Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mother of All Jerk Festivals

The 14th Best Dressed Chicken Portland Jerk Festival

Exploring the ‘Origins of Jerk’, at the internationally renowned Best Dressed Chicken Portland Jerk Festival continues to be an innovator of blending music with the time honored tradition of Jerk. Scheduled for Sunday, July 7 at the historic Folly Ruins in Port Antonio, the Best Dressed Chicken Portland Jerk Festival offers patrons a unique experience of extraordinary and exquisite Jerk cuisine for the past 14 years.

The event which outgrew its previous venue in Boston Park several years ago and now calls Folly Ruins its home which offers better parking faculties and mores space on the festival grounds. Traditionally held on the first Sunday in July the Best Dressed Chicken Portland Jerk Festival received many visitors from around the world all interested in the tasty Jerk attractions. “Over the 14 years, Tourists and Jamaican diasporas have planned their vacation, around the Portland Jerk Festival date, it’s an event something that visitors and Jamaicans look forward to,” says Kasey Bourne, Chairman of 21st Century 20/20 Vision Foundation presenters of the Best Dresses Chicken Portland Jerk Festival.

Still bearing the theme, the ‘Origins of Jerk’, the festival will display a vast variety of Jerk foods from seafood to meats and vegetarian – catering to every need. The promoters have dubbed the cuisine the ‘healthy fast food’ emphasizing the care taken in ensuring the best for their patrons who will be treated to booths of chicken, pork, lamb, conch, fish, lobster, shrimp, squid, goat, deer, yam, breadfruit, ackee and saltfish, vegetables and more all Jerked.

“When we say everything Jerk we mean it, there are awards for the Most Creative Jerk Dish and Jerk Sauce that goes to one of the vendor. It gets harder and harder every year to judge as each vendor comes with something truly original. We have seen and tasted everything from Jerk Vegetables, Jerk Deer, Jerk Chips and in the past Jerk Beer Marinades has won the prize for best sauce. This is the only time of year that at one venue, in one location patrons can have anything they can think of that can be jerked, unique Jerk sauces and marinades that are not available in a regular restaurant that sells Jerk but only at the festival” Bourne highlighted.

In addition to enjoying the delightful meals the organizers will, through their partnership with the Culinary Federation of Jamaica, share important tips during three 30 minute food demonstrations to be held during the event.

Celebrating its 14th Anniversary, the festival will feature performances by chart topping veteran artiste Mr. Vegas, Alaine, the group One Third, Spoken Word artiste and native of Portland Raquel Jones. Iconic
festival song winners Roy Rayon, Eric Donaldson, Tinga Stewart and Gospel Song winner Lubert Levy will definitely sing some anthems from years past also a special presentation by the 2013 JCDC Gospel Song Finalists.

Kasey Bourne, also a member of the organizing committee, promises that the event will exceed all expectations commenting that the organizers are working on producing the best event in the 14 year history, “We are improving the production making the venue more comfortable for patrons, organizing the vendor stall and craft areas to connect with the entertainment resulting in a better overall experience and improve on the international standards the festival is known for”.

Produced by the 20/20 Vision 21st Century Foundation in association with the Art of Music Productions, producers of the annual Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival, the event is endorsed by the Jamaica Tourist Board and Best Dressed Chicken as one geared at positively promoting brand Jamaica to the world. The journey started in 1999 as an effort to promote the famous ‘Portland Jerk’ culture both locally and internationally. The Best Dressed Chicken Portland Jerk Festival takes over the Folly Ruins in Portland on Sunday, July 7.

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