Savoring Jamaica Event Leads the Way in the Caribbean’s Gastronomy Renaissance

Chef Irie Sinclair at Appleton Estate in Jamaica

Chefs will prepare an intimate five-course dinner on November 7 at the James Beard House, presenting an evening that honors the island’s culinary history, culture and diversity.

Jamaican cuisine has a reputation of being hot, spicy, casual and full of comfort, an image one New York entrepreneur is hoping to elevate with the upcoming event, “Savoring Jamaica,” taking place on Wednesday, November 7 in Greenwich Village at the James Beard House. When Annette Davidson, founder of The Chef’s Advocate, conceived the idea in her mind less than a year ago, she knew the foodie community would be hungry for an event that showcased the Caribbean island’s rich and complex fusion of cultures and cuisines in a way that set the stage for fine dining renaissance.

“As a proud Jamaican, I want to expose as many people as possible to the great culinary renaissance that’s happening right now in the Caribbean, especially Jamaica.  Together with this year’s culinary team, we are taking the presentation of Jamaican cuisine and culture to the next level,” says Davidson.

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Davidson couldn’t have picked a better place to host the event than at the historic venue that welcomes talent from all over the world. The partnership with the James Beard House to transport guests to the island through a meal is the first in its programming portfolio where Jamaican chefs as well as the cuisine will rise as the heroes of the night.

Jamaican Chef Noel Cunningham of Cuisine by Noel
Pictured: Noel Cunningham

Led by Hugh “ Chef Irie” Sinclair, the culinary team is hard at work putting the finishing touches on a menu that will have guests looking at Caribbean fare with an entirely new culinary lens. Oxtail arancini with butter bean purée, roasted pumpkin coconut bisque, braised pork belly lightly smoked and masala spiced roasted goat chops with coconut plantain puree offer a tease of what the evening holds. All courses will be paired with cocktails or wine to include selections by black winemakers Darjean Jones Wines and P. Harrell Wines.  Joining Sinclair is chef Noel Cunningham (Cuisine by Noel), chef Gariel Ferguson (The Rib Kage), chef Colin Hylton (The Guilt Trip), Robin Lim Lumsden (Belcour Preserves) and chef Christina Simonitsch (Simo’s Bread & Catering).

Robin Lim Lumsden of Belcour Preserves
Pictured: Robin Lim Lumsden

If the sample of the menu and chef rooster hasn’t convinced you that this is an event not to miss, Davidson recently announced that Joy Spence, the world’s first female Master Blender who has been creating Appleton Estate’s award-winning rums for more than 20 years, will also be in attendance to host a mini tasting.  Just a conversation with a trailblazer such as Spence alone is enough to get me out on a workday night.

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, or by visiting the website.

For immediate event highlights, be sure to follow The Chef’s Advocate as well as the chefs on Instagram.


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Sheree has been penning stories since the fifth grade. Her stories took a delicious and adventurous turn as an adult when she became a foodie.