Suga’s Highlights from the 21st Table Talk Jamaica Observer Food Awards!

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Gabrielle Burgess a.k.a Suga of Suga Lifestyle with husband, Randy Burgess at the Jamaica Observer Food Awards last Thursday, May 30, 2019.

The 21st staging of the Table Talk Jamaica Observer Food Awards last Thursday on the lawns of Devon House was truly a euphoric atmosphere with the highest standards of food and drink in abundance with vibrant music to bounce and wobble to while guests indulged.

All the booths were quite inviting, but with experience, my friends and I were quite selective about our approach to ensure that we didn’t neglect or overlook any of our favourites or newbies on our hit list.

We started at Rainforest Seafoods, where they had salivating Sushi spreads and Wines to pair it all with, including one of my faves, the Kung Fu Girl Riesling courtesy of Select Brands.

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One of the salivating Sushi spreads from Rainforest Seafoods.

We then made our way over to the Restaurant booths from Sandals Resorts International. Tender, juicy cuts of Beef, Ham and Lamb, Seafood, Ribs, Cheese platters, Cocktails, you name it!

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Cumin and Honey marinated Lamb Chops from Sandals Resorts International.

They also had a gigantic Sushi spread.

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As I continued to walk the lawns of Devon House with 18-year old whiskey in hand from Johnnie Walker, my stops had to include my other faves, Stush in the Bush, Christina Simonitsch, Half Moon, Uncorked Sovereign North, Mystic Thai, Steak House on the Verandah and newbies, Jamaican Peanut Butter Factory and Butcher Block by Gregory Burrowes who had savoury offerings from Chef Celeste Gordon, last year’s OFA Caterer of he Year.

Sending a special shout out and hearty Congratulations to Chris and Lisa Binns of Stush in the Bush who cleaned up this year and deservedly so! Their plant powered spread by their very own Sagicor Group booth this year, satisfied scores of guests at a time.

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Lisa and Chris Binns of Stush in the Bush who walked away with 3 awards including the coveted, ‘Jamaican Restaurant with Outstanding Gastronomy Experience Award’.

Christina Simonitsch, who walked away the Enterprise and Outstanding Caterer Awards tantalised our taste buds with her Charred Scotchie Shrimp, then cooled it down with her G.H. Mumm & Strawberry Popsicles. The scrumptious Oxtail Arancini left me speechless.

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Christina Simonitsch serving Randy Burgess some of her Charred Scotchie Shrimps.

Other Highlights of the night:

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Outstanding Caterer Nominee and Jing Shi Award Nominee for Dessert Chef of the Year, Trevanne Donegal, also by the G.H. Mumm booth, with delish Dark Chocolate Truffles.
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Uncorked’s Charcuterie and Cheese platter spread!
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The Solomon Gardner Awardee for Outstanding Service, Best Culinary Team Experience Awardee and Norma Shirley Awardee for Restaurant of the Year, Sugar Mill Restaurant at Half Moon Hotel’s succulent Barbeque Jerk Pork Belly!

Did you know?

Half Moon will be opening a Seafood Restaurant this September!

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Half Moon’s Seafood Restaurant, Delmare’s Chefs Claudio and Clarfield

A taste of what to expect from the Seafood Restaurant to come at Half Moon, Delmare were absolutely delicious Pan Seared Scallops accompanied by tomato compote with saffron and vanilla zucchini spaghetti with Tarragon.

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Delmare at Half Moon’s Pan Seared Scallops
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GCG Event’s surprise Cocktails, divine and spicy Jackfruit Crème Brûlée. They had delightful Beetroot Banana and Chilli marinated Shrimps on pickled green papaya too!
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Newbies on the block and Best Food Product 2019 Nominee, Outland Hurders Creamery and Farmstead Cheese Platter Displays! My tasting plate was quite appetizing.
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Sweet Obsession Ja’s White Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries by the Johnnie Walker booth!
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Just a touch of the mouth-watering Desserts at Future Bakery by Jing Shi’s booth!

Even if I didn’t indulge, I had to also stop by newbies Chillin’ Restaurant and Bar, Seaside Dutchie and Tastee Ltd./Brew’d Awakenings

Grace Kennedy’s Harbour Wines and Spirits also impressed with their Ménage à Trois selection of Wines and more.

You are always as good as your last show and this was by far the biggest and best Table Talk Jamaica Observer Food Awards that I have attended.

This year the Food Awards celebrated various Communities with Jamaican cuisine as authentic as you can get. Congratulations to the Chefs of the Communities that were selected and awarded:

• The Sephestines for Mount Estate, St. Thomas
• Monica Ottar for Bailey’s Vale, St. Mary
• The Allens for Gifford House – Granville, St. James, Montego Bay
• Christopher Marsh for Chris’s Cafe – Main Street, Oracabessa St. Mary
• Chris & Lisa Binns for Stush in the Bush – Free Hill, St. Ann

Chefs, Bakers, Caterers, Retailers and Restaurants have really elevated the level of quality for what they had to offer over the past year.

Congratulations to conceptualiser, Novia McDonald Whyte, the Jamaica Observer, the Judges, Sponsors, Retailers, the talented Nominees, Awardees and everyone responsible for the successful execution and staging of the Food Awards this year.

Cheers to next year!

By: Gabrielle Burgess

If you liked this Blog, follow Suga Lifestyle Online, on Instagram (@sugalifestyle), Twitter (@sugalifestyleja) or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.

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