Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival held November 13, at Markham Park
By Dr. Hyacynthia M. Leonce, Entertainment Reporter
Woyee look at people!!!! As we would say in the Caribbean. Just pulling up to the event we were in a long line of cars. Wow, I didn’t know the Jerk Festival pulled out this many people.
I heard that it has been around for approximately 15 years, but I didn’t know it would be like this! So, after a while we were finally able to park. I overheard someone complaining my exact sentiments about the price of parking. They said that last year the parking was $5 and this year it’s $10. I personally had to pay $10 for parking. “SHOOT” I forgot to ask for a press parking pass while not feeling that $10 parking “ting.”
Anyway, on to the event, so getting in the event itself was not bad at all, arriving there in relative ease about 4 p.m. I made my way to the media tent, got my media band and set out to find out what there was to do. First, I had to eat, I was hungry like a wolf. So, I bought a Jerk chicken meal from M & S Jamaican Restaurant (jerk chicken and veggies), for $10, which appeared to be the standard price for a jerk chicken meal of the day.
The chicken was tasty but not as spicy as I expected jerk chicken to be. I also tasted her jerk fish, which to me was not spicy either, along with the fish soup. While the food was not spicy to my liking, it was tasty and well-seasoned.
Stacy Ann Smith conveyed,
“this is my first year doing this, but I have been cooking for 15 years.” Smith stated that M&S Jamaican Restaurant was her restaurant in South Carolin, but she has since moved to South Florida. She relayed that she is starting up her business and would welcome people calling her for catering services at (305) 965-0379.
As far as the entertainment, there appeared to be activities for the whole family: A bounce house for the kids, Karaoke for the whole family, a patty eating contest and more. I enjoyed the Publix/Grace Culinary Cook off event which was the last of the day. Chef Irie, who moderated the event, was entertaining, lively and fun. Chef Irie is well known in the food industry and when I asked why he is so popular, he stated, “because the Lord is blessing me.” He exclaimed, “I have been catering for 16 to 17 years and have been doing the Jerk Festival for more than ten years.”
Chef Irie, I’ll eat with you anytime! Overall the festival appeared to bring what it said it would bring. However, I was disappointed, wanting to see and interview Shaggy but couldn’t stay till the end. I had to go home and get the kids ready for school tomorrow.
After all it was a Sunday evening. Why wasn’t it on a Saturday? Shaggy next go a-round!