Jamaica Sizzles at Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival With Award-Winning Culinary Talent

Author  Paige Bryan / Natalia Lopez

MIAMI, FL – The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) partnered with the Tourism Enhancement Fund to offer “Taste of Jamaica”, an unforgettable showcase of Jamaican gastronomy & mixology, at the 2020 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival. The event was hosted by James Beard award-winning chef, JJ Johnson, and two-time Food Network Chopped Champion Andre Fowles, on February 21 at the historic National Hotel. The night was a success as “Taste Jamaica” offered iconic Jamaican flavors and an entertainment experience that overflowed with soulful rhythm and energy.

jdt(L-R): Donovan White Jamaica’s Director of Tourism (left) poses with Patrice White (center) and Donnie Dawson Jamaica’s Deputy Director of Tourism, Sales (right) at Taste Jamaica at the 2020 South Beach Wine & Food Festival.tjTaste Jamaica” attendees enjoying Jamaican food and drinksJamaica’s global impact on the culinary world is undeniable as it brought together more than a dozen chefs, restaurants, and vendors from across the island and the U.S., to showcase their remarkable talent and creativity. Each curated dish was a vivid representation of Jamaica’s distinct history, heritage and culture – attendees enjoyed an eclectic menu including signature jerk dishes, oxtail, dumplings and stews. Red Stripe and Appleton Estate Rum served up refreshing and creative libations, while Miami’s own DJ Irie provided the soundtrack for the evening with a mash-up of reggae and dancehall hits.

Participating chefs included Samantha Davis, Culinary Director and Co-Owner of FieldTrip; Winston Grant, CEO & Head Chef of Aunt I’s Jamaican Restaurant; Charissa Henry-Skyers of Pink Apron Jamaica; Oji Jaja of Ashebre The Virtual Restaurant; Dennis Kerr of Dukunoo Jamaican Kitchen; Kalisa Martin of The Runaway Experience; Goff Lee of Makka & Mana Poke; Matthew McDonald, Executive Chef of the National Hotel; Delius Shirley, Co-Owner and Cindy Hutson, Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Ortanique on the Mile; Christina Simonitsch of Simo’s Bread and Catering; Wenford Simpson, Chef Ambassador of Walkerswood Caribbean Foods; and Hugh Sinclair, Executive Chef of Irie Spice.

The Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival is produced by Florida International University and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, with the support of the Miami Beach Visitors & Convention Authority and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. All proceeds from the Festival benefit the students at the Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. 

JTB’s ongoing partnership with SOBEWFF is strategic as it reiterates the island’s bold and tasty cuisine to a captive audience, while positioning Jamaica as one of the most sought-after culinary destinations in the world.