When far from home we must admit often times we yearn for some of our favorite dishes back home, to fire up our taste buds with an appeasing and nostalgic taste suiting to the palate. Troy Levy, a Jamaican personal chef, author, and media personality, has brought cultural cuisine to New York for all vital lovers. He’s renowned for presenting New Yorkers with the vivid flavors of his own country through his Taste of Ital brand. He hosted the media premiere of Ital Food Fest, Jamaica’s first Italian food festival, yesterday at the Bellyful Restaurant and Bar in Brooklyn.
The second launch, which will take place in Kingston, Jamaica on June 2, is the first of two. The Ital Food Fest is a multi-sensory event planned for Saturday, July 15 at the Plantation Cove in Priory, St Ann, where guests will enjoy Ital cuisine on another level like no other, live performances, and learn about amazing herbal remedies, artisanal offerings, and rejuvenating therapeutic treatments. This launch marks the beginning of a concerted effort to attract foodies and enthusiasts from home and abroad to the island’s shores.
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British-Caribbean producers Michael and Felicia Cunningham are hosting the kid-friendly performance to honor a holistic way of life. Levy is a recognized festival partner. The event’s goal, which is to honor the Rastafari community and its influence, is referenced in its slogan, “Before vegan, there was Ital.” It uses the name Ital to represent unprocessed, vegetarian, salt-free cuisine and living intentionally in harmony with nature. It makes reference to the fact that Rastas are the pioneers of plant-based diets and sustainable living. Due in part to the cultural impact of reggae music, this idea has now spread around the world.
As a consequence, Ital Food Fest will showcase a wide variety of renowned chefs and experts in holistic wellness, including Levy, who will serve as a guest chef and is well-known for his inventive, soy-free Ital dishes. The Caribbean diaspora in New York was the target audience for yesterday’s Brooklyn launch, which offered them the chance to whet their palettes for the next enhanced, high-frequency meals while also encouraging them to visit Ocho Rios for Ital Food Fest.
Levy expressed his excitement for the evening, he stated, “It’s an Ital launch, of course, so it’s an honor to bring it back to Bellyful Restaurant where it all began with my Taste of Ital pop-ups. My goal is always to spread the love, share the joy and continue the healing with food, so we’re bringing all that together with good music and great vibes. It will show people what’s coming to Ital Food Fest, and after traveling the world as a personal chef, I can say this is exactly the kind of food the world is yearning for, and Jamaica has a big hand in that.”