How to Join Mario Batali at This Jamaican Food Festival


By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
CJ Travel Editor

If you love Jamaica, jerk, and jammin’ to some conscious vibes as much as we do, you’ll want to book your airfare and buy tickets right now to NyamJam, a food and music festival scheduled for Goldeneye in Oracabessa, November 13 to 14.

Conceived by Chris Blackwell and the team behind his Island Outpost collection of boutique hotels, and featuring celeb chefs including Mario Batali (who will co-host a three-course dinner for 150 people with Blackwell at Ian Fleming’s former villa on the GoldenEye estate on November 13), the first annual event is a celebration of Jamaica’s cuisine and vibrant music scene.

Between 1pm and 6pm on Saturday November 14, a food and music bazaar will be spread across the GoldenEye’s Bizot Lawn featuring push carts, rum bars, craft stalls and live cooking demonstrations from international chefs including Puerto Rico’s Jose Enrique and New York-based Chef April Bloomfield, as well as pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini, Seamus Mullen and Rohan Marley.

They’ll show off their skills alongside some of the best of Jamaica’s culinary talent, including Suzanne and Michelle Rousseau, Colin Hylton, Gariel Ferguson, Oji Jaja and Celeste Gordon. Local purveyors including Stush in the Bush, Miss T’s Kitchen, Busha Browne and WalkersWood will be on site, and jazz guitarist Ernie Ranglin and Grammy-winning singer Angelique Kidjo will perform, offering diners music to munch by.

That evening, chefs Batali, Bloomfield, Enrique, Mullen and Iuzzini will prepare a five-course meal presenting their interpretations of Jamaica’s culinary culture, using ingredients grown exclusively by local farmers and Island Outpost’s own 2,500-acre farm, Pantrepant. The feast for 300 guests will be followed by an intimate surprise musical performance.