New York, NY- Queens, NY – On Saturday, June 8th, the Taste of Jerk event, held at the historic VP Records retail store in Queens, NY, officially launched the 2019 Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival NYC, which will be held Sunday July 21st at Roy Wilkins Park. The Taste of Jerk, as the name suggests, provided media and the public with a sample of the event which is filled with food, music, and cultural entertainment.
VP Records Director of Business Development and Jerk Festival Event Coordinator, Richard Lue welcomed media, special guests and sponsors, as he served up information on what to expect at this year’s festival. Lue announced that Naomi Cowan was just added to the festival’s music line up, in addition to Shenseea, Capleton, Fay Ann Lyons, Bunji Garlin and Christopher Martin.
Eddy Edwards, CEO of Jamaica Jerk Festival USA, announced that this year’s Cultural theme will honoring Jamaica’s cultural icon, Miss Louise Bennett-Coverley, known by all as “Miss Lou” who would have celebrated her 100th birthday on September 7th.Dressed in classic Miss Lou costume, cultural activist and Co-Founder of CPR Reggae, Sharon Gordon, entertained the crowd with “Bun and Cheese,” a poem written by Miss Lou.
Yogis Restaurant, Breezes Island Grill, Kingston Grill, and Chef Elvis Caribbean Cuisine participated in a friendly competition. Breezes Island Grill stood out with their Oxtail Empanadas, a fusion of Latin and Jamaicans’ favorite. Judges Chef Rudy Straker, of Food Network’s Chopped and Hulu series, Around the Way, along with last year’s Celebrity Cook Off winner, Chef Ji Cha, of the Fox series, Hell’s Kitchen, selected Yogi’s Restaurant as the winner of the Taste of the Jerk competition with their classic Jerk Chicken. “They took their time and paid attention to the actual seasoning process and it showed in the end result. It was flavorful and juicy,” said Chef Rudy Straker.
Other participants included Everything BB – The Official Buju Banton Clothing Line, Fit BK/FITQB, Stamina Fix Beverages, Metro Plus, National Bakery, Bricks 4 Kids, Sun Run, Numbers Clothing and Deh Abroad who will be at the festival promoting their products and services. The little ones enjoyed face painting and fun activities at the mini kidz zone.
DJ Roy and the Irie Jam crew broadcast live from the event along with Reggae King Radio, attracting a wide cross-section of the community, as they stopped by for A Taste of Jerk.