Jamaican food festivals worth leaving the beach for

Whether you’re a devotee of jerk chicken or a fan of juicy pork on a sugar-cane skewer, get off the beach chair and make a beeline for the bites and brews at one of Jamaica’s many palate-pleasing food festivals. Homemade white pasta sauce from scratch From chefs who fire up their grills at roadside huts and no-frills seaside shacks where the catch of the day is buttered to perfection, to rock star chefs whisking and wowing in gourmet restaurants, a day at a Jamaican food festival hits the vacation sweet spot like rum and reggae on a sunny afternoon.

High above the coffee-famous Blue Mountains and down the road from the movie-famous Blue Lagoon, Port Antonio on the northeast coast is the birthplace of the jerk style of grilling meat slowly over a low fire. Rose sauce for pasta recipe In the non-touristy parish of Portland, chefs marinate meat in the holy trinity of jerk; allspice berry, thyme and the wickedly hot wrinkly red pepper called a scotch bonnet.


Tomato pasta sauce with bacon A jerk lover’s mainstay for fourteen years, save the date for the Portland Jerk Festival kicking up the heat from 10 a.m. Sauce for pasta and meatballs to 10 p.m. Homemade red sauce for pasta on Sunday, July 3 at Folly Estate. Homemade pasta sauces from scratch Aficionados arrive early to cheer on the cooks and sample the lip-searing tin-foil wrapped lobster, sausage, pork and chicken. Homemade spaghetti sauce made from scratch For non-carnivores, veggies done jerk-style with sides like rice and peas, yams and roasted breadfruit do a plate proud. Homemade garlic sauce for pasta Cool it down with an icy cold Red Stripe and stay all day for the live music that is as hot as the jerk. Homemade fresh tomato pasta sauce recipe www.visitjamaica.com

Every year on the second Sunday in July (this year on July 10), the throwback fishing village on the south coast called Alligator Pond hosts the Little Ochie Seafood Carnival. Making a sauce for pasta Unlike the crowded northwest shoreline that fronts the resorts in Montego Bay, Alligator Pond, named for the shape of the mountains which looks like an alligator’s back, is more about fishing than it is about partying. Easy homemade spaghetti meat sauce recipe Fishermen catch the island’s freshest as fish fans take a seat at the weathered cook shops and bars that line the sandy shoreline. Recipe for homemade spaghetti sauce from scratch The perfect side to a food festival on the beach, a reggae party keeps foodies on their feet till the wee hours. Making pasta sauce from scratch www.littleochie.com

The culinary antidote to the clamor of the hotel buffet tables, Montego Bay Jerk Festival on July 31 and August 1 is the real deal for platters of fiery slabs of jerk. Tomato pasta sauce slimming world Heating up the Catherine Hall Entertainment Center on Howard Cooke Boulevard, two dozen stands are manned by jerk chefs from all over the island. Homemade tomato and chilli pasta sauce Also on the menu this year, cook-off contests, Kiddies Village and groovy concerts on the grand stage. Easy homemade tomato sauce for pasta http://montegobayjerkfestival.com

A magnet for meat lovers, All Jamaica Grill Off is more like a giant barbecue in your neighbor’s backyard than a food festival in the capital city. Homemade pasta sauce with canned tomatoes First held in 2007 on the lawn of the American International School, the day-long festival held in the beginning in July is must-do for grill fans who come for unlimited sampling of pork, beef and chicken slathered in fruity hot sauces, skewered on sugar cane and dry-rubbed in a melange of herbs and spices. The best homemade pasta sauce In the picturesque Hope Gardens, also popular for weddings and Sunday strolls, Grill Off is “eat till your belly buss” fun and serious business for creative chefs vying for big prizes. Homemade pasta sauce from scratch www.visitjamaica.com

Jamaica’s version of Miami’s wildly popular South Beach Wine and Food Festival heats up a variety of hotels and restaurants in Kingston from October 26- 30. Easy homemade spaghetti sauce using fresh tomatoes Jamaica Food & Drink Festival lets hungry locals and tourists sample the best recipes from thirty celebrity chefs, taste-test artisanal cocktails and chow down at the crowd pleasing Pork Palooza , at the food truck party called Meet Street and at the Skewers and Spirits soiree for those who like prime cuts , seafood and cocktails. Homemade pasta sauce with fresh tomatoes http://jafoodanddrink.com

Celebrating the jerk style of cooking chicken, CB Pan Chicken Championship is the largest food event on the island, attracting 60,000 chicken fans to a series of competitions that start in August and wrap up the last week in October with the grand finale. Easy homemade pasta sauce with canned tomatoes Along the waterfront in downtown Kingston, the championships are free to watch and open to the public. Recipe for homemade pasta sauce from scratch The major chicken brand in the country, CB which was formerly known as Caribbean Broilers, sponsors the contest that invites chefs who use those big steel jerk drums that send fragrant smoke billowing in the air. Easy homemade tomato pasta sauce A fan favorite for more than a decade, the all-chicken affair is family fun with fireworks on the water and platters of the best jerk chicken on the island. White sauce recipe for pasta in hindi www.visitjamaica.com