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Culinary Artistry and Fierce Competitions at Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, DC

Written by Staff Writer

Foodies with the appreciation for a variety of tastes, from the lovers of rustic flavors to those with a more sophisticated palate, will find something culinary spectacular to enjoy at the staging of 1st annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival in Washington, DC on Sunday, June 19. June is celebrated as Caribbean-American Heritage Month and the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival DC will highlight the food, music and culture of the Caribbean for all to enjoy as part of the month-long celebrations.

At the very core of this celebration of fun, family and fellowship is the world-renowned Jerk, the unique Jamaican method of seasoning and grilling with all its spice and flavors. The Festival offers a topnotch display of culinary artistry, whether in the fiercely fought cooking competitions, the informative cooking demonstrations, or the infinite variety of foods for patrons to enjoy.

The Grace Culinary Pavilion is the hot spot where seasoned chefs and celebrities will showcase their cooking skills and patrons are invited to stop by for a feast for the eyes, nose and the tastebuds! This is where Chef Irie Spice, the Festival’s resident chef and host of Taste the Islands TV show aired on PBS, will be demonstrating the preparation of several tasty jerk dishes. 2015 Miami Cook-off Champion David Stample – personal celebrity chef to Wyclef Jean and his music label Heads Music will also be showcasing his skills as he competes against Chef JR Robinson – well-known DC celebrity chef.

In the Celebrity Quick Fire Challenge dubbed The Battle of the Broadcasters, radio personality Donna Powell – host of Caribbean Affairs – WEAA 88.9 FM in Baltimore and Chardelle Moore, TV personality and producer at Fox – Baltimore will trade their microphones for aprons as they test their cooking chops in this fierce competition. These ladies know their way around the kitchen and promise to impress the judges and the audience with their hot jerk dishes.

The contestants will be going all out as they compete for the coveted golden Dutch Pot Trophy and bragging rights. “We are turning up the heat in Washington, DC for our inaugural year and all of our competitors are ready and raring to go, commented June Minto, coordinator of the Culinary Pavilion. “We expect big things from this crew and can’t wait to see what they bring to the table,” Minto encourages everyone to arrive early and partake in the food festivities. “Don’t miss it! The entertainment and cooking frenzy jumps off at 12:30 p.m. Hope to see you there!” she says.

Additional festival activities will include an extensive Food Village that’s a destination in itself, an Interactive Sponsor’s Row, a Kids Zone and a Cultural Stage with traditional folk, oral presentations and up-coming artists. Main Stage entertainment will feature veteran reggae star Freddie McGregor, young hit maker Christopher Martin, female sensation Ikaya, Barbados’ soca star Edwin Yearwood, the talented No-Maddz band and DC’s popular Image Band along with DJ G-Nice.

Advance tickets are $20 and are available online at www.DCJerkFestival.com and selected Caribbean retail outlets. Kids 12 and under will be admitted free. Day of event tickets will be $30. Gates open at 12:00 PM and the fun and gastronomic experiences continue until 9:00 PM. So come early and bring the entire family for a “Taste of Fun!” and an awesome Caribbean experience!

The Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, DC is presented by the Institute of Caribbean Studies and produced by Jamaican Jerk Festival NY, LLC in association with VP Records. Sponsors are The Jamaica Tourist Board and Digicel.

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Staff Writer