May 26, 2011

Smashing, 2011 Foodie Seminar in Jamaica

Hi! We are back with a post about The Observer's Foodie Seminar. Jamaica's #1 newspaper for 'Everyday Matters' along with event sponsors offered the seminar FREE of cost to Food and Beverage-industry people. The event was very informative, inspirational and well-supported. This year's guest presenters were: -
  • Food Network Canada's Everyday Exotic, Roger Mooking;
  • Kingston Live Entertainment Group (KLE);
  • Paula Kerr-Jarrett, Event planner and attorney-at-law and
  • Main Event Limited

In honor of Roger Mooking's Trini roots at this Jamaican event, steel pan music and reggae beats arranged by Dave James (Island Boy) were used as background music for our 3-min video blog. Rock and Dip. Grab a bite. Enjoy!

Read more about the presentations: -

Roger Mooking
Roger Mooking with Ed Khoury, C.E.O of Jamaica Observer
The engaging chef and musician was born in Trinidad and Tobago and migrated at 5years old with his family to Toronto, Canada. Roger Mooking is the first chef to have a direct deal with Food Network and will also be co-hosting an upcoming food show called 'Heat Seekers' with Chef Aaron Sanchez (best known from Chopped). NOTE: Roger is arguably the first Caribbean chef to enter the Kitchen Stadium for an Iron Chef battle. The episode will air this Sunday, May 29th (Save the date!!!).
  1. Mooking's immediate family had a 'hand' for cooking and he also possessed the 'will' to want that special gift, had the 'desire' for it and was similarly blessed.
  2. Like Oprah, Roger Mooking believes one ought not have as many blessings and not share it. "After all, helping people is what life is about!" This motivates him.
  3. While honing his culinary skills, Mooking had a negative interaction that fueled his ambitions to do great things. (Oprah-styled, baby). His personal story reminded the audience to persevere despite obstacles and naysayers, keep an eye on 'the prize', 'practice, practice and practice' and 'help' people as much as possible. As a testament to his success Everyday Exotic (on the Cooking Channel) is now 3years old and broadcasts to approx. 400million persons across the world. 
  4. Without a doubt, Roger Mooking has broken the 'glass ceiling' and is a role model for Caribbean people. His pearls of wisdom to culinary aspirants included "Peeling bags of carrot builds character!", "Be the best and undeniably so" and "If you don't love it, GET OUT!"
  5. Mooking is just as passionate about his cooking as he is with his music. That's right the Caribbean national is also a recording artist who performed with the late James Brown and now wants to be a lifestyle brand. To make this a reality, Roger recently signed with Chris Smith Management Inc and Odessa Chambers, a successful entertainment executive and Jacqui Sinclair (Juicy Chef).
As a take away we asked Roger Mooking "How can we make Caribbean food 'hip' and healthy without compromising flavors?" His response: "Moderation and balance are key. Use what makes the food tastes good and if it's the last meal, man, it better be great :-)" Roger can be contacted via twitter @rogermooking or

KLE Group: Creation of Tracks and Records (T and R)
KLE presenters: Gary Matalon, Tina Myers-Matalon and Kevin Bourke

The KLE team photographed above spoke on the brand creation of Kingston's casual dining restaurant, Bolt's Tracks and Records (T and R). [Please note the team also includes their friends, Ard Jarrett and David Shirley]. With an idea kernel, KLE put into motion a series of extensive planning and research that comprised of food and beverage franchise discussions. Armed with a concrete plan they approached Usain Bolt who frequented their nightclub, FICTION (another KLE brand). A quick reminder for our readers, Usain Bolt is the world's fastest athlete who has to date 4-million face book fans! 
  1. A successful deal was brokered with Bolt having equity stake in T and R. (% undisclosed)
  2. Together, they broke ground in Oct 2010 and a creative audio-visual presentation of the construction phase was shown. 
  3. KLE values technology and integrated a high-technology system equipped with internet connectivity for social media access (twitter, face book and 4square check-ins), photos, touch screen menu and ordering in the contemporary-designed space. Today, T and R is the first location outside of the U.S.A to have the technology that is revered by families especially kids. This is to be congratulated esp. since T and R understands the power of social media networking tools and has set the platform to connect efficiently and effectively with their targeted audience. This no doubt will fuel brand longevity.
  4. The casual dining spot is the only place in Jamaica that offers Draft Guinness. Other popular menu items include jerked chicken roll, island nachos (delightful helpings of green plantains, cheese and jerked sausage) and 'swims' (a play on Jamaican culture).
  5. Michelle Rousseau, of Ciabello, is behind the menu design and food offerings at Tracks and Records.
  6. KLE also partnered with Food Consultant, Bill Moore, who is known for work done at the Bahama Breeze restaurant chain (Darden Restaurants, Inc) and Round Hill Hotel.
We believe T and R will be the place to be for viewing the London 2012 Olympics and have opted to leave the details  about Bolt's Tracks and Records for a separate food blog. Will keep you posted. Until then we suggest that you visit Kingston's newest restaurant soon. (Connect also via twitter handle @UBTandR) Can you guess their television screen size?
Main Event Limited: Event styling using cutting-edge technology
Attendees were wowed by Solomon Sharpe's pre-recorded greeting via several LED displays throughout the room. This was complemented by effective sound and lighting and interactive touch screen monitors. 

The Solomon Sharpe-led Main Event team. Perfect for your event needs inc LED lighting and sound
Using a team of young talent, Kingston-based Main Event has clients throughout the Caribbean region including Bahamas, Haiti and DR. They are known for getting the job done quickly and well for clients with small and large budgets. See more about Kingston's best kept secret here  SPECIAL NOTE: Main Event has promised a surprise showing of cutting-edge technology at this evening's food awards. Don't miss out. Be seated at 6:30p.m
Paula Kerr-Jarrett: Seven successful steps to entertaining
This Montego Bay-resident is a trained attorney-at-law who loves entertaining. While studying in London, Paula took a course at Cordon Bleu where she discovered the essence of events was about planning. We also share her sentiments that "excellence is in the details." This Observer article  beautifully recaps Paula's tips for successful entertaining. We must say her delivery was spectacular and hastily recommend that our readers attend any engagement that notes Paula Kerr-Jarrett as speaker/presenter.

Paula Kerr-Jarrett with the Observer's Novia McDonald-Whyte and Ed Khoury
In the Q and A segment Kerr-Jarrett offered a fantastic approach for the following: - 

And what is to be done with professional crashers? 
PJK: Be open. When planning an event make room for more. If it is a great party, you did your job given that 'word' got around and your party is worthy of 'crashing'.

How does one handle the issue of foreign objects in a meal when dining out with a group you'd like to impress? 
PJK: Don't panic. Try to diffuse the situation.

Handling guests invited to a function when there are friendship issues with some persons
PJK: Don't get into politics. Do not 'uninvite' guests! If your job as host is done well maybe the people with issues will become friends. 

Now that's what we call the art of diplomacy. Cheers to Paula Kerr-Jarrett, a class act!

Simply put the 2011 Foodie Event was a smashing success! Congratulations to Novia McDonald-Whyte and the Jamaica Observer team. We are so grateful for having had the opportunity to attend. Willing the best for even more sponsors and an even bigger budget for 2012 when Jamaica celebrates its golden jubilee. All roads now lead to Devon House, Kingston for The Observer's Food Awards Ceremony this evening for a fine display of gastronomic island treats. Do contact The Observer for tickets at (876) 936-9576.

- Megaliciously yours

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