One-of-a-kind Jerk Food Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary

The Jerk Food Festival (JerkFest), the only event of its kind in Canada that celebrates internationally renowned ‘jerk cuisine’, will celebrate its 10th anniversary next month.

JerkFest is also a celebration of Caribbean culture and will feature performances by reggae singer George Nooks and jazz artistes Eddie Bullen, Vickie Vandyke and Chris Smith.

The family-friendly event will feature children’s activities, the inaugural VIP Garden, the celebrity jerk-tasting competition and the cuisine itself, provided by over 20 chefs cooking up their best versions of jerk chicken, pork, beef, lamb, seafood and vegetables.

To top it all, 10 vacation giveaways to Jamaica and Barbados will be awarded, including a grand prize draw of a seven night stay at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Return airfare for two and hotel accommodations will be included, compliments of Nolitours.

JerkFest was founded 10 years ago by Anthony Plummer, who noticed that while other cultural foods were widely celebrated in Toronto like “Taste of the Danforth”, “Taste of Little Italy” and more, there wasn’t a festival that celebrated jerk food.

“Jerk food is loved by so many different cultures because the flavours are so powerful,” said Plummer. “And there’s a whole culture attached to it. It’s just the same with reggae music, Bob Marley or Jamaica as a vacation destination…there’s a mystique to it all – it’s spicy, it’s hot and it’s sexy!”

Not only is the festival a celebration of jerk cuisine, but it supports a good cause as well. Proceeds from JerkFest will go to the Negril Education Environment Trust – an organization in Jamaica that aims to support education of children by providing a book in each child’s hand and a computer in every classroom.

In commemoration of its 10th anniversary, JerkFest – in partnership with the Jamaican Canadian Association – will provide 10 scholarships for post-secondary studies in the field of the Arts.

JerkFest will be held on Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7 at Centennial Park, 256 Centennial Park Road. Admission and parking are free.

For more information about JerkFest, visit, call (416) 993-5123, or email:

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