NEW YORK — Nothing beats the heat and full-bodied flavor of genuine Jamaican jerk. Thanks to this year’s crop of culinary talents, the famous spice will be abundant at the 2nd Annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival at Roy Wilkins Park, on Sunday, July 22. Vendors will offer up tasty jerk dishes that will impress even the most discerning jerk aficionado. With everything from classic dishes such as jerk chicken and jerk pork, to the unusual combos of jerk snapper and jerk corn, vendors will ensure that everyone is satisfied.
Patrons attending the festival can look forward to feasting on culinary delights from some of New York’s top Caribbean restaurants and chefs who will be serving their tasty jerk fare and other offerings. Some of the restaurants already committed to participate in this year’s festival are Genesis Restaurant, The Door, Manhattan-based Miss Lilly’s and Spur Tree, Kev’s Carib and Nagasaki. Jerkmaster Mario of Boston, Portland, Jamaica will make the trip to prepare his specialty jerk pork and chicken at the popular Boston Jerk booth. Vegetarians need not worry as the Veggie Castle will be on hand with a variety of vegetarian dishes to satisfy non-meat eaters.
“Last year’s festival was very successful and well organized,” said Garfield Clarke of Genesis 1 Restaurant in Queens, “The vibes was like a family meet-and-greet, [where] you got to see friends you haven’t seen for a long time and enjoy everything Jamaican.” Organizers stress that vendors play a very important role at the festival and they make every effort to ensure that enough vendors participate and deliver quality cuisine to keep patrons coming back for more.
The festival will also feature reggae sensation Tarrus Riley, Fab 5 Band, comedians Ity & Fancy Cat as well as a Gospel segment featuring Prodigal Son, Eddie Neblett, Yankee B and Dunamis. Come get your fill of spicy, delicious jerk delights, watch fiery cooking demonstrations, cheer on your favorite domino team and be entertained with cultural presentations featuring Braata Folk Singers and Andrew Clarke. Advance tickets are $25 and available online at www.jerkfestivalNY.com and at selected Caribbean outlets. Children 12 years and under will be admitted free.
The Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival is presented in association with Digicel and VP Records, and is sponsored by Western Union, The Jamaica Tourist Board, Jet Blue Airways, Bigga Sodas, Irie Jam Media, Highbrid Magazine and VitaMalt.