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David Navas has been illustrating global food culture stories for Food Republic since our early days. Here, he imagined Jamaican grilling as one of six types of The Illustrated Guide To Grilling, which also featured takes on Korean, (American) Southern and Chinese, among others.

As part of Grilling Month on Food Republic, we asked our go-to illustrator David Navas and his wife, writer Judy Cantor-Navas, to take us on a world tour of grilling. While we Americans like to think that we have a trademark on barbecue culture, throwing meat on a grill over fire is a global phenomenon. Still, that’s no reason for you to have to look at more boring photographs of steaks and flames. Instead, let’s take a more artful look at how different people interact with their grilled meats.


Also Known As: Jerk

What’s Grilled: Chicken, pork, shrimp, fish

The Setup: Colorful jerk shacks by the beach and barbecues constructed from oil cans cut in half put Jamaican jerk in context, and the setting makes it taste even better. But the real secrets to this staple of island life are the wood and the sauce. Pimento (allspice) wood is as essential to jerk’s flavor as the marinade of layered spices and hot peppers.

The Sides: Rice and peas, callaloo, plantains

The Sauce: Allspice, Scotch bonnet peppers, garlic, ginger, nutmeg and scallions are key ingredients

The Drink: Red Stripe, ginger beer, Appleton estate rum

Grill-side style: A bathing suit, if you’re on the beach in Jamaica. Otherwise, anything you don’t mind staining with sauce and sweat.

Other Illustrated Guides To Barbecue: Argentina | Australia China

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