Crisp Fare + Beer at JFDF


The Jamaica Food and Drink Festival (JFDF) Event dubbed as Crisp brought us Downtown Kingston on Thursday last, on the Waterfront.

Crisp is the event where a variety of foods and desserts are fried to get that perfect crunch and offers an interesting take the way some of our favorite foods are prepared. When Haute People arrived on location, the pulsating reggae beats invaded the familiar smell of foods that filled the venue with its ambrosial suggestions. We knew we were in for a treat!

The signature "Crisp" directional sign with it's brightly colored wooden arrows which displayed the name of each Chef/ Restaurant made it easier for us to decide what we would be trying first. 

Up first was Alexa Von Strolley with her Beef Tenderloin Chilaquiles with Salsa Verde, Port Reduction, Cilantro Garlic Crema topped with a Radish and Avocado Relish which was absolutely delicious! The beef was perfectly cooked and seasoned and the flavors of the salsa verde and cilantro garlic cream really brought everything together! 

Not too far from Alexa was "boy wonder" Chef Theo Smith who served up his delightful Karaage Chicken served on Jasmine Rice topped with pickled Bell Peppers & drizzled with Sriracha Aioli. I thought this was a typical fried chicken with fancy sauce but boy was I wrong! I don't know what Chef Theo put in that sauce but it was the perfect combination of spicy and raunchy and the way it sat on that bed of Jasmine was perfection! My taste buds were certainly tantalized!

Chef Trevanne Donegal was up next which took us on an epicurean journey to Greece with her "Scotchie and Santorini" which featured Herb Marinated Prawns wrapped in Kataifi and Fried until Crisp and Served with Scotch Bonnet Spiced Tzatziki. This was my first time having a meal from Chef Trevanne and it was definitely one of my favorites of the night --it is said the secret to flavourful shrimp is in the marinade and Chef Trevanne found the secret!

We then decided to sneak in a quick dessert and headed over the National Baking Company booth where we saw the charismatic Chef Haleem Card and his Deep-fried Chox. It had the perfect crunch on the outside but just the right amount of softness in the middle that made it quite delightful! It was sweet, chocolatey and topped with a rum sauce that brought back childhood memories of Sunday Dessert.

On the other side of the venue were: Grace Kitchen ft Chef Shea Stewart, Utech Desserts, Cellar 8 with Ramesh Maragh and Dale Delisser. 

High on our list was Pink Apron as they are always a crowd favorite and they did not disappoint! This time they partnered with CB Foods and had on their menu Blow Wow Chicken bites tossed in a spicy guava sauce. This reminded me of a crispy-spicy version of General Tso chicken as it had the perfect balance of sweet yet tangy with a kick of spice from the guava sauce. It was an interesting taste where the flavors seemed to dance on the tip of my tongue.  This was served in make-shift cones which made it easy to catch a few snaps without struggling with a plate! Pink Apron was a win for us!

JFDF Crisp was an amazing event that offered an interesting take on some of my favorite dishes! Adding a little crunch to any dish can make all the difference! 

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