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KINGSTON, Jamaica; October 18, 2017: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett told attendees at the official opening of the Steakhouse on the Verandah restaurant at the Ministry of Tourism run Devon House that the popular heritage site will come off the Government’s budget by 2020.
“This is testament to the strong and focused initiatives at building up the property’s offerings, including its continued transition into Kingston’s first premier gastronomy centre, to eventually cover its own operating costs. We are very well on track and I am pleased with the work of the Devon House team and the broader Gastronomy Network of the Ministry,” Minister Bartlett noted.
The official opening of the Steakhouse on the Verandah restaurant follows the official opening of an expanded ‘I-Scream’ parlour on the North Lawns of the property in July. That new property was created to address growing public concerns about the wait time to purchase ice cream, especially on weekends and public holidays. The project received $28 million from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) to build a brand new 5,000 square feet facility, which doubles the size of its previously located courtyard and kiosk outlets on the property.
Opa, a popular Greek and fusion restaurant and an adjoining Reggae Mill bar, was also officially opened this year on the property further expanding the gastronomic options at Devon House.
Meanwhile, the Steakhouse on the Verandah restaurant is noted for its Jamaican twist, seating up to 60 patrons, serving locally aged, hormone-free meat by Gregory and Kristen Burrowes, principals of The Meat Experts – in addition to seafood, chicken and vegetarian dishes. Chef de cuisine is Chef Alex D-Great, author of the cookbook ‘Soul’ and former competitor on Food Network’s Rewrapped.
Bartlett noted that while his Ministry was proud of the culinary experiences currently in place at Devon House, his vision for the historic site included more interactive experiences for both visitors and locals to enjoy.
“We are going to be establishing here, the first Gastronomy Club and we will be building a special kitchen which will be marketed to visitors across the world to come to Devon House to cook. So, you can bring your family on a Sunday afternoon, cooking with fresh ingredients from the farmers market we will be building here very soon,” said the Minister.
The Tourism Minister also disclosed that his Ministry also has plans to establish food stations – a concept which will allow tourists and visitors alike a unique opportunity to sample a variety of authentic Jamaican cuisine in a convenient way.