Jerk fest brings staycation to Williamsburg

Chef of the fest: Chef Michael Psilakis, known for his appearances on reality-television shows, organized the Caribbean and Reggae Jerk Festival for anyone who did not take vacation this summer. He will cook popular Jamaican dishes, such as jerk chicken for the festival.
The Hall MP

Wanderlusters rejoice — a 12-day festival has come to Williamsburg to bring the Caribbean to Brooklyn for weeks of music, food, and island vibes.

The “Caribbean Jerk and Reggae Festival” will give Brooklynite’s a local island-like vacation for the would-be travelers who could not make a Caribbean getaway this summer, said the festival’s organizer.

“For August we wanted to give people an excuse for a staycation this summer — so if they can’t get down to the Caribbean we decided to bring the Caribbean to them,” said reality-TV chef Michael Psilakis, and organizer of the indoor festival.

“Brooklyn is filled with a very eclectic bunch of music fans but there’s just something about reggae that gets a crowd together, chilling out and having a good time.”

During the festival, guests can buy popular Jamaican dishes, such as jerk chicken, and rice and peas, or a jerk chicken platter for $37 — all made by chef Psilakis. But do not let the price stray you away, festival planners say — the servings will be satisfying according to Psilakis.

“We’re restaurant people first so curating menus and price points is our business,” said Psilakis. “We emphasize value driven events so we try to keep the price as low as we can but moreover we make sure the portions are plentiful so people leave full and happy.”

Musical artists such as Top Shotta, Soul Junkies, Ras Majesty and the New Vibration, Challenger, and The Far East will perform on different days, and guests can gain entry to the festival by purchasing $15 ticket, and buying food including the platter which costs $27.

Organizers say the festival, which started on Aug. 4, should and has attracted general lovers of food and music, even with the Caribbean theme, according to Psilakis

“The opening weekend was awesome. People really seemed to like the vibe,” said Psilakis. “Anyone who likes music in general and tasty food should have a good time here. If you’re familiar with the music itself, all the better but not necessary.”

“Caribbean Jerk and Reggae Festival” at The Hall at MP [70 Driggs Ave bet. N. 10th and 1th streets in Williamsburg, www.thehallbrooklyn.com, (718) 387-4001]. Aug 25-27, Sept. 1-3. 7 pm. Admission $15.

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

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