The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an agency of the Ministry of Youth and Culture has organized six regional Festival of Foods development workshops. The purpose of the workshops is to educate and sharpen the culinary creativity and skills of participants for personal and professional pursuits.
According to JCDC Culinary Specialist, Patrice Campbell, “the workshops have been promoting a spirit of excellence and professionalism among participants in the Festival of Foods competition which captures Jamaica’s rich culinary legacy. The participants are also encouraged to use local foods by combining them in attractive ways.”
Ms. Campbell also pointed out that participants are taught menu writing and recipe conversions. Live demonstrations are also done utilizing products of the competition’s main sponsor, Grace Kennedy to explore different ways of being creative in preparing a healthy balanced meal.
To date, workshops have been conducted in St. Mary, Clarendon, St. Ann and St. Elizabeth. The final two workshops will be held in Portland at the NEPA Board Room today (April 4) at 9: 30 a.m. and in Manchester on April 8 at the Ridgemount United Church Hall at 9: 30 a.m. Interested persons are asked to register with the JCDC office in the respective parishes.
Two regional Festival of Foods competition will be hosted this year, the Northern region on May 16 and the Central region on May 30. The regional finals will feature live competitions such as celebrity cook offs, Mystery Basket Cook Off and Table Setting and Napkin Folding competitions.
The JCDC Festival of Foods competition is staged annually and is open to individuals, schools, churches, universities and community groups and accepts entries in categories which include Main Dishes, Pastries, Beverages and Desserts among others.