Negril's Authentic Jerk Centre
Boardwalk Jerk Centre
Giving Negril authentic jerk
Negril's Boardwalk Village recently introduced another element of authentic Jamaican cuisine to the capital of casual, with the opening of its jerk centre, nestled on the sparkling sands of the Negril beach.
Proprietor Richard Wallace told Food at the official opening recently that the idea to add the Boardwalk Jerk Centre, and doing jerk the traditional way, came about as his team felt that 'something was missing' in Negril and wanted to have 'another hook in terms of competitive advantage'.
"We did our research and we realised that there was no authentic jerk centre in Negril that did jerk the real way - not just pan chicken. So we decided to go with the authentic jerk centre - the zinc and the pimento wood and the sweetwood and the meat smoke, and so we put that in place," Wallace explained.
He added, "We do the traditional items - jerked pork, chicken, fish, sausage, crackling, which is the skin of the pork - anything that can be jerked will be jerked. We already have a lobster grill where we do live lobster from the pots. Whenever a customer wants to purchase, we pull the pots from the sea and they choose the lobster that they want and we cook it right there; it is the freshest lobster that you will ever get. We also have the steam roasted fish."
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., the Boardwalk Jerk Centre offers several traditional sides to its jerked dishes. including roasted yam and sweet potato, festival, bammy, bread, corn and plantains. It complements its sister eatery, the Boardwalk Restaurant, whose menu ranges from calamari to hamburgers and pizza.
"We have a wide cross section of items in our regular restaurant, but now we are just adding the jerk. What we find is a lot of the hotels offer jerk, but it is not the real, authentic jerk ... . Luckily, we are located between some major hotels, so we are hoping that folks will come over and enjoy our offerings. And, of course, we are catering to a local market as well. It is surprising that Negril has existed all these years and there is nowhere really that you can get real jerked pork to buy on a regular basis, so we are trying to fill that gap," Wallace said.
"We want to make it a hangout spot for locals, so we have a DJ playing really good music because we want it to be a good vibe for all Jamaicans. We want the hotel managers to feel comfortable here; we want the man on the street to feel comfortable here as well. Our goal is to achieve a wide cross section of clientele," he added.