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.
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!
They also had a gigantic Sushi spread.
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.
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.
Other Highlights of the night:
Did you know?
Half Moon will be opening a Seafood Restaurant this September!
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.
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 theCommunities 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.
The Sweetart Bake Expo held at The Jamaica Pegasus two Sundays ago had patrons in awe at the creativity of Cakes decorated and probably sent everyone’s sweet tooth into overdrive with the samples given.
There were On-stage demos and Presentations on Cake Decorating, as well as classes that were conducted, including one that was by a local instructor.
Sometimes a Cake is decorated well and doesn’t taste as good as it looks, but the proof is in the pudding. Suga was most impressed with the Piña Colada cupcake by Alex’s creations (@alexcreationsja). I tasted the rum first, followed by the coconut flavour, then was hit with the sweet accentuated by the icing. Fantastic!
Other tasty highlights for Suga: *Instagram tags in brackets
• Cheesecake by Kelsey’s Kreations (@kelseyskreations_ja)
• Bread Pudding by Skimo’s Pastries (@skimos_pastries)
• Banana Bread by La Jazz Sweet Tooth (@lajazzp_c)
• Carrot Cake by Jhaneal Solomon (@savouritja)
• Beer Jelly by Su Yen Green (@bakedbysue)
• Nestle’s offering of mouth-watering Bread pudding and other desserts made by using their products. Not to mention the Nestle Frappélatte that seems to be a hit everywhere it goes. It’s made with coffee and ice cream and is richly flavoured.
I know persons are straying from the traditional Fruit cakes for Weddings, but I only got two to taste that were not up to standard. Perhaps Blissful Bites by Delvena came close. Lemon cakes are now a popular choice for Weddings, but none of them hit the spot.
The presence of well-known Bakers was missed, but there are many on the rise with potential who were present and have been working on their craft for years. The Cake Decorating Competitions displayed high levels of skill and creativity, making things look so real.
Here are most of the Winners! Pre-decorated Cake Competitions by Theme:
• Fast Food Winner
Decorated by Students! • Fast Food theme Winner
• Wedding Winner
• Topsy Turvy Winner
• Jungle Theme Winner
CONGRATS to the WINNERS and See you at the 5th Anniversary Edition, #sweetartbakeexpo2019!
Save the date! It will be May 26,2019 with 5 days of activities.
Sweetart Bake Expo
By: Gabrielle Burgess
If you liked this Blog, follow Suga Lifestyle or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.
Don’t forget that the Sweetart Bake Expo will be at The Jamaica Pegasus this Sunday!
Our Jamaican Bakers’ Skill and Creativity will be put to the test! There will be a Cake Decorating Challenge for the Bakers with the theme, ‘Movie night’, a Pre-decorated Cake Competition with the 4 themes, Wedding, Cartoon, Topsy Turvy and Fast Food. For persons who would like to have fun and are also inspired to be like our Bakers, there will be Cake Decorating classes.
Check out these elaborate Cakes from some of our Jamaican Bakers!
Don’t miss out!
Children under 12 are FREE!
***Available at Monarch Pharmacy (Sovereign Centre Liguanea & Portmore), Fontana Pharmacy (Islandwide), York Pharmacy – Half Way Tree, Health Plus Pharmacy on Brunswick Ave., Spanish Town***
At the Door: $1000JMD
Sweetart Bake Expo
By: Gabrielle Burgess
If you liked this Promo, follow Suga Lifestyle or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.