Crowds come out for local food festival

William Howard, left, president of the West Indian American Carnival Association, and Jean P. Alexander, founder of the Caribbean American Center of New York, at the annual Ground Provisions and Curry Queue fundraiser in Flatlands.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Hundreds of people packed a backyard for the second annual Ground Provisions and Curry Queue Festival in Flatlands on June 25.

The fundraising event organized by the Caribbean American Center of New York were serving buying guests with jerk chicken, ground provision foods, such as potatoes, plantains, and yuca, and even a huge pig roast and seafood that guests there were more than delighted by.

“The jerk roasted pig — and the curry shrimp was a hit, a major hit,” said Jean P. Alexander, organizer and founder of the Caribbean American Center of New York.

Non-stop crowds were buying a different array of Caribbean dishes including jerk pig, stewed fish, and plenty of vegetables. Now in its second year, the fundraiser sells food to raise money for important causes such as education.

“It was a fundraiser for our back to school program,” said Alexander. “We have to buy school supplies to children whose parents can’t afford.”

The festival raised more money than last year, according to organizers, even having guests continuing to arrive after it was over.

“We stayed up until 9 o’clock and people were still coming,” said Alexander. “Some more people wanted to come after 9 pm but were dead tired.”

Alexander is looking forward to the third festival next year which will be more inclusive of other Caribbean foods and a name change.

“Next year we are going to call it Caribbean Food Festival,” said Alexander. “We are going to have each person from one of those islands make their speciality, so it can be a nice array of Caribbean food.”

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected]

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