JAMAICA’S TOP CHEF TO JERK CARIBBEAN WEEK

Jamaica’s top chef Brian Lumley is set to add his island flavor to the already spice-filled calendar of events planned during Caribbean Week in New York.

The reigning Chef of the Year will participate in the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s Celebrity Chef Program which includes an in-store cooking demonstration on June 4 at Bloomingdales.

Lumley, a Jamaican gourmet prodigy has been making his mark on the local and regional culinary landscape in recent years and is keen to participate in many activities.

In addition to the cooking demonstrations, Lumley will also serve as guest of the resident chef for CTO’s Allied Awards Luncheon on June 7 at The New Yorker Hotel.

A seasoned professional, Lumley has demonstrated excellence in his craft by winning the coveted Taste of Jamaica’s ‘Chef of the Year’ award in 2008 (the youngest chef ever to win this prestigious honor at age 21) and most recently in 2012.

“We are pleased that Chef Lumley is able to showcase our culturally rich cuisine which visitors have grown to love and appreciate,” John Lynch, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism said.

Of the menu Lumley plans, the tourism advocate said: “Our jerk cuisine is world renowned and we welcome the participation of our home grown chef Brian Lumley during Caribbean Week to serve up some of his favorite jerked delights.”

Caribbean Week runs from June 1-8 with a series of consumer and industry related events. They include: Students’ Colloquium at which Caribbean students studying at the tertiary level present sustainable tourism projects that are practical and can provide a sustainable source of income for Caribbean nationals; the Caribbean Diaspora Forum, developed in collaboration with the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Caribbean Media Marketplace where CTO member governments and private sector exhibitors interact with leading journalists from trade and consumer press; the Media Awards Luncheon where the organization honors journalists for their award winning features on the Caribbean; the Avalon Invest Caribbean Now Breakfast, the annual investment power forum on the Caribbean; and the Caribbean Marketing Conference & Awards Luncheon – organized by the CTO Allied members, where the latest cutting edge marketing trends are presented and people who have made significant contributions to the region’s tourism development are recognized.

The 7-day fest end with its most exciting signature event, Rum and Rhythm™, the Ultimate Caribbean Cultural and Epicurean Experience at Tribeca 360, 10 Desbrosses Street, New York, on June 7 from 6:30 P.M. to 10:30 P.M.

Television and film star, Tamara Tunie (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, As the World Turns, Flight) is the official spokesperson and will be present at some events.

PROGRESSIVE JAMAICANS SLATE FATHERS DAY EXTRA

Jamaica Progressive League Inc ., Jamaica’s 75-year-old patriotic organization plan a festive and celebratory Fathers Day Extravaganza on June 15 when “fatherhood and the extraordinary contributions of our men and their influence in our society” will be regaled.

The acclaimed oldest Caribbean organization in the United States is renowned for lauding individuals and groups that contributes to a better environment.

Next month’s event will find the Bronx-based group hailing dads at Newbold Community Center located at 1966 Newbold Ave. in the borough. Beginning at 7:30 p.m. entertainment will be provided by True Fun.

Laughter, surprises, prizes and dinner will dominate the proceedings that will benefit JPL’s Light St. headquarters. For more information call 347-524-8746 or 646-240-6610.

HOPE FOR KINGSTON PON DI RIVER

Hope seems abundant for the third annual Kingston Pon Di River Literary Art & Music Festival. For starters, the capital city event will be headlined by poet and radio personality Mutabaruka, AKA Allan Hope. And while hope was high for another staging of the newest and most popular gathering of scribes and intellectuals, organizers seemed late in presenting this year’s program.

However, what is now official is that for the first time in its three-year history the diverse fest will be held at Hope Botanical Gardens, the largest in the entire Caribbean. The 200-acre space in Liguanea Plains near Hope Pastures is acclaimed for its tranquil and alluring fauna. Officially known as the Royal Botanical Gardens (after a visit by Queen Elizabeth II) Hope is located at the foot of the Blue Mountains.

The urban park encompasses a range of habitats including meadows, cultivated flower gardens, birds and a natural pond. At the historic gardens: a cactus garden, an orchid house, an ornamental pond, a “Palm Avenue” of sago palms, greenhouses, a forest garden, bougainvillea walk, zoo, fountains, bandstand, poets corner, lily pond, plant nursery and Ashanti (vegetable) Gardens adorn the landscape. Hope River runs clear and an aqueduct nearby houses a reservoir that serve residents of the capital city. Performances will be held at the bandstand area. However, the entire surroundings will accommodate vendors and amenities. Scaled down from three days to a singular day of revelry on June 30, the attraction lures authors, educators, intellectuals, entertainers, students and nature lovers. Poetry, music, art, literature, food and culture will be prevalent. In addition to the celebrated, bare-footed personality also scheduled are performances from dub poet Cherry Natural, Gleaner writer Mel Cooke, saxophonist Michael Gayle, author Robert Lalaw, poetess Denise, I’Deyah Ricketts, Kingston Drummers, Charles Town Maroons, Tribe Sankofa, Akwaaba Drummers and an open mic segment. At dusk, the now-traditional bonfire will light the night-sky. Incidentally, Mutabaruka’s given name at birth is Allan Hope. Note that he has not acknowledged any relation to Major Richard Hope, an English estate owner for whom the garden is named. Major Hope allegedly helped the British gain possession of Jamaica from the Spanish in 1655.

Catch You On The Inside!

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