Kingston Kitchen had Hope Gardens buzzing with activity last Saturday. It was a great event for family, friends and foodies to unite for the love of food.
The event was well supported, probably the biggest staging I’ve ever seen. The logistics and execution of the event was quite commendable.
Just a few drawbacks for me. One bar was not enough for the event and amount of patrons. It was overcrowded to say the least.
I also believe that our Gastronomy network via the Tourism Industry should have been involved with the event to incorporate tourists from various hotels on the north coast of the island. Kingston Kitchen’s Night Market would have been an eye-opening experience for them to see so much of our culture in one area and in one night. The event would also expose them to Kingston, as many tourists are unaware of the many cultural activities, beauty and places to go that exist in Kingston. For the next Kingston Kitchen, I would like to see them in bus loads!
There were so many vendors to pick, choose and refuse from, Suga and husband went with a hit list.
Here is a reminder of what Kingston Kitchen had to offer in addition to entertainment for adults and kids:
I am proud to say my husband, Randy and I succeeded. We definitely took note of places to try in the near future as well.
MUST-STOPS AND GLAD BAG BUSS
● Stush in the Bush– A variety of unique Sauces, Spreads and Preserves made with love. Always a crowd pleaser.
Lisa and Chris Binns doing what they do best at Kingston Kitchen last Saturday, July 7, 2018.
● Lucky Strike Seafood Bar and Grill – Their Seafood bowl is always a hit. My husband approves!
Randy Burgess and wife, Suga a.k.a Gabby from Suga Lifestyle at Kitchen last Saturday
● Street Food Saturdays – Fresh mint Lemonade, Street corn and more. They kept patrons coming all night!
● Fish Pot – Flavourful, peppery Fish soup. Great gas buster to prep for food galore.
●Simo’s Bread and Catering – Pastries, Soursop Popsicles, Dessert, Sauces, Seasonings. Excellent spread as usual from the main hands of it all, Christina Simonitsch.
Delicious Mini Cronuts, Pastries, Sauces and more from Simo’s Bread and Catering at Kingston Kitchen last Saturday.
● I Love Paella – Rich, flavourful Tapas! From Valencia with love. Bravas, Croquetas and Empañadas cooked right in front of you.
● Scott van Bonnet – New kid on the block from Blue Diamond Shopping Centre, Montego Bay. They had tasty Turkey and Lamb Wraps. Loved the infused flavours.
Coming soon to Kingston, Ocho Rios and Negril. Can’t wait!
● Topp In Designz Limited – Foodie Gear galore!
Suga had to cop this shirt!
● Gypsy House Tapas!
I have never thrown away food at Kingston Kitchen, but there is always a first. Trust me, I tried my best to eat their Seafood and Meat stacked Paella, but I just couldn’t get past the dry rice that nearly choked me and lack of flavour. It was horrible. Chef Enric’s, I Love Paella still stands as the place to go for authentic Valencian Paella.
● Soup King
They didn’t have any Soup for over an hour after the start time of the event. They seemed to have gotten things going later on in the night though.
SATISFYING STOPS #SugaSnaps
● Lyming at Walkerswood – Mannish water, Curried Goat and more. Jamaican cooked food that goes right to the heart and makes you feel at home.
● NCR Sheep Limited – Tasty Lamb sausage.
● Rolly Polly – Ice cream for adults and kids. I enjoyed my topping of Bailey’s rum cream on my Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream. Delish!
Suga had a ball in the Money Machine to grab as much cash as possible in a short period of time to go towards her Gustazos Account credit.
Patrons enjoyed their small giveaways, boomerang photo booth and money machine! Fun addition to the event.
MISSED OPPORTUNITIES #SugaSpieswithHer4Eyes
> Fromage Bistro and Brasserie, Cafe Dolce, Pita Grill, Deaf Can! Coffee, Chocolate Dreams, Until We Eat Again, Cannonball Cafe, Pink Apron Jamaica, Tea Tree Créperie and Sip ‘n’ Go Juice Bar.
Suga didn’t get to stop by the usual crowd faves mentioned above, but I could see that they continued to please!
PLACES TO EXPERIENCE IN THE NEAR FUTURE #SugasRadar
> Eatopia Jamaica, WTF Burgers and 25 Wafflerie
Kudos to Director Leisha Wong, Melanie Miller and their team for their hard work, efforts and a well executed Foodie affair. #SugaEndorsed
Until the next one!
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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Overlooking the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival’s Marketplace in Newcastle last Saturday, March 24, 2018. (Instagram Photo: Blue Ridge Restaurant and Cottages)
Coffee producers and baristas were out in their numbers last Saturday at the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival Marketplace in Newcastle, St. Andrew.
Many booths had hot coffee to keep patrons warm in the fog, such as Cafe Blue, Stoneleigh (Mavis Bank 100% Blue Mountain Coffee), Toyota Coffee House, Starbucks, Perk Up and Country Traders Limited (Coffee Roasters Blue Mountain Coffee).
Cafe Blue also had their Milk and White Chocolate covered Coffee beans that I enjoy.
Cafe Blue’s Milk Chocolate and White Chocolate covered Coffee beans (Photo: Suga Bear, Stephen Greig)
My husband enjoyed the smooth, hot brew offered by Perk up, from Flamstead Estate. Perk Up had a soft launch at the Coffee Festival, as they are planning to enter the market more competitively. They are currently at a few cafe outlets, including Shelly’s Cafe at U.T.E.C.H.
Deaf Can Coffee Baristas were there, brewing at 3 different tents including Cannonball Cafe and Jamaica Toyota Coffee House.
Deaf Can Baristas at the Country Traders Ltd. booth (Instagram Photo: @deafcancoffee)
I was impressed with Cannonball Cafe that uses Jablum Coffee. They were the only ones I saw that offered Frappes and Coffee Martinis. I had the Caramel Crunch Cafe Frappe for just $300JMD. They had Paint and Sip for $1500JMD along with a free Espresso Martini overseeing a picturesque view too! There were cold brews from Cafe Blue and Stoneleigh, but I prefer Frappes. Even though it was a cool atmosphere being up so high, the sun was still fully out and I warmed up after walking around the venue.
Cannonball’s coffee infused desserts were a treat too! My nieces and I enjoyed their Coffee and Chocolate Brownies for a steal of $100JMD, Mini Eclairs with Coffee infused cream ($300JMD) and Coffee Bread Pudding with Coffee glaze ($300JMD).
Cannonball Cafe can be found in Barbican (Loshusan Centre), New Kingston (Barbados Ave.), Manor Park (Lower Manor Park Plaza) and Sovereign North Plaza.
Restaurants other than Cafe Blue that are on the Blue Mountain Culinary trail were out, such as Belcour Lodge with their line of Preserves and Blue Ridge Restaurant and Cottages. Blue Ridge had a tasty Coffee Cake for $300JMD.
The experienced and poised hostess, Emprezz kept the patrons well-informed throughout the day and presented prizes and surprises, hosted short interviews and more.
The suits of Tourism came out, shook hands and spoke to the patrons. Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlet along with his entourage, as well as Adam Stewart, Chairman of The Tourism Linkages Council were there. The council has been making great strides, developing projects to increase our influx of visitors to Jamaica via the Gastronomy network, Shopping, Health and Wellness, Sports and Entertainment and Knowledge. The Jamaica Coffee Festival Marketplace branched out across all these networks, with major focus on the Gastronomic Network. Key initiatives and Projects such as development of a Blue Mountain Coffee experience, strategic partnerships with other networks and the promotion of food festivals were all achieved. Kudos to them and the great turn out of patrons to support such an important initiative. Tickets were sold out!
If the endless amount of coffee wasn’t enough, Tarrus Riley entertained the crowd for over an hour!
CB Chicken, Copperwood Pork and Best DressedChicken were out to feed the masses. The Best Dressed Booth was quite popular with their Gourmet Hot dogs, loaded fries and more. I enjoyed their Jerked Chicken.
Island Blue, which you normally see in our hotels, displayed and sold their Jamaica Coffee Liqueurs from Baronhall Estate, Coffee Beans, Branded mugs and more.
Farm to table Coffee Beans from Island Blue!
Kande’s Delights had long lines for ice cream including coffee flavours of course.
Various Arts & Crafts exhibitors were about, but one of the Skin Care exhibitors, I Love Sweetness Coffee Scrubs grabbed my attention with their body scrubs, scented soaps and skin tonics. Their representatives were quite knowledgeable about their products and marketed them well.
There were representatives and Informative pamphlets from Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA) and Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) on the story of Jamaican Coffee. Jamaican Coffee Recipes were available too.
Hollywell provided information on tours and events, signing persons up to receive information on events in the future too. They also had persons chatting up a storm about their Coffee Rice and Peas cooked by ‘Natural by Nature’ in their community.
Congratulations to the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival Team. Great initiative, efficient use of space and well executed event. #SugaEndorsed
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed AgroFest last Saturday. There was no rain on the day and the night before got rain so the grounds of Jamaica College were not dusty or too muddy either. It was more organized this year and had a lot more local vendors and organizations participating. It is hard to highlight booths as everyone showed great effort in their presentations and what they had to offer. However, some still managed to stand out above the rest.
The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) had plants, honey and more.
A booth had a Tissue Culture display for Irish potatoes and Ginger.
Gavin Hill had the greatest variety of animals. He had a cursing Parrot, Turkey, Rabbits, Hamsters and Birds.
Gavin Hill’s booth
Other farmers from Kingston & St. Andrew had Goats, Sheep and Rabbits as well.
It was thus fitting to have NutraMix and Hi-Pro there, suppliers of animal feed.
R: Suga with a Prize-winning Ram Goat
Jamaica 4-H Clubs, who were celebrating their 75th anniversary had Fruits, Eggs and Vegetables for sale.
The College of Agriculture, Science and Education had an Aquaculture display, Jellies, Chutney, Sauces, Vegetables, you name it.
AG Chem Plant Ltd. had Pesticides and Fertilizers suitable for farming and other needs.
The Jamaica Dairy Development Board is back in full swing. They have been training 200 farmers the art and science of dairy cattle husbandry to make an increase in dairy production and make it sustainable by increasing the dairy cattle population.
They ensure Herd recording, Herd management decisions and genetic evaluations.
They have been supporting the improvememt of institutions such as CASE and Ebony Park HEART Acadamy and others.
T. Geddes Grant Distributors Ltd. had their booth showing that they are suppliers of total Agricultural requirements to farmers and gardeners. They supply Herbicides, Feed, Farming tools and more.
The Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division as well as the National Irrigation Commission Ltd. had lovely 3-D models.
The WUSC Caribbean’s PROPEL (Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages) were represented. Their Canadian Project ensures safe, effective and efficient movement of produce from the farm to high value markets such as hotels, restaurants etc. Crops supported in this project include Greenhouse vegetables, Onions, Ginger, Irish Potato, Sweet Yams and Sweet Potatoes.
The Cottage Farmers won Best Display Booth but Suga didn’t find them t o be that impressive. They are usually low in the standings so kudos to them for making a big improvement this year.
Jack’s Hill Community did not compete this year but the Burgesses, well known in the community had an AgroFest 20th Booth displaying Programmes of the Past, lots of pictures with vivid AgroFest memories, Liqueurs, Wines, Mrs B’s Honey, Jelly, Bammy, Rabbits and more.
I must also mention the unique fruits they had that persons did not have to buy but could come by and sample such as Black Sapote, Jaboticaba, Pink Grapefruit, Suriname and Caribbean Cherry and Clementine. Who knew Cherries could be spicy? Naseberries and Ripe Banana were also there. Other booths had fruits as well including Melons, Pineapples, Otaheite Apples and more.
Mrs. Veronica Burgess of Jack’s Hill Community receiving her well deserved plaque of recognition and appreciation from Custos of Kingston, Steadman Fuller
Mr. Paul and Mrs. Veronica Burgess were recognised with plaques showing appreciation for 20 years of Support and Committed Partnership to the staging of AgroFest.
Jewellery, Pots, Clutch purses and Art booths were present as well. Certainly not a part of agriculture but definitely a part of Brand Jamaica, as the products were all locally made.
Top L-R: Claud Hoilett speaking with patron and Suga Bear, Kimberly Nesbeth. His pots depict the theme, ‘The Art of Clay is What You Can Imagine’
The winner of the Farm Queen Competition was announced too late, a bit after 7pm when it was quite dark surrounding the stage. AgroFest was advertised to be from 8am to 8pm. So they need to work on the lighting next year or finish all entertainmrnt within a certain time, because all the booths were pulled down by that time as well.
With that aside it was a lovely day. I enjoyed fresh coconut water, Jamaican food from Martin’s Jerk and Catering and my Guava slush. I also saw that the kids enjoyed the rides, bounce-a-bout, animals, clowns and balloons.
Christian Dawes-Fearon enjoying his balloon and painted face mask
Most importantly, I thoroughly enjoyed the Performance of the Breadfruit dance. How could you have AgroFest and not ‘do di dance’?!
Happy AgroFest 20th!
L-R: Exec. Director of RADA, Lenworth Fulton, President of JAS, Senator Norman Grant, Mrs Veronica Burgess of Jack’s Hill Community, Custos of Kingston, Steadman Fuller and National Farm Queen 2015-2016, Peta-Gaye Stewart of St. Mary
South Beach Cafe was buzzing with activity last Friday night. New Kingston Rotaract Club (NKRC) definitely achieved their goal of having businesses and talents of young Professionals and Entrepreneurs attractively showcased, also providing the opportunity for networking and learning in a relaxed environment.
All booths seemed to have received positive support from attendees and definitely had impressive presentations.
Some of the Businesses showcased included:
● Envi i Designs – Hand crafted Jamaican Jewellery for bold, Afro-centric Clientele
● Haiku Health and Beauty Services – Facials and Massage Therapy
● GW Art – Paintings suitable for Decor of homes, cafes, offices and hotels
● Pop-Up Gourmet Jamaica – Offers an Advantage Card to get Discounts at your favourite Restaurants and Bars
● Splash by Sash – Trendy and Sexy Swimwear
● BOK – Showcasing the BEST businesses in Kingston
● Headbands by Trudi
● Tou-Khan Naturals – Natural products for Hair and Skin
● Project Management Global Institute – Aids in advancing your Project Management Skills
Sangster’s Rum Cream also had some tantalizing samples being circulated to enhance the buzzing activity.
Kudos to the sponsors, VMBS, PMGI, Mayberry Investment and BBO Jamaica and of course, Professional Development Director, Kimberley Ann Lindo and her team for a well planned, organized and executed event!