As the oldest sugar estate and distillery in Jamaica, Appleton Estate is known worldwide for its authentic Jamaican rum made in the Cockpit Country – lush and fertile terrain that is nestled inland and celebrated for producing complex and aromatic Appleton Estate rums for more than 265 years.
Spence joined Appleton Estate in 1981 as the chief chemist, working under the guidance of Master Blender Owen Tulloch. She spent the next 16 years developing her sensory skills, an impeccable palate and sense of smell before earning the prestigious title herself in 1997; one that would come with being recognized as the first female in the world to become a Master Blender. In 2017, Appleton Estate released its limited edition, 25-Year-Old rum in honor of Spence’s 20th anniversary as its Master Blender, rightfully named “JOY.”
“As a proud Jamaican, I wanted to expose as many people as possible to the great culinary and drink renaissance that’s happening right now in the Caribbean, especially Jamaica. Together with this year’s culinary team and special appearance and tasting by Joy Spence, we are taking the presentation of Jamaican cuisine and culture to the next level,” says “Savoring Jamaica” producer Annette Davidson.
During “Savoring Jamaica,” Spence will share what makes Appleton Estate rums some of the best in the world with a mini tasting session that will also include cocktails paired with passed hors d’oeuvre prepared by Chef Christina Simonitsch (Simo's Bread & Catering, Jamaica) and Chef Noel Cunningham(Cuisine by Noel, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada).
The evening will continue with a five-course dinner prepared and presented by host chef Hugh ‘Chef Irie’ Sinclair (Chef Irie Spice, Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, FL); Gariel Ferguson (The Rib Kage, Jamaica); Robin Lim Lumsden (Belcour Preserves, Jamaica); and Colin Hylton (The Guilt Trip, Jamaica). All courses will be paired with wine, with brands to include Darjean Jones Wines and P. Harrell Wines, two black-owned, female brands out of Texas and California.
Tickets for this special evening are $140 for James Beard Foundation members and $180 for non-members and available by calling 212-627-2308; Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST. Tickets can also be purchased through the James Beard’s website.