FREE Smoothies + Grand Opening of Toss & Roll Salad Bar New Location

A few months ago I published a post on my experience at Toss and Roll, one of Kingston’s hottest and most recently opened salad bars. Since then I’ve received a number of great reviews from friends and colleagues who have eaten there, but the main concern was the location; it didn’t offer much seating capacity, and the limited al fresco set-up meant it only allowed for casual lunch meet ups. But that’s all about to change.

As was expected, things kicked off and the demand for more space, longer opening hours, and a more central location became pertinent. Just under nine months in, Toss and Roll will be relocating to 75 Hope Road (beside the recently opened Opa! Greek Restaurant) and will extend their hours to 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. The redesigned menu will feature a variety of new dishes including a breakfast fare, assorted teas and smoothies, along with long-standing crowd favourites. 

Toss and Roll New Location2 Toss and Roll New Location3

Of course, fitness junkies and owners Keisha and Jermaine Bailey have managed to keep the menu quite clean and lean with fresh fruits and veggies, whole wheat offerings, and lean meats.

Come and check out their grand opening tomorrow Saturday, January 25 and enjoy discounts and free smoothies.

Toss and Roll Grand Opening

Eat right, live better.

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The Secret to True Jamaican Jerk (Nearshore Americas article)

By virtue of my job, I was recently approached to write an article on Scotchies Jerk Centre for Nearshore Americas, a media company that covers outsourcing related news in the Americas. (Their Off Hours feature highlight the culture and lifestyles of each location.)

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This was a great opportunity as it allowed me to exercise my food blogging skills while showcasing one of Jamaica’s most renowned cuisines. In my line of work I am constantly looking for new and intriguing ways to promote Jamaica as an ideal location to do business, and food is always a great way to advertise our culture and lure prospective investors to the island. 

Jamaica. The name instantly evokes an image of pristine waters embraced by immaculate sandy shores, with a year-round welcoming sun and hospitable people. But there’s much more to this humble island of 2.8 million inhabitants. An innate creativity and abundance of natural resources allow for an extensive selection of exquisite and remarkably unique products such as Jamaican jerk. Read more on Nearshore Americas’ website here:  http://www.nearshoreamericas.com/secret-true-jamaican-jerk/

One love,

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689 by Brian Lumley (Pre-Opening Tasting)

It’s safe to say that you’re buried deep under a rock if you haven’t heard about Brian Lumley, one of Jamaica’s most revered chefs, and who has already begun his journey on becoming a regional culinary pioneer. This under-25 gourmet prodigy has already received a number of local and international accolades, the latest being the coveted Caribbean Chef of the Year award at the recently concluded Taste of the Caribbean 2013 Culinary Showcase in Miami, Florida. (Read more here)

Brian Lumley, Chef de Cuisine

Brian Lumley, Chef de Cuisine

But, of highest note – and the realization of any chef’s dream – is his very own restaurant, 689 by Brian Lumley located in the heart of Jamaica’s capital city Kingston. I along with fellow foodies and food critics had the opportunity to partake in a private pre-opening tasting earlier this week and it was quite memorable dining experience! I had the pleasure of being accompanied by two very good friends, Joleen and Nakeeta.

To kick-off the 5 course meal, we were served a bowl of piping hot fish chowder with fresh garlic bread. The garlic bread faded into the background as I sipped away at the luxurious chowder while thinking yes, just the perfect dish to prepare the stomach for rest of the night.

Fish chowder with fresh garlic bread

fish chowder with fresh garlic bread

While we waited for course 2, our waiter, Omar, came presenting my all-time-fave cocktail, mojitos! Peach mojitos to be exact. Boy was I in heaven! Actually, make that THREE trips to heaven…I just couldn’t get enough.

Peach Mojito at 689

Peach Mojito

Then came course 2, a delectable platter of curried chicken spring rolls with thai chilli sauce. The contrasting flavours and textures worked well with this dish. Just when we thought we had enough, our tastebuds prompted us for one last bite. Next thing you know, we’re staring at the remaining sauce and wondering, how did that happen!

curried chicken spring rolls with thai chilli sauce

curried chicken spring rolls with thai chilli sauce

By time we finished a few jokes, course 3 was on its way. A healthy serving of lobster spaghettini splashed with wine got me excited. Its lobster; it’s supposed to secrete an ounce or two of endorphins. Perfectly cooked pasta, with a light tomato sauce and conspicuous chunks of lobster meat. The dish was a little shy of salt, but that was quickly taken care of. The rest was history.

lobster spaghettini splashed with white wine

lobster spaghettini splashed with wine

By this time, Brian had announced that there would have been a service break where patrons were free to chat with the chef himself, intermingle, or check out the bar.

Stephen and his peach mojito

couldn’t get enough of the peach mojitos!

After about 45 minutes or so, service resumed with course 4 which consisted of two entrées: coconut curry green split peas with house-made flat bread and a Herbes de Provence chicken breast with fresh tomato sauce. The house-made flatbread was the perfect vehicle to transport the intricate medley of flavours that was the split pea curry where it needed to be – in my tummy!

coconut curry green split peas with house-made flat bread

coconut curry green split peas with house-made flat bread

Now onto the chicken dish. Guys, believe me when I tell you that this. was. the. most. perfectly. cooked. chicken. ever. Cutting into the chicken took zero effort. Then the moment it arrived to my mouth I was instantly alerted that this ain’t no ordinary chicken! Perfectly moist, perfectly seasoned, and perfectly aromatized with a classic medley of dried herbs. The accompanying tomato sauce provided the perfect pairing to the delicate flavours. Joleen, Nakeeta and I couldn’t stop mentioning how perfect the chicken was. I even made sure I commended Brian on this in particular. It takes some good skills to get chicken this perfect!

Herbes de Provence chicken breast with fresh tomato sauce

Herbes de Provence chicken breast with fresh tomato sauce

And then, what would any good meal be without a great dessert. So said, so done. A luxurious passion fruit cheesecake that needed to be savoured one bite at a time! Hats off to the pastry chef for creating the perfect balance of sweet and tang. The seeds on top added another level of textural complexity, allowing for an even more enjoyable mouthfeel. Truly divine.

passion fruit cheesecake

passion fruit cheesecake

The second dessert was a pineapple, guava and ginger tart. I’m not really a big fan of tarts, but this was pretty yummy!  (Or probably I was too mesmerized by the cheesecake).

pinepple, guave and ginger tart

pineapple, guava and ginger tart

Indeed it was a great night. We were pleased. Our stomachs were pleased. All was well with the world.

689 door

The doors will officially swing open on September 8 at 6:00 p.m. And no, that’s not the meaning behind the “689”. Then what is it really? Well, there’s a beautifully designed mural inside with the whole shebang, so go make your reservations and check it out! (To reserve a table on opening night email bookcheflumley@gmail.com). 689 is located at 20-22 Trinidad Terrace, Kingston (Quad entrance).

Check them out on Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram.

Let me know how your experience was,

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Elle and Vire Jamaica (+ FREE give-aways)

I concede, I’ve been MIA for a while now. Sincerest apologies. The past few weeks were spent prepping for my choir’s inaugural concert. We had a great show! Now that that’s out of the way, I’ve been able to breathe a little easier. Of course I had to make my return worthwhile, so I’ve got a few things in store for you loyal RF readers. Here’s a hint: France. Two return tickets to Paris maybe? Nah B, but it’s still pretty decent. Keep reading.

Recently I’ve come to the realisation that there really isn’t a strong presence of French products in Jamaica. In fact, I even found out that the majority of wines imported here comes from the US and South America, due to the lack of trade with France, and the high costs associated with such.

Nevertheless, pioneering French brand Elle & Vire has been gracing the dishes of Jamaican chefs and home cooks alike for the past decade or so, offering a variety of dairy products and bringing the characteristic French quality home to Jamaicans.

Established in 1947, Elle & Vire products are found on all five continents, in over 120 countries. Their mission is to offer the very best of French dairy savoir-faire to consumers and professionals.

Established in 1947, Elle & Vire products are found on all five continents, in over 120 countries. Their mission is to offer the very best of French dairy savoir-faire to consumers and professionals.

Elle & Vire is distributed by Chas E Ramson, one of the oldest distributors in Jamaica which started in 1922. The Elle & Vire line of products is managed by Kathryn Silvera, a 4th generation member of the Ramsons’ family business since May 2007.

Kathryn Silvera, brand manager for Elle & Vire Jamaica

Kathryn Silvera, brand manager for Elle & Vire Jamaica

Listen to the Elle & Vire jingle here.

Elle & Vire products

Their line of products include:

  • Assorted Fruit yogurts
  • 0% fat yogurt
  • Plain sweetened yogurt
  • Crème Dessert Puddings (Chocolate and Vanilla)
  • Yaggo milk – for kids (Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry)
  • Yaggo Yogurt – for kids
  • Cooking Cream
  • Whipping Cream
  • Aerosol Whipping Cream (Original and Extra Light)
  • Salted, Unsalted and Low fat Butter
  • Yaggo Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
  • Yaggo Chocolate Spread

I will be developing some quick and easy recipes so check back soon for these. In the meanwhile, you can also check out the full line of Elle & Vire products on Chas E Ramson’s website: www.chaseramson.com and like their Facebook page.

Current promotion Now is the best time to go and grab a few Elle & Vire products, and get a chance at some AMAZING prizes through their How Do You Elle & Vire competition. EnV Promo

Purchase J$500 + tax worth of Elle and Vire products and correctly fill out the slogan ‘How do you Elle & Vire?’ on the back of one of their entry forms. Attach your sales receipt and drop it into one of the drop boxes located islandwide.

You can get your entry form and do your drop off at any of the following locations:

Shoppers Fair Mandeville Shopping Centre, Shoppers Fair Caledonia Road, MegaMart Mandeville, Consumer’s Meat Plus, MegaMart Montego Bay, Loshusan, Sovereign, Brooklyn Twin Gates, Brooklyn Clock Tower, Lee’s Food Fair, Carihome Supermarket, John R Wong, Hi Lo Barbican, Super Valu, Family Pride, Hi Lo Fairview, Progressive Whitter Village, Shoppers Fair Westgate, General Foods Ocho Rios, New Champion Supermarket, Joong’s St. Thomas, Ramtullah, National Wholesale May Pen, MegaMart Waterloo, MegaMart Portmore, Michi Supercentre, Lee’s Boulevard Supercentre, Hi Lo Portmore, Max Value, Shoppers Fair Sav, Hi Lo Basics Montego Bay.

ENTER NOW!!

Elle & Vire products can be found at over 60 supermarkets islandwide.

More freenis!

Thanks to the kind-hearted Kathryn, I have some giveaways for three lucky RF followers. The challenge: name three distinct products from the Elle & Vire line. Ok, so maybe this isn’t much of a challenge. The first three RF followers to answer correctly in the comment box below will win a gift basket from Chas E Ramson. Scroll down and get going!

Hope you were a winner.

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Interview with Jermaine and Keisha Bailey, Owners, Toss and Roll

Toss and Roll is one of Kingston’s newest food spots. The days-old eatery is owned and operated by Keisha Bailey and hubby Jermaine Bailey at 2 Trafalgar Road, Kingston 5. (Read my post on Lunch at Toss and Roll). Patrons can come in between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to enjoy the freshest wraps, sandwiches, and salads, all hand-cut and assembled on spot. Delivery options are also available: call 876-879-3310.

Toss and Roll comes at the perfect time when Jamaica has joined the health and fitness movement and has embraced the eat clean, eat local concept. Let’s get to know a little more about Keisha & Jermaine’s vision to provide Kingstonians with a better, healthier alternative to lunch.

Name: Jermaine Bailey, Keisha Bailey
Age: 30, 28
Occupation: MBA student at UWI, Risk Manager at JMMB

1. Where did you get the idea to open up Toss & Roll?

  • The concept for Toss & Roll started with my sister in law Shanna-Lee Bennett who wanted to provide healthier breakfast options to a few corporate companies in new Kingston and Liguanea. My wife Keisha and I would assist her with sales and also give advice on strategy for her business. Shanna-Lee recently migrated but she’s still a part of our operations giving advice on menu planning and new items we plan to add in the future.
  • Also we wanted to provide meal options that were healthy but not necessarily vegetarian. We wanted to get away from the traditional beans and ‘ital stew’ and just provide low calorie, low fat and high protein meals to our customers. We are very big on freshness and so we prepare our ingredients daily to ensure our customers get the freshest healthiest meal possible.

2. Was the process from concept to realisation a difficult one? 

  • Getting Toss & Roll off the ground was a very tedious process. Finding the right location was a key part of our strategy and this took quite some time. Eventually we found the Small Business Association of Jamaica and with their mandate to help provide facilities for start-ups and small businesses to succeed we felt that this location would be the perfect fit for us.
  • Staffing was another important part of getting the business running so we spent months scouting around for the right customer focused persons who would delight our customers on each visit.
  • Getting the right supply of fresh vegetables and protein was also important. So from early on we sought to find key suppliers who would give us the wholesome ingredients we want to serve our customers. Our vegetables are fresh from the farm without any preservatives and hand cut daily right in our store. Our meats are also freshly done and we stay far away from using preservative and MSG etc.

3. What is your relationship with food like?

  • We are food lovers….we are very meticulous about what is served to us and so we ensure that only the freshest, most wholesome ingredients are used for items on our menu
  • My sister-in-law Shanna-Lee is even more particular about the standard of the meals we serve and so we have a dedicated team working to ensure our customers are always satisfied

4. What are your views on veganism?

  • Veganism is a healthy lifestyle also and we enjoy vegan food. We however want to position ourselves as a salad bar serving meals that are fresh and healthy…not necessarily vegetarian or vegan. Our ingredients used in our meals are packed with a wide range of vitamins and have a wide range of health benefits.

5. Where do you see Toss and Roll in the next 2 years?

  • Our plan is to encourage healthier eating habits among our customers and the wider Jamaica. In order to achieve this initiative we want to have more store locations opened some time in the medium term.
jermaine&keisha3

Jermaine & Keisha Bailey, Owners, Toss & Roll

Check out Toss and Roll on Facebook and Instagram.

Lunch at Toss and Roll

I love to cook, and as such I try to commit some time during my busy weekends to let my creative juices flow in the kitchen. This means that I would usually have my weekend creations for lunch a day or two during the week. But Fridays are dedicated to exploring the city’s foodie hotspots. I am always on the lookout for new venues, and they are always popping up. Truth is there aren’t enough Fridays to keep up with the growth in numbers of lunch spots in Kingston, and you’d be amazed at how many have opened up in the last few months or so.

Anywho, I’ve (recently) embraced the #eatclean movement and as such have paid much (overdue) attention to eateries that offer a lighter, healthier menu rather than barging into the nearest fast food chain. So it wasn’t any surprise when I got excited and called up a few friends after hearing from a co-worker than there’s a new gourmet salad and wrap eatery in town called Toss and Roll. I didn’t have to second guess; I knew exactly where my good friend and lunch partner in crime Jo-Anne and I would be having lunch on Friday.

A super excited Stephen got hold of the owner’s contact details and called her up, expressing my content with the layout of the poster. Have a look:

toss&roll opening special

I made a promise to co-owner Keisha Bailey that I will be visiting her spot with a group of friends and she was rather accommodating; she even offered to set up extra chairs just in case.

(L to R) Latoya, Tassia & Jo-Anne

(L to R) Latoya, Tassia & Jo-Anne

Me and Daenia

Me and Daenia

Upon arriving, it was rather refreshing to see that all ingredients were prepared fresh right in front of your eyes. All the veggies were hand-cut, and not in bulk, as they were frequently replenished even within the duration that I was in line. I admit, I had to wait for a little longer than expected, but that’s ok if my wait is due to the time it takes to grill my chicken and assemble my salad and wrap in front of my eyes.

toss&roll salad bar

And the portion size was pretty decent, too. I got a mini chicken wrap (6”) and chicken salad for J$750 and a complimentary Watermelon Wonder green tea cooler…the perfect accompaniment to wash down a healthy lunch without gulping down those unwanted, empty calories.

toss&roll watermelon wonder

Watermelon Wonder Green Tea Cooler

Other choices included Mango Madness and Oh Yes It’s Orange.

toss&roll green tea coolers

My wrap and salad were pretty yummy: chicken breast grilled to perfection atop crunchy garden veggies, cheese and honey mustard dressing.

toss&roll grilled chicken salad toss&roll mini wrap toss&roll mini wrap2

The sudden downpour of rain wasn’t going to spoil our fun.

toss&roll_Daenia1

Or theirs…

toss&roll outdoor seating

Overall it was a good experience and I would recommend it to anyone seeking a healthier alternative to lunch. Toss and Roll is owned by spouses Keisha and Jermaine Bailey, currently operating from the Small Business Association of Jamaica complex, at 2 Trafalgar Rd (the first left after turning onto Lady Musgrave Rd. from Trafalgar Rd.) but as you’d imagine they may soon need to relocate to accommodate a larger following. Toss and Roll is opened daily from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and delivery is available. They can be contact at 876-879-3310, via email at tossandroll@gmail.com and on Facebook.

Eat right, live better.

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toss&roll banner

Mothers’ Day Treats @ World-Class Devon House Bakery

devon house

A great dessert is a good way to indulge on any special occasion. During the month of May, Devon House Bakery (located on the grounds of the world-famous Devon House, Hope Road, Kingston) will be treating moms to a free Dame Amor Black Forest Cheesecake with the purchase of any three or more pastry items.

Camera 360

I got first taste of these delicious delights when marketing manager and friend Kerin Scott called me up to be part of a photo shoot to launch the bakery’s social media campaign. I was one of a handful of foodies that were just TOO excited to indulge in the sinfulness of the many yummy delights that are available at this nifty bakery.

As part of the photographing process we had to taste everything. Ok, so we didn’t HAVE to, but you get the point. #fattie

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Some of my favourites included the classic strawberry cheesecake, chocolate fudge cake, and red velvet cheesecake.

oreo cheesecake

oreo cheesecake

chocolate fudge cake

chocolate fudge cake

red velvet cheesecake

red velvet cheesecake

Dame Amor blackforrest cheesecake

Dame Amor blackforrest cheesecake

Oh, and since we’re already there, might as well throw in one of their amazing, freshly made patties, my favourite being the shrimp patty. Listen, if you get nothing else, make sure you get the shrimp patty! And yea, there are actual, discernible shrimp inside. Enough said.

devon house signature patties

Devon House signature patties

The bakery is open from 10:00a.m. to 10:00p.m. every day of the week, and the al-fresco ambience is the perfect setting for a dessert date.

Check them out on Facebook and be sure to take advantage of this offer and treat mom (or yourself) to some of the best pastries in town.

Photo credits: Skkan Media, STUSH and SLEEK Magazine.