Jamaica’s rich culinary heritage creates an epicurean getaway for food lovers from around the globe. Exploring local cuisine will often take you to various points around the island, sampling the best of the best from different areas. The destination of the day was St. Elizabeth, known as the breadbasket parish. The term comes from its ability to produce a wealth of various organic crops thanks to its favourable harvesting conditions. Along a south coast culinary journey, we passed multiple popular road trip food stops and Treasure Beach restaurants en route to the Seaside lunch venue:
- Ackee Village (St. Catherine)
- Juici Patties (Clarendon)
- Porus fruit stalls (Clarendon)
- Melrose Hill Yam Park (Manchester)
- Spur Tree Hill street food stalls and eateries (Manchester)
*Article covered by GK Insurance Group
Jamaica Food Tour: Kingston to Treasure Beach
GK Insurance, a subsidiary of GraceKennedy Limited, hosted ~50 International conference guests in Jamaica. The food-oriented trip made sure to give them a wider taste of the island, beyond the distinguished walls of the Jamaica Pegasus and New Kingston area. I had the pleasure of venturing deeper within the hills of the breadbasket parish while acting as a Trip Guide, along with Teika of Being Jamaican Tour Company, for the visiting GK Insurance guests! The day trip included 2 busloads departing from Kingston and travelling ~3hrs with 4 stops to finally arrive at Seaside by Jakes Treasure Beach for a 5-course farm-to-table meal laden with local produce.
The 1st stop along the culinary journey was to a popular eatery in Clarendon. After picking up a quick bite there, we headed to Grace Foods Agro-processing Facility in St. Elizabeth’s fertile Hounslow district. Here provided an inside look of the scotch bonnet pepper products procedure (try saying that 3x fast). We then visited a nearby Grace Foods farm where more about their food security programmes and relationships with local farmers were shared. By this time, appetites began reopening following all the country road driving and talks of Jamaican cuisine! We anxiously made our way from the farmlands and factory to the Treasure Beach community. This fishing village boasts fresh seafood and earth-grown crops, attracting visitors from all around to its quiet coastal haven.
This Post Includes:
Jakes Treasure Beach Restaurants & Bars
Seaside: Jakes Farm-to-Table Dinner (Monthly)
Seaside is the venue name for where Jakes Hotel hosts its monthly farm-to-table dinners plus private events. The banquet-style dinners serve seasonal farm-fresh dishes. The intrinsic tones of a starry night or, in this case, a sunset on the beach enhances the natural ambiance, effortlessly.
Our GK Insurance group had ~70 guests catered to attentively by the Jakes Hotel staff. The lovely afternoon started with welcome cocktails and background music on the beach as the al fresco dining area was revealed. Tables were set with floral centerpieces adorning Grace Foods products incorporated in the Jakes menu. Even though there was some wait for lunch, the organic courses were dished out to long, communal tables of pleased faces. I’ve enjoyed other farm-to-table meals, like on an islet in Portland and a Rasta camp in Westmoreland, but having a 5-course feast was different.
• H’ors d’oeuvres: Ackee on Bammy Chips, Smoked Marlin on Plantain Chips
• Appetizer (Soup): Pepperpot Soup
• Appetizer (Salad): Kale Salad with Feta Cheese & Watermelon
• Entrée: Rice & Peas, Callaloo & Feta Cheese-stuffed Chicken Breasts, Escoveiched Fish, Beef Kebabs, Bean Sprouts w/ Mushroom & Tofu
• Dessert: Carrot Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream
The late afternoon lunch was shaded by a thatched roof over a floor of sand. Oversized lamp shades sway above the tables from the beach breeze. The gentle sound of the waves mixed with soft “Mmms” as everyone lifted their forks. No morsel was left behind; emptied dishes and tables displayed how eager forks and hands were when presented with Grace-enhanced meals and products! If interested in hosting your own event here, contact Jakes Hotel.
Jakes Treasure Beach Hotel
This family-owned boutique hotel in Calabash Bay, Treasure Beach combines the vibrancy of Jamaican culture with community tourism in a seaside setting. Jakes Hotel is a wellness getaway of signature beach cottages, well known over the years for its community-building initiatives and practices. Any visit to Jakes Hotel is incomplete without a true taste of Treasure Beach at 1 of their eating spots.
Visitors as well as Jakes Hotel guests take a look at the chalkboard options and pull up a seat within view of the sea. Jakes Restaurant menu offers daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner boasting the freshest ingredients from Treasure Beach farmers and fisher folk. The poolside outdoor setting grants a surrounding view of the colourful property and its calming waters.
Dougies Bar at Jakes Hotel
This is the poolside chill spot where guests opt to grab a cool drink. Being just mere steps from Jakes Restaurant, it can have your beverage quick and ready after a refreshing swim or sunbath. It is headed by no other than… Dougie himself! If you stop by for a tropical quencher, you could be clinking bottles and ignite a chat with the namesake bartender.
Jack Sprat Restaurant
Jack Sprat is a longstanding restaurant reputed in the area for its pizza and seafood dishes. Jack Sprat Restaurant can be considered a Treasure Beach must-visit, popular as a breakfast hangout spot where patrons can drum up conversations while awaiting Jamaican meal favourites. Its relaxed setting sits in view of beachy shores, belting retro tunes from its vintage jukebox.
Like any lovely day with Jakes Hotel, ours closed with a hypnotic sunset. The GK Insurance group boarded buses one more time, now with tummies filled and tongues delighted. You can really taste (and feel) a difference when ingredients are organic, fresh, and well-prepared! That’s the beauty of dining at Jakes Treasure Beach restaurants and bars. What’s been your experience with farm-to-table dinners???
Thank you to Jakes Treasure Beach staff, the local farmers and fisher folks, and the GK Insurance team for this great experience. Thanks also to the international guests for your good company, attention and feedback with me as your guide this day!
- Delectability 90% 90%
- Food Variety 90% 90%
- Atmosphere 80% 80%
- Staff Interactions 100% 100%
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