Culinary collaborators will commemorate the 60th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence this Saturday with “The Soul of Food: Jamaican Liberation & Foodways,” an exploration of Caribbean plants, spices and dishes that make up the Jamaican palette.
The slate of Aug. 6 workshops look to teach historical cultural habits that celebrate one country’s meals, while connecting people across the Afro-Indigenous diasporas. The event will be co-facilitated by Maya Marie and Chef Pat Marrett at the Walt L. Shamel Community Garden in Crown Heights.
Marrett will host the first workshop where participants will work alongside the chef as she discusses the Jamaican Liberation and food pathways.
“I will specifically highlight the worldly culinary connection of the food culture in Jamaica,” said Marrett. “We will be demoing some popular foods in Jamaica. It will be an interactive class where participants will learn a bit about Jamaican food and get to work with some farm-fresh ingredients to create a beautiful meal.”
The idea for the event was born out of Marie wanting to work with Marrett to design something that folks would be really interested in.
“I also had been really interested in learning more about and seeing the different connections or overlap between Caribbean food ways as well as the black and brown food ways of the U.S. or the south,” she said. “Maybe things aren’t highlighted as much [regarding] Jamaica history, food ways and different things like that.”
Both of the facilitators lead cooking projects that spotlight ethnic voices and their food methods. Marie founded Deep Routes, a culinary and agricultural curriculum development project while Chef Marrett started up Spanish Town Kitchen, a catering business that focuses on globally inspired and Caribbean cuisine. Together, the two create diverse dining experiences and make them more accessible.
“A lot of our curriculum development and the work of the deep routes is to really center the black and brown voices in many ways and to be more affirming to a lot of food justice or cooking workshops,” the Deep Routes founder said. “Our work is community center, it’s black and brown centered and anyone can engage with our work and support the work or get involved.”
For more information, or to register for the event, visit the event’s webpage.