October 29, 2020

Raising the stakes in Cayman Islands

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From jamaica ObserverBy Omar Tomlinson From Jamaica Observer

The year’s most exciting culinary event is back. In just under two months’ time, the Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards will return to the East Lawns of Devon House for its 17th staging on Thursday, May 28. It is tagged ‘The Stakes Are Higher’ given the regional expansion of the brand to Trinidad in 2013, and Cayman later this year, where that island’s inaugural Observer-branded gastronomy-celebrating ceremony will be hosted.

Back home, last Monday evening, Kingston’s chic check-in spot the Spanish Court Hotel was the meeting point where sponsors, Observer execs, and a hand-picked cadre of food enthusiasts gathered for the launch of the hot-ticket calendar event.

The hotel’s Valencia Room, impeccably styled by Tai Flora with tablescapes of lit votive candles offset by floral arrangements of yellow roses, white lilies and orange and yellow mokara orchids, made a scenic backdrop for the evening’s formalities.

Guests settled into comfy white couches dotted with throw pillows, nibbling on Spanish Court-catered fare, and enjoying verbal jostling over libations from the bar.

Observer managing director Danville Walker led off the proceedings, and in trademark humourous fashion, documented his first-hand taste (and multiple helpings) of the top-notch restaurants visited during his recent trip to launch the Observer Food Awards in Cayman.

In her address, Table Talk Food Awards conceptualiser and Observer Senior Associate Editor Novia McDonald-Whyte reiterated the need for the Caribbean region to celebrate more than being tourist destinations of sun, sand and sea, but also trumpet its culinary prowess too.

Digicel Marketing Director Peter Lloyd, fresh from his company’s headline-grabbing ‘ambush’ moment at last weekend’s Boys’ and Girls’ athletic championships, took to the podium to announce that his company will sponsor a new component to this year’s Food Awards – an interactive element dubbed #FAInstafare that invites smartphone-shot, high-quality food pictures to be submitted by Digicel users. A judging panel comprising Lloyd, photographers and Michael Gordon, and advertising guru will determine the winner.

The launch event also introduced another new element to the 2015 Food Awards — ambassadors who will represent the island’s 14 parishes. The parish ambassadors Dr Claudine Lewis (St James) Marina Delfos and Janet Crick (Trelawny) ( Camille Shields (Manchester), Andrea and Axel Wichterich (St Elizabeth) Michael Erskine (Westmoreland) Howard Pottinger (St Mary) Andrew and Lucy Salm (St Ann) Aram Zerunian (Hanover) Jon Baker (Portland) James Robertson (St Thomas) Kurt and Ezmine Chin (Clarendon) Dwight Scott (St Catherine) Nevada Powe and Rachael Barrett (Kingston & St Andrew) will highlight popular culinary spots and hidden gems in their respective parishes by way of penning reviews that will appear in the Observer’s weekly Thursday Life food section.

For the 17th year of the Observer’s culinary celebration, the stakes have been raised, indeed.

IMAGE: Digicel marketing director Peter Lloyd (centre), celebrated photographer Peter Ferguson (left) and watercolour artist and advertising guru Patrick Waldemar were announced as judges of the #FAInstaFare competition — a lead-up promotional component of this year’s Food Awards that will invite Digicel network users to submit high-quality food photos from their cellphones; the five 1st-place weekly winners from each category will compete in a final category. The ultimate winner from this category will be announced at the 17th staging of The Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards on Thursday, May 28, 2015. The judges will assess submitted smartphone food pictures based on composition, use of light, attention to detail, and creativity. Keep reading your Jamaica Observer for more information. The competition kicks off on Monday, April 13.

For more on this story and video go to: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/magazines/food/Raising-The-Stakes_18678895

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