PhotoGrid_1508347360425.png

Do you have your Tickets for Jamaica Food & Drink Festival?!

The Caribbean’s No. 1 Urban Food Festival starts this Saturday!

All days should be a treat. If you must choose, check out where your favourite Chefs and Restaurants will be on http://www.jafoodanddrink.com. Picante and Crisp are stacked with Suga’s faves.

Hope you have secured your tickets! If not, here is the information you need:

PhotoGrid_1508347360425.png

Schedule, Venues and Costs for Jamaica Food and Drink Festival (JFDF)

Screenshot_2017-10-18-12-13-03-1

JFDF Ambassadors on Instagram and JFDF Ticket Outlets

Enjoy 7 World Class Food Events at 7 Iconic Kingston Venues.

Screenshot_2017-10-18-12-59-57-1

Executive Chef Mark Cole from The Jamaica Pegasus that cooked divine dishes for President Barack Obama, Prince Harry and Princess Ann – CRISP!

There was a Sneak Taste on Tuesday at The Steak House on the Verandah, Devon House which had its opening last Sunday. Check out a few of the highlights!

Screenshot_2017-10-18-12-14-21-1

Bar B Que Pig Tails served with a Ginger Mango glaze on a Bammy Crisp topped with Crumbled Bacon by Chef Débè-Ann Lange-Chen of Cutting Edge Gourmet- PORK PALOOZA!

Screenshot_2017-10-18-11-19-55-1

A thrilling Five spiced Baked Salmon Fillet with a Sesame Chill Glaze from Chef Evrol Ebanks of Rainforest Seafoods – CHOPSTIX!

Screenshot_2017-10-18-11-19-28-1

Colin Hylton’s Malaysian Spiced Braised Beef Short Ribs with Mahogany Glaze, Toasted Shaved Coconut and Sushi Rice Balls – PICANTE!

By: Gabrielle Burgess

If you liked this Promo, follow Suga Lifestyle or like the Suga Lifestyle Facebook page.

20160407_210124

The Caterers that will be taking the Jamaican Market by Storm!

Goddard Catering Group also known as GCG Events are THE Caterers to watch! Up to last week Thursday, many did not know who or what was Goddard. How did that change? GCG hosted what I considered as a launch titled, ‘Destination: Delicious!’ last Thursday night at the Ruins, Mona that was Simply Outstanding, fully representing their brand.

Fidelity Motors Ltd. is a part of the Goddard Enterprises Group of Companies and GCG often works together with Tai Flora Luxe. So on the outskirts of the event, a car was on display followed by a beautiful table arrangement and lounge area decorated by Tai Flora.

 

20160407_210124

GCG and Tai Flora pair beautifully together, as GCG not only caters for Corporate and Social events but for Weddings as well. They describe themselves as expensive but based on Suga’s experience with them, I absolutely disagree. For the complete package that they offer, for instance if you also require their Bar Services, they provide all the necessary glassware, ice, flatware, cutlery, disposables and service staff for an unbeatable price. Not to mention that they come fully equipped with their cooling trucks, electricity and more. To add icing to the cake, they are partners with Pop Up Gourmet Jamaica, which means that once you have your Pop Up Gourmet Advantage Card you get a 10% discount. Depending on the size of your event, that could turn out to be up to $30,000 to $50,000 or more off of your bill! My Gosh, where have they been all along? They have been around for many years Suga Bears. After successfully catering for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2007, they saw the need to raise the bar on catering services throughout the region, leading to the birth of GCG Events in 2008, an affiliated company of Goddard Catering Group and a member of the Goddard Enterprises Group of Companies. Some persons who know of them may also familiarise them with the airport or airport/airplane food. But when you taste their food, you would have no idea. They are thus familiar with the importance of punctuality as well.

They do a lot of Overseas Weddings and Funerals. Funerals?! Yes, because when persons land at the airport where their office is located, all they have to do is ask for GCG to take care of everything for them and work with their budget stating how much a head they can afford. The headache they thought they would have is usually gone once it reaches into GCG’s hands as they seem to be an excellent team. It is likely that you would communicate with Jasmin Ramsay or Cheridah Douglas who are the epitome of quick, efficient communication, quality service and the ability to deduce the needs of their customers, often without even having to ask.

To the general public, GCG probably started to visually creep into the Events market since the 1st Epicurean Escape in 2012 held at Grizzly’s Plantation Cove, close to Ocho Rios, Discovery Bay and Runaway Bay. The Festival featured some of Jamaica’s finest including Chef Ravi Anne, Chef Dennis McIntosh, Chef Theo Smith, Chef Christopher Evans, many others and most importantly, GCG’s current head Chef, Daniel Schwietzer. Since then they have been taking their time filtering into the Events market even more.

Executive Chef Daniel Schwietzer is Swiss and discovered his love for cooking from his Uncle who had a restaurant in Geneva, Switzerland. He knew very quickly from then that he wanted to be a Chef. He traveled across Switzerland where he learnt French and Italian cuisines, Los Angeles, California and then finally to Jamaica 25 years ago! He has served in the capacity of Executive Chef at Morgan’s Harbor Hotel, Temple Hall Estate, Plantation Inn and for the past 19 years, Goddard Catering Group Jamaica Ltd.

So what did Chef Schwietzer and the other Chefs as well as Bartenders have to offer at Destination: Delicious held last Thursday? It was quite a spread. Suga arrived at about 7:45pm. The event was slated to be from 6:30pm to 10pm so I arrived when things were about to be in full swing. Invited Guests were greeted with Sangria and I was just in time to hear Chef Schwietzer be introduced and have him take us through all the stations where he was sure to display his passion of fusing Caribbean and European cuisines.

20160407_200312-1

The Cocktail station had Roasted Tuna with balsamic glaze drizzled over micro greens, Bruschetta with jerked cream cheese, escellion and wine, Rice noodles with Salmon, usually paired well with white wine and Ceviche drizzled with lime juice and some country pepper. The Ceviche and Tuna Appetizers impressed Suga.

20160407_200612-1.jpg

The Soup station had Red peas, Manish water and Pumpkin soup with Spicy Banana Bread croutons that enhanced the flavour. All were tasty, but the Manish water was the hit for the night.

There was a Salad station to top off wetting the appetite. I loved the general use of fresh micro greens as I am in total support of the local farm to table concept.

Then for the meat lovers, the Beef and Pork station were kicking where the mango salsa complemented the Beef Tenderloin well and the coffee rubbed and chocolate infused methods were a delightful enhancement in flavour.

PhotoGrid_1460555636284.jpg

The Flat Bread station had THE most toppings including pesto, smoked marlin, fresh mozzarella and mushrooms, basil, micro greens, you name it!

20160407_204938

There was a live cooking, Pasta station with Seafood pasta and a Dessert station where for Suga, the highlight was the Apple crumble. It was delicious.

20160407_204155.jpg

Wines, Cocktails and Premium Spirits galore were offered.

The most outstanding for Suga was the tender, fresh, succulent cut of Beef! Perfection.

20160407_202127-1

The Chefs were personable and pleasant, especially the men who had a charming flair to their service. Well done Goddard. Well done.

20160407_214748

Executive Chef Daniel Schwietzer and Gabrielle Williams from Suga Lifestyle

I thoroughly enjoyed the night and expected nothing less. It was evident that persons were pleasantly surprised, impressed and pleased with the high standard and quality of service, food and drinks that GCG presented. A lot of power players in the Events industry were present and I am sure they will be key to future events and persons that GCG will cater to.

There is currently a breakdown across the service industry, Wedding vendors in particular, with regards to efficient communication such as getting quotes to customers in a timely fashion, following up with customers etc., but GCG is coming full force now and they will be at Dîner en Blanc this Saturday and other events to come. You won’t have to look out for them too hard because they will be Simply Outstanding!

20160407_220357

Gabby from Suga and her fiancé, Randy Burgess enjoy their Goodie bags from GCG

GCG Events

Norman Manley Int’l Airport

Kingston, Jamaica

Ph: (876) 924-8364

http://www.gcg-events.com

Correction Update for Pork Palooza

Hi Suga Readers,

Two important corrections re Pork Palooza published on Friday, October 30, 2015 have come to my attention. The first was updated on the same day the article was published. Please take special note of the 2nd correction with regards to the judging of the chefs for the night.

  1. It was the organizers and not Alexa Von Strolley that had a treat for patrons with a Copperwood Pork creation! They had something that many people have a weakness for – Bacon! Candied (not Caramelized) bacon. It was the rave of the night. It was in beer cups floating around the venue. Extremely tasty with a unique presentation. It was like picking sweetie out of a candy jar.

2. How exactly did the voting process go?

According to Tina Hamilton, Brand Manager of CB Foods and Nutramix, only the 8 featured chefs were eligible to win Top Hog. Voting was done by the patrons who were given voting tabs at the entrance along with their wrist bands.

Somehow, every patron was not aware, but Ms. Hamilton stated that they were urged to vote for their favorite chef throughout the night by dropping their tab in a voting box provided at the chefs’ stations. These boxes were collected and votes tallied at 10:25pm showing Dale de Lisser as the one with the most votes. Anyone who voted for Dale also got a takeaway gift from Copperwood.

If you missed the review on Pork Palooza or you would like to just read the updated review, click on the link below:

My My My, Fling Back Friday to Pork Palooza!

PhotoGrid_1446133598479

My My My, Fling Back Friday to Pork Palooza!

PhotoGrid_1446133598479

Last Wednesday night was Pork Palooza, part of the Jamaica Food and Drink Festival. It was held at The Savanna, 42 Lady Musgrave Road and Gabby’s trusted Suga Bears were out and ready to report!

Hundreds of patrons came out to support the event, excited to see what would be in store. There was Roast pork, stashes of Bacon, Pork cheek, Pork belly, Pig ears, every part of the swine you can think about!

The handpicked best Pork Chefs on the island were Alexa Von Strolley, Chantay Campbell, Gairy Bowes, Christian Sweeney, Shea Stewart, Dale Delisser, Simon Levy and Sarah Willers.

Parking and entry into the venue was well-organized and executed. Tents were displayed nicely and logically for easy access in a U-shape with a Bar in the middle and a Band at the bottom of the ‘U’. Bistro tables were all around the venue and the Band was quite entertaining. Organisers failed to acknowledge them between sets.

Christian Sweeney and Shea Stewart had the longest lines for the night.

Shea had Pork loin stuffed with feta and callaloo complemented by a mushroom sauce that was magical. The pork was a juicy, lean cut that tasted FANTASTIC!

Sweeney’s dish was EXCELLENT. The pork was lovely and well seasoned. The plating and presentation were very original. The guac was a different touch and he advised patrons to squeeze a little lime over it. Before the lime, it was great and after adding the lime, it was even better! Patrons thought visiting his tent was very interactive in comparison to the others.

Simon Levy had a 4-Pork Ramen soup. Call the ambulance because people were suffering from a hypertensive attack from one of the pork cuts used. It threw off the entire broth, causing some people to stop eating the entire dish.

A Suga Bear asked for no water/broth because she didn’t like how it looked as a soup. So she was able to enjoy everything else in the bowl.

There was a tent with Pork Burgers but it was not impressive. The bread was too thick and the patty wasn’t well seasoned. It was a bit disappointing and later in the night when the crowds came and all the lines were full, that station was empty. Their sauce deserves a ‘big up’ though!

Gairy Bowes had Stuffed Pork Butt with Gold Bread. Patrons thought it was superb. Wow!

The Pulled Pork Panini sponsored by National was very tasty and had a pleasant kick to it.

The organizers certainly had a treat for patrons with a Copperwood Pork creation! They had something that many people have a weakness for – Bacon! Candied bacon. It was the rave of the night. It was in beer cups floating around the venue. Extremely tasty with a unique presentation. It was like picking sweetie out of a candy jar.

Now for Alexa Von Strolley! The oh so talented young caterer to watch! She surely took us through a culinary journey of the pig’s anatomy.

IMG-20151029-WA0007-1In the dish pictured, on top is Deep Fried Pig Ears, below was a big chunk of Crispy Pork Belly and on the side were pieces of Orange Braised Pork Cheek. It did not look appetizing at all but this was Pork Palooza and Suga Bears were determined to try everything and embrace the culinary adventure. So even tho the Pork Belly just looked like a slab of fat and was indeed fatty, the taste was pleasantly soft and not chewy. The Ears was of course an interesting twist. Well done Von Strolley.

Other tents failed to be as impressive.

There was Crispy Roast Pork by Dale Delisser. It was like a drier version of Crispy Pork from any Jamaican Chinese restaurant with a little extra kick to it. It was alright.

There was a tent with Pork Heart and Fried Pork, where the texture of both was off and the Fried Pork was too salty.

Desserts were offered too! Banana bread and another dessert with the essence of pumpkin was in the National tent and ice-cream was there as well.

This was actually all a Competition. The Crispy Roast Pork won for the night surprisingly even though Suga Bears rated it as the 4th or 5th best tent for the night. However our natural ethnic population is changing as we speak and the presence of the Chinese was strong.

How exactly did the voting process go?

According to Tina Hamilton, Brand Manager of CB Foods and Nutramix, only the 8 featured chefs were eligible to win Top Hog. Voting was done by the patrons who were given voting tabs at the entrance along with their wrist bands.

Somehow, every patron was not aware, but Ms. Hamilton stated that they were urged to vote for their favorite chef throughout the night by dropping their tab in a voting box provided at the chefs’ stations. These boxes were collected and votes tallied at 10:25pm showing Dale de Lisser as the one with the most votes. Anyone who voted for Dale also got a takeaway gift from Copperwood.

At the end of the night, for $5000JMD, Jamaican patrons had a bellyful and enjoyed themselves, getting value for their money.

What followed last night? Crispy Fried Fare and Beer at the Gardens of The Jamaica Pegasus. That was well supported as well, featuring The Pegasus’ own Chef Mark Cole who cooked for President Barack Obama, Chef Suzanne Couch and more.

Tonight is Stix + Stones Skewers and Spirits at The Ruins, Mona Visitor’s Lodge, UWI Mona for $6500JMD from 7pm to 11pm. 

Winner of Best New Caterer at this year’s Observer Food Awards, Allison Porter-Smalling, Opa, Jacqui Tyson, Liqy Liqy and more will be present. Select Brands is also a sponsor, so cheers to a great Friday Foodies and enjoy the weekend!

For more information, visit http://www.jamaicafoodanddrinkfestival.com

PhotoGrid_1440484645851

How was Kingston Kitchen?

PhotoGrid_1440484645851

Kingston Kitchen was crawling with people when I arrived a little after 8pm last Saturday at Hope Gardens.

As I walked in I was happy to see one of my favourites, Stush in the Bush to my left, so that was my first stop. An Avocado Green Goddess Dressing immediately caught my eyes. Avocado and Guacamole are very popular right now. As a result, they were totally out of product and it was still early. A sample bottle was left. I got to taste it with a cracker and it was lovely. Now this Avocado dressing is quite versatile. You can use it on your burgers and Lisa Binns of Stush in the Bush even advised it is lovely on pasta with a sprinkle of parmesan. Yum! Remember their products are located at CPJ Market on Lady Musgrave Road.

20150822_210119

Moving along, I was greeted by a Suga Bear who told me that Suzanne Couch‘s food was a winner. I found a long line nearby. It wasn’t clear that it was her tent because she needed a bigger sign, but clearly word spread fast especially since she has a reputation for good quality food. Her meal was $800JMD including 2 meats (choices were Panko Fish, Sate Chicken Skewers and Pork), Oriental Cucumber salad, Coconut rice, Jerk Corn and Pasta Alfredo. Not to mention the variety of sauces offered such as Mango Chutney, Pineapple Salsa and Peanut Sauce. The picture featured does not do the quality of the meal justice as presentation was sloppy with everything piled on each other. But that heap of rice actually covered a good portion of my pork. The Pork was quite fatty but everything else was delicious. The Pasta Alfredo was spicy, so the Cucumber salad was a great choice to quell that heat.

Other highlights and observations? Persons got lucky with salivating Chicken and Waffles and the Lucky Bucket overflowing with extremely peppery Seafood and more such as Crab, Lobster legs, Louisiana Sausage, Corn, Potatoes etc. The Lucky Bucket that usually costs $1500JMD incl. Tax and Service Charge was just $800JMD for the night. What a deal! Both can be found at the Lucky Strike Lounge inside the Jamzone Bowling Alley in Manor Centre, Kingston 8 on Wednesday nights from 7pm-11pm.

Liqy Liqy and Tutti Frutti pleased as usual.

The Best Dressed Chicken Tent with Chef Brian Lumley had its familiar fans to see the Celebrity Chef at work and of course to taste what he had to offer. Apparently the Oxtail Wontons and Oxtail Pasta were a hit. Anything Chef Brian Lumley tends to do with Oxtail is perfection.

Reggae Jammin had delicious White Chocolate Smoothies and I also satisfied my craving for Magic Mint Lemonade from Tea Tree Creperie. On point!

The Ribs from Sheriff’s BBQ was not all that, also quite tough, but Lamb from NCR Sheep ‘sell off’! Literally.

Sliders from Fromage Gourmet Market were a hit as expected.

20150822_214727

Potato Pudding that was $150JMD a slice from Del & Dutchy touched the right spot. They cater, specialising in Jamaican dishes and operate out of Liguanea, Kingston 6. Looks like they are worth a try so call 876-833-0727 or email delndutchy@gmail.com for more information.

New Kids on the block, Ikiru, do not have a location yet but they are on Facebook. Persons who were in need of a refreshing drink with no added sugar and preservatives were pleased with their natural Naseberry and Papaya juices. They also had Fruit salads and Fruits with Yoghurt.

Pebble’s Pastries was there. Most of us know that the only thing good from them is their Cheesecake but Suga found Cheesecake on the other side of Kingston Kitchen too! It was from Sweet World Enterprise that operates out of Portmore, featuring Molly’s Cake Cups with Cheesecake in many different forms such as Oreo cheesecake, Red velvet cheesecake, the traditional Strawberry cheesecake and the list goes on for $600JMD each. Samples were given (God bless them!) and a hard decision was made between the Oreo Cheesecake and Strawberry Cheesecake. The narrow edge went to the Strawberry Cheesecake. It was divine. Not sure if they had cute little bags to put them in, but they were not offered so a lot of persons had to remember to come back to them and pick up before they left if they were too full like myself to have that on the spot. Check out Molly’s Cake Cups on Facebook and Instagram.

PhotoGrid_1440484909117

Overall, food was affordable, a lot of filling food in the range of $500-800JMD and other booths not mentioned seemed to be well supported too. So I think it is safe to say the event was a success, especially for those who went mainly to socialize, have a family night, girls’ night out and to lyme. It is a pity they had to do it with the painfully annoying, loud saxophonist in the background. Until next time!

PhotoGrid_1440082797607

Kingston Kitchen tomorrow!

PhotoGrid_1440082797607

Hey Foodies, Kingston Kitchen returns to Hope Gardens tomorrow from 6pm to midnight. They claim it is their 5th anniversary. I am sure most of us remember the first staging about 3 years ago? Go figure.

Pre-sold tickets are now $800JMD. But do not think this is a cheap event. I believe the concept has been lost a little. Less sampling, more selling and successful sponsors who everybody knows about already, take up a lot of space. Maybe it is part of their deal with the organizers. If you have been to a few of the recent stagings, you would realise you need to travel with some cash, minimum $3000JMD excluding entry money, if you choose about 2 or 3 vendors wisely plus drinks. Otherwise carry more, especially if it is a family night or you are carrying a date. Some spots may have regular plates, lots will have cocktail plates, so be sure to walk around if you are concerned about value for money and head there early!

Who will be there?

● Fromage Gourmet Market

● Sheriff Gourmet BBQ Ribs

● NCR Sheep Ltd. – Fresh, Local Lamb 

● Chef Brian Lumley with Best Dressed Chicken Jamaica

● Tooksie Kay Catering

● Soupie

● Liqy Liqy – All Natural Popsicles

● Street Food Saturdays

● Tea Trea Creperie

● Fork in the Road Food Truck from Mandeville

  ….. and more!

Pre-sold tickets can be bought at Candy Craze (Manor Park), Chocolate Dreams Jamaica (Devon House), Cafe Blue (Sovereign) and Tea Tree Creperie (80 Lady Musgrave Rd.).

If you don’t get to try everything, take some cards for another time.

Have fun !

Get an Advantage on your Budget by Signing up for your Pop-Up Gourmet Card Today!

Pop-Up Gourmet can satisfy a variety of customers. Families, persons in the corporate sector that may have to buy lunch daily or host business lunch or dinner meetings, bar hoppers and ofcourse, the foodie that loves to dine at restaurants frequently throughout each month, all benefit from Pop-Up Gourmet.

Pop-Up Gourmet Advantage Card Holders can use their cards at over 70 locations in Kingston, Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Port Antonio and the South Coast. Members can also enjoy special discounts and privileges at Food Lovers’ Experiences such as the annually held Simply Red ($500JMD off of ticket for 2014) and more.

It costs $6500JMD to sign up annually, where payment can be made online. They will also even come to you with a swipe card machine for payment! The card is valid for one (1) year and there is a referral programme for other benefits.

So how does it make sense? The average working person that buys a decent lunch including a beverage everyday for about $1000JMD and goes a little harder on the weekend can make back that fee in just over a month with 10-15% discounts at various restaurants and bars. Not to mention the family that eats out or gets take-out at least twice per week, that money is made back promptly.

Unfortunately, card holders cannot use Pop-Up Gourmet for Restaurant week menus but cards can still be presented for items otherwise. Also remember that Christmas is right around the corner with many outings, so the more you can save, the better.

Popular lunch locations include Toss & Roll, CPJ Market, China Express, Cuddy’z, Deli Works, New Leaf Vegetarian, JoJo’s Jerk Pit and More, Ocho Rios Jerk Centre, John Crow’s Tavern, Pier 1 and more.

Hot dinner spots include Caffe da Vince, Tamarind Indian Cuisine, Saffron, Fromage Gourmet Market, Evita’s, Opa, 689 by Brian Lumley, Mystic India and more.

When the end of the week comes and you are running up that bar bill, fret not if you hit up Macau, Bin 26, Cru, Margaritaville, The Deck and others.

I have enjoyed discounts of $500JMD and more from The Wine Shop, Christopher’s at Hermosa Cove and China Express to name a few. My Pop-Up Gourmet Card is so precious, I literally never leave home without it. One night I was hurrying to leave the house, switching from hand bag to clutch so carried just my cards and ‘get vex’ money, only to realise when I got to the restaurant that I left my debit card and only had my Driver’s License, Insurance card, Pop-Up Gourmet card and hardly any cash. Hilarious. But that Pop-Up Gourmet card popped me out of debt or having my friends pay when I was able to use my exact amount of cash as a result of getting over a $500JMD discount by presenting my Advantage card. Phew!

I have also found that when I have slightly overspent or was just within budget, the money from my discount can be used towards tips instead of having to find even more money to spend.

What are you waiting for? Check out http://www.popupgourmetjamaica.com/ for information on more participating locations, what’s hot in the culinary industry, benefits and to sign up now!

Also follow ‘popupgourmetjamaica or Pop-Up Gourmet Jamaica’ on Instagram and Facebook respectively, to keep updated on deals and when new Restaurants and Bars have signed on thus giving you more options to save!

Simply Red Wine & Food Festival tomorrow! Get your tickets now

The Heart Foundation’s annual fundraiser, Simply Red, will be tomorrow on the lawns of Jamaica House at 7pm. You should still be able to get tickets at The Heart Foundation of Jamaica, Pop Up Gourmet, Swiss Stores (Downtown) or Island Grill (New Kgn, Twin Gates & Manor Park for $5000JMD. Celebrity Chefs and more will be there!