Sat | Nov 18, 2017

Taste Adventure with Jamaica Food Tour

Published:Monday | November 13, 2017 | 12:00 AMKrysta Anderson
Restaurant Week ambassador Matthew Robinson and the beautiful Amanda Mitchell.

"Food tells a story with every bite and taste. Every flavour or fusion is rooted in a cultural experience that we try to give to our guests through a culinary adventure. Everything we do is a result of the passion we have for finding great tasting food." Flair had a heart-to-heart with CEO of Jamaica Food Tours and Restaurant Week Ambassador Matthew Robinson, about his history with food and how he brought this scrumptious concept to palates.

His love for food, he shared, started at an early age. "My grandmother had a restaurant called The Beach Barrel for over 18 years on what was Walter Fletcher beach (now Aquasol). I guess you could say the beach and food were embedded in my DNA from day one," he explained.

As an adult, he would document places he went to eat, drink or just explore somewhere new on the island. He began taking pictures of the food he ate, uploading them to social media. Friends would then ask about the places and the next thing they knew, they were all planning a big group trip. It was there that the concept of Jamaica Food Tours was born. "But it really developed when I was living abroad and would come down for holidays. I remember being in Lambs River thinking it's so sad that many visitors don't get to experience real Jamaican food at places that are either not known to them or the hassle of having to plan the trip along with the logistics don't allow them," he added.

 

CULTURE AND A BELLYFUL

 

Jamaica Food Tours provides a unique service to those from yard and abroad, giving guests authentic Jamaican food as well as a cultural experience that leaves them feeling closer to our beautiful island and 'dem belly full'. They currently offer three touring options: Montego Bay food and Culture Tour, Montego Bay hip strip walking tour and cooking classes.

On the Montego Bay food and Culture tour, guests are driven to different restaurants to experience what they call 'a taste adventure'. "This tour stops at Pier One on the Waterfront - a must-visit, where our guests can savour the national dish with a twist, along with stamp and go, patties, and interactively learn how to make a real Jamaican rum punch, 'Rude to mi Parents' from Pier One's amazing award-winning bartenders." He continued, "You can't come Jamaica and not try jerk, so we had to include The Pork Pit, which has made the list of 100 places to see before you die. Guests sample jerk chicken and jerk pork paired with a festival. Our tastebud 'tour guides', along with the chef to teach them the history of jerk and some of the amazing ingredients used in creating or world renowned Jamaican Jerk." They have also included seafood, where guest samples include a choice of steamed or fried fish with bammy or seasonal options such as conch and lobster from the Chill Out Hut or Smokeez by the sea

The walking tour comprises a stroll on Montego Bay's Hip strip 'Gloucester Ave' guided by a tastebud tour guide, sampling jerk, patties, along with a coffee stop. Their cooking classes are being developed by their executive chef Christian Sweeney. Guests will have a full taste experience and learn how to prepare Jamaican dishes for themselves.

The reception, he shared, has been amazing. Their guests have praised them for time well spent on the tours and their restaurant clients have truly been fantastic in preparing delectable dishes and memorable experiences.

 

ENHANCING GASTRONOMY

 

They have been in dialogue with the minister of tourism about enhancing gastronomy, pushing it to the forefront as an extremely viable industry for tourism. And they are currently developing new concepts for tours, looking forward to 2018 as they continue to grow and diversify. "I can't give away all our surprises, but we are looking to do something by a river with maroon drummers and dancers. The riverside property has been secured, we're just putting in the proper infrastructure to ensure our guests comfort and security," Robinson revealed.

So why should foodies indulge in Jamaica Food Tours? Robinson had this to say, "Because we're foodies and that's just what foodies do. We travel, we eat and we are happiest with an awesome looking and amazing tasting dish in front of us, with a full stomach at the end of the day."

So, if you would like to have your cake, savoury or sweet, and eat it too, then take one of Jamaica Food Tours today.

For more information, you can follow them on Facebook: Jamaica Food Tours, Instagram: @jamaicafoodtour and Twitter: @jafoodtours, or visit their website www.jafoodtours.com

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com