Local celebrities, professional chefs and amateurs are set to fire up their grills and compete for cash, prizes and bragging rights in the Jerk Cook Off, one of the many activities scheduled for the inaugural NY staging of the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival.
The event is set for Sunday, July 24 at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens. Participants in the jerk-off will be required to provide everything they need for cooking, and each entrant must prepare any three dishes from four categories. The obvious categories are jerk chicken and jerk pork. But there is also a seafood category, and a fourth that includes beef, mutton, lamb, vegetable or vegetarian items such as tofu or veggie meat.
Contestants will be awarded points on presentation, chef’s appearance, neatness of work area, taste, texture and tenderness of their food, and the “want more factor”, as they concoct an array of drooling jerk recipes, imbuing the New York air with a collage of aromatic herbs and spices, guaranteed to tease your taste buds. The victor will win $500 in cash and the prestigious Dutch Pot trophy while runners up and third place finishers will be awarded $250 and $100, respectively.
Adding to the culinary presentation will be Grace Cooking Expert, Chef Mazie Miller, showcasing the use of the brands products in creating several tasteful jerk recipes. South Florida-based celebrity chef Irie Spice (Hugh Sinclair) will also perform creative cooking demonstrations and sampling for patrons. Irie Spice has won various awards for his cooking skills, and he has appeared on NBC 6 Today Show in South Florida and ABC’s channel 10.
“I have observed the excitement and the passion that this event generates,” coordinator of the competition June Minto commented. “Our competitors return to compete, not necessarily for the cash but for the fun they have doing this, and I am sure New York will be an incredible experience.”
Advance tickets are $20 and available online a JerkFestivalNY.com.