5th annual Jamaica Food & Drink Festival set to excite local palates

Jamaica Food and Drink Festival (JFDF) will titillate the taste buds of foodies for the fifth straight year with the usual weeklong activities slated to be held from October 26 to November 3.

JFDF will continue to showcase diverse food offerings and talent across Kingston, cementing the city as a destination for all things gastronomical.

Boasting a line-up of some 70 Jamaican and international chefs, the event is expected to deliver on its promise of great food and vibes, spanning varying culinary influences from the island’s storied history.

Playing its part in the revitalisation of Downtown Kingston, JFDF partnered with Life Yard, a community-based organisation and social enterprise, which empowers the community through education, entrepreneurship, arts and culture, to host its media launch on Wednesday.

Guests were shuttled to the increasingly popular 41 Fleet Street location, in Southside, downtown, where art and culture met food in a new way.

Co-founder and director at Life Yard Restaurant and Tours, Nicumma “Ikuma” Carr, said, “We are happy Jamaica Food and Drink Festival came here for a number of reasons; we at Life Yard own and operate an ital and vegetarian restaurant so that makes us very much invested in the food festival.”

“We also like to accommodate events or movements which will help our community. We love the whole idea of inviting and introducing people to our space to build better relationships with our fellow citizens,” Carr added.

The focus on downtown Kingston as a vibrant event venue fits well with the larger efforts to reinvigorate the cultural potential of the space and position the city of Kingston as a premier tourist destination.

“Jamaica is not just jerk chicken and ackee and saltfish,” noted Alicia Bogues, Festival Director and Regional Development Manager at CB Foods.

She continued, “Kingston is a melting pot of bold flavours inspired by cultural energy, the ingenuity of our people and the uniqueness of our experiences. Our local talent can sit on any world stage and JFDF provides the platform. What’s more, it’s a powerful driver of tourism to the island, Kingston in particular.”

JFDF is endorsed and supported by the Government of Jamaica through the Ministry of Tourism; the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport; the Jamaica Tourist Board; and the Jamaica Hotel and Tourism Association.

On October 26, the festival will open with its premiere Copperwood Pork sponsored event, Pork Palooza, the festival’s only competition, with a prize for most innovative chef.

The following day, the festival continues with the wine-tasting affair, D’vine, introduced in 2018. Chopstix, an Asian-fusion favourite, will be held on Wednesday, October 30.

Crisp is next on Thursday, October 31, followed by Picante on Friday, November 1. Bringing the week’s gastronomic festivities to a close are Meet Street and the Market on Saturday, November 2, and Brunch on Sunday, November 3.