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International Festival offers many tasty treats from around the globe

Rodney will have her authentic Jamaican jerk chicken, sauteed cabbage, barbecued ribs and various other foods for sale from her food truck.

Skewers of food are being prepared by one of the 2021 International Festival food vendors.
Skewers of food are being prepared by one of the 2021 International Festival food vendors.
Tim Middagh / The Globe
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WORTHINGTON — A former Mountain Lake woman who serves up Caribbean fare made her debut appearance at Worthington’s International Festival in 2021, and will return to the festival this week.

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The 28th annual International Festival in Worthington included music, food, cultural experiences and lots of fun from July 7-9, 2022.
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Debbie Rodney has operated Caribbean Kitchen and Grill for more than 20 years, getting her start when she saw a need for a decent meal while attending Mountain Lake’s Pow Wow festival.

“There was nothing there and … I told my husband, ‘I think jerk chicken and rice and beans would go well.’ Now we’ve added barbecued ribs to it.”

Rodney will have her authentic Jamaican jerk chicken, sauteed cabbage, barbecued ribs and various other foods for sale from her food truck.

“Jamaican jerk, or just jerk in general, is a cultural thing,” Rodney said. “It’s how you marinade the food. We marinade it and let it sit so it can soak up all that marinade.

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“It can be spicy, but I don’t make it spicy. I put spice on the side. I want you to enjoy the food,” she added.

Born in Jamaica, Rodney moved to the United States with her mother at the age of 21. She lived in Mountain Lake for nearly 28 years before moving to Waseca last year, when her husband’s job was transferred.

The move has proved successful for Rodney as her food truck is booked every week or weekend through September.

All the events scheduled for the International Festival, from Thursday, July 7, to Saturday, July 9.

“Moving from Mountain Lake has given me a wider demographic area to work in, but my locals I will always come back to,” she said.

Operating the food truck is, however, a side business for Rodney. She graduated from the nursing program at then-Worthington Community College and works as a nurse when she’s not traveling with the food truck.
“I really enjoy nursing, but I also enjoy doing food,” she said. “I love the outdoors. Being from a tropical country, I just want to be outdoors.”

Caribbean Kitchen and Grill will be open Friday and Saturday during the festival.

Additional food vendors include:

  • SDSU Ice Cream
  • ​KC BBQ
  • Mama Watzz West Texas BBQ
  • Long Branch
  • Boki Gelato
  • Olivia's Pupusas
  • Top Asian Bubble Tea
  • Elaine Knuckles Taste of Liberia
  • Sabor Salvadoreño
  • Tacos Jalisco
  • Itsy Bitsy Ice Box
  • Sibley Snow Cone
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Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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