Giving Italian Fest a little 'jerk'
Danielle Lumpkin was pleased with her booth on Jackson Street at Saturday’s Italian Festival in downtown Batavia.
Known as Mama Dee’z Kitchen, her family-run catering business sold out a few times of the featured rasta pasta, she said. Made with a flavorful spice-laced jerk chicken and a creamy, white Alfredo sauce, it seemed to be a hit at the Italian-themed event downtown.
Lumpkin has been catering for the last three years, and hopes to move into some space at Eli Fish Brewing Company on Main Street. The smaller “incubator-style” space would help the Batavia chef to move her company forward until she finds a larger spot, she said.
She is known for her sauces, she said, especially her chicken wings with homemade sauce. Lumpkin plans to also participate in a south side block party next month. Her specialties are soul food and Caribbean flavors. She boasts “the best mac ’n’ cheese in town,” and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner items, from sauce-glazed barbecued chicken and ribs, pulled pork and taco dip, to jerk chicken, fish frys, glazed salmon, potato salad and seafood Alfredo sauce with pasta.
“I’ve been cooking for more than 10 years,” she said. “And I’ve had the LLC for three years. This is something that Batavia needs; there’s no home-cooked, southern comfort food that you can find like at Mama Dee’z.”
She thought this first-time event was a good first experience, with a nice turnout, she said.
“I look forward to it being bigger next year,” she said.
She encouraged folks to check out her Facebook site for catering options. Mama Dee’z was one of several food and craft vendors selling their wares. Many people walked around checking out items such as cigars, jewelry, artwork, assorted pastas and pizza, and sweet dessert treats.
The beer and wine tent had opened at 5 p.m. and was drawing an increasing crowd in Jackson Square as kids continued to play various games on School and Center streets and in the Square.
Photos: Danielle Lumpkin, owner of Mama Dee'z Kitchen, serves up some rasta pasta during Saturday's Italian Festival in Batavia. Photos by Joanne Beck.