In what was a magical evening of Jamaican culture on display, the exciting showcase, Taste Bits of Jamaica delighted patrons who came out to the Unique Weddings & Tours event last Friday September 10th, on the Rooftop of the Brooklyn Commons, 495 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225.
Supported by The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) Taste Bits of Jamaica was designed to showcase some of Jamaica’s most popular cultural elements, especially its food and music in an intimate setting and dozens came out for the experience. MCs for the evening, Andrew Clarke of Braata Productions and Annmarie Grant of the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies, (AFUWI) kept the audience entertained and apace with cultural customs and norms (some long forgotten) igniting much nostalgia throughout the evening’s proceedings. Patrons were challenged on their knowledge and could win prizes for naming Jamaica’s National Symbols; reciting a few lines from one of Louise Bennett’s (Ms. Lou’s) poems; giving the recipe for Jamaican Rice and Peas and even producing an item with Jamaican colors. With prizes from Anoz Spa, Club Kingston, Club Mobay, JTB and Bartenura, many were excited to put their cultural prowess to the test.
With rich and copious amounts of culinary offerings on hand, patrons were kept satiated; from jerk chicken and pork, pickled mackerel, escovitch fish, sautéed spicy herring, bammy, festival, fried dumpling, callaloo and breadfruit. The Jamaican Bar flowed with Red Stripe Beer, Appleton and J Wray & Nephew Rums, Stone’s Ginger Wine, Wincarnis Tonic Wine, and popular beverages such as Sorrel, Ginger beer, and Rum punch. Sweet treats such as Rum Cake, Black Cake, Potato Pudding, Gizzada, Grater Cake and Coconut Drops were on hand to satisfy dessert cravings.
Chef Baldwin Shields, owner/proprietor of Johnny Cakes tantalized the palates of patrons with the most delectable cheesecakes, featuring popular Jamaican flavors such as Jamaican Rum-Raisin, Blue Mountain Coffee and Sorrel. The cheesecakes were a big hit with patrons.
The evening’s entertainment was beautifully executed by the Skamatixx Band who performed a repertoire of Jamaica’s musical Journey from Mento, Ska to Reggae. They were accompanied by dancer Zakiya who took the audience through the dance moves of the various eras. Later on dub poet Atiba took to the stage and delivered moving renditions of his poems. His adaptation of the Ben E. King Classic, “When the night has come” was haunting and resonated deeply with the audience.
A moving video tribute to former JTB Representative Marcia Sinclair (now deceased) was introduced by Kim Morrison of Unique Weddings and Tours. She thanked Marcia for all the support she provided over the years.
“I had a rough year as a Cancer survivor during the pandemic,” said Kim Morrison producer of the event. “This was a great way for [me] and others (here and those watching online) to experience and relive aspects of Jamaica while we go through this period of reduced travel and activities. It was good to experience the warmth and good vibes of home right here in New York. I am glad I could make this happen and I am grateful to the community for the support.”
Taste Bits of Jamaica which was emerging from a one year hiatus due to the Covid-19 Pandemic was streamed live on www.bklyncommons.com Facebook Page.
Sponsors included: Jamaica Tourist Board, Western Union, Grace Foods USA, Club Kingston, Club Mobay, Brooklyn Commons, Jammins Productions, Trendy Tripping, Villa Gilgal, Villa Dora Mae, Knutsford Express, Five Star Watersports, Johnny Cakes, Bartenura, Flowers by AB, Tasty Delicious Restaurant, AFUWI and Anoz Spa.
Media Support was provided by WhatzUp TV, Honest Illusions Media, Bullzii Marketing, Groovin Radio, Caribbean Media Marketing Inc., (CMM) and Red Hot Radio.
For more information email [email protected] or call 718.693.1500
Part of the proceeds will be donated to the AFUWI Scholarship program.
Unique Weddings & Tours is a boutique agency with 30 years of experience, specializing in destination group travel, weddings, and customized celebrations. Their niche destinations are the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, Bermuda and The Islands of the Bahamas. They also offer full travel packages to other destinations such as, Hawaii, Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America for vacations, customized group trips, weddings and honeymoons. Their goal is to tailor the perfect package to suit your budget, making the experience most memorable for everyone.