Of all the parishes of Jamaica, Kingston & St Andrew are the parishes admittedly least known for their typical island perks, with only a few true beaches shared between them both. Kingston like most metropolitan cities has no shortage of events that promise to entertain. One such event is the Kingston Kitchen. Now in its eleventh year, this foodie haven is a family-friendly event that somehow manages to keep food lovers chomping down for hours.
The amazing graze – What I had at Kingston Kitchen Year 11
If you’re not a huge fan of food this concept might seem strange but I like to think of the Kingston Kitchen Food Festival as a massive grazing table. The aim is to try little bits and bobs from as many purveyors that strike your eye. And that I did!
Breaking tradition for the first time, my first stop was a lemonade stand but this wasn’t your regular lemonade. The lemonade here was infused with other fruit flavours like lychee and lemon grass and strawberry making it the perfect entry and dare I say palate cleanser into the festival’s activities on a warm summer afternoon.
Typically I like to start with an appetizing soup from Soup King. Often choosing between chicken, crayfish and one other version and always picking the crayfish soup. Without disappointment, I was able to down that deliciousness and make my way to my next stop.
I tried Chef Shakeir’s Coconut Chicken fingers, followed by Sheriff’s Gourmet BBQ Ribs. Stopped by Pop Lab to cool off with a fruity popsicle. Decided to finish the night off with 5 Spiced loaded nacho fries with a mango ginger lemonade with a shot of rum from Cannonball Cafe.
What happened at Kingston Kitchen 2023?
Setting the Stage for a Foodie Paradise
The ambience was set from the moment I stepped foot into Hope Gardens where Kingston Kitchen 2023 took place. The park was beautifully adorned with colourful decorations, live music filling the air, and an electric buzz of excitement amongst the attendees. A celebration of local food, art, and music, the event offered a holistic experience that catered to all the senses.
A Kaleidoscope of Flavors
The heart of Kingston Kitchen 2023 was undoubtedly the diverse array of food vendors that lined the park. From traditional Jamaican dishes to contemporary fusions, the choices seemed endless. I found myself indulging in meatier options each meal bursting with authentic spices and ingredients that left my taste buds dancing with delight.
Cultural Immersion and Warm Hospitality
One aspect that truly stood out was the warmth and friendliness of the vendors. Each food stall was manned by passionate chefs and cooks eager to share the stories behind their dishes and the cultural significance of the ingredients they used. It wasn’t just a meal; it was a cultural exchange.
To complement the feast, an enticing array of beverages was available. From freshly squeezed tropical fruit juices to inventive cocktails with a Jamaican twist, there was something for everyone.
Entertainment and Vibrant Atmosphere
The entertainment at Kingston Kitchen 2023 was just as captivating as the food. Local musicians and dancers took the stage, infusing the event with the spirit of Jamaica. People danced freely, embracing the laid-back vibe that Jamaica is famous for. The communal atmosphere meant you were sure to run into someone you knew.
A Few Minor Hiccups
While the event was undoubtedly a success, there were a couple of minor hiccups that are worth mentioning. Due to its immense popularity, some food stalls had long queues, leading to wait times that tested even the most patient foodies. Additionally, with so many delicious options to choose from, it was a bit overwhelming, and I wish I had more stomach space to sample everything!
Kingston Kitchen 2023 was an absolute treat for anyone with a passion for food and culture. It showcased the culinary prowess of Jamaica, paying homage to its roots while embracing modern influences. If you ever find yourself in Jamaica’s capital city during the summer, make sure to mark your calendar for a taste bud-tickling experience that will leave you craving more.
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