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Discover unique flavors and stories at this year's annual Royal Oak Taco Fest

It's all about giving back to the community says Jammin Caribbean Fusion chef
Posted at 9:45 AM, Jul 07, 2024

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) — It's the 3rd annual Taco Fest in Downtown Royal Oak, and Chef Xaviar Jaramillo is getting ready to open his food truck.

"I'm a chef at Jammin Caribbean Fusion," said Chef Jaramillo.

It's the 4th of July holiday weekend and the event has already clocked in over 25 thousand people.

"What makes your menu unique?" asked Faraz Javed, 7 News Detroit reporter.

"You can always get a traditional beef or pork taco, but can you go anywhere and get a jerk pork taco? How many places can you go and get Ox tail taco with mango pineapple pico de cayo, fresh coleslaw, and a jerk BBQ sauce? So that's been our most popular item this weekend," said Chef Jaramillo.

This is the first time Xaviar is taking part in the 4-day event, and he loves seeing the local economy thrive and the community coming together.

"The five trucks that are here, we all have been helping each other, how we promote to get customers out this way," said Chef Jaramillo.

"Another reason events like this are important is because they help build camaraderie," said Chef Jaramillo.

But the 44-year-old is more than a businessman. For the last ten years, Xaviar has been teaching culinary arts to juveniles on probation.

"Why is this act of giving meaningful to you?

"They wanted to learn how to cook, and they felt when they get out they didn't know what else to do. But if that one learns something new, I will see them in the community later on occasionally and they will say thank you," said Chef Jaramillo.

Xaviar teaches culinary arts at Spectrum Child and Family Services. Over the years, Xaviar says he has gifted the art of cooking to over 200 kids.

"I've always enjoyed ways to give back. Growing up from Jamaica to New York, come here. If we don't reach out and help the youth, it's going to disappear from us, right?! And they won't know what else to use," said Chef Jaramillo.

As Xavier continues to help the youth, his next mission is to expand his food truck business and put smiles on people's faces as they try Jammin Caribbean Fusion tacos.

Royal Oak Taco Fest wraps up tomorrow at 9 p.m. With over 50 vendors and hundreds of performers, there is definitely something for everyone. To learn more, head to https://www.royaloaktacofest.com/