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Making the Mark
The Rousseau sisters at The Brooklyn Kitchen in New York. - File Photos
Martin Maginley
Dennis McIntosh

Jamaica's food ambassadors ... Tantalising taste buds around the world

The popularity of Jamaican cuisine has grown tremendously with the opening up of many Jamaican restaurants across North America and Europe. Jamaican chefs have successfully blended cooking techniques, spices and recipes to contribute to one of the most flavourful cuisines in the world. Some of our outstanding chefs who continue to fly the epicurean flag high are chefs Martin Maginley, Dennis McIntosh, and Suzanne and Michelle Rousseau.

The multi-award-winning chef Maginley has enriched the culinary experience for many, having worked at four- and five-star hotels in Jamaica and Canada. He is currently the executive chef at Round Hill Villas and Spa. Maginley has appeared on 'The Today Show', Fox 5 Morning Show and others, performing live demonstrations, and has been featured in publications such as Food & Wine and Caribbean Travel & Life. Chef Maginley was instrumental in the creation of the highly successful 'Epicurean Escape', in association with Food & Wine. He continues to tantalise the palates of his guests with authentic Jamaican fare, affirming that what's uniquely Jamaican can pass anywhere in the world.

Chef Dennis McIntosh grew up in Nest Castle, a small community in St Thomas. At age eight, he and members of his family migrated to England. During his early years, he developed a deep appreciation for the art of fine cuisine and later enrolled in the Henley College to study culinary arts. McIntosh set about creating his culinary path by working in Germany, England, the United States and Bermuda, before returning to Jamaica in 1990 to take up his first executive chef position. A standard-bearer for Jamaican cuisine, McIntosh has appeared on the Food Network Channel, and in 2012, he was the guest chef in Brussels, Belgium, at the request of the Jamaican Embassy for the 50th year of Independence celebrations. As president of the Culinary Federation of Jamaica, he is paying it forward by providing opportunities and exposure young chefs.

Growing up in a family with a deep appreciation for good food, and being surrounded by fresh ingredients, Michelle and Suzanne Rousseau were introduced to the culinary world very early in life. Not only chefs, they are also the authors of Caribbean Potluck: Modern Recipes from Our Family Kitchen. The book is a compilation of the stories of their lives in the food business. Both sisters have catered an impressive roster of events, including weddings for Hollywood actresses Drew Barrymore and Reese Witherspoon, as well as dinner for Charles, Prince of Wales.The two sisters opened their first restaurant, Ciao Bella, in 1996, which evolved from a café to a fine-dining experience. They also designed the menu at Usain Bolt's Track and Records. The Rousseau sisters have definitely made it their point of duty to showcase Jamaican cuisine to the world.

These are just some of the Jamaican food ambassadors who continue to make their mark in the culinary world with use of our bold flavours and passion. 

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