Piggin' Out @ Pork Palooza (Part 1)

Jamaica Food & Drink Festival

Thursday, October 25, 2018

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Disclaimer: You must be a “porkie” to approve this message: Pork is the new chicken!

Foodophiles and lovers of swine turned out in their hundreds at Palm Drive at Hope Gardens Saturday last for the Jamaica Food and Drink Festival (JFDF) 2018 kick-starter: Pork Palooza. With a near-unlimited supply of Copperwood Pork, the licensed to thrill-themed soirée spotlighted 13 culinary aficionados providing nothing short of pork-infused culinary gravitas complemented perfectly by a soundscape from turntablist DJ Rio and the Silver Birds Steel Orchestra.

Newly-wed Charissa Henry-Skyers, Pink Apron's chef/caterer, was the night's big winner, walking away with the Top Hog and Most Innovative Dish awards for her “When Pigs Fry”creation: deep-fried pork tenderloin served with bacon jam and yuca fries.

The UTech, Jamaica School of Hospitality and Tourism Management team tantalised tastebuds with a bread pudding slathered in bacon crème anglaise and rum-glazed raspberry-filled doughnuts. The unofficial champions of taste would be Smoked Marlin Restaurant Managing Partner Dionne Reid's Mediterranean mélange of flavours – cardamom, cumin, coriander, rosewater and orange blossom water, Scotch bonnet, cinnamon and nutmeg, toffee, ginger, head cheese and lemon-preserved labneh, that were combined to create the memorable dark chocolate shooters.

KIA Motors offerings of maple bacon macarons and Tortuga cake pops certainly enhanced the flavour profiles of the 2018 KIA Stinger GT, and 2019 KIA Sportage.

Patsy Lyn Catering co-principal Kerry-Ann Lyn reimagined escoveitch pork got the nod of approval from Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Information Floyd Green. Lyn's crispy roast pork, crispy pork skin, and an Asian cucumber slaw were served on a bammy wafer that added a fourth layer of crackle to the crunchy fare.

Roast Meats principal Simon Levy's Argentinian style open-fire grill used for roasting the Copperwood Pork whole pig and porchetta in a chimichurri sauce was served with roasted pumpkin, buttered home-grown corn and light dinner rolls.

Andre Sewell's flavourful pork chops and drunken pineapple chutney was another of the evening's standouts.

The love of charred and savoury pork was evident by the super-long lines at both the OPA! Restaurant and Dale deLisser booths. And if the spice was too hot to handle, the Select Brands Signature Stoli Lemonade Prosecco and Stoli Sunrise made with Tru-Juice orange pineapple juice were on hand to reduce the heat.

On the topic of libations, what better spot than the epicentre to situate the Appleton Estate watering hole?

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