Jamaican chef, musician and entrepreneur, Levi Roots, officially released his new Reggae Reggae Cook Book at a launch party held at the Jamaican High Commission on June 5.
Levi Roots, who originally hails from the parish of Clarendon and who went to Britain to join his mother at the age of 12, gained widespread fame from his successful appearance on the BBC television programme, 'The Dragon's Den,' in which small business owners pitch their ideas and seek financial backing for their projects from a panel of prominent businessmen.
He was one of the first success stories from that programme, with two of the panel members opting to invest in his Reggae Reggae Sauce. He garnered far more attention than most of the other hopefuls to appear on the programme because of his flamboyant personality and his idea of presenting his pitch in the form of a song.
Levi has now become a celebrity in Britain, making numerous TV appearances and even recording an extended version of his Reggae Reggae Sauce song to raise money for the Comic Relief charity. The product has become a great success, selling far above the original estimates, and according to Levi, even outselling tomato ketchup in certain months.
The cook book, which is published by Harper Collins, contains Levi's recipes for traditional Jamaican dishes as well as his original creations. It also contains some autobiographical material, with Levi talking about his childhood living with his grandmother in Jamaica and his move to join his mother and siblings in England, his troubles growing up and his eventual transformation to award-winning musician, chef, entrepreneur and now, author.
Peter Jones, the British businessman who chose to back Reggae Reggae Sauce, and who has become Levi's mentor and friend, introduced him at the book launch, making special mention of how dedicated and hardworking he is and how much of his time he still manages to devote to others.
Levi cited Mr. Jones, after his mother and grandmother, as one of his biggest influences and said that he hopes that his own trails and eventual triumph would prove to be an inspiration to others. He ended by leading the guests in a spirited sing-along of the Reggae Reggae Sauce Song.
Governor-General, Professor Sir Kenneth Hall, Lady Rheima Hall and Jamaican High Commissioner, Burchell Whiteman were also in attendance at the launch.