Chefs of all distinction are afforded an opportunity to put their culinary skills to the test and win cash, bragging rights and the coveted Dutch Pot Trophy in the Publix Jerk Cook-off. PublixThe Champion Chef will be selected by a panel of distinguished judges and announced on the main stage.

This is a serious contest where anyone can win and be declared the festival’s Jerk Champion. Contest rules and application forms are available here.




Other activities taking place in the Publix Jerk Cook-off Pavilion include top chefs demonstrating and sampling innovative Jerk recipes. Local celebrities compete against each other in a lively Quick Fire Contest, and wine experts pair spicy Jerk dishes with fine wine.  

Meet 2013 the Publix Jerk Cook-off Winner Chef Jimmie Jackson


 Chef Jimmie Jackson


Chef Jimmie Jackson was born and raised in the metro area of Washington, D.C. Jimmie's interest in Caribbean cooking came through his Jamaican stepfather, who introduced him to spicy and flavorful cooking techniques of the islands. Jimmie is the owner of JJC Kitchen (Jimmie's Jerk Chicken), a small Jerk and BBQ seasoning company.  He currently lives in Atlanta and is concentrating on building his business.


Jimmie's jerk chicken started to get the reputation as the 'best tasting jerk" and with encouragement from family and friends, he entered the cooking competition at the Caribbean Jerk Festival in Atlanta, placing second in 2010 & 2011.  Determined to win, he participated again in September 2012 and won 1st place - "Top Jerk Chef" title.  


Winning the title fueled his desire to participate in more competitions; two months later, he entered the Publix Jerk Cook-off in the biggest Jerk Festival in the county - The Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, Florida.  The Florida festival was a much more organized and Jimmie faced a fierce set of contestants. He was elated to settle for second place and the Silver Dutch Pot trophy.  


Not one to quit and with much more preparation and determination, he returned with a vengeance in 2013 to snatch first place, walking away with the coveted Gold Dutch Pot Trophy and the top cash prize. Jimmy is already creating new and innovative recipes as he plans to defend his title at the 2014 Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival in November.



Get tips on how to create many tasty Jerk dishes using Grace products from Chef Mazie Miller, host of Cooking With Grace. A number of top chefs will be on hand to demonstrate their culinary skills with finger-licking creations. Sample these tasty bites and take home some Grace products to try in your kitchen.

Try these tasty Jerk recipes and you too can become an expert at preparing mouth watering Jerk dishes to impress family and friends.  Your secret is safe with us.

Jerk Grilled Shrimp with Mango Coulis

Serves 4

1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons Jerk seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil
20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4(12”) bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
Sea salt and pepper to taste
2 ripe mangos, peeled and diced
1 ounce rice wine vinegar juice
1tablespoon honey
1 ounce dark rum

In a large mixing bowl combine the orange juice, lime juice, garlic and jerk seasoning. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Place the shrimp into the marinade and allow the shrimp to sit for about 20 minutes.

Thread the marinated shrimp onto the skewers. Lightly season with salt & pepper. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side or until the shrimp are bright pink in color.

Combine mango, vinegar, honey and rum in a blender or a food processor and puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
Drizzle the grilled shrimp with mango coulis and serve.

Grilled Pineapple with Spiced Vanilla Rum Sauce

Serves 20

1 pineapple
12 bamboo skewers, soaked in water
1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 orange, zested and juiced
½ cup dark spiced rum
¼ cup demerara sugar
Pinch sea salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat grill.

Cut around the pineapple to remove the skin. Cut into 4 wedges and discard the core. Slice the pineapple to long strips. Push a skewer through each piece for easy grilling and serving.

Split vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Place vanilla beans and  seeds, cardamom, orange juice and zest, rum, and sugar in a 1 ½ quart saucepot on high heat. Ignite the rum allow all of the alcohol to burn off and reduce the sauce by two thirds. Add the salt. Remove from heat and whisk in the cold butter.

Baste grill pineapple 6-8 minutes. Towards the end of the grilling use half of the sauce to baste the pineapple until they are starting to caramelize.  Remove from grill and serve pineapple with the remaining glaze.

Jerk Grilled Chicken Strips with Honey- Curried Yogurt

Serves 4

4 chicken breast, each cut into 4 strips
½ cup grape seed oil
3 tablespoons Jerk seasoning
Sea salt and pepper to taste
16 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon orange blossom honey
1½ teaspoons curry powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Place chicken strips, oil and jerk seasoning in a zip top bag, and rub to make sure the chicken is coated evenly, cover and allow to marinate in refrigerator for one hour.

In a small mixing bowl stir the yogurt, honey, curry powder and salt. Stir to combine. Reserve to serve with the grilled chicken strips.

Thread the marinated chicken onto the skewers and grill for 3-4 minutes on each side or until the chicken is just cooked through.


Jerk Cook-off application
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