When Eustas “Piggy” Lindsay lost his popular jerk centre to fire in 2019 little did he know that James Bond would come to the rescue.
Mr. Lindsay’s Piggy’s Jerk Centre, located along the picturesque Foreshore Road along the Port Antonio coastline, was a popular eating spot for British actor Daniel Craig, who plays Bond, and other cast and crew members while they were in the island for the filming of ‘No Time to Die’, the 25th film in the popular movie franchise.
The film was launched in April 2018 at the Goldeneye estate in the neighbouring parish, St. Mary, which was the home of James Bond creator, Ian Fleming.
Mr. Lindsay, whose patrons include Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett and Members of Parliament for Western and Eastern Portland, Hon. Minister Daryl Vaz and Ann-Marie Vaz, respectively, says that his jerk spot has been a favourite for locals and tourists since it opened in 2012.
Before that, the native of Rio Grande Valley in Eastern Portland, piloted rafts on the famed Rio Grande.
Visitors loved his engaging personality and they saw him as the “the perfect tour guide”, who had a knack for identifying good eating spots.
But it was the tasty meals that he would often prepare, including jerked chicken and festival, that earned him rave reviews.
“I realised that I could turn my culinary skills into a tourist attraction,” Mr. Lindsay says, noting that he “walked the streets of Port Antonio selling his jerk chicken and festival, while trying to find a location where he could set up a restaurant.
Mr. Lindsay would soon meet businessman Samuel Dixon, who owned the vacant lot along Foreshore Road that would became the home of Piggy’s Jerk Centre and make him a legend in his hometown.
“He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse,” he laughs.
Piggy’s Jerk Centre was a hit with locals and visitors. “We were attracting everybody and anybody,” Mr. Lindsay says.
“But our crowning moment was when the James Bond crew started coming night after night for our jerked chicken and we were generating publicity both locally and internationally,” he tells JIS News.
“The entire James Bond film crew used to hang out there during filming of ‘No Time to Die’ in 2019, giving the place a lot of publicity… notably in the overseas press,” Minister Bartlett notes.
Tragedy struck soon afterwards when the jerk centre was razed by fire and was totally destroyed.
“The ruin of the restaurant was also a devastating blow to our staff complement of 15 workers. I was just up the road when I got a phone call to say the place was burning down,” Mr. Lindsay recalls.
“Four freezers, one standing fridge, a fan and a stove also perished in the fire. I mean it was tough going for the workers, all of whom had children to feed,” he laments.
Enter Craig and the rest of the James Bond cast and crew, to assist with rebuilding the restaurant, contributing £35,000 for the effort.
“They were all extremely sad to hear about the fire and wanted to do something to help rebuild. They really wanted Piggy to get back on his feet as quickly as possible. It was a lovely gesture,” Mr. Bartlett tells JIS News.
Mr. Lindsay says he is grateful for the support. “The assistance from the James Bond movie cast was very good… very, very good,” Mr. Lindsay tells JIS News.
“We have reopened, and yes… I am back on my feet again,” he says.
“I’ve spoken to Mr. Craig on a couple of occasions and I understand that he is the one who caused me to get the help. The business has been picking up and I will be forever grateful,” he adds.