I took the Florida BBQ Association Judging class a while back and had the pleasure of befriending Ricky Ginsburg, acting treasurer of the Florida BBQ Association at the Time. Ricky has graciously shared his AUTHENTIC, yes, AUTHENTIC Jerk Seasoning Recipe with me, that he placed 3rd overall with at the Jamaican Jerk Festival.
FYI, South Florida is the Nation’s hub of Caribbean transplants so placing in this festival is a pretty big deal. It took him many trips sampling a lot of Jamaican Jerk in Boston Bay, and a 6 pack of Red Strip to get this recipe from the pit- I mean Jerk Master. Here is his recount of this recipe and the experience! Enjoy!
Ricky Ginsburg is the treasurer of the Florida BBQ Association and makes one mean Authentic Jerk Rub! Since the Jamaican Jerk Festival is this weekend in Markham Park in Sunrise, Ricky Ginsburg from Boca Boys has generously sent us a guest post recalling his Jamaican Jerk Festival experiences.
I cooked at the Jamaican Jerk Festival for the first time in 2007. There were about 15 or 16 registered teams. My team, Boca Boys, went traditional with our chicken and pork, but cooked my now famous Jerk Leg of Lamb and even made a huge bowl of Boca Boys Baked Beans – except that I substituted the Jerk Rub (below) for my standard Boca Boys Rub.
There were three judges in the competition including a gentleman who beat Bobby Flay in the Jerk Throwdown, a woman who wrote the Lifestyles section of the Gleaner (major Jamaican newspaper), and Dwight Lauderdale, who did Channel 10 News. The woman from the Gleaner came up to me after the judging was over and said, “Please don’t tell anyone I said this, but you make better jerk chicken than my mother!” and Dwight Lauderdale came back eight times for seconds on the jerk lamb.
The guy who beat Bobby Flay wasn’t as impressed, but he did say that we had great flavor and lots of guts competing against folks who grew up cooking and eating jerk. We placed third overall, went home with the Bronze Pot and $250.
Below is our winning jerk rub. It comes from a recipe I pried out of chef at a jerk shack in Boston Bay, Jamaica, home of Jamaican Jerk. It took a six-pack of Red Stripe beer to get it from him and it was only after I’d sampled jerk at half a dozen other shacks that I decided his was the best flavor. That was 28 years ago and I’ve never changed anything in the recipe.
If you love Jamaican food, check out some of my other Jamaican Jerk inspired recipes!