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The Maroons are the original creators of Jerk cuisine, now famous across Jamaica and the world. But there has not been a major Jerk festival in a Maroon community, until now. The first annual Maroon Jerk Fest will be held on Sunday, August 11, 2024, during the weekend after the Emancipation/Independence Day festivities. The Maroon Jerk Fest will be held at Katawud Village, which is located in the Maroon community of Ginger House in the Upper Rio Grande Valley, Portland, which is part of the Blue & John Crow Mountains National Park UNESCO World Heritage Site. As a festival being hosted in this small rural community, we will keep audience sizes to a maximum manageable number, to minimize the impact on the communities and the environment. The festival will also be broadcast and covered by our mass media and our social media partners and channels.

The Maroon Jerk Fest will help to highlight and preserve Maroon culinary traditions, culture, and the environment. It will also infuse capital into the various Maroon communities of the Rio Grande Valley and beyond during this festival.

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The Venue

Katawud Village will stage Maroon, Kumina, Mento, Reggae, spoken word, poetry, comedy, and other Afro-Jamaican cultural performances, as well as booths showcasing a variety of arts and crafts and other products and services from the Maroon communities. There will also be a Kidz Zone, and a health and wellness zone featuring traditional Maroon herbal products and services. And of course, there will be lots of Jerk vendors serving up delicious traditional and modern Maroon Jerk dishes including jerk pork (including from wild hogs), jerk chicken, jerk fish, jerk vegetables, jerk sauces, and other foods for which Portland parish is famous.

One of the highlights of the Maroon Jerk Fest will be a farmer’s market where visitors can leave with a variety of ground provisions, fruits, vegetables, meats, and other products sourced from the Rio Grande Valley, the breadbasket of the area and beyond. Tours of the natural, cultural, and historical landscape of the Rio Grande Valley can be arranged through Katawud Village (the parent company of the Maroon Jerk Fest) and our community tours partners.

During the weekend of the Maroon Jerk Fest, patrons can book arts and craft workshops, led by community craftspeople, performing and visual artists, offering drumming, paint 'n sip experiences, as well as craft workshops using bamboo, straw, and other natural material.

The Full Story

Creators of the Maroon Jerk Fest

The annual Maroon Jerk Fest was envisioned by members of the Fuller family who have roots in Ginger House, Cornwall Barracks, Moore Town, and other Rio Grande Valley Maroon communities. The Fullers, among who include scholars, nurses, entrepreneurs, developers, music and film producers, are no strangers to Maroon and other Jamaican and international cuisine. They have collective experiences in Jamaican food and beverage establishments in the Maroon communities of the Rio Grande Valley, as well as in England, the United States, and Canada.

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Dr. Harcourt Fuller, CEO

Dr. Harcourt Fuller - the founder of the Maroon Jerk Fest – is a history professor, Fulbright Global Scholar, philanthropist, music and film producer. Dr. Fuller started the Maroon Jerk Festival with his nephew and business partner Kimoy “Pustinho” Fuller – a music producer and CEO of Roehampton Production.

When he migrated to New York City in the early 1990s, Harcourt Fuller worked as a waiter for Allan Vernon at his Manhattan restaurant Vernon's Jerk Paradise. Vernon's Jamaican Jerk Sauce was one of the first widely distributed Jamaican jerk sauces in the United States and other countries. Many New York Knicks players, including their Jamaican-born star teammate Patrick Ewing dined at Vernon’s Jerk Paradise, which was only blocks away from Madison Square Garden. The New York Times has called Vernon “a Grandfather of Jerk” and “the King of Jerk” for pioneering Jerk cuisine and sauces in the United States and other countries. The King of Jerk was also featured in articles in the New Yorker Magazine, Black Enterprise, Ebony, and Essence, as well as on Bobby Flay and Martha Steward shows. It was at Vernon’s Jerk Paradise that Fuller found his love for the Maroon cuisine.

Now based in Atlanta, Dr. Fuller is the producer for the acclaimed documentary, “Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess,” which streams on Amazon and The Africa Channel. Dr. Fuller is also the producer of the album, “Granny Nanny Come Oh: Jamaican Maroon Kromanti and Kumina Music and Other Oral Traditions” by the Moore Town Granny Nanny Cultural Group. Fuller also brought this Maroon group from Jamaica on a 3-month tour of the eastern United States in 2016, which was sponsored by GraceKennedy Foods USA and other organizations. The Maroons performed their traditional Kromanti and Kumina music and dance and demonstrated their culinary mastery of Jerk for audiences in several states.

In 2022, Fuller and his family founded Katawud Village (www.katawudvillage.com), a community and an eco-tourism enterprise in Ginger House. The Katawud Village Jerk Hut serves what Fuller calls “Maroon Jerk Fusion Cuisine,” which is a medley of traditional Maroon dishes with an international twist, such as the Jerk Chicken Kabobs.

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Kimoy “Pustinho” Fuller, COO

Kimoy Fuller, affectionately called “Pustinho” by his peers (because he’s a big fan of Ronaldinho, the Brazilian former Barcelona Football Club forward), is Chief Operating Officer of Katawud Enterprises, LLC, which includes Katawud Village, Katawud Apparel, Katawud Music, Katawud Films, the Maroon Jerk Fest™, and other brands. In addition to being a music producer and trucking logistics entrepreneur, Pustinho worked for several years as a sales associate for apparel retail giant Macy’s. He was also a sales and marketing representative for major telecommunications companies, including Time Warner Cable (now known as Charter Communications/Spectrum Cable), Verizon Fios and Solarcity. 

 

Pustinho graduated from the Institute of Audio Research (I.A.R) in New York City, where he was trained in audio recording and post-production techniques (music recording, voice-overs, sound effects, audio books, gaming, etc.). He was previously personal assistant to Billboard chart-topping Dancehall-Reggae producer Rohan “Jah Snow Cone” Fuller, who produced the Sean Paul smash hit “Temperature.” Pustinho is co-founder of the independent, New York-based record label Roehampton Production, which works closely with Katawud Music to produce albums, singles, and soundtracks for our film and other projects.

His brother, Rohan “Jah Snow Cone” Fuller - a chart-topping producer who has cooked up Reggae-Dancehall hits for top artists is also a self-taught chef. Snow Cone recently launched his Temperature Sauces brand (www.instagram.com/temperature_sauces/), named after the Billboard #1 song “Temperature,” which he produced for Sean Paul. During studio sessions in New York back in the day, Jah Snow Cone also served up authentic Jamaican dishes for international stars such as Jimmy Cliff, Wyclef Jean, Lauren Hill, Monifa, Canibus, among others.

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Rohan “Jah Snow Cone” Fuller

Herard Warren Fuller

Herard Warren Fuller

Herard Warren Fuller, another of the Fuller brothers, is an experienced and established waiter/bartender who has worked in the private, public, and diplomatic sectors in Jamaica and the United States. This includes Oceana Hotel, Bank of Jamaica, Vale Royal, Jamaica House, King’s House, as well as with various Ambassador’s and High Commissioner’s residences including the US, Britain, and Canada. He also served at corporate events including Grace Kennedy, Port Authority, Wisynco, UWI-Mona, Alhambra Inn, and Wray & Nephew/Edwin Charley. In the United States, Warren has served food and beverages to dignitaries including past and current New York City mayors.

Makada McBean is a versatile and multitalented artist, cultural practitioner, educator, entrepreneur, marketing and sales representative. She has been involved in the arts and culture industry for over 17 years. She was the First Runner Up for the 2013-2014 Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Miss St. James Festival Queen competition.

 

In addition to being trained in theater and screen acting and production, Makada is a writer, model, dancer, choreographer, poet, culture coach, speech and drama teacher, and a published researcher in the field of linguistics. Her work includes captivating stage plays and published poetry. Makada’s forthcoming publications for Katawud Books include a poetry anthology titled, When My Papa Laughs, and her first children’s book about Queen Nanny of the Maroons. Makada was part of the expedition team that went to the historic and sacred site of Old Nanny Town in the Blue Mountains, as part of the filming of the documentary Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess, which was produced by Dr. Harcourt Fuller.

 

Makada lived and taught English in Japan for 7 years. During that time, she founded the Naturally Kinky brand - an all-natural hair care line. She also organized various cultural events in the Chubu area of Japan and actively participated in Tokyo's cultural scene. Notably, she had the privilege of showcasing her Jamaican heritage at the annual Tourism Expo in Osaka, Japan, where she was invited by the Jamaican Ambassador to Japan to perform Jamaican poems, folk songs, and dances. Her enthusiastic performance captivated a multinational audience, including the esteemed presence of the Jamaican Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, CD, MP.

 

Makada holds a Bachelor’s degree from Shortwood Teachers’ College/The University of the West Indies Mona, Jamaica, and a Master’s degree from the University of Birmingham in the UK.

Makada McBean

Makada McBean,

Marketing, Sales, & Events Coordinator

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