Seafood + Beer @Jamaica Food + Drink Festival – Jamaica Observer

The Rainforest team of chef Evrol Ebanks (left) and Roger Lyn (centre) presented Berisford Grey, CEO of Sygnus Capital, with crispy fyah prawns. (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 foodie events: Crisp. And while the bar was set high by the previous two events – 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, has secured Rainforest Caribbean, Heineken and Visa as the main sponsors for the evening.

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 stand was Jacqui Tyson’s, which offered crispy sesame-crusted fried salmon with a trio of sauces – Scotch bonnet aioli, sweet chilli and classic mornay. Besides the cocktails served at the Heineken stand, there 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 delicious seafood. Other food stations on site were Select Brands, National, Chive and Sora Japanese Sky Cuisine.

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

As in previous editions, this year’s Food+Drink Festival featured live performances. Recording artist Zac Jones$ was on hand to keep the mood going.

Thursday food shares the highlights.

Granola National 360

At the Jamaica Food and Drink Festival Crisp event, crowds flocked to the Kingston waterfront to savor the taste of all things fried. And while Crisp served up a tantalizing platter of seafood and beers from food industry giants, National Baking Company offered a different kind of bite with the introduction of its brand new product line – National 360 Granola.

Pairing the three fresh flavors of Granola with creamy yogurt, National whipped up a variety of parfaits for customers amid the fanfare of Friday night fries.

Hei Chee Paradise by Heineken.

Chef Jacqui Tyson (left) served account executive Vanessa Gordon-Martin sesame-crusted fried salmon. Garfield Robinson

The NCB team of (left to right) Jhenelle Crawford-Nicholson, Head of Private Client Accounts; Audrey McIntosh, Head of Private Banking; Dane Nicholson, Director of Special Investments; and Tracy-Ann Spence, Chief Operating Officer, NCB Capital Markets, indulged in friendly banter over delicious bites from Jacqui Tyson. Garfield Robinson

Elizabeth James, vice president of wealth at Sygnus Capital, was spotted enjoying a plate of crispy Rainforest fyah prawns. Garfield Robinson

Entrepreneur Alethetia Lee was excited to try Heineken’s Hei-chee Paradise.Garfield Robinson


Chef Hiromasa Takahashi of Sora Japanese Sky Cuisine finished off the crispy fried fish with tartar sauce. Garfield Robinson

Chef Samantha George (right) served Janelle Pantry-Coke, creative director of Spaces, and her husband Dylan Coke, avocado, crispy Cajun pepper shrimp and roasted cream corn puff with caramelized sugar and butter. Garfield Robinson

From left to right: Nicole Pandohie, director of the JFDF; Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange; the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Pernel Charles Jr; and Tourism Linkages Network Director Carolyn McDonald-Riley shared a moment. Garfield Robinson

Crispy Pepper Cajun Shrimp and Creamed Corn Puffs Roasted with Caramelized Sugar and Butter by Chef Samantha George. Garfield Robinson

Chef Theo Smith served Avril Leonce, Sales Support Manager, Scotiabank, a spicy octopus spring roll with a coconut curry sauce. Garfield Robinson

Business planner Shawna-Kay Reeves (left) and entrepreneur Francine McGhie-Henry tried Vanilla Yogurt with Apple Cinnamon Granola from the National booth at Crisp. Garfield Robinson

The star of the show at the National Baking Company booth at Crisp were the three flavors of the company’s new National 360 Granola line (left to right) Honey Nut, Apple Cinnamon and Power Pack.O’Dain Donegan

Commercial Director, MH&CO Business Advisory Limited Ashleigh Arnold cleansed her palate with a Perfect National 360 Apple Cinnamon.O’Dain Donegan

National 360’s honey nut granola and vanilla yogurt were perfect for customers interested in a sweet treat. O’Dain Donegan

Miss Universe Jamaica 2022 runner-up Shanique Singh tried panko crusted calamari. Garfield Robinson

Recording artist Naomi Cowan (left) got her beer from Select Brands ambassador Marcine McLeish. Garfield Robinson

The Red Stripe team of (left to right) Stacey-Ann Smith, Brand &; corporate public relations manager; Caroline Kelly, Merchandise Manager, Luis Prata, General Manager; Amoye Phillpotts-Brown, Brand Manager; and Royan Prince, distribution director, came to represent. Garfield Robinson

From left to right: The Visa team of Alina Villaverde, English Caribbean marketing manager; Frank Gandarillas, English Caribbean Country Manager; and Kenesha Thomas, project manager in Jamaica, lay down at their station. Garfield Robinson

From left to right: David Lee, CEO of Dryv Group Limited; Jordan Chin, Vice President of Legal and Compliance at FirstRock Group; and Dr. Phillip Barrow opted for beers. Garfield Robinson

Dean Nevers (left), founder of Konnexx Services Limited, and Food Awards judge Oneal Johnson appreciated Jacqui Tyson’s offers. Garfield Robinson

Jacqui Tyson’s seafood created a romantic moment for Shani McGraham-Shirley, CEO of Yahsuh Fitbox, and David Shirley, President of Kingston Live Entertainment Group (KLE). Garfield Robinson

Project manager Garfield Morrison and legal secretary Samella Walters gave the crispy beer-dipped salmon bites and crispy fyah prawns at the Rainforest stand smiles of approval. Garfield Robinson

Entrepreneurs Suen Williams (left) and Nashelle Wright enjoyed mixed drinks from Heineken.Garfield Robinson

Miss Universe Jamaica 2022 runner-up Shanique Singh was ready to dive into panko-crusted calamari. Garfield Robinson

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