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
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Follow the food and the flavour! Head up to Street Food Saturdays hosted by Chef Simone Walker-Barrett by Mount James District, Golden Spring, St. Andrew tomorrow any time from 12-6pm! There will be quite a variety, so there should be something to satisfy any craving you may have.
After you’re finished with Suga Lifestyle’s Nutrition Seminar tomorrow morning at The Liguanea Club, you can head up to Street Food Saturdays by Mount James District, Golden Spring, St. Andrew. You will be equipped with knowledge on how to go out and eat healthily.
I will give you a hint that from the menu, you should go for the Fish tea as a starter, followed by the Five spiced Pan Chicken with no sauce or better yet, the Roasted Red Snapper. Sadly, there are no healthy side options. If you decide that you cannot have your main on its own, choose the Garlic Parmesan Bread.
For your drink, the Mint Lemonade would have too much sugar, so you can have water or a Fruit Smoothie if no mangoes or watermelons are used.
Don’t even think of going near that Curry Crab Run-Down!
Street Food Saturdays is usually from 12 noon to 6pm, however to confirm or for more information: