Inspired by the event “Identità Golose” that takes place each year at Eataly New York, Chicago and Boston, The Chef’s Advocate founder, Annette Davidson, wanted to create an event that elevated Jamaican cuisine beyond its street food reputation. Davidson worked closely with Izabela Wojcik, Director of House Programming for the James Beard Foundation, to design an experience where guests can interact directly with the chefs and others from the island. Her culinary team for this year’s event will represent the essence of Jamaica’s culinary history and culture.
“The James Beard House is incredibly proud to be hosting this evening, showcasing a wonderful array of culinary talent from Jamaica,” said Wojcik. “The access to such unique cooking styles and voices makes this dinner so impressive. The dinner will transport our guests through a meal that represents history, culture and a modern approach.
The evening will kick-off at 7:00 p.m. 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) and be paired with various Appleton Estate Rum blends. Following the reception, guests will enjoy a five-course dinner paired with wine, prepared and presented by host chef Hugh Sinclair (Chef Irie Spice, Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, FL); Gariel Ferguson (Rib Kage, Jamaica); Robin Lumsden (Belcour Preserves, Jamaica); and Colin Hylton (The Guilt Trip, Jamaica).
The dinner will honor the island’s culinary traditions while showcasing their culinary talent and ability to take Jamaican cuisine to new heights; expanding its flavors, ingredients, and dishes on a global stage. The partnership with the James Beard Foundation is one that was a natural fit based on its mission to celebrate and honor chefs making America’s food culture more diverse and delicious for everyone. Americans have had a fascination with Jamaican cuisine with favorites to include jerk chicken and curry goat, with its influence extending into other cultural cuisines as well.