They say the third time is always a charm and Bernet Spence hopes to charm the judges as well as tantalize their taste buds as he goes for three straight victories in this year’s Jerk Cook-Off Competition.
The Jerk Cook-off Competition is one of the highlights at the popular Jamaican Jerk Festival, presented by Air Jamaica, scheduled for Sunday, September 24 at Markham Park in Sunrise, Florida. The festival has rapidly
become one of South Florida’s premier Caribbean family events and is a celebration of authentic Jamaican Jerk.
Spence, who works for Miami-Dade Transit as a chief rail control manager, has a passion for Jerk and takes the competition very seriously. These last few weeks he has been busy fine-tuning his closely guarded, sure-fire, award-winning recipe to battle for the cash prize along with the coveted gold Dutch Pot (Dutchie) Trophy, plus serious bragging rights. Some believe that he was actually more thrilled with winning the golden Dutchie than with his cash prize last year.
Spence says that “Jerk is distinctly a unique Jamaican product; it is not just a food but it is a culture.” He creates his own jerk seasoning which he has been experimenting with for the past ten years. In the near future he plans to market his own brand of vacuum packed pre-seasoned Jerk Chicken under the brand Jerks & Spice and everything nice.
Entries are judged on elements of preparation such as taste, texture and tenderness, as well as elements of presentation such as garnish, table décor, and chef’s appearance. All count towards an entry’s total points.
This year’s panel of judges is Chef Marvin Woods famed host of “Home Plate” the number one show on Turner South network, as well as author of two best-selling cookbooks, Barbara Ellington from Jamaica, renowned food critic and connoisseur of fine dining, and DJ Irie, the official DJ of the 2006 NBA Champions the Miami Heat.
Prizes are: First place – $500 and the gold Dutch Pot trophy; second place – $250 and the silver Dutch Pot trophy; and third place – $100 and the bronze Dutch Pot trophy and, of course, bragging rights all around.
Entries are still being accepted and interested person can contact June Minto at 954-739-6618 or get entry forms at www.jerkfestival.com.
The Jamaican Jerk Festival is a fun-filled, all-day family outing with food, art and crafts, Western Union Cultural Heritage Village, games and rides, plus musical entertainment featuring Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, Ernie
Smith and Pluto Shervington & Company. Tickets are US$7 in advance from selected outlets; they are US$12 at the gate and include Broward County Parks fees of US$1.00 per person.
The Festival is produced by Ridims Marketing and Jamaica Awareness, Inc. and is sponsored by Western Union, Grace Foods, Maroone Toyota, Ting, D&G Sodas, People’s Telecom., Comcast Cable, Sun-Sentinel, CN Weekly and WAVS Radio.
For more information contact Riddims Marketing at 305- 891-1242 or online at