Sun | Sep 19, 2021

Stephanie Scott was a giant in event-planning

Published:Wednesday | March 3, 2021 | 12:18 AM


When one thinks of Stephanie Scott, her iconic culinary revolution of dining in Jamaica through Restaurant Week comes to mind.

An educator by profession, Stephanie was a believer in extending opportunities and forming bridges for the gaps where others failed to fill. She made a lasting impact on both the event management and culinary landscape in Jamaica.

Through Restaurant Week, which began in 2005 under the then moniker Kingston Restaurant Week, many Jamaicans feasted on sumptuous offerings – an opportunity that was formerly elusive to some.

The event, even if only for a week, removed the invisible social gaps in ways that inspired and caused tongues to wag. One only need recall the fervour with which people defended the event as an open experience for all after the notorious “overdressed unusually” comment was made.

As an added and often untold part of that legacy, Stephanie’s event concepts beyond Restaurant Week were unique, creative, bold, and memorable.

Flutes and Flames, held in 2008, is still spoken about. Stephanie brought First-World concepts to Jamaica and executed them flawlessly, leveraging her relationship with the media to elevate the culinary scene to where it is today.

Beyond this, Stephanie believed in giving back and helping countless young people to actualise their dreams. Each year during Restaurant Week, she afforded many the opportunity to receive first-hand training and experience during the week, which led to full-time employment for most.

She extended the event beyond consumer experience. Through her generous and forward-thinking initiatives, it became an opportunity for economic and personal advancement for a number of disadvantaged youth.

Restaurant Week was a game changer. It cannot be said too often how it had ripple effects and is still a gold standard of both a culinary and marketing genius in Jamaica.

So when we recall the late Stephanie Scott, let us remember hers as a legacy that cannot be whittled down to a single event or night. It involves the work and generosity that happened behind the scenes.

Her legacy will hopefully inspire others to live, work, and create as she did.