We are 10 Let's have a ball!
For the week of November 14-22, taste buds will once again be in frenzy for the highly anticipated Gleaner-sponsored Restaurant Week.
It's clear that The Gleaner Company's knack for longevity has rubbed off on this annual event, as while The Great Dame of North Street celebrates its 180th anniversary, Restaurant Week (RW) turns 10 this year! That's 10 years of celebrating the best of Jamaican food and the ever-growing local food industry.
Restaurant Week has expanded beyond Kingston, and is now a calendar staple for food lovers in Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, and over the years has gone beyond our shores to New York in the United States, and Birmingham in England. According to conceptualiser Stephanie Scott of SSCO: "It is truly unimaginable that 10 years has passed since the idea of RW was born. Tentative, but optimistic and energetic, I set out in 2005 to encourage in Jamaicans an appreciation of fine food and dining out. Along the way, I have joyously watched as thousands of diners have feasted, toasted and celebrated the best of Jamaican cuisine."
Over the years, Restaurant Week has never been just about going out, enjoying great food and having a good time. There has always been a drive to give back, with a charity element attached to the annual event. Over time, the event has formed a relationship with the scholarship fund at HEART/NTA, Yute, and City Life Ministries. This year is no different, and The Gleaner encourages everyone to 'Step Up to the Plate', in contributing to its initiative to support the programmes of Missionaries of the Poor. At the launch of Restaurant Week last night, the first $180,000 was collected, along with an appeal to the wider Jamaica to contribute more to this worthy cause by purchasing a 'plate'.
According to managing director of The Gleaner Company, Christopher Barnes, the contribution would go a far way in helping those in need.
As the big week approaches, Scott said: "I do hope in some small way that the growth of Restaurant Week can serve as an inspiration to others who strive to, through hard work and maintaining high standards, turn their ideas into realities. I'm grateful and ready for the next 10!"