Nominees in the category Best (New) Local Product (from left) Oji Jaja, Ashebre Gourmet Condiments Smoked Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce and Blackening Spice; Paul and Sheona Muschett, Trelawny Honey Hives Papaya & Lime Jam and Aubergine Chutney; Shyana Hibbert, Reice's Confectionery Ginnal Scotch Bonnet Sugar Cookie; Ian Chandley, Laura Chandley, and Karen Matalon, Cannonball Ready Ready Meals; Kadesha Campbell, product analyst, for Dairy Industries Jamaica Limited, YO Sour Cream Light & Good2Grow Yogurt Smoothie; and Scott Lyons, Bite Me Pickled Herring. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)
The 23rd staging of the Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards took place at the country's first Gastronomy Centre, Devon House on Thursday, September 29. With the country still in COVID-19 restrictions up until April, May, the month usually reserved for the Awards was moved to September. What remained constant, however, were the showers of blessings that cleared up at the last minute. The glittering awards ceremony styled by Shikima Hinds of Shikima Hinds Events Concierge and Main Event, MStyle XP and hosted by Adam Stewart, executive chairman, ATL Group, was headlined by Lady Allen; US Ambassador to Jamaica Noah Nickolas "Nick" Perry; High Commissioner of Canada to Jamaica Emina Tudakovic and her husband Trevor Clack; British High Commissioner to Jamaica Judith Slater, and her husband Philip de Waal; Angie Shakira Martinez Tejera, ambassador, Embassy of the Dominican Republic; Ambassador Edward Perez Reyes, Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic to the International Seabed Authority; CAL directors Carlton and Lisa Watson, recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award; Debra Taylor-Smith, recipient of the Chairman's Award; and the Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards scholarship recipients Naomi Blake,Felecia Forde, Danielle Berry, Ariel Barrow, Timoy Gordon and Romario Evans.
The event witnessed giants of the culinary arena; corporate titans, scores of bon vivants and hundreds of patrons enjoying choice tastings from 70 elegantly staged booths.
Thirty-six awards in 25 categories were handed out with nods to 6 for 60: Six brands that define Jamaican lifestyle, notably Red Stripe, Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, Excelsior Water Crackers, Pickapeppa Sauce, Tastee Patties, and The Best Dressed Chicken. Gold Plate Awards for Exceptional Service of the Jamaica Observer's weekly food supplement Thursday Food: CPJ, Select Brands, Butcher Block, Progressive Grocers of Jamaica Ltd, The Best Dressed Chicken and Nestlé; Best Packaging Design to Blackwell Rum Limited Edition 007; Inspirational Food Story of the Year to Dr Altreisha Foster; amongst others.
Post-formalities patrons tasted in glorious abandon, drank and applauded even while eagerly anticipating the staging of #24 in May 2023.
The 2022 Table Talk Food Awards scholarship and bursary recipients (from left) Naomi Blake, Felecia Forde, Danielle Berry, Ariel Barrow, Timoy Gordon and Romario Evans. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)
Best (New) Local ProductDerrick Cotterell (left), group CEO and chairman, Derrimon Trading Company Ltd, making the presentation to winner Oji Jaja, Ashebre Gourmet Condiments Smoked Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce and Blackening Spice.Joseph Wellington
Red StripeRed Stripe, part of the Heineken Company,Managing Director Luis Prata accepted the award from Food Awards judge Pauline Edie.Joseph Wellington
Wray & Nephew White Overproof RumMarketing Director Pietro Gramegna accepted the award from Food Awards judge Mala Morrison.Joseph Wellington
Pickapeppa SauceGeneral Manager Dianna Tomlinson accepted the award from Food Awards judge Christopher Reckord.Joseph Wellington
Tastee PattiesTastee Director Simone Chanpong (right) accepted the award from Food Awards judge Victoria Cohalar.Joseph Wellington
The Best Dressed ChickenDirector of Sales and Marketing Mike Jones accepted the award from Food Awards judge Josina Jackson.Joseph Wellington
Excelsior Water CrackersBrand Manager Michelle Farr accepted the award from Food Awards judge Christopher Reckord.Joseph Wellington
Food Personalityof the YearElectrolux and Frigidaire Sales Manager, Caribbean Felix Bergollo (right) presented the Award for Food Personality of the Year to Timothy and Charissa Skyers, co-principals, Pink Apron.Joseph Wellington
Best Packaging DesignTable Talk Food Awards judge Josina Jackson presented the Award for The Best Packaging Design to Strawberry Hill Hotel Manager Ricardo Bowleg.Joseph Wellington
Inspirational Food Story of the YearAccepting the award for Inspirational Food Story of the Year was Dr Altreisha Foster from Food Awards judge Professor Lloyd Waller.Joseph Wellington
The Gold Plate Award for Expceptional Support of Thursday FoodManaging director of the Jamaica Observer Julian Rogers (left) with awardees (from second left) CPJ Director of Retail Sales Rojah Thomas, Butcher Block director Gregory Burrowes, Nestlé Country Manager Daniel Caron, The Best Dressed Chicken Director of Sales & Marketing Mike Jones, Progressive Grocers of Jamaica Ltd Stores Manager Patricia Smith Bravo, and Select Brands Co-Managing Director Andrew Desnoes.Garfield Robinson
Best Restaurant DesignCEO Sagicor Investments Jamaica Limited Tara Nunes (left) presented the award for Best Restaurant Design to Summerhouse at Harmony Hall co-principals, Suzanne (centre) and Michelle Rousseau.Joseph Wellington
Best Wine and Food ExperienceAccepting the award from Tourism Enhancement Fund Executive Director Dr Carey Wallace (left) are Dwayne Choy (second left), food & beverage service manager; Klaus Frauenschlaeger (second right), executive chef; and David Leslie, assistant food and beverage director, for Delmare at Half Moon Resort.Joseph Wellington
Commendation for OutstandingFood ConceptFood Awards judge Oneal Johnson presented the award to co-winner Jamaica Food and Drink Kitchen Managing Partner Nicole Pandohie (centre) and Operations Manager Zoë Dawkins.Joseph Wellington
Commendation for OutstandingFood ConceptFood Awards judge Matthew Hogarth presented the award for Street Food Saturdays to co-winner Simone Walker Barrett.Joseph Wellington
Best Watering Hole (Ex Kingston)Tastee Limited director Simone Chanpong presented the award to Lounge 2727 principal Christopher Gordon.Joseph Wellington
Best Street FoodRed Stripe Head of Commerce Sean Wallace (left) presented the award to The Dumpling Shop principal Gregory Sutherland.Joseph Wellington
Best Watering Hole (Corporate Area)Digicel Business General Manager Darragh Fitzgerald-Selby (left) presented the award to Janga's Sound Bar and Grill principal Jordan Weller (centre) and director Ron Young.Joseph Wellington