Food (19)

At Mo’s Original, It Pays to Be Open-Minded


In Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, a neighborhood with a large Caribbean population and a lot of Caribbean restaurants, Mo’s stands out by finding the intersection of Jamaican and Japanese food. A pair of talented chefs have found success in the unexpected intersection of Caribbean food and ramen noodles. (Hannah Goldfield - The New Yorker)

The story of Mo’s Original, a new restaurant in Brooklyn, involves a few false starts. First, there was Glady’s, an eclectic sandwich shop opened in Crown Heights, in 2013, by Michael Jacober, a chef and grilled-cheese-truck impresario. The sandwiches were excitingly unusual, but after a few months Jacober, feeling like an interloper in the neighborhood, decided to rebrand as a Caribbean restaurant, focussing on Jamaican-style jerk to better serve the local community. If this was pandering, it was in good faith—Jacober travelled around Jamaica to educate himself and found a partner in one of his sous-chefs, Junior Felix, a native of St. Lucia—and it worked; in 2016, they expanded to a second, bigger location, in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens.

In these new digs, however, Glady’s didn’t quite take. And so, in May, Felix, with a new partner, William (Mo) Garfield, a onetime collaborator with Jacober (who recently divested from both places), decided to rebrand, as a Caribbean-ramen restaurant. If this sounds to you, as it did to me, like an outlandishly misguided and even lazily of-the-moment idea: I’m happy to report that it pays to be more open-minded. Garfield and Felix are not trend-chasing hacks but, rather, skilled chefs who have found the intersection of their passions. Garfield, originally from Portland, Maine, and a veteran of Japanese restaurants, is a devoted student of ramen; Felix is fluent in Caribbean flavors and a master of the custom smoker that he and Jacober designed for Glady’s, which burns American maple and ash wood in addition to traditional Jamaican pimento chips.

The success of Mo’s is best exemplified by the spicy miso-curry ramen. Curry is Caribbean, curry is Japanese, curry is fantastic when added in balanced proportion to an incredibly rich chicken broth, which is so thick with miso that it’s almost a sauce. Golden and creamy, it’s a perfect base for a tangle of thick-cut wavy noodles and generous curls of succulent smoked chicken thigh, nestled with charred cabbage and carrots and topped with wisps of scallion, garlic oil, and a house-made togarashi spice mixture.

The “smoke” ramen, made with both smoked-chicken broth and shreds of smoked pork loin, would be my second choice, and, in the mushroom-broth ramen, the three-dimensional flavor of the sweet smoked cherry tomatoes alone makes that dish worth ordering. (The latter is vegan, and the kitchen is unusually accommodating of dietary restrictions, using only wheat-free tamari in lieu of regular soy sauce and offering to substitute rice noodles in any ramen.)

But the menu goes far beyond noodles. Dinner begins with complimentary baskets of freshly made, copper-hued potato chips sprinkled with togarashi. Appetizers include crunchy tater tots topped with eel sauce, aioli, and bonito flakes; fried Brussels sprouts with vegan fish sauce (made with seaweed and mushrooms); and plump bao buns filled with sweet-and-sour pickles and meaty-textured deep-fried tofu. A “big salad” features frilly-tendrilled mixed greens that taste like they came from the farmers’ market as opposed to a plastic clamshell, tossed with carrots, daikon, hemp seeds, almonds, and herbs in an oniony dressing. The smoked chicken and pork loin are available barbecue style, too, and, to really please the crowds, there’s a burger—with two beef patties—plus a veggie “burger” (actually a smoked portobello cap).

A few months in, Mo’s has some kinks to iron out. On several recent evenings, the kitchen had run out of a good third of its offerings, and delicious-sounding specials, though prominently advertised, have been elusive; I’ve been chasing the smoked lobster with corn for weeks. I was sorry to see a dish of excellent head-on shrimp grilled in soy and ginger replaced by one with shrimp breaded and fried, and to be served a plate of tamari-brined fried chicken that was just shy of inedibly burnt. With a few tweaks, Mo’s could end its Goldilocks-like journey and feel exactly right. (Dishes $5-$15.) ♦

Published in the print edition of the October 14, 2019, issue, with the headline “Mo’s Original.”

  • Hannah Goldfield is The New Yorker’s food critic.

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The number of undernourished people increased for the third consecutive year in Latin America and the Caribbean. It has exceeded 39 million people. In addition, almost one in four adults is obese, while overweight affects 250 million; more than the entire population of Brazil.

For this reason, for the first time, four agencies of the United Nations system -FAO, PAHO/WHO, UNICEF and WFP- have joined together to publish the Panorama of food and nutrition security in Latin America and the Caribbean 2018.

This year’s edition focuses on inequality, a fundamental issue for the region. Inequality contributes both to hunger and several different forms of malnutrition. In Latin America, 8.4 per cent of women are in a situation of severe food insecurity, compared to 6.9 per cent of men. In ten countries, 20 per cent of the poorest children suffer three times more chronic malnutrition than the richest 20 per cent. Indigenous populations suffer greater food insecurity than non-indigenous people, and rural populations have higher rates of poverty than urban ones.

Without addressing inequality in food security and nutrition, we will not be able to fulfill the commitment we have adopted to leave no one behind, established in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

It is necessary to understand why malnutrition, lack of micronutrients, overweight and obesity have a greater impact on people with lower income, women, indigenous people, people of African descent and rural families. Above all, we must act in a differentiated way to ensure that these social groups and the populations of territories that are lagging behind can also fulfill their right to food.

FAO, PAHO/WHO, UNICEF and WFP are convinced that it is perfectly possible to transform our food systems to ensure a better diet for all, in a way that is more sustainable an adapted to climate change.

Today we understand that we need actions in production, international trade, processing and marketing of products to have healthy food. We can work to improve environments, in a way that facilitates access to healthy foods, and encourage practices that help people make more informed and responsible consumption decisions.

It is possible to change the current course of the region to accelerate progress towards the goal of eradicating hunger and all forms of malnutrition: the Sustainable Development Goal 2. For this, what we need most is to recover greater political commitment with the eradication of hunger and all forms of malnutrition.

Some governments are already implementing a new generation of policies to address the specificities of the groups that are suffering the most. Innovative public policies to reduce overweight and obesity are also being applied for the first time.

For these policies to be successful, we need the participation of everyone. Together we must think of ways for all the actors of the food system to act more responsibly with society and the environment, from producers to consumers. Together we can build food systems that ensure adequate food in the present and in the future. Together we can guarantee a healthy life for all and become the zero hunger generation.

*Julio Berdegué is FAO Regional Representative; Carissa F. Etienne is Director of PAHO; Marita Perceval is Director of UNICEF in Latin America and the Caribbean; Miguel Barreto is Regional Director of WFP

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4 Ingenious Food Handling Tips & Tricks


Food safety is a major concern of the food businesses. If the food is not kept in a safe and clean environment, then it can become contaminated. You cannot sell contaminated food to the customers so the business will end up losing a lot of money because of food waste. Whether you are storing the food in the kitchen or displaying the food in your retail store it is important to fulfill all the essential food safety requirements.

Here are some ingenious food handling tips and tricks to ensure that food safety and prevent contamination.

Have Suitable Facility For Food Storage

When you are storing the food products you have to make sure that the facility you are using is suitable for the food storage. The place should be able to fulfill all the standards of the food safety. You should avoid using an area that is known to be an area that is prone to pollution or pests because in such areas the chances of contamination will be high. The building that you are using for the store or restaurant should be designed in a way that it is easy to clean and maintain. The choice of location plays an important role in the safety of food storage.

Right Selection Of Appliances

The appliances that you choose to store the food should be able to fulfill the regulations of food safety. If the cold storage at your facility is not up to standard, then you will find it difficult to keep the food in the best condition. You can choose solid door refrigeration appliances or use under counter fridge in your store. While choosing the appliances you should make sure that they are cleanable even to the microbiological level. Prefer the appliances that are made up of compatible materials. You should maintain the appliances by doing regular inspection. Come up with good sanitizing and cleaning protocols so that the chances of contamination are low.

Establish Cleaning Programs

When you are running a food business, you do not want any food borne illnesses to break out. It is essential that the hygiene standards are maintained so that you can store food for a long time without any risk of contamination. You should develop proper cleaning programs that allow you to keep the storage areas as well as preparation areas clean and disinfect it. Apart from the food preparation areas you also need to keep all the machinery and utensils free of germs. The culprits behind spoiling the food are the microorganisms so you have to get rid of them to make sure that storage and preparation areas are sanitary.

Practice Personal Hygiene

It is essential that a food business educates the staff is safe handling of the food. If the staff is not careful while handling food, it can lead to contamination as bacteria spreads easily. Make sure that the hands are clean and there is minimum hand to food contact. Protective clothing and personal cleanliness of the staff are important factors in safe storage of the food products.

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4 Latest Caribbean Food Trends to Know

There is no limit to the variety of food you can enjoy in this world. Each and every region has its unique cuisine that has different taste. You can always have new experiences as there are always new things to try. The trends of food also keep on changing and the food lovers can always find fresh inspirational sources and try new things.

The Caribbean cuisine is an extremely popular cuisine. If you enjoy this delicious cuisine then you should be aware of the new emerging trends that are becoming a part of the delicious cuisine. Here are some trends you will find.

The new green vegetable:

According to the new trends, the kale is losing its place to seaweed as the green vegetable. The seaweed is going to the vegetable that you will see on everyone’s’ plate. People are replacing kale for seaweed because it is full of nutrition. It has a lot of fiber along with iodine, antioxidants and healthy fats. The seaweed is not just expected to be a part of a salad or just a side dish to the main course but is also expected to be a part of soups, spaghetti, smoothies, and salsa.

Plant-based alternatives:

People are becoming more and more food conscious and they are becoming very careful about the food ingredients they include in their diet. People have become suspicious of the farm raised meat and they also have a better understanding of the processed food. The changes in the attitude and demands of people have also forced the food industry to change their approach. They are looking to present a variety of plant-based alternatives so that they can satisfy the changing demands of the customers. The food businesses are trying to fill the ambient display counter with food that people want to eat. The Trinidadian delights such as lentil, tuber, tomato choka, and bean are expected to be popular choices. Other international dishes such as cauliflower, sunchoke curries, spicy eggplant, etc. are also expected to be leading trends

Avocado oil:

The latest trends show that avocado is going to in huge demand even in its peak season. The oil, extracted from the fruit directly instead of the seed, is full of healthy nutrients.  It has potassium, Vitamin E, and unsaturated fats. The richness of the oil is excellent for health and adding an extra texture to the food. There are different varieties available in the market. Pollock, a local variety, has a buttery texture which is an excellent choice for the centrifugal separation process.

The gourmet approach:

The food industry is evolving a lot. The restaurants understand people’s love for street food and they are giving the local street food a fancy touch so that people can enjoy them in a different way as well. People can find the local Caribbean in the fancy restaurants where they are presented in a new way. It can offer an exciting food experience to the people.

There is also going to be a waste not policy as restaurants as well as street food corners are looking for ways to reduce food waste. 

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Jamaica Enticing Travelers with Local Food



KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday July 27, 2017 – The rich, authentic and tantalizing tastes of Jamaican foods and wines are to be showcased when well-advanced plans by the Tourism Ministry to market Jamaica as a hub for Gastronomic Tourism materialize.

The first step in claiming a piece of that market is the establishment of a number of Gastronomic Centres across the island, with Devon House, in Kingston, as the first. For that heritage site, the Ministry plans to improve upon its environs by providing a space where visitors from across the world can come to cook their own meals.

“We’ll be establishing a kitchen. We’re inviting the world to come and cook at Devon House. Families can come; no chef will be in the kitchen, you are the chef,” says Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.

As part of the culinary experience, a fully stocked farmers’ market will be established where visitors can purchase spices and condiments to include in the cooking of meals at Devon House.

Gastronomic tourism refers to that branch of the sector where persons make trips to destinations where the local food and beverages are the main motivating factors for travel. According to the 2012 United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) report, 88.2 per cent of persons “consider that gastronomy is a strategic element defining the brand and image of their destination.”

And head of the Tourism Linkages Network, Carolyn McDonald Riley, says Jamaica wants to carve out a slice of the market.

“If food is the dominant reason why people are travelling, then we should be marketing our foods, and what we do with food, this is one of the driving factors,” she said.

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So for the paediatric cancer patients I will endeavour to lend my name, really my alleged cooking skills to this fabulous event - fabulous because of the showcasing of Jamaica it entails. And fabulous because it supports charity towards our most vulnerable the children.

You guys need to come out and taste my cooking



Jamaican Culture Promotions Ltd.





The KINGSTON FOOD, WINE AND SPIRITS FESTIVAL is an open-air food and beverage FESTIVAL that will be held bi-annually, with the aim of highlighting the best of Jamaica’s culinary talents, culture and product offerings, while providing a wonderful entertainment package for everyone.

Signature Wine and Food Festivals are globally trending events and in Jamaica it’s no different.

Wine and food event pairing has become a must attend for foodies KINGSTON FOOD, WINE AND SPIRITS FESTIVAL brings together the best manufacturers and distributors of food, wines, spirits, beverages, spices and confectioneries that Jamaica has to offer, in a tasting and sampling venue with an aesthetically pleasing ambience for food lovers locally, regionally, and internationally.

It integrates local chefs, restaurateurs, food-makers, caterers, shoppers, foodies, and families in a culinary destination, creating an environment that shows only the best of Jamaica.

It’s the ultimate paradise for food lovers! This event will celebrate our love for wine, beverages and food with prestigious chefs displaying their culinary master pieces throughout the event.

It will feature local restaurants, celebrity chefs, along with local manufacturers of various food items, cookware and beverages.

The various hospitality schools on the island modelled along the lines of food fairs that are held weekly in cities across the United States, Australia and Europe, KINGSTON FOOD, WINE AND SPIRITS FESTIVAL is a food experience that showcases what Jamaicans are creating and marketing locally in the food and beverage industry.

The event will showcase a smorgasbord of food, wine, rum, spirits, beverages and confectionery manufacturers who at their individual booths will offer samples or tastings of their product to patrons.

This is a truly festive event which encapsulates and displays the best of BRAND JAMAICA!
The wine tasting experience is like no other!

Our Wine House will showcase an enticing array of local wines and wines from over 50 wineries from all over the world. Come and sample our locally made wine and tasty rum mixtures. Patrons can escape the real world for a stylistic drama combining incredible wines and spirits.

Want more? Our entertainment show includes a line up of our best and established local artistes, dancers, and entertainers who will keep you rocking in your seats while you enjoy the food.

The event culminates with an explosion of Jamaican culture, featuring the best performances in Calypso, Reggae, dance, fashion and a “Celebrity Taste Off” where local celebrities will compete in a food cooking demo segment coined, “So you think you can cook...Mek mi taste yuh han”.

Furthermore, our expert ‘mixologists’ will further intrigue our patrons by showcasing their skills in the art of creating and serving unique cocktails. Join us in this exciting culinary adventure!!!

This all- you- can- taste experience encapsulates the best in food and drink on the island. Pamper your palate with one of the newest cultural experiences in Jamaica, unlike any other, topped off with live musical performances and cultural displays.

Mark your calendars, come and experience Jamaica’s best.

Part proceeds from the Kingston Food, Wine and Spirits Festival 2014 will go towards the development of the Angels of Love Jamaica Foundation, a foundation that supports the families and children suffering from paediatric cancer.

They assist critically ill, and underprivileged children across Jamaica.

They sponsor the families and children on the Wards of the Bustamante Hospital for Children, the University of the West Indies Pediatric Ward and the May Pen Children’s Hospital who are experiencing difficulty in financing the needs of their critically ill children.

When: Saturday, March 1, 2014.

Time: Gates open at 6:00pm until 12 midnight

Showtime: 8:00pm

Where: Join us for this one-of-a-kind event which will be held on the beautiful lawns of the Hope Botanical Gardens (Annuals Lawn), Kingston, Jamaica.


Photo Caption: Autism Boss Maia Chung

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Join RADA's Francine Webb and Maia Chung on CVM at Sunrise today Friday January 18-2013, at 6:15 a.m. - to discuss and detail the Rural Agricultural Development Authority's (RADA's ) training of 3 Thousand Six Hundred (3-600) Farmers, to become compliant and raise the standards of the output by our Jamaican farmers, as it relates to the Food Safety Management Act (FSMA).

The Act emanates from the United States Food and Drug Administration.

The training to be discussed represents the second phase of an MOAF and RADA programme, to get the nation's farmers in full compliance with the Act; in order to maintain our ability to export our produce to the US; a major export market for Jamaica.

The training which had it's first phase already completed...began its second phase this past Monday January 14-2013.

Tune in and learn about this a vital development relating to the Agricultural Sector and the ongoing work by the RADA to safe guard Jamaica's food secure status.

This is the nation's business.

CVM TV streams live via

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Ladies and Gentlemen happy Tuesday morning!


Join RADA's Senior Plant Health Specialist and Food Safety Officer Francine Webb this morning at 11:00 a.m. on HOT 102's Blaine and Crawford, on HOT 102 FM; as she details RADA's start of its second phase of training for some 3-600 farmers, under the Food Safety Management Act FSMA project now being undertaken by the Authority.


The second phase began Monday January 14-2013.




Make it a date and tell a friend.


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Before Sandy dumped more than 20 inches of rain on Haiti, rural towns like Petit-Goâve were relatively prosperous, their crops of banana, pigeon peas and yam helping feed the island-nation’s southern peninsula.

The hillside farms and plantations were among those that had been mercifully spared from previous disasters and disease in a country struggling under the weight of a severe food crisis. Now, with ruined roads and crops destroyed throughout the country, international aid and Haitian authorities are worried about a worsening food crisis in a country still recovering from a year of drought, a weak economy and a previous storm.

“Whatever was left of a potential harvest is gone,” said Johan Peleman, head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs here. “Even the banana harvests seem to be gone.”

On Sunday, Haiti’s government reiterated its appeal the international community for emergency humanitarian aid to deal with Sandy’s disaster. Five days earlier, the government declared an island-wide state of emergency, initially assessing losses to livestock, crops and infrastructure from Sandy at $104 million. The southern peninsula, which includes scores of rural communities, accounts for one-third of the losses, said Gary Mathieu, head of Haiti’s National Food Security Coordination unit. The south’s largest city, Les Cayes, is reporting a 70 percent loss of its avocado, breadfruit and corn harvests, washed away during four consecutive days of rain.

The losses come just nine weeks after Tropical Storm Isaac pounded a nearby region, resulting in $70 million in damages and rising food prices.

The one-two punch threatens to make the country’s poorest population even poorer.

“Life will become even more expensive,” said Jeannita Constant, 29, staring at her field of fallen plantain trees as Sandy’s relentless rains fell here. “Lots and lots of money have been lost.”

In the far northwest, farmers were only now preparing to replant after a drought earlier this year when Sandy’s downpour soaked their fields.

“It takes a certain farmer with confidence to try and plant,” said Comete Rigaud, 40, a farmer in Cabaret, a depressed but bucolic village between Port-de-Paix and Jean-Rabel. “If it’s not the sun, it’s the rain.”

Food insecurity woes are nothing new in Haiti, a place where high food prices in 2008 triggered rioting and the ouster of the prime minister. Months later, four back-to-back storms, led to children dying of malnutrition in a remote village in the southeast mountains.

Haiti’s latest disaster comes amid recent anti-government protests over rising food costs, the country’s continuing struggle to dig out from the January 2010 earthquake and the world’s worst cholera epidemic. Ironically, Sandy hit two weeks ahead of a Haitian government conference on extreme poverty scheduled for Tuesday through Friday. The keynote speaker, World Bank President Jim Kim, will be making his first official visit to the region.

Earlier this year, at the request of the government, the Bank provided help to farmers in the northeast after they lost peanut, plantain and other crops to pests and drought. Bank officials also remained concerned about the price hikes that ensued, including an inexplicable jump in the price of imported U.S. rice that did not match international price trends.

Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, trying to calm mounting discontent over the hikes, stepped up free food distributions, announced a rice donation from Japan and launched a rice commission to address the growing food security concerns. He also announced the government was considering opening public food stores and food-storage, measures international experts warn have shown to be very inefficient and ineffective in helping consumers.

“My concern is what the government will do as the situation does not seem to be as dire as in 2008 in terms of price levels,” said Diego Arias Carballo, a senior agricultural economist with the World Bank.

Following the global food price hikes in 2008, Haiti introduced a rice subsidy program, which a World Bank study says benefited importers, and not consumers.

“You need to have more of a targeted and efficient way of helping families with these types of crises and shocks,” Arias said.

Sandy’s damage, combined with Isaac’s, the rising food costs and a drought that hit the northern regions of the country earlier this year, means up to two million Haitians are now at risk of malnutrition, the UN said Friday at a press briefing in Geneva.

“These people will continue to struggle till the next large harvest in mid-2013,” said Myrta Kaulard, Haiti director for the UN World Food Program. “The struggle will be tough.”

Kaulard said what Haiti and humanitarian aid groups need is cash; cash-for-work programs are needed to employ people in affected areas to rehabilitate the land; nutrition programs are needed for pregnant and nursing mothers and children younger than 5 — all now even more at risk; and school meals programs need to be maintained.

“There are important resource gaps in all these programs,” she said, noting that funding shortfalls recently forced WFP to cut a number of schools from its meals program.

Changes in Haiti’s rain pattern — dry spells and floods — affected food security in almost every region of the country, according to a complex analysis carried out by the government’s food security unit after Isaac.

The effects are obvious along the 150-mile stretch between Port-au-Prince and the far northwest, the most neglected region of the country. Sorghum and corn fields have been abandoned by farmers and left to fallow; sun-burned rice stalks have been ruined by water shortages; and bean production is down everywhere, either because fields got too much water or not enough.

In the southeast, Isaac wiped out banana, breadfruit and coffee crops.

“You see us here? We’re going to die from hunger,” said Lisette Moise, 46, a mother of eight, sitting next to a sun-scorched rice paddy in the Artibonite River Valley, the country’s breadbasket. “We can’t send our children to school, we can’t do anything.”

Moise and other rice farmers say this year’s weather skyrocketed prices.

“Even if you could afford to buy the cup of beans, you can’t afford the cooking oil,” said farmer Odette Casseus, standing nearby. “Some days you just feeling like screaming to God, given the devastating state you are in.”

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Monday February 27, 2012 – Guyana’s fishing industry is paving the way for that country to achieve its Millennium Development Goals of feeding its people at international standards.

Agriculture minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy said the country’s fishing industry was growing at a rapid rate, and described it as an important component in the country’s development.

He noted that as it related to food security, the fishing industry provided a cheap source of animal protein in the Guyanese diet, and allowed for the creation of jobs in the local market, providing over 15,000 jobs.

Dr. Ramsammy said the fishing industry also provided significant foreign exchange earnings, representing just under three per cent of the gross domestic product, and exports valued at GY$10 billion over the last three years.

He further noted that the country was able to buffer against food shortages, with the food index increasing within normal rates.

The minister said the per capital fish supplied in Guyana exceeded 58 kilogrammes compared with the global average of 17 kilogrammes

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well it is official The Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation feeding of the homeless programme is up and running we have had two successful months, we focus downtown and we do it on a Wednesday, if you have money to buy fresh food and water call us on 507-1833 we do the buying and distribution. I and my team of high school volunteers commend the Jamaica Constabulary Force for providing us with a police escort to carry out the work. This is an example of the Jamaican People Partnership (JPP) that can yield good things for the powerless in our country and help growth and social provision development - and the need is great, the security presence prevents fights over the food we distribute as the people are quite hungry and thirsty. This is a new department of the Foundation and we need support for more food and water.PS I am forming a political party JPP - all those who want to solve problems just link me - we can run in the next election.

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The following article is part of a series prepared by the Jamaica China Friendship Association

When the Chinese first came to Jamaica, they were forced to improvise and make do with the foodstuff they were able to find here, as the supplies that they were promised from China were very seldom given, if at all. They were later able to import the necessities, but supplies were again scarce during World Wars I and II, so improvisation and adaptation were required. For instance, in the 1940s, Jamaican tamarind was substituted for the Chinese sour plums which are extremely important in the preparation of a popular Chinese duck dish.

The cuisine of the Chinese in Jamaica became a blend of available produce and Chinese favourites. Some of these combinations, so desirable and delicious, have remained in existence up to today.

Chinese food is now a favourite in Jamaica, as can be seen from the large number of thriving Chinese restaurants here. Jamaicans who have had the opportunity to experience Chinese food in other countries such as the US, Canada and even China itself, are somewhat disappointed that the food is not as tasty as it is in Jamaica. Many Jamaicans, including those of Chinese descent, do not like most of the food in Beijing, as it lacks the flavours we have grown to love. Perhaps this 'Jamaican-ness' is missing from the food in Beijing, as the majority of Chinese migrants to Jamaica were not from Beijing, but instead were of the Hakka National group. That group was from the south, with climatic conditions similar to Jamaica. One must remember that China is a huge country and has many distinctive cuisines unique to specific regions. The further north you go in China, the more subtle the flavours, as that is what is believed to be more suited for a cold climate. Further south in China however, the food is more robust and well-seasoned, like the food we are accustomed to in Jamaica.

There are, however, some things about food and eating that all Chinese have in common, no matter which region they are from. They all believe that eating is one of the few pleasures that man has on earth that should be enjoyed by everyone, and that you should eat whatever gives you pleasure and is good for your health. The Chinese perhaps eat more vegetables than any other group. They say that the job of the cook is to prepare the food, and that should be done in such a way that all the diner needs to do is take it from the plate or bowl to the mouth. The diner must not be required to cut up food. Hence, the use of chopsticks instead of knives and forks.

Perhaps the main gift of the Chinese to Jamaican cooking is soy sauce. There is hardly a Jamaican meat dish that is now prepared without soy sauce, both for colour and taste. Then there are oyster and hoisin sauces, as well as sesame oil. Sweet-and-sour sauce was also introduced and quickly became a Jamaican favourite. Pak choi (white vegetable), sometimes called bok choy, and a similar vegetable, Chinese cabbage were also introduced by the Chinese and are still enjoyed by many a Jamaican today.

The Chinese also introduced the wok and stir-frying to Jamaica. There are now several variations of this versatile utensil, as the Jamaican cooks have realised the efficiency and the health benefits of this cooking method.

Chinese food has found a special place among many Jamaicans and no doubt will remain so for a very long time

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Jamika Pessoa's Fusion of Flavours


If you are Food Network junkie, as is half of this country’s female population, then you would have followed Jamika Pessoa in the 2009 Next Food Network Star right up to her elimination. The self-described island girl who was really born in Alabama, USA, to a Trinidadian mother and a Jamaican father, Pessoa was one of the favourites of the competition and was best known for her spicy dishes and bubbly personality. As quickly as the doors of the Next Food Network Star closed on Pessoa’s dream to have her own show, a window of opportunity opened for her at The Learning Channel (TLC). And now Pessoa can be found on TLC’s Home Made simple series on Saturday mornings. The show pairs families in need of home care with experts for home improvement results. Pessoa’s job as the chef host is to help busy moms in the kitchen by showing them how to make three dishes that are easy, budget friendly and full of flavour.  “It (the show) gives me the chance to do three of my favourite things—cook, travel and look cute on camera.”

Perhaps it should have left a bitter taste in her mouth but honestly Pessoa would tell you that she’s thankful for her Next Food Network Star experience, even though the results didn’t swing in her favour. “It was an awesome experience. I was able to show a different type of chef as a young African-American female chef cooking food from my Caribbean roots,” she told WomanWise in an e-mail interview. “I loved the element of surprise in each challenge. It allowed me to truly test my chops as a chef. It was an adrenaline rush like no other. When that clock started, I was never certain of what I was going to prepare; I just knew I had to have something on the plate. “You can study all of your life as a chef, but you can never prepare for an experience like cooking and competing in front of millions of viewers.”

The Food Network also gave Pessoa the exposure she needed taking her from small town to celebrity chef in one fell swoop. “My career skyrocketed.” Growing up, Pessoa’s family home, which she shared with her sisters and parents, was also one filled with the aroma of island food. “Living in the South and being the daughter of island parents was quite interesting. My two sisters and I grew up eating some of the best food. “Any given Sunday, we could have fried chicken and biscuits and salt fish and ackee on the table. My parents made sure that although we grew up in the States, that we were well aware of our Caribbean roots. I grew up learning to appreciate my hometown in Alabama and my home islands in the Caribbean.”

Her Grenadian grandmother, who taught her to cook, is still, in her opinion, the best cook in the world.
“She taught me how to cook at a very young age and she taught me how to love to cook and how to add that love to my food.” Although Pessoa didn’t pursue cooking until she was an adult, having began her professional career as a corporate marketing executive, she knew even back then that she had a gift.
“Cooking was the one thing that I could do well even when I was not even trying.” It was her passion for food that made her leave her desk job to pursue a career in cooking. Her classical training includes schools in European countries such as Venice, Italy and Vienna, Austria and the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Atlanta.

In 2006, recognising her desire to be the boss, she paired her love for cooking and entertaining and started her business—Life of the Party Personal Chef Services. Pessoa was positioned as a Chef to the Stars and became a highly sought after personal chef in Atlanta, Georgia, cooking for numerous celebrities and professional athletes. On set, Pessoa is charged. Her energy is infectious to those who view her. And that smile? Well, it is as real as all the fun she seems to be having in the studio’s kitchen. “My smile is not rehearsed or forced on camera. The fun you see is true. “I have a blast on set every time. I am very silly and laid back naturally, so I create that vibe in the kitchen as well. I want viewers to feel right at home when they watch me. Once people hear about her Caribbean and Southern background they immediately request a dish that combines both cuisines. As a result of this, Pessoa has had to develop several signature recipes that’re a little bit island and a little bit southern USA. She swears that the “fusion of flavours seem to dazzle all who try it.”

Her own favourite Caribbean dish is rice and peas with her father’s jerk chicken. “I enjoy cooking Caribbean dishes the most because I get to pay homage to my family and most importantly I get to make the dishes that my grandmother taught me when I was a little kid.” Ever so often, when time allows, Pessoa flies to Jamaica. “I recently visited the island of Barbados where I got married right on the beach. It was beautiful. My next quests are St Lucia and Carnival in Trinidad.” Pessoa wants to one day be a household brand with cookbooks, products and her own cooking show. “I was just named the new spokesperson for Hillshire Farm, so that will keep me busy touring. As long as I keep following my calling and keeping God first, the sky is the limit for me.”

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New magazine celebrates T&T’s cuisine

3665135138?profile=originalT&T’s thriving agriculture sector and the seasonality and abundance of fresh local ingredients have inspired a new food magazine. Called Dougla In Season, the quarterly glossy captures the richness and diversity of local food in its 120 full colour pages of recipes, how-to’s and feature articles. The first issue of In Season, which is the second magazine in the dougla brand of publications, is currently on news stands. It boasts many culinary heavyweights in the local food and beverage industry, among them Bernard Long, award-winning chef, former captain of the T&T National Culinary Team and highly sought after caterer; Moses Ruben, respected chef and owner of popular Ariapita Avenue restaurant Melange; and Eddison Hopkins, head chef at Tobago’s acclaimed Shirvan Watermill. 

“T&T is blessed beyond measure with the finest and freshest ingredients and produce. Some are indigenous to our soil, while various settlers throughout our history brought others. And what better way to revere them than when they are at their most abundant, at their ripest, at their sweetest, at their best…when they are, in season,” says In Season’s managing editor Sonja Sinaswee of the magazine’s concept and focus. The publication also celebrates Trinis’ love of food. It salutes the country’s gastronomical wonders, raising its fork, for instance, to local street food and liming, the vibrant market culture and the people who drive the country’s multi-billion dollar food industry.

In Season magazine has even managed to get local celebrities to put on their aprons and prepare their favourite dishes in a feature called Bess Pot. In its first issue, popular chutney producer and radio/television personality Big Rich cooks a pot of his famous pelau. “There’s one thing all Trinis have in common: we love our bellies,” Sinaswee said. “Gastronomy is our religion and we practice it all day, every day; wherever there’s an open food court, street vendor, fine dining restaurant or neighbourhood parlour. If our places of worship are closed, we congregate indoors and pay homage in our kitchen, at the table or in our backyard.”

In Season is published by The Groovy Image Company, the local firm that owns the dougla brand of magazines. The company also has a client base for which it provides copywriting services and undertakes media and editorial projects, among them public relations and marketing campaigns, and the production of publications like newsletters and advertorials. Dougla In Season retails for $20 and is available at Hi-Lo Food Stores’ Alyce Glen, Marabella, Maraval, St Augustine and Westmoorings locations. It is also on sale at D’Rite Stuff, Gourmet Foods at RT Morshead, Malabar Farms, Paper Based Bookshop, Peppercorns, and The Reader’s Bookshop. It can also be purchased online at and

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3665135690?profile=originalKINGSTON, Jamaica - Pedro Plains Jamaica Jerk’s exciting range of 100 per cent authentic Jamaican sauces will be featured on Lifetime Television Network’s “The Balancing Act” - the premier one-hour women’s morning show in the United States - on April 7th between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. EST (Local time 6:00 – 7:00 a.m.).

Bertram Banton, the brand’s Managing Director, will join the programme’s segment host for a culinary experience that will include background information on jerk spices, as well as the preparation and sampling of various dishes prepared with sauces from the Pedro Plains Jamaica Jerk family of products.

"We are happy to have been invited on this programme, as we believe that it is important for the Pedro Plains Jamaica Jerk brand to have visibility like this on the largest cable network television channel in the United States. We managed to get on board with Lifetime based on the promotional benefits that we garnered from taking part in a trade mission organised by JAMPRO," said Bertram.

He disclosed that Pedro Plains Jamaica Jerk’s participation in the JAMPRO-led trade mission to the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York last year resulted in the brand’s discovery by Lifetime.

In the past year and half, Pedro Plains Jamaica Jerk has participated in JAMPRO-organised trade missions to the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, SIAL in France, Grocery Innovations Canada (GIC) and the Americas Food and Beverage Show in Miami. At the latter event held in October last year, the brand’s Jerk BBQ Madness product won the award for “Best in the Americas”. Most recently, Pedro Plains Jamaica Jerk took part in the JAMPRO trade mission to the International Food and Drink Event (IFE), the UK's largest food and drink trade show.

Pedro Plains Jamaica Jerk products

The family of Pedro Plains Jamaica Jerk products includes Auntie Katie Jerk Marinade, Passion Fruit Jerk Marinade, Mild Jerk Seasoning, Jerk BBQ Madness, Honey Jerk Sauce, Hurricane Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce, Malicious Hot Pepper Sauce, Pure Original Jerk Sauce and Chaos Jerk Seasoning.

Pedro Plains Jamaica Jerk sauces are distributed in the United States by Tortuga Rum Cake Company/Tortuga Imports in Miami, Florida and Ken Young Food Distributors in Blue Island, Illinois. Plans are currently underway for the product line to be distributed in Canada and Europe.

The products can be purchased locally at CariHome Supermarket, Manor Park Plaza, Two Hampers and a Mule at the Norman Manley International Airport and Bluemont at Island Village, Ocho Rios. The company also plans to add new gift locations in the major tourist areas along the North Coast. Online shopping is also available in North America at

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Duane Stephenson and U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, meet in Washington, D.C. during a World Food Program award ceremony on October 5, 2010.
WASHINGTON, DC - Reggae singer/songwriter Duane Stephenson was recently invited by the World Food Program (WFP) to perform in honor of the United States Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. The event took place at the George McGovern Leadership Award ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, October 5.
Stephenson was at the tail end of his U.S. tour with the Wailers, and the two parties previously teamed up for a song that manifested a partnership with the WFP. "The Wailers and I are partners with the World Food Program," says Stephenson. "Our song 'A Step for Mankind' has helped to spread the message of the need for more action in addressing the issue of world hunger."

Duane Stephenson and U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, meet in Washington, D.C. during a World Food Program award ceremony on October 5, 2010.

Stephenson was thus invited to perform at the ceremony that included political dignitaries and social activists from around the world at the prestigious event, where Secretary Clinton was presented with The George McGovern Leadership Award for her work to curb global hunger.

Stephenson reveals he is humbled and excited by the experience. "It's so inspiring to be in the company of global politicians and dedicated corporate partners who share the same values and aspirations to eradicate hunger," states Stephenson. "Food is a common bond that unites every single life form on this planet, we all require it to live, yet a billion people each night go to bed hungry and 25,000 of them die."

Stephenson disclosed his work with the World Food Program will continue as he sees the issue of world hunger as one that is very important to him. "I was happy to be there to see Secretary Clinton get this award as she has fought for this issue for years now. Hunger affects a billion of our brothers, sisters and children in 80 countries. This award will bring added attention and raise awareness of the issue."

Duane Stephenson with World Food Program Executive Director, Josette Sheeran, and Ian Barrett (son of Ashton "Family Man" Barrett of The Wailers).

Duane Stephenson just wrapped up touring the U.S. as the opening act for the legendary Wailers, and promoting his sophomore album Black Gold, released by VP Records on September 28, 2010. Black Gold is the highly anticipated follow-up to Stephenson's debut album From August Town, which was released by VP Records in 2007 and was hailed as one of that year's best reggae albums.

Ian Barrett, Hunter Biden (son of U.S. VP Joe Biden) and Duane Stephenson.

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A Guide to Summer Detox

Although we tend to think of detox in January after the heavy food and excesses of winter and the holiday season summer is an ideal time to detox. When the weather is warmer it is so much easier to follow the detox diet of plenty of fruit and fresh salads and leave the heavy stodgy hard to digest food behind. 

By following a 7 - 14 day detox plan that focuses on nutrient packed fresh foods close to their natural state and avoiding processed foods laden with sugar, fat, salt and artificial additives you will allow your body to function more efficiently.

There is no need to starve yourself or go hungry. By eating food that is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber you will feel much more satisfied and still be able to shed those extra pounds. Restricted diets slow down your metabolism. 

Avoid fast foods, processed foods, ready meals, salty snacks, fizzy drinks, high fat foods, foods high in sugar like cookies, chocolate, cakes, and most ready made desserts. These foods often contain artificial additives that poison your body. They lack vitamins, minerals and fiber that your body needs for the detox system to function efficiently. Limit red meat and dairy products as they are often contain hormones and antibiotic residues.

Eating foods in their natural state will provide your body with high levels of nutrients that will support your body's detoxification system improving your health. Food starts to loose its nutrients once it is stored so look for fruit and vegetables that are in season and not imported. Organically produced food has more nutrients and taste and no toxic pesticides. 

Many vitamins and minerals are lost from food by cooking. It is easy to eat a high raw fruit and vegetable diet on a summer detox by juicing your fruit and vegetables or making them into smoothies, uncooked blended soups and salads. 

Some foods need to be cooked to make them more palatable and easier to digest and steaming them lightly will help to retain their nutrients better than boiling them. You can stir-fry food in a litlle liquid instead of heating oil to a high temperature which will damage it and create toxic substances. 

Living salads and sprouted seeds and beans are readily available in many supermarkets and whole food markets and stores. 

Your body contains a high proportion of water and needs enough pure water to function efficiently. Tap water is usually high in chlorine, fluoride and drug residue which are detrimental to health use filtered water. A glass of pure water with the juice of half an organic lemon is a good cleansing drink first thing in the morning. 

Replace coffee and regular tea with fruit and vegetable juices, herbal or fruit teas. Green tea is high in antioxidants but still contains caffeine so avoid drinking too many cups. Aim to have 6 - 8 glasses of fluid a day and more in hot weather or when you exercise. 

Exercise helps the blood and lymph circulate to all the organs to take them nutrients and collect the wastes to be eliminated via the detox organs. Daily brisk walking, or rebounding is essential. Swimming in chlorine free pools, and running at least 4 times a week is beneficial. 

Don't forget to brush your skin daily with a natural bristle brush to help with lymph circulation and make your skin glow. 

Look for natural personal care products to reduce the toxic chemicals that are absorbed from your skin. Buy natural household cleaning products that do not pollute the environment. Many are highly toxic when inhaled. 

Although you won't get rid of a lifetime of toxins during a 7 or 14 day detox it will help to make you more aware of what you are putting into your body and learn to become attuned to what it really needs. If you stick to the principles of a healthy diet you will feel good, look good and dramatically improve your health.

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Food tops CARICOM agenda

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Monday July 26, 2010 – The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will move one step closer to a food and nutrition security policy with a workshop to review the draft CARICOM Regional Policy for Food and Nutrition Security which begins today in Guyana. The two-day workshop for the validation of the policy is being coordinated by the CARICOM Secretariat in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations through funding from the Government of Italy and the European Commission.

Specialists in the field of agriculture, trade, health, nutrition, and representatives of regional institutions including Caribbean Agricultural Research Development Institute (CARDI) and the University of the West Indies (UWI), and international partners in development will determine whether the draft policy takes into consideration all the components that should be included in a regional framework for food and nutrition security.

“They will consider the adequacy of measures identified in the draft policy to address the constraints to food and nutrition security. In addition, the stakeholders will review plan of action for the implementation of the policy which outlines roles and functions of key stakeholders including government, sub-regional bodies, civil society, and farmers,” a CARICOM statement said.

This workshop forms part of the second phase of the FAO Food Security Policy project aimed at improving food security in CARICOM/CARIFORUM states through the strengthening of the food policy environment and the support of services to promote efficient and sustainable food systems.

The first phase of the project titled, Caribbean Regional Food Security Project was funded by the Government of Italy to the tune of US$4.9 million. Its objective was to improve the food security in CARICOM/CARIFORUM states by increasing the availability and access to adequate quantities of safe, quality assured food products to vulnerable groups and poor rural communities. This phase is also being funded by the Italian Government, this time, to the tune of US$4.07 Million.

It is anticipated that the draft policy will be presented for the consideration of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) when it meets later this year.

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Jamaican cuisine featured in UK magazine

GBurke Images Photo: LONDON, England (JIS) -- Jamaica will, later this year, be the featured destination in a popular food and lifestyle magazine owned by world famous celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver. The editor of Jamie Magazine, Andy Harris, world renowned photographer, David Loftus, and writer, Kevin Gould, spent just over a week in Jamaica on a "foodie" road trip across the island.

Jamaica Tourist Board District Sales Manager for the United Kingdom , Torrance Lewis, told JIS news that the Jamie Magazine team were very impressed by the range and diversity of the island's cuisine, coupled with the warmth, knowledge and genuine hospitality of the people.

The team visited and sampled a wide variety of Jamaican foods and markets. Lewis said the group was particularly amazed by the colour and vibrancy of Coronation market in downtown Kingston.

The road trip took the team on a tour of famous Jamaican food stops from Montego Bay to Portland, including Boston for traditional jerk meats, Devon House in Kingston for ice cream, and for saltfish and roast yam along the South coast. The group also sampled a local favourite - peanut porridge, visited Little Ochie in Manchester, feasted on peppered shrimp in Middle Quarters, St Elizabeth, loved the 'manish water' at Howies, and bought old fashioned metal liquid measures ( gill and half gill), and 'rope' tobacco in the Black River Market.

The Jamie team also met with the executive chef at the Round Hill Resort just outside Montego Bay, and visited the Institute of Jamaica back in Kingston to view historic documents of recipes and menus dating back to the plantation days. There were also visits to an organic farm in St Elizabeth and a rastafarian indigenous village in Westgate Hills, Montego Bay, that featured a total vegan lifestyle and a traditional herb garden.

Lewis described the road trip as one of the most comprehensive food tours of Jamaica that not only focused on popular Jamaican foods, but also looked at many regional specialities.

Jamie Magazine was launched in 2008 and has a circulation of more than 150,000. It was ranked number one in readership for a debuting magazine.

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