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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DNC Picks Jamaican Foodie for Events

Have you heard? JADE is heading to the DNC!

JADE Jamaican Grill has been selected to participate in the 2016 Democratic National Convention coming to Philadelphia. The DNC will be taking place July 25th through the 28th and our company is among a select group of food vendors chosen to satiate the palates of tens of thousands at this national event.

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We will be serving up some of our signature Full on Flavor fare at the Media Party on Saturday, July 23rd at Citizens Bank Park and at the Welcome Delegate Party on Sunday, July 24th at the Kimmel Center. How lucky are we? By luck I mean preparation, hard work, sacrifice and perseverance coming face to face with opportunity.

I thank the DNC for this tremendous honor and I look forward to taking part in what will be an amazing event.

For the latest news and to learn more about our company visit us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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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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A Prosperous New Year

A heartfelt thank you for supporting JADE and FullOnFlavor this year. I could not have done it without you! Wishing you a year filled with peace, joy and prosperity.

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See you in the New Year!

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Seven Facts About Jamaican Rum Cake

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For Jamaicans, Christmas is synonymous with Rum Cake. You simply cannot get through the year end holiday season without enjoying at least one slice of this dessert. And chances are if you’re eating rum cake you are not stopping at just one slice. Here are seven food facts about Jamaican Rum Cake to chew on:

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  1. Referred to as Fruit Cake
    1. As the name suggests, the main ingredient is fruit; candied, chopped fruit consisting of orange peels and pineapple, along with raisins and cherries. But unlike other traditional fruit cakes, Jamaican Rum Cakes are made with grounded or pureed fruits for a smooth consistency.
  2. Also called Black Cake and Christmas Cake
  3. It is the choice for wedding cake in Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean. Because of its popularity at weddings, it is sometimes referred to as Wedding Cake.
  4. Dark in color
    1. Color ranges from dark brown to black. If you’re not careful, you’ll mistake it for a chocolate cake at first glance. In some cases, depending how it is cut, it can resemble brownie too.
  5. Traditionally a very dense cake
  6. Made with rum and wine
  7. Fruits are soaked in wine [and rum] for many weeks or even months prior to baking.

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Today, like most other products, rum cakes come in all shapes and sizes, including cupcake. For example our JADE cupcakes feature minis as well as standard cupcake size, and with a variety of icings.

When it comes to fruit cakes Jamaican Rum Cake takes the cake.

Merry Christmas!

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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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Making the Most of Small Successes

miTZyMUEverybody wants to win. We want to win in school, at home, on the job, in business and just about every aspect of life. No one gets in the game to lose. But how do you get to the winner’s table?

I’ve noticed that people do not relate in terms of winning when discussing their personal aspirations. They instead use words and phrases like succeeding if life, being successful, accomplishing my dreams, doing what I was meant to do and so on. But one must realize that it’s not only sports teams and politicians who set out to win. That thing you refer to as a goal, a dream, a destiny, or that expectation that consumes so much of your time and effort is you ultimately trying to win. Winning is the realization of your potential.

Entrepreneurs, business owners, innovators, creators and visionaries especially, understand that there is a process to everything. But more than that, they recognize that rejection is part of that process. We hear the word “No” a lot. No, it doesn’t make sense, no, I don’t think it will do well, no, I don’t think the market is ready for that, no your price is too high, no, you’re not the right fit, no, I’m not interested, No, No, No! Eventually however, you get a yes. And it doesn’t have to be a life-altering, breakout yes that catapults you into global recognition. It can just simply be a yes. The size however, is a minor point. The power lies in the win itself. The validation signals something is working. Here’s how making the most of small successes can work for you:

Showing Gratitude

Begin by being grateful. Gratitude is the all important first step to realizing your dreams. It creates the right attitude and the right approach. It is a gentle acknowledgement in your spirit that says you appreciate where you are in the process. It’s that drop of oil in your lamp that sparks the flame that lights the fire in your belly that powers you to take your next step. When your approach is in alignment you are on a path to success; the very thing you’re trying to achieve. Gratitude is a force all its own.

Sweet Inspiration

Once you’re outfitted with the proper disposition you are ready for business. When you’re feeling good about where you are, who you are, what you’re doing, it unleashes a wellspringof inspiration. And we know when someone is inspired, truly inspired to do, to be, to create, watch out! History is the greatest teacher of what truly inspired people can be led to accomplish. Using small victories to empower and embolden you breathes new life into the every day. Inspiration is one of the greatest motivators you can have. It’s organic and it comes from within.

Motivation makes you word harder, take bold steps and make bold moves. Think of the last time you were really revved up. What happened? You went on to do that task that you’d been putting off, make that phone call that you’ve been dreading, or something else along those lines. The bottom line is when you became inspired it motivated you in such a way that things that were larger than life no longer seem daunting. Suddenly there were no fears, no hesitation and no hang ups.

Unleash Your Creativity

Inspiration breeds creativity, and creativity sets passion on fire, transforming ideas and vision into tangible results. When creativity flows momentum happens. Your labor begins to bear fruits. That no becomes yes. And that yes, even a small one, can move you closer to that goal line. So, take time to celebrate your small successes by giving yourself a virtual pat on the back.  Celebration shows approval. It says, yes, I want more of that. Here’s where the true power lies:

  1. When you accomplish even the smallest of tasks, it affirms that it can be done. How? Because you just did it!
  2. It tells you it can be done again. Why? If you did it once before it stands to reason you can do it again!

Suddenly the unreachable, unattainable and unachievable, no longer is.

Moving with Purpose

When you are close to the goal line you must be purposeful; purposeful with your time, your money, any and every resource at your disposal.

Too often in life and in business, we get caught doing things just because. We do it for a myriad of reasons. Perhaps someone else has done it, we’ve been invited to do it, or we simply had an opening in our schedule. But in order to make it to the winner’s circle you have to brush away the fluff.

Celebrating your small successes helps you do that. It acknowledges and reaffirms that you’re heading in the right direction. I did this and that happened. And why wouldn’t you want more of what actually works? When you’re focused you are more strategic, you move with intention and with purpose. It’s worth remembering everything has a season and seasons change.  Let one small victory lead you to the next and ultimately to your destiny. Here’s to small successes!

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Grilled Baby Bella Mushrooms

Looking for a succulent side dish to serve on that summer plate? These Grilled Baby Bella Mushrooms in Garlic Butter make the perfect addition. They’re earthy, flavorful, from the grill and pairs nicely with that fillet of fresh fish!

1-10oz. pkg. baby bella mushrooms

4 cloves garlic

3 Tbsp unsalted butter

½ tsp vegetable oil

½ tsp sea salt

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  1. Shave (cut thin) garlic.
  2. On the stovetop, heat 10” skillet at medium temperature.
  3. Add butter, shaved garlic and sauté for about 4 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, wipe mushrooms with slightly damp paper towel, snip stems and cut into ¼ inch slices.
  5. Heat grill at high temperature.
  6. Brush grates with vegetable oil.
  7. Grill mushroom s for about 90 seconds on each side.
  8. Remove sautéed garlic from stovetop.
  9. Add sea salt and grilled mushrooms and toss.
  10. Serve as a flavorful side dish.

Servings:  4

Mushroom Facts

Baby Bella mushrooms are a type of brown mushroom. They are young, not fully matured Portobello mushrooms. Also known as Cremini mushrooms they are low in calories and a good source of antioxidants and other nutrients.

Note: Tableware provided by Libbey Foodservice.

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Fried Chicken Tenders with JADE Pickled Pepper Preserve

After a three-month, two-state round of spicy cooking demos at Williams-Sonoma stores in New York and New Jersey, my spring demos have come to an end. But, don’t worry about a thing. You can have your spice and eat it too all year long! The Spice of Life menu featured Jerk Salmon with a Citrus Garden Salad, Spicy Black Beans, and Fried Chicken Tenders with my JADE brand Pickled Pepper Preserve.

Some recipes – including the Spicy Black Beans and the Citrus Dressing were featured in earlier posts. Today, however, you get to feast on Fried Chicken Tenders with JADE Pickled Pepper Preserve – juicy white meat that’s tender on the inside, crispy on the outside, and hot and flavorful all over.

Frying Flour Mix

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour                                    

1 tsp paprika

2 tsp sea salt                                                              

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 pinch ground ginger

  1. Combine ingredients in a 1-gallon food storage bag, seal tightly and shake until blended.

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Fried Chicken Tenders

2 pounds chicken tenders                                          

1 batch Frying Flour Mix (See above)

3 cups vegetable oil

  1. Add vegetable oil to medium frying pan and heat at medium temperature.
  2. Place half of chicken tenders into flour mix and shake to coat.
  3. Lay tenders into hot oil and let fry 4-5 minutes on each side.
  4. Remove tenders and lay on paper towel to drain and cool.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to fry remaining tenders.
  6. Place fried tenders on a serving platter.

Spoon some JADE Pickled Pepper Preserve into a small bowl and serve alongside tender.  Or dress tenders directly with preserve.

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Enjoy this spicy bite when only a stiff kick will do! Get it at JADE Jamaican Grill.

 

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