Miami, FL - PBS viewers from Key West to the Treasure Coast will be invited to savor the flavors of the Caribbean beginning Monday, April 27 at 7:30pm, they can “Taste the Islands with Chef Irie.” Each week’s episode will air at 7:30PM on Mondays and Thursdays, and again during the station’s Saturday afternoon lifestyle lineup at 3:30PM.
In each episode of the series, Chef Irie will create mouthwatering fare inspired by his Jamaican upbringing, the wider Caribbean, and his travels around the world. From preparing homemade spicy jerk seasoning to Latin inspired mussels chorizo in mango coconut sauce, the chef will tantalize viewers with traditional and gourmet Caribbean recipes.
The show will also feature cameos by Caribbean celebrities including Inner Circle of “Bad Boys” fame; British reggae fusion singer, Maxi Priest, who topped US charts with hits like “I Just Wanna Be Close to You” and “Set the Night to Music” in the 1990s; Trinidadian Olympic sprinter turned NBC sports analyst Ato Boldon; and St Vincent’s “Turn Me On” hit-maker, Kevin Lyttle. During the course of each show, viewers can listen in as the chef and guests discuss food from their native countries, their travels, and impromptu cooking lessons he offers them.
Hugh “Chef Irie” Sinclair is a professional chef with a palpable love of creating delicious food. He holds degrees in both Architecture and Culinary Arts. His high profile clients include Macy’s, the Knight Foundation, and the Jamaican Jerk Festival franchise.
WPBT2 Vice President of Content Max Duke is excited about the addition of the program to the station’s schedule. “PBS has a long history of tantalizing viewers’ taste buds with incredible cooking shows,” he comments. “Chef Irie brings a great new flavor to our food lineup, both in his dishes and his personality." WPBT2 is the presenting station for “Taste the Islands with Chef Irie”, which will be aired on PBS stations nationwide via American Public Television beginning in April 2015.
The Jamaica Tourist Board whose new slogan is “Home of All Right,” provided major funding for “Taste the Islands with Chef Irie”. Additional support was provided by South Florida’s Paychecks and Compliance Services Inc.
The show is the first dedicated Caribbean cooking series and the first Jamaican-produced series to be aired nationally on the PBS network, adding new diversity to the network’s culinary lineup. Fans of Caribbean cuisine can receive updates, view images, watch outtakes and promos, and find recipes on the show's website www.tastetheislandstv.com, or on its various social media pages.
The executive producer and director of “Taste the Islands” is Calibe Thompson of Blondie Ras Productions, the production company behind SFL/The CW Network’s 2014 local broadcast “The Caribbean Diaspora Weekly - South Florida Edition.” Thompson comments, “We’ve received such tremendous support from our community, and we’re proud to be bringing the best of our culture to a mainstream platform. There’s only more and better to come.” Lukkee Chong of Frame by Frame Productions worked closely with Thompson to bring the project to fruition.
Blondie Ras Productions is a Miami-based video production company that creates Caribbean-inspired lifestyle content for an international audience appreciative of cultural diversity. The company seeks to become the preeminent source for Caribbean-related television content. Blondie Ras Productions is the company behind “Taste the Islands,” “The Caribbean Diaspora Weekly,” “Miami Fitness TV,” and “Island Origins” television shows.
South Florida’s premier public broadcaster, WPBT2,is a community-licensed, not-for-profit media enterprise serving communities from the Treasure Coast to the Florida Keys. WPBT2 provides high quality content from PBS, independent acquisitions and its own original productions. WPBT2’s digital media platform, offers: 2HD, a 24-hour high definition channel; Digital 2.2, Create, a cooking, arts & crafts, gardening, home improvement, and travel channel; World, a nonfiction documentary, science and news channel; Digital 2.3, V-me, a 24-hour national Spanish-language network and www.wpbt2.org, the WPBT2 website including the WPBT2 Video Player.