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12 mouthwatering foodie events

Published:Monday | December 31, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Omar Robinson, area chapter chair of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association and general manager of the Round Hill Hotel and Villas, enjoys a night out wining and dining with Rosemarie Johnson, regional manager of the Jamaica Tourist Board, at House Boat in Montego Bay during Restaurant Week.
The annual Gleaner-sponsored Restaurant Week left many palates satisfied with some delectable dishes such as this array of sushi from first-time participating restaurant Majestic.
Lionfish croquet coated with beet root floating on Appleton melon pumpkin cubes served with lionfish sushi and curry tartare dip by chef Stephen Hamilton of Eskay Caterers at Chef's Day Off.

It's no secret that Jamaicans know how to have a good time. And integral to that is one four-letter word. FOOD.

Among the things we are renowned for - music, athletic prowess - food is right up there as one of the things that make this little island so popular. This is our pick of the 12 most mouth-watering food events of 2012. In no particular order.

Gleaner-sponsored Restaurant Week

This year, the eighth staging of the event really was bigger and better. It moved from just a one-week celebration to the entire month of November being branded as food month. Everyone is already thinking of which new restaurant to try come Restaurant Week 2013.

All-Jamaican Grill-off

This annual event brings out the foodie and competition in everyone, with various teams vying for bragging rights to show who is king of the grill in various categories at the annual event.

Epicurean Escape

The inaugural event staged at Richmond estate in Ocho Rios in November certainly got people's attention. Some of the country's finest chefs put their best on show for all to partake.

Brunch and Rhythm on the Waterfront

Jacqui Tyson is synonymous with great food. As part of the redevelopment of downtown Kingston, her monthly Brunch and Rhythm was the perfect addition. An event that was welcomed by many, it showed a glimpse into the future of what Sunday's at the waterfront could be like.

Little Ochie Seafood Festival

The quaint little seafood restaurant overlooking St Elizabeth's black sand beach, hosted its 14th annual seafood festival. Evrol Christian seems to have developed the Midas touch with his annual event that always has crustacean's galore.

Taste of Jamaica

Organised by the Culinary Federation of Jamaica, the annual Taste of Jamaica competition heated up the Montego Bay Convention Centre in October. The best of the best battled it out for every title you can think of in the food world. And that's a battle that always has a very sweet outcome.

Chef's Day Off

You would think chefs taking a day off would spell disaster. But when chefs took a day off recently for the third staging of the event organised by the Caribbean Culinary Network it turned out to be a delicuous affair.

Taste of Grand Palladium

Taste of Grand Palladium in Hanover was an excellent showcase of culinary talents that exist at the megaresort. Junior and senior chefs squared off going beyond their comfort zone to woo the palates of judges with flavour and presentation to claim the title of The Best of Palladium.

Rockhouse market to Table dinner.

Celebrating the success of Negirl Farmer's market, the boutique resort Rockhouse hosted its delectably successful Market To Table dinner in May. Chef Kevin Broderick wowed those present with his authentic Jamaican spread from Linstead Market ackee and codfish risotto to a new spin on yellow yam, showing that Jamaica's cuisine is among the best in the world.

Farm to table

Since 2009, this event has been giving Jamaicans and visitors a new way to enjoy Jamaican produce right at the farm. In the Pedro Plains of St Elizabeth, guests have a chance to dine under the stars in the farm from which the produce are reaped. Jake's country kitchen staff made sure it's an event to remember for all who attend.

Taste of Tryall

Under the Jamaica 50 theme, 70 Tyrall Club Villa chefs epitomised the concept of world-class cuisine with an authentic Jamaican twist that left everyone at the event with an orgasmic food experience. Taste of Tryall is the largest fund-raiser for the Tryall Fund, a charitable organisation focusing on education and health in surrounding communities. Who knew doing good could taste so great?

Jamaica 50 ...

Too bad a country turns 50 only once. In July, Appleton Estate celebrated their 50th Anniversary Rum under the theme of Jamaica 50, an event no one will soon forget. Iberostar Grand's executive chef, Mario Gonzalez, and his team whipped up a seven-course meal that had palates wagging. Guests were escorted by Wray and Nephew's senior blender, David Morrison, the man who has received tutelage from master blender Joy Spence. Morrison took the small hand-picked group on the journey of a very carefully aged rum, perfected to a blend that is absolutely smooth. What more could an event with food and good rum require?

- ND