NEW YORK – Jamaican chef and New York restaurateur Nigel Spence will appear in the award winning in-flight program “Island Stylee” on Air Jamaica, Jamaica’s national airline. The episode will begin airing mid July 2008. Hosted by former Miss Jamaica and BET host Rachel Stuart, the feature focuses on accomplished Jamaican nationals in New York, their lives, accomplishments and how they stay connected to their Caribbean roots.
Jamaica’s Director of Tourism Basil Smith said, “We are excited to see Chef Spence represent Jamaica and showcase our interesting and delicious culinary traditions in the program. He is an extremely talented and personable individual and will surely entertain the thousands of passengers who will be watching the program.”
Nigel Spence, an alumnus of the exclusive Culinary Institute of America, opened Ripe Kitchen and Bar in 2003. Since then, the restaurant has received glowing accolades from esteemed media outlets including the New York Times, The Journal News, Westchester Magazine, the Jamaican Magazine and Jamaican Eats.
In less than a year he has had multiple appearances on Food Network where he competed against celebrity Chef Bobby Flay in a Jerk Ribeye grill off which he (Spence) won. As one of the most popular chefs to appear on that series — “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” — Spence was brought back to the Food Network last month in a special titled “Rematch on the Grill” where he again competed against Flay and was the only chef who managed to earn a second win.
Chef Spence has also appeared on “Tony’s Table” on CBS Morning News (Channel 2) and “Neighborhood Eats” on New York’s ABC News (Channel 7).
Nigel preparing one of his specialties.
From a field of over 1,100 entries from 23 countries, “Island Stylee,” a Frame by Frame Production, won the top honor in its class — the Certificate of Excellence — for the seventh time at the US International Film and Video Festival held in Los Angeles, California last year. This episode of “Island Stylee” will run for three months and will be aired on all Air Jamaica flights to the United States and Toronto, Canada to an expected audience of 375,000 passengers.
Nigel Spence, Executive Chef Ripe Kitchen and Bar
Chef Spence, a Culinary Institute of America (CIA) alumnus, hails from Kingston, Jamaica. Ripe is Mr. Spence’s first entrepreneurial endeavor outside of a road side “jerk shack” that helped underwrite his studies at CIA.
As part of CIA’s intense training program, Nigel interned at the Television Food Network. Upon graduation, Nigel was asked to stay on at the network. TVFN afforded Nigel the opportunity to work with culinary luminaries such as Emeril Lagasse, Mario Batali and Bobby Flay.