica] an island, people love seafood, and because Rainforest is our major sponsor tonight, we are showcasing a range of seafood, so it's not just lobster and salmon. Plus, we really wanted to showcase what our chefs in Jamaica can do, because as everyone knows, we are world-class."

As in past stagings, this year's Food+Drink Festival featured live entertainment. Recording artiste Zac Jone$ was on-site to maintain the vibe.

Thursday Food shares highlights.

National 360 Granola

At the Jamaica Food and Drink Festival Crisp event, crowds flocked to the Kingston Waterfront to savour the taste of everything fried. And while Crisp served up an enticing platter of seafood and beer from food industry giants, National Baking Company offered a different kind of bite with the introduction of its newest product line — National 360 Granola.

Pairing the three fresh flavours of Granola with creamy yoghurt, National whipped up a variety of parfaits for patrons amid Friday night's fried food fanfare.

Hei-chee Paradise from Heineken.
Chef Jacqui Tyson (left) served account executive Vanessa Gordon-Martin fried sesame-crusted salmon.Garfield Robinson
The NCB team of (from left) Jhenelle Crawford-Nicholson, private client account executive; Audrey McIntosh, head of private banking; Dane Nicholson, manager of special investments; and Tracy-Ann Spence, chief operating officer, NCB Capital Markets, engaged in friendly banter over scrumptious bites from Jacqui Tyson.Garfield Robinson
Elizabeth James, VP of wealth at Sygnus Capital, was spotted relishing a plate of crispy fyah shrimps from Rainforest.Garfield Robinson
Entrepreneur Alethetia Lee was excited to try the Hei-chee Paradise from Heineken.Garfield Robinson
[USE AS INSET with Chef Theo Smith served Avril Leonce, director of sales support, Scotiabank the Spicy octopus spring roll with coconut curry sauce.Garfield Robinson
Chef Hiromasa Takahashi from Sora Japanese Sky Cuisine finished the crispy fried fish with tartar sauce.Garfield Robinson
Chef Samantha George (right) served Janelle Pantry-Coke, Spaces creative director, and her husband Dylan Coke, attorney-at-law, crispy pepper cajun shrimp and roasted cream corn soufflé with caramelised sugar and butter.Garfield Robinson
From left: JFDF Director Nicole Pandohie; Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange; Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Pearnel Charles Jr; and director of the Tourism Linkages Network Carolyn McDonald-Riley shared a moment.Garfield Robinson
Crispy Pepper Cajun Shrimp and roasted cream corn soufflé with caramelised sugar and butter by Chef Samantha George. Garfield Robinson
Chef Theo Smith served Avril Leonce, director of sales support, Scotiabank, a spicy octopus spring roll with coconut curry sauce.Garfield Robinson
Corporate planner Shawna-Kay Reeves (left) and entrepreneur Francine McGhie-Henry tried the vanilla yoghurt with Granola Apple Cinnamon from the National booth at Crisp. Garfield Robinson
The star of the show at the National Baking Company booth at Crisp were the three flavours of the company's new National 360 Granola line (from left) Honey Nut, Apple Cinnamon and Power Pack.O'Dain Donegan
Chief Business Officer, MH&CO Business Advisory Limited Ashleigh Arnold cleansed her palate with a National 360 Apple Cinnamon parfait.O'Dain Donegan
National 360 Honey Nut Granola and vanilla yoghurt made the perfect scoop for patrons interested in a sweet treat. O'Dain Donegan
Miss Universe Jamaica 2022 second runner-up Shanique Singh tried the Panko-crusted calamari.Garfield Robinson
Recording artiste Naomi Cowan (left) secured her beer from Select Brands ambassador Marcine McLeish.Garfield Robinson
The Red Stripe team of (from left) Stacey-Ann Smith, brand & corporate PR manager; Caroline Kelly, merchandise manager, Luis Prata, managing director; Amoye Phillpotts-Brown, brand manager; and Royan Prince, distributing manager, came out to represent.Garfield Robinson
From left: The Visa team of Alina Villaverde, English Caribbean marketing manager; Frank Gandarillas, English Caribbean country manager; and Kenesha Thomas, Jamaica project manager, lounged at their station.Garfield Robinson
From left: David Lee, CEO of Dryv Group Limited; Jordan Chin, FirstRock Group VP of Legal and Compliance; and Dr Phillip Barrow opted for beers. Garfield Robinson
Dean Nevers (left), founder of Konnexx Services Limited, and Food Awards judge Oneal Johnson were appreciative of Jacqui Tyson's offerings.Garfield Robinson
Seafood from Jacqui Tyson created a romantic moment for Shani McGraham-Shirley, CEO of Yahsuh Fitbox, and David Shirley, Kingston Live Entertainment Group (KLE) chairman.Garfield Robinson
Project manager Garfield Morrison and legal secretary Samella Walters gave the crispy beer-dipped salmon bites and crispy fyah shrimp from the Rainforest booth smiles of approval.Garfield Robinson
Entrepreneurs Suen Williams (left) and Nashelle Wright enjoyed mixed drinks from Heineken.Garfield Robinson
Miss Universe Jamaica 2022 second runner-up Shanique Singh was all set to tuck into the Panko-crusted calamari.Garfield Robinson

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