Tag Archives: Appleton Estate

How was Jamaica’s 1st Rum Festival and have you Recovered?!

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Suga thinks that the Jamaica Rum Festival was a success!

I went on the Saturday at about 3:30pm when the sun was out in full force. Imagine I was planning on going earlier. I was disappointed that the seminar times were posted online so close to the day, so failed to plan for them and missed out on available spots. I am sure it would have enhanced my experience even more, but perhaps something can be done next year that may not involve tastings and patrons can be involved.

I was early enough to get my Festival cup though! This was definitely a perk appreciated by patrons. You got back your entry money with that already.

The entrance décor was as real as it could get, taking you on a walk through the cane fields and the history of Jamaican rums via photos and artefacts. Neat cuts of Sugar cane were given away in small paper bags too.

I wish the mist being provided for the Sugar cane was provided for patrons at certain points throughout the festival too, or fans. The heat was hard to bear. Thankfully after a walk around the venue, picking up rum samples from the different sponsors and seeing what was on offer, Kande’s Delights had their delicious ice cream to cool you down. They gave you combo options to get a moist, salivating cupcake from Alex’s Creations too! Those cupcakes are one of a kind.

I am all for Brand Jamaica, but I think if local artisans are to be involved in the festival, they should have products more aligned with the theme of the festival. Perhaps like Street Food Saturdays who had Pepper sauces. Items that persons like to pair with rum or persons who take a liking to rum are likely to purchase.

The CB Food Village was a disappointment. Firstly, there was no card machine by the general line to get tickets. That should have been standard. I believe Rainforest Seafoods was probably the only option on the inside that you could buy from and use a card.

I understand that after drinking all that rum, the food did not have to be gourmet and got the idea behind mostly fried foods etc. to soak up the rum, but I still felt like options were limited and the quality of food put out was not that enticing. For instance, the quality of Pan Chicken in Manor Park is far better than that offered by the Pan Chicken winner that was present. I believe I made a good decision to get the Pork Fries from Tooksie Kay Catering. I got the Fried Chicken tacos from Chilitos too, but I believe Tooksie Kay was probably the best, if not, one of the best options there.

With all of that aside, how was the Rum and Entertainment?! After all, that is what we were there for. Monymusk was the only disappointment. Why was Monymusk giving people straight shots of whites?! Good Lord. Then they wanted you to pay for slushes with no rum in them. Wheel and come again.

Kudus to the other sponsors, Appleton Estate, Wray & Nephew, Charley’s J.B. Overproof Rum and Hampten Estate for coming up with creative 3oz sampler cocktails and mixes that were free. I enjoyed them. Big up Charley’s J.B. Overproof Rum from Trelawny who came with their Sprat and Bammy to soak up that strong cullo cullo a.k.a John Crow Batty!

Bottles and cues were for sale from the different sponsors as well.

The vibe did nice! Uncle Wray was there to mingle with patrons and so was Aunty Joy, Master Blender from Appleton Estate.

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Gabrielle Burgess a.k.a Suga with Joy Spence, Master Blender of Appleton Estate.

Wray and Nephew did an excellent job with on the spot entertainment, such as mixology competitions. Hosts Sakina Deer and Dufton Shepherd really had the crowd engaged encouraging spontaneous outbursts of laughter.

I thoroughly enjoyed all the performances that I caught. Wayne Marshall, Dance Xpressionz and Aidonia certainly took us through their expansive catalogue of music and dance throughout the years.

Hope Pastures needs to take better care of those dusty grounds and I wish I got prior notice to consider carrying a chair, because once you are there you are likely to stay till the very end! Kudos to the organizers for creating such a memorable, local experience. Looking forward to the next one! #SugaEndorsed

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Suga with husband, Randy Burgess at the Jamaica Rum Festival last Saturday, March 9, 2019 (Photo: Kirk Wignall)

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TGIF! Jamaica Rum Festival Starts Tomorrow!

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Are you ready?! The greatly anticipated Jamaica Rum Festival begins tomorrow! A festival that should walk us through the history of Jamaican rums via photos, artefacts and a sensory experience.

Sip Sip Sip! Expect to receive Drink Chits upon entry for your complimentary cocktail and samples from each of the sponsors booths.

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Seminars and Workshops hosted by Appleton Estate’s Master Blender, Joy Spence and more start from 12:45pm, where you sign in upon entry once spaces are still available.

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The festival should also be showcasing live music, arts and crafts and other Jamaican made products presented by local artisans, powered by the Tourism Enhancement Fund and of course, food.

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Participating Local Artisans

Patrons will experience the Jamaica Rum Festival Food Court offered by sponsor, CB Foods!

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What have you been waiting for? Get your tickets today!

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For more information:

Website: http://www.jarumfestival.com/

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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

Save the Date!

Now that last weekend is over, here is something else to look forward to!

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Appleton Estate’s Jamaica Rum Festival will be March 9 – 10, 2019 in Hope Gardens and should be showcasing our country’s excellence in Rum, Food and Music.

Save the Date that you choose to go!

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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

How was Picante for Jamaica Food & Drink Festival?!

Picante is the event on the Jamaica Food and Drink Festival (JFDF) roster that takes you through a world of hot, zesty flavours.

It was held last Friday night at The Ruins, Mona Visitors’ Lodge from 7-11pm.

Suga arrived early, at about 7:20pm to beat the lines and made her rounds.

Coca Cola had tasty cocktails upon entry. They had a creamy cocktail that suited the ladies and a White Rum mix that the gentlemen like my husband, Randy enjoyed.

Select Brands had sweet wines to cool down the spice and a refreshing Stoli Blueberi Lemonade that was the talk of many patrons for the night.

By the entrance, there was National’s Scotch Bonnet Butter Cheddar Popcorn stand with Popcorn bags by Chef Christian Sweeney. It was finished in no time. As usual, he created delightful bites to please the crowd.

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Chef Sweeney also had a menu of Spicy Chicken with Grilled Corn and Chick Peas Salsa. Thankfully it tasted better than it looked. Congrats Chef Sweeney, it was Picante. For those who returned later in the night like myself, Pan-seared Tuna was served instead of the Chicken with the Chick Peas Salsa and it was just as delightful.

Chef Shea Stewart had a menu of spiced Snapper with a Jalapeño, Chili and Scotch Bonnet infused Risotto, however the outcome was mild. The presentation was poor, but it was quite tasty nonetheless.

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Chef Shea Stewart’s Spiced Snapper en Papillote with Scotch Bonnet Butter served with Jalepeño and Chili Pepper infused Risotto Scotch Bonnet.

Chef Dennis McIntosh did a tasty seafood dish, but it was mild as well.

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Chef Dennis McIntosh’s spicy Caribbean Seafood Au Gratin.

Broken Plate’s dish was delicious and flavourful with a touch of spice, but I was still waiting on another dish to make me say, ‘Picante!’.

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Broken Plate’s Mustard Chili Pesto Rubbed Pork Loin with Crispy Bacon Orzo Pilaf topped with Asian mixed greens and Arugula Salad

Disappointing booths for the Night

Before I get to outstanding booths for the night, the majority of Chefs produced impressive dishes. However, there were two disappointing dishes for me. One was definitely worse than the other.

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The Cliff Hotel’s Chef Jonhoi Reid’s Mojo Braised Pork topped with Crispy Pork Belly with Black Bean Corn Yuca Cake, Smoked Scotch Bonnet Salsa Verde, Jalapeño Pico de Gallo and Cilantro Crema.

Chef Jonhoi Reid from the renowned Cliff Hotel in Negril was very personable, but had a sloppy display with Pork that was difficult to chew. I was excited to see Pork stacked on Pork, but the outcome was disappointing. The Black Bean Corn Yuca Cake didn’t save the dish for me, but was quite palatable beneath it all.

I observed that they were serving persons up to 11:20pm, when most Chefs left or packed up. Having so much food left may underscore my thoughts.

Then there was Walkerswood featuring Guest Chef from overseas, Patrick Simpson and UTECH. Sad to say, but it was the worst of the night. The Peppa Shrimp with Curried Vegetable Succotash was spicy a.k.a Picante, but the Pulled Jerk Chicken was terrible. Perhaps, Chef Simpson is unfamiliar with Jamaican sauces, but that sauce did not complement the Pulled Jerk Chicken well at all. It wasn’t spicy and it overpowered it completely.

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Walkerswood featuring Chef Patrick Simpson and UTECH’s Grilled Peppa Shrimps with Curried Vegetable Succotash (Top); Pulled Jerk Chicken on Bammy Round with Pickle Escallion Relish (below); Solomon Gundy Crostini topped with Roasted Corn and Tomato

Winners of the Night for Suga!

Suga had an overall winner, but there wasn’t only one winner for me, there were five Chefs who absolutely brought it to Picante!

Oji Jaja! Best Shrimp of the Night 

Chef Oji Jaja had Seared Scallops, but the hit with most patrons was the Seared Shrimp with roasted pepper Scotch Bonnet sauce and Micro Basil. It wasn’t spicy, but was the best Shrimp of the night for Suga.

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Chef Oji Jaja’s Seared Shrimp with roasted pepper Scotch Bonnet sauce and Micro Basil

Spiciest dish of the Night!

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The spiciest dish of the night hands down went to Chef George Matthews of Summertime Villa (Silver Sands, Trelawny; also cooks at Tryall). I couldn’t even say or scream Picante. My running eyes and nose said it all. Mission accomplished Chef Matthews.

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Chef George Matthews’ Thai Chili Shrimp with Breadfruit poppers.

Culinary Showman of the Night

Chef Mark Cole from The Jamaica Pegasus cooked with a lot of flare, literally. He cooked two dishes, including a stuffed spicy Potato, but he had one of the two longest lines of the night for his Picante style Salmon Hash. It’s jalapeno salsa made you say, Picante and it was delish! Bravo.

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Chef Mark Cole of The Jamaica Pegasus being quite a showman at Picante last Friday night.

Chef Mark Cole’s Menu:

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The Best Dish at Picante

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The other long line of the night with foodie, Sean Morgan looking on was for…

Drum roll…

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Chef Lisa Binns of Stush in the Bush serves up Suga her Picante dish, while husband, Chef Christopher Binns was on the grill.

For the Second year in a row, Stush in the Bush wins at Picante for Suga. We all know you can’t help but love Chris and Lisa Binns and the unique, savoury, delightful food they consistently produce, but without bias, although Chef Mark Cole came close, their dish was the best overall at Picante. Their dish made you hot and cooled you down at the same time with pickled watermelon radishes and pickled cucumbers.

On time/Flowing production – Check
Personality – Check
Presentation – Check
Theme (Picante) – Check
Flavours – Check
Textures – Check
Wow Factor – Check

Snaps for making Vegetarian look good! There were so many flavours and textures on one plate. Absolute perfection. Stush in the Bush showed up once again. Congratulations and Well done.

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Stush in the Bush’s winning dish!

Drinks and Desserts!

Other than more drinks provided by the Appleton Estate Bar, desserts provided were a great way to cool off the taste buds.

Sagicor’s booth with Chef Rebecca Karram had sweet and spicy treats. She did well. I enjoyed all of her desserts. The Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookie with a Chai Spiced Milk Shot was a crowd fave.

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Chef Rebecca Karram’s Menu
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Chef Rebecca Karram telling us what she prepared for us to enjoy at Picante last Friday night.

Wisynco’s Haagen Dazs Ice Cream booth was buzzing all night with patrons and when the night was over, they had brawta. They served one item from their menu at different points in the night. The items provided an added crunchy texture to the ice cream, with a touch of spice too.

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Wisynco’s Haagen Dazs Ice Cream booth Menu Items

Kudos to the organizers and sponsors of Jamaica Food and Drink Festival. ALL events were sold out and from what I heard, patrons enjoyed the majority of the events. Persons were disappointed with the smallest event, Crisp because it had less Chefs.

Jamaicans are a fickle bunch. So after a few successful stagings, I think that JFDF should change things up a bit, and replace Crisp with Seafood, perhaps call it Sea Breeze. It could be by Port Royal for a change of scenery or even in Portland or Ocho Rios. The event has been staged in Kingston for some time, but it is Jamaica Food and Drink Festival.

Looking forward to another great year!

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Gabrielle Burgess a.k.a Suga by the Haagen Dazs booth at Picante last Friday night at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge.

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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