Caribbean cuisine takes centre stage at JerkFest , Toronto, Canada

For 16 years, the Grace International Jerk Food & Music Festival has brought tantalizing tastes, mysterious flavours and captivating aromas of jerk food to Toronto.

Caribbean cuisine takes centre stage at JerkFest , Toronto, Canada

For 16 years, the Grace International Jerk Food & Music Festival has brought tantalizing tastes, mysterious flavours and captivating aromas of jerk food to Toronto.

TORONTO, ONT. (July, 2017) — For 16 years, the Grace International Jerk Food & Music Festival has brought tantalizing tastes, mysterious flavours and captivating aromas of jerk food to Toronto. 

This summer’s three-day JerkFest — from August 11-13 at Centennial Park in Etobicoke — will carry on the tradition of serving up a little taste of the Caribbean to the city. 

“Jerk cuisine is loved by many for its sheer tastiness, while also being treasured for its historical significance within Caribbean culture,” says Anthony Plummer, Festival Executive Director. “We’re going to have a lot of traditional jerk favourites that people have loved for years, as well as some interesting new twists to spice things up for visitors.”

Trends to look for this at next month’s festival include:

Techniques from Back Home

Jerk meat is believed to have been conceived when the Maroons introduced African meat cooking techniques to Jamaica which they combined with native Jamaican ingredients and seasonings used by the Arawak during colonial times. The method of smoking meat for a long period of time over fires made from the aromatic wood of the island's allspice trees served two practical purposes, keeping insects away from the raw meat and preserving it for longer once it has been cooked. Although meat preservation isn't a large concern today, jerk experts swear this process introduces the strong smoky flavor to the meat that they love.  

Jerk It Up

Chicken is most commonly associated with jerk cuisine, but at JerkFest be ready to find pork, beef, lamb, seafood, and vegetables prepared in delicious jerk fashion. 

Caribbean Meets Mediterranean

Celebrity Chef La-toya, has begun fusing her cooking style of traditional Caribbean ingredients together with Mediterranean flavours. Experience this mouth-watering journey with Caribbean flavours yourself in the Grace Foods Experience Tent on August 12 & 13. Chef La-toya will whip up signature dishes in live workshops each day at 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. 

Can't wait until JerkFest to indulge? Try this delicious Grace Foods Jerk Chicken recipe:  

INGREDIENTS: 

·       6 chicken breasts or thighs

·       3 tbsp. Grace Jerk Seasoning

·       2 tbsp. tomato ketchup

·       1 tsp. chopped garlic

·       1 tsp. chopped thyme

·       1 tsp. salt

·       1 tsp. black pepper

·       2 tbsp. soy sauce

·       3 tbsp. vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS: 

1.       Combine all ingredients together in a bowl, mix well and let marinate in fridge for four to 24 hours.

2.      Cook chicken in oven at 375˚F for 30 minutes, turning once. Chicken can also be cooked on the grill with medium heat, turning often until done.

3.      Serve and enjoy the delicious flavours of the Caribbean right at home. 

For more information on JerkFest, visit www.jerkfestival.ca, follow @JerkFestival on Twitter and JerkFest on Instagram, use the hashtags #jerkfest2017, #jerkfestTO and #GraceJerkFest, and like JerkFest on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jerkfestCanada.

About JerkFest 

JerkFest is an annual event celebrating jerk cuisine and Caribbean culture organized by not-for-profit organization Caribbean Promotions Arts & Culture Inc. It was initially started in 2002 to fill the void after the hype of Caribana and extend the Caribbean festive summer season. JerkFest has been voted by BlogTO as one of Toronto's top 50 must attend summer events in 2014 and 2015 and one of Ontario's top 100 festivals since 2011.   

Now in its 16th year, JerkFest has grown to be staple calendar event in Toronto and draws thousands of visitors each year. JerkFest 2017 will take place from August 11-13 at Centennial Park in Etobicoke. For more information, visit www.jerkfestival.ca