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  • Jamaican chef wins Food Network’s Chopped

    Andre Fowles

    KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaican-born Andre Fowles was victorious on Tuesday when he lined up on the Food Network’s highly acclaimed series Chopped.

    With Caribbean cuisine as the focus of Tuesday night’s flavour-filled show, he walked away as the winner.

    Fowles, who is currently the resident sous-chef at Miss Lily’s — an authentic, vibrant Jamaican restaurant in New York — left Jamaica in 2014.

    Prior to joining the team at Miss Lily’s, Fowles worked for two years as chef de partie under the tutelage of Martin Maginley, multi-award-winning chef at the cashmere-chic Round Hill Hotel & Villas. He also worked at Kingston’s celebrated Mac’s Chop House under the celebrated Mario Machado.

    Originally from Kingston, Fowles attended Donald Quarrie High School and was trained at the Runaway Bay HEART Academy. He credits his grandmother, Veronica Davis, affectionately called ‘Mama Cherry’ for his foray into the culinary arena.

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  • National Geographic Ranks Ackee and Salt fish 'Second Best' National Dish

    Jamaican cuisine has again found favour with international palates, and our ackeeand salt fish is ranked as the second-favourite on a top-ten list compilation of national dishes by National Geographic in their book, Food Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 Extraordinary Places To Eat Around The Globe.

    Thursday Life, ever so pleased at the culinary recognition, shares the listing.

    1. Hamburgers, US

     

     

     


    Although the origins of the hamburger are disputed, there is no argument over the popularity of this classic dish. Toppings and accompaniments vary from region to region, but for an original version, visit Louis' Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut, which has been serving hamburgers since 1900 and claims to be the oldest hamburger restaurant in the US.

     

    Planning: Louis' Lunch is open most days for lunch and some days until the early hours of the morning.

    2. Ackee and Salt fish, Jamaica

     

    Despite ackee's unhappy origins as slave food, Jamaicans have reclaimed it as part of their national dish. A nutritious fruit with a buttery-nutty flavour, ackee resembles scrambled egg when boiled. Jamaicans sauté the boiled ackee with salt fish (salt-cured cod), onions, and tomatoes. Sometimes the dish is served atop bammy (deep-fried cassava cakes) with fried plantains.

    Planning: Jake's, Treasure Beach, is renowned for ackee and salt fish and also offers cooking classes.

    3. Coo-Coo and Flying Fish, Barbados

     

    A polenta-like cornmeal and okra porridge, coo-coo pairs perfectly with flying fish, which is either steamed with lime juice, spices, and vegetables, or fried and served with a spicy sauce.

    Planning: The Flying Fish restaurant overlooking St Lawrence Bay claims to be the Barbadian national dish's home.

    4. Bulgogi, Korea

     

    Beef bulgogi (fire meat) is a dish of thinly sliced, prime cuts of meat marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, onions, ginger, sugar, and wine and then grilled. It is often eaten wrapped in lettuce or spinach leaves and accompanied by kimchi (fermented vegetable pickle). Many Korean restaurants have miniature barbecues embedded in tables where diners grill the meat themselves.

    Planning: Seoul's upmarket Byeokje Galbi chain is a bulgogi sensation.

    5. Kibbeh, Lebanon/Syria

     

    Dining well Levantine-style often means sticking to the delicious mezes (appetisers). Kibbeh, a versatile confection of ground lamb, bulgur, and seasonings, is a core component of mezes. It is often fried in torpedo or patty shapes, baked, boiled, or stuffed, but is tastiest raw.

    Planning: Aleppans in northern Syria are kibbeh's greatest innovators, flavouring it with ingredients like pomegranate or cherry juice.

    6. Goulash, Hungary

     

    Gulyás — Magyar for "herdsman"-became a national dish in the late-1800s, when Hungarians sought symbols of national identity to distinguish themselves from their partners in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A filling stew of beef, vegetables, red onions, and spices, goulash gets its flavour from the use of slow-cooked beef shin, or similar richly flavoured cuts, and paprika.

    Planning: For a lighter version, sample gulyásleves (goulash soup).

    7. Wiener Schnitzel, Austria

     

    Made with the finest ingredients and served fresh, this simple dish of pounded veal cutlets breaded and lightly fried is Austria's food ambassador, despite the dish's Italian origins. Austrians typically eat Wiener schnitzel garnished with parsley and lemon slices, alongside potato salad.

    Planning: Vienna's Café Landtmann, a city institution since 1873, serves up an authentic version of the dish, as well as a dose of history and glamour: Sigmund Freud, Marlene Dietrich, and Paul McCartney have been among its famous patrons.

    8. Pot-au-Feu, France

     

    Originally a rustic dish that was stewed continuously all winter and topped up as needed, pot-au-feu (pot-in-the-fire) is a warming, fragrant dish of stewing steak, root vegetables, and spices. Traditionally, cooks sieve the broth and serve it separately from the meat.

    Planning: In downtown Paris, Le Pot au Feu at 59 Boulevard Pasteur (Métro: Pasteur) specialises in its namesake.

    9. Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding, England

     

    Despite England's increasingly cosmopolitan cuisine, this dish remains a much-loved Sunday lunch and national symbol. Named for England's eponymous county, Yorkshire -- or batter -- puddings originally served as fillers before the main course for those who could afford little beef. Today, the two are usually eaten together alongside gravy-soaked roast potatoes, vegetables, and horseradish sauce.

    Planning: Try the traditional British restaurant London's Rules, founded in 1798, or country pubs.

    10. Irish Stew, Ireland

     

    Originally a thick broth of slow-boiled mutton with onions, potatoes, and parsley, Irish stew nowadays often incorporates other vegetables, such as carrots, and many cooks brown the mutton first. It is a staple of Irish pubs worldwide.

    Planning: One place in Dublin to enjoy Irish stew and other traditional fare is Sheeben Chic, in George's Street.

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  • Waterfalls/Rivers in Each Parish You Probably Didn’t Know Existed

    We’re all accustomed to the usual beach flex, but what about those days where you’re not too thrilled about hot sun, sand and overcrowded venues? For those who appreciate the occasional river outing to help “clean your heart”, the trip to a refreshing, natural stream may not be as far as you may think…

    Bowden Hill/Falling Edge Falls – Kingston
    Located near the Hermitage Dam in Stony Hill, be prepared to do a bit of riding/hiking if you seek out this majestic treasure.

     

    bowdenhill-kgn

    Mountain River Cave – St.Catherine

    Located in the lush green terrains of Cudjoe Hill, it houses a large collection of art of Jamaica’s native inhabitants, the Tainos, and shows clues to their early existence.

    mtnrivercave-stcatherine

     

    Salt River – Clarendon

    A favourite among residents of the town for a cool dip. After the highway toll booth, turn left at Sandy Bay and be blessed.

    salt river-clarendon

     

    Gut River – Manchester

    A river, beach and small hamlet together on an isolated stretch of south facing coastline. Situated just on the border of Manchester and St. Elizabeth.

     

    Breadnut Valley Falls – St. Elizabeth

    From its entrance you wouldn’t imagine all this hidden beauty inside. It starts as a small, tucked waterfall flowing into a natural pool but as you hike just a few yards upwards you’ll find bigger, deeper cascades.

     

    Mayfield Falls – Westmoreland

    A nature lover’s paradise! Two beautiful waterfalls, twenty-one natural pools, fifty-two types of ferns and lots of exotic flowers, plant species, birds, butterflies and wildlife native to Jamaica.

     

     

    Discovery Falls – Hanover

    Nestled within a secluded mountain setting on the western part of Jamaica, Discovery Falls is situated in Silver Spring, fifteen minutes outside of Negril. Palm trees, waterfalls and beautiful gardens line lagoons from natural springs nestled on the edge of the mountain with 1000 feet of zip lines through the canopy of trees is the setting created.

    discovery falls-hanover

     

    Great River – St. James

    The Great River is one of Jamaica’s major rivers,and forms the boundary of the parish of St James with Westmoreland and Hanover. It is greatly used for a relaxing rafting experience, along with zipling and river tubing.

     

    Dornoch Head -Trelawny

    The source of the Rio Bueno river. Off to the left side the spring water comes from a rock, and off to the right side of this pool the Rio Bueno river begins its descent to the sea.

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    Konoko Falls – St. Ann

    Nestled in the hills of St. Ann overlooking the resort area of Ocho Rios, just five minutes away from the town centre.

    konokofalls-stann

     

     Kwame Falls- St. Mary

    If you ‘re up for a hike, swim, and discovering some beautiful parts of Jamaica via a peaceful, scenic and not-too-difficult path, this is for you. A mostly deep pool beneath the falls, with some very warm spots, is great for a refreshing dip.

    kwame-stmary

     

    Nanny Falls – Portland

    Located in Moore Town, the falls are about a half hour to forty-minute hike and said to be worth it. Tucked away, the secluded waterfall plunges into a deep pool which is great for swimming in.

    nanny-falls

     

    Cane River Falls – St. Thomas

    Tucked behind huge boulders, is a serendipitous find. It is a local favourite and where Reggae legend Bob Marley is said to have washed his dreadlocks regularly. Recommended to visit outside of drought season, as the falls and water level significantly decline during such time.

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