JerkFest – favourite of the ‘chewsy’

JerkFest – favourite of the ‘chewsy’

By Gerald V. Paul

It’s summer in the city and once again Toronto’s most flavourful food festival shows if you can name it, you can … jerk it!

Fuh real, this Saturday and Sunday inside Centennial Park at the base of the ski hills from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day.

Spice up your weekend at the 13th annual JerkFest, presented by sponsor Grace Kennedy, as this outdoor festival celebrates the tantalizing flavor of jerk cuisine, from the traditional jerk chicken and pork to exotic meats like alligator, kangaroo and moose.

Musical dishes? There are Fab 5 (international recording band), award-winning Pan Fantasy steel pan group and Destiny Band.

“I started JerkFest to build and strengthen the Caribbean community in the Greater Toronto Area,” founder Anthony Plummer said. “Having recently moved to the city, I was asking friends about local events and was surprised that with all the cultural food festivals in the city none were dedicated to delicious jerk cuisine.

“JerkFest brought our community together by letting us celebrate and share our unique Caribbean culture and cuisine which we are so proud of. Each year the festival grows because Canadians from all cultural backgrounds have discovered a love for jerk,” Plummer said at their media launch.

Voted one of Ontario’s top 100 festivals by Festival and Events Ontario (FEO) three years in a row and dubbed one of Toronto’s top 10 food events of the summer by BlogTO, it comes as no surprise that the festival is celebrating its 13th anniversary, and anticipates more than 60,000 visitors.

New to this year’s festival is JerkFest merchandise, for sale online on event day.

Admission to the festival is free. Proceeds raised will support St. John’s Ambulance, the Ontario Domino Association and the JerkFest scholarship fund.

Event organizers, Caribbean Promotions Inc., anticipate awarding six post-secondary scholarships valued at $500 to $1,000 this year. All non-perishable food items will be donated to the Knight’s Table.