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Jamaican Chef Triumphs Over Bobby Flay In “Throwdown With Bobby Flay”

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Viewers may relive the victory while learning more about Jamaica’s culinary gift to the world – jerk cuisine – on August 23 @ 8:30 PM ET/PT; August 24 @ 3:30 AM ET/PT; and August 26 @ 4:00 PM ET/PT.

Jamaica’s own Nigel Spence, owner of Ripe Kitchen and Bar in Mount Vernon, New York and former Food Network intern, was proclaimed “King of Jerk” besting Bobby Flay, Food Network celebrity chef and personality during his popular show “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” that premiered on Sunday, August 12.

Flay surprised Spence with a challenge to determine who could create the best Jerk Rib Eye Steak by arriving at Spence’s restaurant unannounced, to the delight of fans who had already gathered around. As the two friends and colleagues joked around, Spence talked about his Jamaican roots and the impromptu competition began at Ripe.

When the smoke cleared and the food was plated, the two chefs proudly displayed their own versions of Jerk Rib Eye Steak dishes, to the two judges, Monroe College’s Daniel Hinder and Allan Vernon of Vernon’s Catering. After a couple of intense moments, both judges agreed that the Kingston, Jamaica native Spence had won.

The Mayor of the City of Mount Vernon, New York, The Hon. Ernest Davis expressed his pride for one of the city’s best chefs, “Ripe is one of the best restaurants in the entire county. The city is very proud of Nigel’s success as it is a testament to what hard work and talent can achieve. This is only just the beginning of exciting things for Nigel Spence and I am thrilled that Mt. Vernon boasts such a unique establishment, one that melds top class cuisine with great music and warm people.”
Spence said, “I am of course proud that the Food Network acknowledged the work that we have been doing at Ripe since we first opened in 2003, as well as the importance and popularity of Jamaican cuisine. Next to eating in Jamaica, it was great to be able to host Bobby Flay here. As he did not win, he’s always welcome to come back for a rematch or dinner….his choice!”

“I am honored to have gone up against Bobby in this challenge as he does represent the best in the world. The culinary ‘throw down’ with him was truly is one of the highlights of my career,” added Spence.

About the Jamaica Tourist Board
The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), founded in 1955, is Jamaica’s national tourism agency based in the capital city of Kingston. The JTB was declared the Caribbean’s Leading Tourist and Convention Bureau by the World Travel Awards (WTA) for 2006, while Jamaica earned the WTA’s vote as the World’s Leading Cruise Destination, the Caribbean’s Leading Destination and the Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Destination.

JTB offices are located in Kingston, Montego Bay, Miami, Toronto and London. Representative offices are located in Düsseldorf, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam and Tokyo.

Details of upcoming special events, attractions and accommodations in Jamaica are posted on the Jamaica Tourist Board’s Web site at www.visitjamaica.com.

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