Reggae artiste, Conkarah, is a YouTube sensation, with his music videos exceeding 200 million views. Best known for his reggae cover of Adele’s Hello sung with young Solomon Islander, Rosie Delmah, the video topped the iTunes reggae charts and global Spotify, and is an all-time favourite of music lovers worldwide. His most recent albums Don’t Kill My Love and Timeless Love reached the Top Ten Billboard reggae charts at #7 and #4 respectively. Conkarah’s musical journey has taken him around the world and he has performed throughout the Pacific Islands, Australia, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North and South America, the Caribbean, and even Greenland.

Follow him @Conkarah

SWIFT RIVER, PORTLAND

When in Jamaica what’s on your culinary ‘must do’ list?

I head for the country, coast or the mountains. If I’m going east to Portland (my favourite parish) I start out early making a stop at a popular roadside stall in Junction for a cup of peanut porridge – thick, hearty and piping hot, it sets the morning off right! If I’m going south coast, I always stop at Melrose Hill for the roast yam and a bump of saltfish.

I like to explore my island and go to places off-the-beaten- track. Recently a group of us went to Swift River in Portland a place called ‘Paradise’, and we arranged with farmers in the local community to prepare a cook out – they killed a goat and curried it, we also had mannish water, jerk chicken, rice and peas, callaloo, yam, green banana, the works –all from the farm. I also like to go to Holywell Park in the Blue Mountains where we set up the grill and barbecue. Several of my friends are foodies and chefs so I go to the food festivals and pop up culinary events, and try all the new creative dishes. I love Kingston Kitchens held at Hope Gardens.

best box lunch?

Lorna’s on Mountain View – tasty, wholesome Jamaican food and the portions are large.

Pan Jerk?

Most would say Boston in Portland, but I found a great jerk spot just outside Sav-La-Mar, they use a particular pimento wood on the coals, it gives it a different taste.

Seafood?

In Kingston – Gloria’s on Foreshore Road in Port Royal – steam snapper with a side of okra and steamed bammy. Out of town, Little Ochi in Manchester. You choose your fish and eat in fishing boats on stilts, right on the beach!

vegetarian?

New Leaf in Liguanea – great menu choices.

Drink?

Coconut water every time…best from the roadside or by the gallon from Coconut Board outlet on Waterloo Road – I also get my coconut oil there, it’s the best, 100% pure!

your perfect dining out on a Sunday?

Dim sum breakfast with friends at Tropical Plaza in Halfway Tree; lunch with family at Crystal Edge in Irish Town – it’s home-style cooking, great atmosphere, followed by coffee and dessert at Café Blue right next door; date night, maybe a relaxed dinner at Sea Deck in Orchid Village – fried wings to start, followed by grilled lobster. After dark, up to Dub Club in Jack’s Hill, munch on fried saltfish fritters washed down with fresh fruit juices – with reggae music and a breathtaking view of the city of Kingston at night – the perfect end to my Sunday!

when going on tour overseas what Jamaican food items are in your suitcase?

Bottles of Walkers Wood and Belcour jerk seasoning; pimento seeds; Scotch bonnet pepper… and Appleton rum.

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