One of my guilty pleasures on the weekend is to get up early on a Saturday morning, get dressed in my most unremarkable outfit (a long time tradition in my family when going downtown – more on that later), and hop on a downtown bound JUTC bus to head to “Curry” aka Coronation market. My excitement starts from the bus-ride as I get the opportunity to connect with a Jamaica that market researchers and I assume copywriters, worth their salt, would consider gold in consumer research and content about Jamaican society, politics and everything in between.
“…Coronation market boasts a unique blend of cultural and societal mix of products to satisfy every shopping need in Kingston.”
Coronation Market is considered an internationally known farmers’ market in the heart of the downtown district of Kingston. Hailed as a must-visit for a wide array of foods, it is the oldest farmers’ market in the English Caribbean and a favorite destination among locals and tourists alike. Now with an upgraded look, on any given early Saturday morning, farmers travel to Curry — and don’t be surprised if you run into a long lost friend, as it’s a melting pot of people. Coronation market boasts a unique blend of cultural and societal mix of products to satisfy every shopping need in Kingston. The seasonal bounty is unparalleled, with hundreds of varieties to choose from during any given season.
“…There are certain rules of haggling at Coronation market you don’t argue with…”
Once downtown, that’s when my own personal Food Network show, CurAte by PATOO begins, in my mind of course. In this purely conceptual show, I get lost in a reverie of vendors and patrons haggling for the best price – laughing and cussing and declaring familial relationships and military rank – because where else can I go and be referred to as “daddy”, “uncle”, “general” within minutes of being there. But that’s just the charm of Saturday market shopping, because it helps with the haggling that’s soon to follow. There are certain rules of haggling at Coronation market you don’t argue with. Like dressing down – because somehow I feel that it helps when I claim poverty at the prices .
“…I created CurAte by PATOO to help me map out my market shopping plans.”
For me, going to the market has always been therapeutic, because in addition to food shopping it allows me to plan the week ahead – interviews to do, new artists to review and places to go. And let’s face it, some of my most creative swells have happened over food. So I created CurAte by PATOO to help me map out my market shopping plans. Some have described this era as the “era of the foodie,” delighting in the culinary swell of cooking personalities, shows, websites and apps that continue to hit our palates daily. And I’m no different – so here’s my Big Idea – it starts with my journey downtown and me looking out at the Kingston skyline in its varied goodness. I turn to the camera and start by saying something like “…I am making a delicious Saturday market to Table Soup lunch for some of talented emerging artists.” At this point, I will say who they are and describe what makes them so phenomenal to me. I’d say something like:
Chef Garfield Sievwright, Chef
If you’re an Instagram connoisseur then you may have come across Chef Garfield Seivwright’s diminutive frame in your explore section and wondered why this “kid” is always appearing in your foodie recommended feed. And then one day you clicked on the insta story and you see what appears to be a spooned sauce on a plate…but what happens afterwards was akin to watching a Jackson Pollack painting being created. Very few chefs can say they are running a kitchen, much less making active plans to further their education at the Culinary Institute of America. But that’s exactly what Seivwright is doing, with accolades from his private catering clients who has his number on speed dial when entertaining or simply planning a meal, surprising them with his charm and talents in the kitchen. And I knew I simply had to invite this young chef, with a creativity that belies his age, to Saturday Soup Lunch.
Tamara Harding, Woodwork Artist
In 2015, Tamara bought her first chainsaw and spent the first half of the year salvaging downed or felled trees. Then in mid August she decided to put together her first collection and went straight to cutting, carving and sanding 7 days a week for 3 months. Fast-forward to today and Mara Made Designs, Tamara’s company, is the much in-demand woodwork artist across the island, adorning conference rooms and cafes and of course, many select discerning private commissions. She’ll be bringing one of her more recent resin designed tabletops – I can’t wait
Ceejay Carpio, Digital Artist
When I first saw Ceejay’s artwork, I was impressed with his take on some of his famous subjects, but then when I met him and spoke to him, I was blown away by his drive and ambition to succeed. His work is open to such creative interpretation. The dramatic lighting adds an almost absurd humor that asks the viewers to think and to consider their own interpretations of art, culture, and the digital age.
This vibrant series has made my Saturday market trips more exciting because it also connects me on a deeper level to the vendors of the market, who sometimes make their way into Kingston from as early as Thursday for some, armed with a determination to not return with the harvested bounty and ready to repeat the scene again the following week. For them, Food as a basic human necessity, and they’re providing a service that is a vital as air.
Maybe I’m over-romanticizing my weekend market jaunts, but for a kid that grew up in the burbs of Kingston (and guess what, still lives in the burbs of Kingston), the Saturday market represents a Jamaican of the good life, eclipsed only by my Coronation market bounty being used for Saturday chicken soup. Coronation Market is a foodie’s paradise, filled with a diverse array of options to suit all taste buds morning. And while CurAte the cooking show is still in concept form, these talented artists are very real, and I invite you to check them out before “dem buss”.
For his first assignment with Nyam & Trod, Kingston-based PATOO editor & luxury realtor, Paul Morrison created a quirky narrative on shopping downtown Kingston at Coronation Market using a fictional TV show (concept) to plan his week.
Morrison is a multihyphenate: he studied international business, marketing at Howard University in Washington, DC and international development at Columbia University. Follow Paul on Twitter (@livingpatoo) and Instagram (@mrpatoo) or you can follow the soon to be launched CurAte series on @mypatoo.