We all know how reggae music feels, but how about how it tastes? Patrons at the 25th staging of Reggae Sumfest will have the opportunity to experience just that at the first Sumfest Acoustic Cafe Pop-Up Restaurant – a main highlight in the Food Court during the festival.
In photo: Calaloo pizza from Acoustic Cafe.
The Sumfest Acoustic Cafe is the second restaurant franchise concept under the FRANJAM company, managed by Gary Matalon – a franchise company founded to own, develop and license Jamaican-themed restaurants.
At the Sumfest Acoustic Cafe, patrons will be able to hear, see, feel and taste reggae while enjoying a range of healthy and yummy menu items such as an array of soups, salads, wraps, pizzas, and a live juice bar all against the rich backdrop of footage and performances from the last 25 years of Sumfest.
So let’s dish out some of the palatable star acts, shall we?
Hermine Homestyle plans to cater for Sumfest patrons, like they’ve done for the last 25 years. While Yard Spice has been a constant feature at the festival for over 10 years, serving up Jamaican delights to the patrons. Soupy John, well known for his creative soups, hopes to stir things up and satisfy appetites, while Conquering Lion Ital will be showcasing his healthy ‘ital’ selections for all to savour. Roti King and Chefs for Life will offer a fusion of Asian and Indian cuisine. And Mr Lees will be serving up his tasty pizzas.
In photo: Prelude to a Kiss Veggie Ball from Ashanti.
Creative Food and Soup promises a variety of seafood and non-traditional curries, while newcommers Rain Forest’s Fish Pot, Sabbioso and Ashanti Oasis will be making their national delectable debut to the exciting Sumfest Acoustic Cafe.
Another first for the festival will be the inclusion of two restaurants in the VIP area. Alessandro’s will delight the palate of VIP patrons with delectable dishes such as Pimento jerked pork, Mama Lee’s rack o’ ribs, and slow-roasted honey glazed pork shoulder, while EITS Cafe will offer barrel roasted chicken, beef and shrimp kebabs, fresh salads and more.
As an added treat, Kimberlee Howell, owner of Alessandro’s, has provided a recipe for reggae lovers to try at home.
Kim’s Slow-Roasted Honey Glazed Pork Shoulder
1 cup plus 2tbsp soy sauce, divided
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3tbs. chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2-3lb boneless, skin-on pork shoulder
2tbs olive oil
Freshly grounded black pepper
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1. Preheat the oven to 275°F.
2. In a large bowl, combine one cup of the soy sauce with sugar, garlic, and scallions, stirring until mixed. Score the skin of the pork by slicing a crosshatch pattern through the skin down to the meat. This will help excess fat render out and allow more of the marinade to soak in. Place the pork in the marinade and toss to coat evenly. Marinate overnight.
3. Place the marinated pork in the middle of a baking sheet. Bake for 1-11/2 hours depending on the weight of the pork. Increase oven to 5008F. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, honey, and remaining soy sauce, stirring until smooth. Spoon the honey glaze over the top of the pork, making sure to fill the cracks and crevices on top. Bake for 20 additional minutes until sugar is dark brown and caramelised, and the top of the pork is crispy.
4. Slice the pork into 1/2 inch slices, and plate with roasted Irish or sweet potatoes and vegetables of your choice. Spoon the reserved pan juices on top of the pork, and enjoy!