Thu | Jan 21, 2021

#FoodieFriday – Quarantine cooking show

Published:Thursday | April 30, 2020 | 12:00 AM

Tanesha Westcarr and her team have decided to uplift spirits and enhance cooking skills through #FoodieFriday on Instagram. With all the changes happening in the world, food is one constant. The South UK regional leader of the Global Jamaica Diaspora Youth Council sees it as a means of drawing people closer together.

The initiative is a part of the council’s Coping with COVID-19 campaign, and teaches Jamaicans at home and abroad to make delicious local dishes on @globalJaYouth on Instagram.

It features young nationals from across the world cooking up a storm at home on a weekly basis. Westcarr says they are “handing over cooking secrets and tradition in a fun, friendly and interactive way” in times of uncertainty.

“We want to use the campaigns as a way to share the Jamaican culture through our cuisine and using everyday people in their kitchens cooking a meal, filled with love and fun. At the same time, they are educating people how to cook and reconnect with Jamaica,” Westcarr told Food.

The food campaign has caught the attention of many and has surpassed Westcarr’s expectations.

The feedback is similar to that of online parties. #FoodieFriday acts as an alternative virtual reality where you can pretend to cook and eat with the ‘chef of the day’. “On my #FoodieFriday I rap with the audience by cooking and playing songs from Chronixx and Buju Banton, and even treated my guests to a little dancing from Ding Dong’s latest single, Inside,” she said. However, each individual brings a different personality to the initiative.


#FoodieFriday’s audience determines which meal is prepared over each seven-day cycle. Last week, Westcarr herself took to social media and whipped up a plate of scrumptious steamed fish for an engaging audience that took keen note of her recipe, and even offered their cooking advice to make the dish better.


Recently, the body launched its COVID Community Outreach project, providing nutritional support for displaced Jamaicans in the United Kingdom and United States of the America. With the help of corporate sponsors Victoria Mutual Building Society and Jamaican Patties Limited T/A Port Royal, the youth council has been able to help stranded Jamaicans in both countries. This includes more than 15 people across the US and UK who have been presented with supermarket vouchers and food supplies.

“I want people to feel good, connected and a part of the global network regardless of where they are or how difficult their situation becomes,” she told Food.