A Recipe of Epic Proportion

This time last year I was preparing for the biggest attraction in the city of Philadelphia – the 2016 Democratic National Convention. On Saturday July 23rd and again on the 24th, JADE Jamaican Grill would become one of a select group of food vendors at the DNC. It was a recipe of epic proportion whipping together two thousand bites for each event; the Media Party at Citizens Bank Park and the Welcome Delegate Reception at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. And an excellent showing it was, filled with world-renowned Jamaican goodness and Caribbean charm.

A few days prior to the DNC, I orchestrated a live television appearance on the local FOX-TV affiliate station and featured both dishes that would be served at the convention; our signature Caribbean Sea Salt Rum Cupcakes, and classic Jerk Pork and Rice & Peas. It was a fun time on Good Day Philadelphia with co-hosts Mike Jerrick and Alex Holley, and an experience of a lifetime at the convention events.

As I sat at my desk yesterday preparing for another exciting opportunity – Adjunct Chef Instructor at The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College – I was reminded about the convention. I was struck by the fact that exactly a year ago I was gearing up for what was divine fortune. Had you told me last year that my small business would be part of the DNC, and not just one but two events, I might have given you the suspicious side eye. Had you told me a few months ago that I would be preparing to teach at The Restaurant School, I wouldn’t have believed it either. Yet, here we are. Here I am.

What a difference a year makes! And yet, the more things change the more they stay the same. In a revelatory sort of way, I was struck that each birthday month (I was born on July 9th and just celebrated my 44th birthday) the universe gifts me an amazing opportunity tailor-made for my unique talents and abilities. On Monday, this Monday, July 24th, I will step onto the campus at The Restaurant School in Philadelphia to teach my first class – a one-week International Summer Cooking Camp. I simply could not have written a better script or charted a more interesting course. This new adventure is, in the same way, a recipe of epic proportion; the same month, the same dates, the same place.

Don’t you just love when things fall into place? And isn’t that it? They somehow always do. Eventually, we all get where we’re supposed to be, not minding the twists and turns, speed bumps and roadblocks.

Here’s to the business of traveling down a new road on this lifestyle, foodie, entrepreneur journey that is my life. I can’t wait to see what’s next. Knowing whichever way the road forks and whatever path I take, I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

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Alumni Recognized for Work at DNC

It’s nice to be noticed. And when an alumni is recognized by her alma mater it’s that much more special.

In July JADE Jamaican Grill participated in two events at the Democratic National Convention. Our selection and subsequent involvement garnered numerous mentions. The latest – a featured article by SUNY New Paltz News published August 31, 2016 in the alumni newsletter. Read our story here.

Chef Janet at the 2016 DNC Media Party - Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

Chef Janet at the 2016 DNC Media Party – Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

Visit our gallery for more photos of our grand showing at the Media Party at Citizens Bank Park on July 23, 2016 and the Welcome Delegate Reception at the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts on July 24th.

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A Good Day to Air Things Out

Whenever you have the opportunity to share major news on air count it a good day. And that’s the day Jade Jamaican Grill enjoyed recently when I stopped by Good Day Philadelphia to dish about my company’s participation at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

This wasn’t my first time on television or at FOX 29 News for that matter. I’d been on with host Mike Jerrick and his colleagues numerous times over the years. But this particular appearance with Jerrick and his co-host Alex Holley took the cake!

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Here I was – one of a select group of small business food vendors chosen to provide tantalizing tastes at this major national event. And not just one event either. JADE was selected for two; the Media Party on Saturday, July 23rd at Citizens Bank Park and the Welcome Delegate Party at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, July 24th.

So a few days prior to the start of the convention I took the opportunity to air things out on live television by showcasing the bites JADE would be serving at the DNC. Let’s just say our hosts could not keep their forks or fingers off the food. I mean chunks of spicy Jerk Pork and heaps of savory Rice and Peas disappearing in plain view. You can’t make this stuff up. See for yourself.

JADE Jamaican Grill at the DNC

It really was a good day to air things out!

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A Fresh Start

Much like this salad, the new year brings with it a fresh start; an opportunity to do a new thing. Even if you’re pursuing the same dreams, going after the same goals, working the same resolutions, it’s your chance at doing it differently.

It’s been said, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is foolish. So, what better time to toss out the old?

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Here are the five steps I’m employing as I press my way to a spectacular 2016:

Go Organic

Strip away all the baggage, dirt, and junk of 2015 and leave it all behind. Take only the lessons. Garb a hold of that fresh start and forge ahead. That means no pollutants; only sustainable practices that will move you closer to your field of dreams.

Plant that Seed

Get out there and work that thing! Enough said.

Water It

What can you do to ensure that newly planted seed will grow? Water it, of course! Put in the time, effort and resources necessary to set yourself up for success. Follow-up, follow through, and repeat.

Build & Grow

As you work and water do so with the expectation that your seed will sprout. Before you know it your tree will be blossoming.

Root it Up

Sure you’ll pause to take it all in. We all want to enjoy the fruits of you labor. But, don’t get so enamored with the pretty flowers that you stop planting for tomorrow. Go back to the root, the source and keep planting, watering, building and growing so you can get to that full blown harvest.

I know it will be hard. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. But day by day, week by week, month by month…

What are you doing differently this year to ensure you’ll have your heart’s desire? Share it. Perhaps I’ll pick one or two to add to my mix.

Happy New Year and all the best for a bountiful and prosperous 2016!

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Thanksgiving Made Over Easy

Decisions, decisions, decisions! What to do with all the leftovers after Thanksgiving?

A few years ago I received a call from my friends at FOX Philadelphia. They were doing a Thanksgiving Leftover Extravaganza and were asking a handful of area chefs to come up with creative ways to enjoy the remains of the holiday feast.

The premise was to create a dish using four traditional Thanksgiving foods: turkey, stuffing, mashed potato and cranberry. To make it interesting, each chef could add one secret ingredient of their choice. Watch as I rolled over these four holiday staples and my secret ingredient into a savory gourmet delight – all while having a little fun with my spicy cohort Mike Jerrick, Co-host of Good Day Philadelphia.

 

How cool was that? Thanksgiving made over easy!

Want more to savor this holiday season? Start with these Tuna Pastry Cups. They are inexpensive, easy to make and are a great first bite to the festivities. Be sure to include my Candied Sweet Potatoes & Raisins – a savory side even the pickiest eater will love.

For still more ways to enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers post your questions in the comments section or email flavors@jadegrill.com!

 

Brought to you by JADE… Food, Flavor, Fun!

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Working with Williams-Sonoma

As I sat at my desk outlining my fall calendar a few weeks ago it occurred to me how fortunate I am to be working with Williams-Sonoma. With two upcoming food events at the gourmet retailer, I began to reflect on how our collaboration began. So, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share how it all came to be.

Our relationship is no accident. I had taught cooking classes at another chain store. After about three years, I decided to fold it into my own product offering as Pantry Parties – private, hands-on instruction in the comfort of the client’s home. So, I’d been there, done that so to speak.

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Seeking to establish my brand as a flavorful food venture- not merely a Jamaican one, I set my sights on a company whose name is synonymous with taste, quality, style and functionality.

If you’re a food connoisseur,           Williams-Sonoma’s high quality cookware, specialty products, gourmet foods, in-store culinary events and stylish home furnishings are familiar. And it’s not just passionate foodies; professional chefs are hot for the brand.

Not long after I formed my namesake JADE in the fall of 2013, I contacted the Princeton, New Jersey store to see whether they offered cooking classes and how I would go about getting on the roster. During our conversation I fired off my list of accomplishments – numerous television appearances on NBC and FOX, a cooking series on PBS, mentions in the local print press, having taught culinary demonstrations previously, and so on. They were impressed and we scheduled a meeting and site tour. I followed-up with an email, included the standard accompaniments – my resume, bio, head shot and media clippings.

We met, all went well and we booked my first cooking class. Thrilled about my score I wasted no time. I telephoned the flagship store at Columbus Circle in New York City. A similar scenario transpired. After a site tour the assistant manager and I discussed how we would incorporate my brand of flavor into the mix. Long story short, we settled on a date for demo number two.

My first demonstration was a success. So much so that by the time I reached out to the King of Prussia store the following Monday they were well aware of who I was and equally as excited about me doing a demo there.

Since then I’ve taught almost ten classes, in five cities and three states in under two years. I’ve loved every minute of it! And from the fact that they’ve invited me back numerous times – I think it’s safe to say they relish having me there too.

And that’s how the story goes!

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Welcome to Full On Flavor

Hello food lovers, welcome to Full On Flavor, your destination for food, flavor and fun!

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For those of you whom I’ve yet to meet or perhaps unfamiliar with, I’m Janet Davis, CEO & Executive Chef at JADE Jamaican Grill. JADE or Janet Ann Davis Enterprises is a food and special events company serving clients in the Hamptons, New York City, D.C. and everywhere in between.

I’ve spent the past  9+ years in the culinary industry, having operated a restaurant, hosted and produced a PBS cooking series, made numerous guest chef appearances on NBC and FOX, participated in the Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival, conducted a slew of cooking demonstrations at Williams-Sonoma and so much more.

Full On Flavor is the voice of JADE, showcasing my culinary style while sharing company news, views, travels and adventures, shopping, tips and the like. I’ve loaded some photos in the galleries and will be adding lots more over the coming weeks and as time progresses. You’ll also notice I have an event calendar. Be sure to let me know if you are planning on attending the restaurant and food show in New York in March. Perhaps we can meet up?

As the face and creative talent behind JADE, you’ll hear from me personally, on a weekly basis, or perhaps more frequently. Full On Flavor will be your place to learn, grow, experience delectable food, one-of-a-kind flavor and exceptional fun.

I look forward to hearing from you. Be sure to connect with me on all my social media sites. And spread the love by sharing this blog.

For more on JADE visit my website.

 

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