Jamaica Epicurean Escape is on Board for Labour Day Weekend

The 2014 staging of the Gleaner-sponsored Jamaica Epicurean Escape (JEE) will take place between Thursday 22 May and Sunday 25 May at the Grizzly’s Plantation Cove (GPC), formerly Richmond Estate, in Priory St Ann. Marcia McDonnough, festival manager disclosed this information at the launch which took place at Countryside Club on Courtney Walsh Drive on Wednesday night to a wide cross-section of guests including representatives of corporate Jamaica, the media and the culinary sector.

As it did at the inaugural event in 2012, the JEE will showcase a number of premier local and international chefs as well as several chefs in training. The festival will feature restaurants, caterers, specialty shopping, fine wines, beers, great entertainment plus the opportunity to participate in interesting seminars, cooking demonstrations and competitions. The event’s patron profile includes foodies, young professionals, music and art lovers, tourists on the island, visitors to the island who love food/wine and the Jamaican diaspora. As a family event bringing children is not only welcome but encouraged.

Marcia McDonnough, festival manager, noted that “the last event attracted some 3,000 patrons of which 10 per cent were visitors to Jamaica and another 10 per cent the clients of sponsors who used the event as a customer appreciation platform. With an intensified marketing and public relations campaign, we anticipate an increase in numbers”.
Ms. McDonnough added that the event has “been fortunate to secure repeat sponsorship from some of our previous partners including Grizzly’s Plantation Cove, The Jewel Resorts, Courts, GCG Events, The Gleaner,  GasPro, and RIU Hotels. The Jamaica Tourist Board has also joined our team of sponsors for 2014. Several additional companies have expressed an interest in coming on board and we will announce these as soon as arrangements have been finalized”.

And, the plans for 2014? In line with our ultimate vision for the festival which involves a rounded and interesting line up of activities and seamless execution”, says event communications manager Maxine McDonnough. “we will ensure that the details of our seminars, chef demonstrations and entertainment programmes are promoted early enough to allow patrons to properly schedule their attendance in keeping with their particular interests. Our advertising will also speak in more specific terms to the offerings and be very targeted in advising the public of each of our events and programmes for 2014.

We also hope to introduce one or two new elements into the festival. Our premier hotel partner the Jewel Resort and Spa will host a formal five-course dinner, dubbed Silks and Tails on Thursday 22 May. Ten top chefs will create different elements of the gourmet meal to be offered and only 80 individuals will be able to purchase these tickets.  International recording artist, the award winning Ms. Melba Moore will perform at this event.

On Friday 23 May, we present an afternoon into night food-inclusive party on the cove which will feature everything jerked, grilled, braised and barbecued.  Chefs specializing in these methods of cooking will be invited to show off their skills and popular DJs, will set the stage for non-stop dancing.

On Saturday 24 May and Sunday 25 May the Festival will bring together a cadre of chefs and caterers to offer a variety of specially created menus that will showcase a mixture of Jamaican, International and Caribbean cuisines. Patrons will be able to sample from over 32 food stations as well as several hotel gourmet booths.  “ The tagline for the JEE is Escape, Discover and Indulge and this is what we encourage our patrons to do…escape for the weekend, discover new tastes and styles of cooking, and indulge  in gourmet delights that we will have to offer” remarked Ms McDonnough. This year in addition to Jamaican chefs the JEE will feature chefs and food from Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Toronto, the USA, Panama with more to be announced.

The JEE team, which includes Marcia McDonnough, Maxine McDonnough, Mike Creary, Robert Bryan, Nicole Brown and Kamau Janai, is moving into high gear as they pull the threads together into the vibrant tapestry that is JEE.

Be sure to save the dates 22-25 May to enjoy one of the island’s premier family events. For more information visit www.jamaicaepicureanescape. Twitter @jaepicurean, #escapediscoverindulge, Facebook and Instagram @jaepicurean,
 Contact:          Maxine McDonnough; E-mail: mmcdonnough@msn.com; Tel: 833-6447
                        Kamau Janai; Email: kamau_janai@hotmail.com; Tel: 857-0903; 702-3877