Jamaica and diplomatic community to boost gastronomy tourism

Written by Linda Hohnholz, eTN editor

Efforts to bolster the continued development of Devon House as Jamaica’s first Gastronomy Centre have received a major boost.

An innovative initiative has been launched that will leverage partnerships with members of the diplomatic community to enhance gastronomy tourism locally and increase visitor arrivals.

Devon House was named Jamaica’s first Gastronomy Centre by Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett in 2017. Minister Bartlett has highlighted that the Jamaica Tourism Ministry and The Devon House Development Company Limited, which manages the centuries-old heritage site, “have worked steadfastly in establishing the gastronomy center to bring visitors from overseas and persons from across the island to the historic property to enjoy the culinary delights of Jamaica.”   

The Minister has indicated that in a bid to further boost the initiative members of the diplomatic community will be engaged to increase exposure for the many gastronomic offerings at the center.

“A big part of this is to involve the diplomatic community of Jamaica to enable the exposure of international cuisine at Devon House,” Minister Bartlett outlined. He explained that to kick-start the program the first in a series of dinners involving the diplomatic community was hosted earlier this week at the facility.

“This special dinner was organized to expose members of the Diplomatic Corps to the unique culinary offerings of Jamaica.”

“…and at the same time to engage their interests in participating in this international gastronomic exposure, which will see every country represented in Jamaica taking on one dinner arrangement per month and inviting the rest of the world to come and enjoy the culinary delights of their own country,” he added.

Minister Bartlett believes the program has great marketing potential. “We are very excited about this venture. We had a wonderful first dinner involving representatives from some 10 countries including the US, UK, Canada, South Africa and China to name a few, and my colleague Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, also participated in this groundbreaking event. We think that this will create a new product in the gastronomy arrangements in Jamaica and will go a long way in further enhancing the value of Devon House as a great attraction,” he noted.

Additionally, Mr. Bartlett underscored that a pop-up kitchen will also be established to enhance the food-related offerings at Devon House.

“This pop-up kitchen will be supported by a small farmers market with fresh fruits and vegetables, condiments as well as meat, fish and other proteins to enable a full-fledged meal in many courses, to be prepared by individuals who come in for the single purpose of cooking,” he explained.

Minister Bartlett highlighted that highly qualified chefs will participate in this program, which should offer an engaging experience. “We will have an excellent chef, possibly a Michelin designated chef who would be at the highest level possible. However, they will not cook but will oversee participants who will purchase their food items from the farmers market on location and proceed to cook under the guidance of the chef,” the Minister elaborated.

“This is a major innovation in terms of food-based experiences in Jamaica and we look forward to establishing this pop-up kitchen in 2023 to add yet another dimension to the culinary offerings of Jamaica,” he expressed.

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