Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 La Pizzeria http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/La-Pizzeria_78262 What&rsquo;s new at the Grogge Shoppe Restaurant and Mahogany Tree Bar, Devon House? Pizza, that&rsquo;s what! Managing directors Tarquinio Caldarelli and Gloria Palomino are giving denizens of and visitors to Kingston an authentic taste of Northern Italy with the opening of La Pizzeria. <br /> <br /> The outlet, which opened a week ago, is helmed by Massimiliano Proner, who through years of practice and training at his family&rsquo;s business Corona Pizzeria, Italy, has mastered the art of the in-demand specialty. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve had so much practice in the industry... I was able to successfully make a pizza from the age of seven,&rdquo; he shares &ldquo;Jamaicans should definitely come out to get a real taste of our pizza. We use, genuine Italian ingredients such as Italian yeast, zucchini and eggplants and, naturally, it&rsquo;s baked in an original Italian brick oven. Indeed, 11 different types of pizzas are available, as well as three types of pizza patties. For those not yet ready to tantalise their palates with the not-so-familiar, there are jerk chicken and jerk pork toppings. There&rsquo;s also ital. <br /> <br /> With prices starting from as low as $400 for the calzone and panzerotto and $1,600 for the pepperoni and the Hawaiian, ital and jerk chicken or pork at $1,750, there&rsquo;s something for everybody. If you&rsquo;re looking to enjoy a fun night out with a group of friends, then we guarantee you&rsquo;ll find favour with the (1 yard) pizza-by-the-yard at a cost of $5, 500. Other pizza options include bruschetta, margerita and capricciosa. <br /> <br /> Thursday Life verdict? Not all pizza is made equal, but if you are desirous of a taste of Italy without boarding an aircraft, this is a gateway to la dolce vita! <br /> <br /> Call La Pizzeria at 906-7165 <br /> <br /> for reservations and orders<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385839/236367_63540_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385838/236373_63543_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385841/236635_63550_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385842/236350_63527_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385843/236356_63533_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385844/236358_63535_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385845/236352_63529_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385846/236369_63542_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385847/236364_63537_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385848/236354_63532_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385849/236351_63528_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385850/236357_63534_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385851/236353_63530_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385852/236355_63531_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385853/236365_63538_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385854/236368_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385855/236366_63539_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385856/236360_63536_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, October 27, 2016 12:00 AM A Great Escape http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/A-Great-Escape_78292 Have highway, have wheels, have money for the toll. Welcome to Thursday Life &rsquo;s great escape.<br /> <br /> The road leads us this time to Runaway Bay and to the Great Escape Restaurant located at the Runaway Bay Golf Club.<br /> <br /> The restaurant, which opened its door to the public on August 26, is worth a lunch and/or dinner stop. Stepping up the stairs into the wide open space with sweeping vistas of the lush green golf course and the homes on the hill, one might be led to believe &mdash; the result of the visuals of one-time Hollywood screen legend Steve McQueen &mdash; that the American World War II epic was shot on location. It was not! What it does however &mdash; this according to Runaway Bay Golf Club General Manager Alicia Thomas &mdash; &ldquo;is bring to the fore the history of the area Runaway Bay, the fleeing point of the Spanish soldiers retreating from English troops, as well as the point of departure of African slaves to the caves.<br /> <br /> The Great Escape movie is based on the escape of British Commonwealth prisoners of war from a German POW camp during World War II.<br /> <br /> Thursday Life suggests that you place your order first and then enjoy the Great Escape scenes placed along the walls. <br /> <br /> The menu offers lunch and dinner options as well as one for children. Our wine consultant Christopher Reckord would, we suspect, be delighted to know that there is a comprehensive wine menu, too, that not only lists the wine but also its characteristics.<br /> <br /> Executive Chef Mark Scott presents his lunch menu offerings in interesting groups.<br /> <br /> First Bites<br /> <br /> Taco Taco: choice of soft flour tortilla or crisp lettuce with a choice of chicken or fish served with pickled onions, tomatoes and avocado cream<br /> <br /> Shaking Beef: spicy chilli and cane sugar sauce or lemongrass roasted chicken<br /> <br /> Hot Pot Liquid: cream of locally grown pumpkin and basil with bammy sticks and escallion oil.<br /> <br /> Carnival Salads like chop chop and mango slaw<br /> <br /> Master Piece Handwiches, jerk pork press:cheese, spicy mustard, pickles, ham, passion and mayo<br /> <br /> Escape Burgers, with Scotch bonnet pepper and pineapple and a salmon BLT: brown sugar cured bacon, escallion and coconut mayo spread <br /> <br /> Caribbean Bowls of rice and peas or basmati rice alongside butter chicken, braised oxtail or curried mutton <br /> <br /> While dinner&hellip; adds &ldquo;Escape&rdquo; beginnings like smoked marlin and ackee on mini bammy croutons drizzled with balsamic syrup or Runaway Bay jerked chicken cigars &ndash; crisp spring rolls filled with jerked chicken with an orange glaze.<br /> <br /> Coastline&hellip; Chilean sea bass, Appleton-Guava glazed salmon and fisherman&rsquo;s steamed fish <br /> <br /> Hot Rocks&hellip; tenderloin of beef &ndash; coffee-spiced rubbed, escallion and coconut butter, <br /> <br /> Free-range chicken breast and crayfish with island herbs, goat cheese and June plum cream; and Sugar cane skewered jerk pork loin with apple and red bean salad and mango barbecue jerk sauce. <br /> <br /> What this culinary team does, and exceptionally well to boot, is to create tasty specialities with elegant and creative styling. The impressive styling is the unexpected; this is what will ensure a return visit.<br /> <br /> Never ones to leave without having dessert &ndash; the duo of cr&Atilde;&uml;me br&Atilde;&raquo;l&Atilde;&copy;e: mango, coconut, &ldquo;burnt&rdquo; with rock sugar, white chocolate tart filled with fresh fruits, guava cheesecake on coconut biscuit &ndash; and chocolate chocolate cake are worth trying.<br /> <br /> The Great Escape Restaurant<br /> <br /> Runaway Bay Golf Club <br /> <br /> Main Street, Runaway Bay,<br /> <br /> St Ann<br /> <br /> Telephone: 973-4239<br /> <br /> Prices are quoted in US$, <br /> <br /> plus a 16.5 % GCT charge http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385770/236403_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385748/236414_63482_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385747/236416_63483_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385758/236419_63485_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385755/236420_63486_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385756/236421_63487_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385752/236405_63476_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385757/236427_63492_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385750/236429_63493_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385745/236431_63495_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385754/236440_63499_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385743/236442__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385760/236441_63500_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385761/236432_63496_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385762/236430_63494_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385763/236424_63489_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385764/236425_63490_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385765/236418_63484_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385766/236407_63478_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385767/236422_63488_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385768/236426_63491_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385769/236406_63477_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385771/236409_63480_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385772/236438_63497_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385773/236404_63475_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, October 27, 2016 12:00 AM RECIPE CORNER! - Butternut squash, beet, and spinach ravioli http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/RECIPE-CORNER--_78381 Makes 4-6 servings<br /> <br /> Ingredients<br /> <br /> :<br /> <br /> Ravioli dough:<br /> <br /> &frac34; cups all-purpose flour, plus extra as needed<br /> <br /> 1 cup whole-wheat flour<br /> <br /> &frac14; teaspoon salt<br /> <br /> 2 eggs<br /> <br /> 1 tablespoon olive oil<br /> <br /> 1&frac12; tablespoons beet puree (or butternut squash or spinach puree)<br /> <br /> Ravioli filling (beet, butternut squash or spinach)<br /> <br /> 1&frac12; cups ricotta cheese<br /> <br /> 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated<br /> <br /> 2 teaspoons basil, finely chopped<br /> <br /> &frac12; tablespoon honey<br /> <br /> &frac14; teaspoon nutmeg<br /> <br /> Pinch of salt<br /> <br /> Freshly ground black pepper<br /> <br /> 2 tablespoons beet puree (or butternut squash or spinach puree)<br /> <br /> 1 to 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs<br /> <br /> Orange butter sauce<br /> <br /> 6 tablespoons butter<br /> <br /> &frac12; orange<br /> <br /> Salt and pepper to taste<br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> Roast the vegetables (beets, butternut squash, or spinach, respectively) in the oven at 350&deg; F for about an hour. Add roasted vegetables and some water to the jar of a blender and puree. Set aside.<br /> <br /> Place eggs, olive oil, salt and beet puree (or butternut squash or spinach pur&Atilde;&copy;e) in the bowl of the KitchenAid Culinary Centre fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add the all-purpose and whole wheat flours and begin mixing the dough on the lowest speed. Gradually increase the speed to medium-low and knead until smooth. Occasionally stop the Culinary Centre to pull dough away from dough hook and add more all-purpose flour as necessary to keep dough from sticking. Knead dough for about 10 minutes.<br /> <br /> Wrap with plastic wrap and leave it to rest for at least 30 minutes before using.<br /> <br /> While the dough is setting, mix ricotta and parmesan cheese, chopped basil, pepper, nutmeg, honey and vegetable puree. Add breadcrumbs to bind the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the filling and set aside.<br /> <br /> Once the dough is ready, attach the Pasta Roller from the KitchenAid Pasta Roller & Cutter Set to the power hub of your Culinary Centre. Then, turn the Culinary Centre to speed 2 or 3 and run the dough ball through the Pasta Roller. Continue adjusting to a thinner setting to ensure that the sheet gets longer with each pass-through of the dough. Make sure your dough remains the width of the roller as that will be important when it&rsquo;s time to fill the ravioli. Lightly flour the pasta sheet and set aside.<br /> <br /> Remove the Pasta Roller and replace it with the Ravioli Maker. Gently drape one of the flattened pasta sheets over the Ravioli Maker, then turn the knob slightly so the pasta sheet feeds down into it. Place the hopper onto the Ravioli Maker. Add 2 scoops of the ravioli filling to the Ravioli Maker. Once added, press it down and smooth it out. Then begin to turn the knob, continuing to turn until the filling is almost depleted. Add an additional 2 scoops per ravioli, smoothing and pressing down after each row of ravioli has passed through. Continue turning until all ravioli are made. Set aside to dry.<br /> <br /> While the ravioli is drying, begin to make the orange butter sauce. Juice half an orange and zest about 2 tablespoons of orange peel. Set aside. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat, until melted. Add the orange juice and zest to the saucepan and stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm and set aside.<br /> <br /> Boil water in a pot. Add the ravioli and cook for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to saucepan with the melted orange butter; toss to coat. Divide ravioli among serving plates; sprinkle with parmesan and garnish with fresh basil.<br /> <br /> Chef&rsquo;s Note: The ingredients listed above are good for 1 variety of ravioli. If you intend to make all 3 varieties, triple your ingredients accordingly. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385879/236539_63563_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385871/236543_63566_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385881/236542_63565_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385870/236553_63567_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385877/236540_63564_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385872/236531_63555_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385873/236536_63560_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385880/236533_63557_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385874/236537_63561_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385876/236538_63562_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385878/236532_63556_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385883/236534_63558_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385882/236535_63559_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Thursday, October 27, 2016 12:00 AM So many wine events, so little time http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/So-many-wine-events--so-little-time-_78291 with Christopher Reckord This week has seen the culinary scene in Kingston and Montego Bay ratchet up a few notches. In Kingston the Jamaica Food & Drink Festival, in its second year, was created out of the need to showcase the gastronomic delights of our beloved Jamaica to the world. The festival will span five days with over 40 celebrated chefs and culinary personalities representing the gamut of the Jamaican gastronomic experience at seven different events. <br /> <br /> In Kingston &ndash; Vintage, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Robert Mondavi Winery.<br /> <br /> Robert Mondavi opened the doors to his namesake winery in 1966. He believed he could make world-class wines in the Napa Valley. Today Robert Mondavi Winery is considered to be one of the most iconic wine institutions in the United States, helping to put American wines on the map. <br /> <br /> The main wine event is simply titled &ldquo;Vintage&rdquo;; it is one of this year&rsquo;s seven Jamaica Food & Drink Festival&rsquo;s events, sponsored by Select Brands and led by Mondavi Sommelier Andres Lugo. It will be a plated six-course wine-pairing gastronomic feast curated by award-winning chefs Oji Jaja and Colin Hylton. Guests will be able to enjoy a wide range of Robert Mondavi wines on arrival, including the Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay & Cabernet Sauvignon. We will kick it up a notch with the silky smooth Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Pinot Noir, the zesty, refreshing Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Fume Blanc and the big, powerful Robert Mondavi Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon.<br /> <br /> In Montego Bay &ndash; Half Moon Sapori d&rsquo;Italia<br /> <br /> Half Moon will be welcoming Guest Chef Giovanni Ciresa to Jamaica as part of an exclusive culinary journey - Sapori d&rsquo;Italia (Taste of Italy). The three-day event will take place October 26 - 28 at the Sugar Mill Restaurant, located at the Half Moon resort in Rose Hall, Jamaica. Ciresa will partner with Chef De Cuisine Cosimo Riccardi of Half Moon&rsquo;s Italian restaurant, Il Giardino, to introduce guests to a variety of Italian flavours, prepared with fresh and seasonal ingredients grown in Jamaica, including some from the luxury resort&rsquo;s private herb garden. Wine sponsor CPJ will be pairing wine from their Banfi portfolio for this event. These include: Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio, Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva, Banfi La Lus Albarossa, Banfi Brunello Di Montalcino. They will be bringing in a few special wines for the event, like the Banfi Cuvee Aurora Brut, Banfi La Pettegola Vermentino and the Banfi Fontanelle Chardonnay.<br /> <br /> Is the clone machine ready as yet? So many events, so little time&hellip;sigh. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385886/236383_63459_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385887/236380_63456_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385889/236382_63458_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385884/236384_63460_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13385891/236381_63457_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, October 27, 2016 12:00 AM Beyond jerk... http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Beyond-jerk---_77097 ...was how executive chef at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel Mark Cole introduced guests on Tuesday, October 11, to the evening&rsquo;s menu. The occasion was a dinner party hosted by Minister of Tourism Ed Bartlett and Kevin Hendrickson, managing director of the Courtleigh Group of Companies, at The Courtleigh Corporate Centre Penthouse, for six UK journalists and food enthusiasts. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Tonight we&rsquo;re going to have fun with food,&rdquo; said Cole, the man whose fare wowed the palate of President of the United States Barack Obama on his visit to Kingston, Jamaica. &ldquo;We are going to prove that our culture of cuisine is more than jerk chicken or pork.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> The fun started with a unique twist &mdash; the amuse-bouche, served on the streets of Kingston, in the form of a &lsquo;street food vibes&rsquo; &mdash; that included roast yam and salt fish bruschetta, barbecue pulled pork on hardough bread and peppered shrimp washed down with coconut jelly vodka shots. Bistro tables covered with burlap and strapped with wild canes and candles placed on breadfruit leaves helped set the mood. From the streets of Kingston to the Jamaican mahogany table, guests removed their napkin rings wrapped with raffia and rosemary and were immediately enthralled by the Ann-Marie Wyss-designed tablescape of large bursts of tropical flowers in Dutch pots: mixed orchids, yellow and orange heliconias, shampoo ginger, red and pink ginger lilies, sunflowers, green ice, monstera leaves, guineps, ackee, coffee beans and cigars. The culture of gastronomy in Jamaica incorporates floral and fauna too, displayed in the ubiquitous Dutch pot &mdash; a must in every kitchen. The pineapples were illuminated with LED lights. Other features that certainly did not go unnoticed were the entrance table with more flowers placed in a coal pot and cylindrical vases filled with Scotch bonnet pepper on side tables. <br /> <br /> The first course, jackfruit escoveitch salmon and pepperpot soup, raised eyebrows. Here we had Otaheiti apple and jackfruit, two underused exotic fruits, taking centre stage and used in the traditional escoveitch form with a pur&Atilde;&copy;ed pepperpot cappuccino.<br /> <br /> Thursday Life verdict: Deliciously nourishing and creative. <br /> <br /> Taster # 2: Deboned oxtail with broad beans and mint sauce served with Irish potato biscuit. What new twist could Cole and his team give this beloved meat? &ldquo;De-bon-e-app&Atilde;&copy;tit!&rdquo; of course &mdash; and this is what they did. The deboned oxtails were served with broad beans and a mint sauce with a side of Irish potato biscuit.<br /> <br /> Thursday Life verdict: Genius! <br /> <br /> Taster # 3: An average &ldquo;in d week&rdquo; got a mega dose of oomph. Coconut curry chicken terrine, red peas and chicken terrine in a coconut curry sauce with Jamaican succotash in an herbed breadfruit cup.<br /> <br /> Thursday Life<br /> <br /> verdict: Who would have<br /> <br /> thunk it? Curry chicken just moved from ordinary to extraordinary! <br /> <br /> Taster # 4:The Lobster Pot: Wow! What a presentation! Braised lobster tail simmered in coconut reduction drizzled with jerk b&Atilde;&copy;arnaise with a side of pumpkin rice.<br /> <br /> Thursday Life verdict: The silence said it all! <br /> <br /> Taster # 5: The palate cleanser aptly dubbed sweet and spicy &mdash; a careful infusion of melon, Scotch bonnet pepper and ginger sorbet drizzled with a pineapple syrup.<br /> <br /> Thursday Life verdict: For the subtlety of the ginger, hint of Scotch bonnet and melon, two thumbs up! <br /> <br /> Taster # 6: Pettitoes and Yam &mdash; pig trotters stuffed with caramelised June plum glazed with jerk sorrel sauce with a side of yellow yam au gratin.<br /> <br /> Thursday Life verdict: A must for lovers of trenton. <br /> <br /> Dessert: Flavoured sugar balloon with ackee ice cream; crispy fried bread pudding in a Tia Maria reduction and sugarcane fondue.<br /> <br /> Thursday Life verdict: The coup de foudre was the sugarcane fondue which, hopefully, The Jamaica Pegasus will perfect and incorporate into its signature menu offerings. <br /> <br /> Thursday Life looks forward to the immortalisation of the evening in a coffee book complete with the recipes. Kudos to the entire team and to Minister Bartlett and by extension the government&rsquo;s commitment to gastronomic tourism, with its propensity to make a visitor&rsquo;s trip unique. The foodie experience at the dinner party, in the words of the minister, &ldquo;represents a new frontier for our tourism industry, and we are pleased to welcome new visitors and are hoping to attract even more who are seeking unique cultural experiences&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> Cheers to many more! <br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368452/234409_62338_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368457/234334_62328_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368441/234318_62324_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368442/234369_62336_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368440/234364_62339_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368444/234330_62498_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368445/234336_62331_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368446/234320_62323_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368447/234352_62333_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368448/234367_62500_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368449/234370_62337_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368450/234333_62327_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368451/234362_62375_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368453/234317_62325_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368454/234332_62376_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368455/234365_62334_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368456/234329_62326_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368458/234335_62330_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368459/234337_62332_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368460/234321_62322_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Thursday, October 20, 2016 12:00 AM Gourmet goodies on wheels http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Gourmet-goodies-on-wheels_77508 There&rsquo;s nothing quite like a recce complete with good food, drinks and a great vibe. Last Friday was that kind of vibe and more as the team from Jamaica Food & Drink Festival, all set to roll out an even more fabulous second staging, afforded friends, family and sponsors gourmet goodies on wheels. That&rsquo;s right! The trucks rolled out in the parking lot of The Worthington at the Spanish Court Hotel and feast we did on healthy bites from Veggie Meals on Wheels, comfort-laden sandwiches from House of Loaves, watermelon-flavoured popcorn and fried chicken from Corner Bistro, jumbo hot dogs from CB <br /> <br /> Foods Bad Dawg Sausages, and delightful pastries from Levy&rsquo;s Goodies.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368466/234936_62408_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368468/234937_62409_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368469/234939_62411_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368470/234991_62424_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368467/234958_62427_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368465/234977_62428_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368472/234950_62413_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368473/234940_62412_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368474/234959_62416_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368475/234956_62415_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368476/234980_62419_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368477/234995_62425_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368478/234979_62418_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368479/234951_62494_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368480/234982_62420_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368481/234988_62423_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368482/235009_62426_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368483/234976_62417_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368484/234983_62421_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368485/234987_62422_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368486/234938_62410_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Thursday, October 20, 2016 2:00 AM Chef Bradley Kilgore for Jamaica Food & Drink Festival http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Chef-Bradley-Kilgore-for-Jamaica-Food---Drink-Festival &mdash; at Picante, Saturday, October 29 <br /> <br /> When this Best New Chef in America, an accolade ascribed by Food & Wine Magazine, is not at the helm of his internationally acclaimed restaurant Alter in Wynwood or the culinary director for the Adrienne Arsht Center, where he recently opened his signature restaurant Brava by Brad Kilgore, you can find Kilgore working as a mentor for a food truck staffed by underprivileged teenagers in Wynwood. <br /> <br /> In an uncanny twist of fate Brad Kilgore, rising chef and restaurateur, got wind of a little known Food Festival in its second year of being. His expressed interest in participating in the Jamaica Food and Drink Festival was derived partially because of his love for the Jamaican culture and, more tangibly, from his professional ties.  His sous chef, Leah Jones, is Jamaican &hellip; and the rest, as they say, is history. <br /> <br /> The story, of course, does not end there, as Kilgore is yet to showcase the stuff his numerous accolades are made from;  he will do at the Jamaica Food & Drink Festival event, Picante on October 28.  Picante is a celebration of exotic spices and seasonings, unlikely blends that conjure up unexpected but oh so delicious, melt-in-your-mouth flavours. Consider Thai curries from regions in Asia, cocktail sauces and chutneys, grilled pimento-flavoured meats, Mexican concoctions with a side of ghost pepper, Scotch bonnet-infused desserts, &hellip; all washed down with our favourite rums.  The first gourmet spicy food fest celebrating exotic spice blends will certainly be one for the books!<br /> <br /> Picante&hellip; Come for Brad Kilgore&rsquo;s Chili Marinated Pork Tenderloin, Green Papaya Slaw, Thai Peanut Emulsion and Local Fruit &ldquo;Umemboshi&rdquo;, but stay for the 11 other chefs who will channel their creative juices to satisfy your quest for &lsquo;heat&rsquo; on a plate:<br /> <br /> Picante Chefs<br /> <br /> Alexa Von Strolley<br /> <br /> Tamarind Intercontinental<br /> <br /> Suzanne Couch<br /> <br /> Fromage Gourmet Market<br /> <br /> Anna Kay Tomlinson<br /> <br /> Smoked Marlin<br /> <br /> Christina Simonitsch<br /> <br /> International Chef Brad Kilgore<br /> <br /> National Baking Co. featuring Christian Sweeney<br /> <br /> GASPRO featuring Banyan Caterers<br /> <br /> Nadine Hoballah-Burie<br /> <br /> Dawn Mitchell<br /> <br /> 2016  Culinary Director for the Adrienne Arsht Center where he recently opened his signature restaurant Brava by Brad Kilgore.<br /> <br /> 2016  Named Best New Chef in America by Food & Wine Magazine<br /> <br /> 2016 Semi-finalist for the prestigious James Beard awards in the category Best New Restaurant, and Chef Kilgore in the category Rising Star Chef of the Year.<br /> <br /> 2015 Alter received 4 stars from the Miami Herald making it the only restaurant to obtain this rating in 2015<br /> <br /> 2015 Alter was named Restaurant of the Year by Eater and Chef Kilgore Chef of the Year by the same publication. <br /> <br /> 2015 Chef Kilgore opened Alter in the art-focused Wynwood district of Miami offering Progressive American cuisine, highlighting indigenous Floridian ingredients as well as a 5 and a 7 Chef&rsquo;s table tasting menu experience.<br /> <br /> What&rsquo;s on the menu?<br /> <br /> ENTR&Eacute;ES <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Arepa De Pabell&oacute;n&rdquo; Achiote Shredded Beef, Black Beans, Fried Plantains, Rice, Fried Egg, Chimichurri<br /> <br /> Arepa La Catira&rdquo; Shredded Curried Chicken, Ghost Pepper and Avocado Crema Coleslaw with Tomatoes<br /> <br /> Dynamite Shrimps cooked with Thai Spices and Chilli with a Touch of Honey served on a Bed of Spaghetti Pesto Pasta<br /> <br /> Pepper Shrimp, Lobster and Scallop Koftas served with Cocktail Sauce, Pineapple Passion and Pepper Jelly Glaze and Cilantro Basil Mayo<br /> <br /> Lamb Chops Trois Poivre served atop Carrot Tarragon Puree and Apple Mint Pea Puree with a Pomegranate Reduction<br /> <br /> Chili Marinated Pork Tenderloin, Green Papaya Slaw, Thai Peanut Emulsion, Local Fruit &ldquo;Umemboshi&rdquo;,<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Memba Mi Tell Yuh&rdquo; Succulent &ldquo;Off Di Bone&rdquo; Bites of Miss T&rsquo;s Famous Oxtail, combining flavours of Jamaica and New Orleans. Sop up di Savoury Juices with Herb Grotto Bread.<br /> <br /> Candied Pork Belly with Crispy Coconut Rice and Plantain Papaya Salad<br /> <br /> Adult Cracker Jack with Jerk Bacon<br /> <br /> Pulled Spicy Jerk Chicken Vol-au-Vent with Plantain Puree, Pickled Shallots and Scotch Bonnet Oil<br /> <br /> Samosas with Assorted Spicy Condiments<br /> <br /> Spicy Black Bean, Pulled Pork and Sausage Panade made with National Hardough Bread, served with Grilled Corn off the Cob, Guacamole and Chipotle Cream <br /> <br /> DESSERTS<br /> <br /> Sweet and Spicy National Hardough French Toast Sticks served with Scotch Bonnet Guava Drizzle and Fresh Cream <br /> <br /> Mini Chocolate Tarts and Salty Caramel Coulis with Chocolate Ganache<br /> <br /> Mini Lemon/Basil Tarts with Strawberry Coulis<br /> <br /> Mini Spicy Chocolate Mousse (Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Ganache Infused with Spices, Dark Chocolate Mousse with a Glossy Shiny Glaze)<br /> <br /> Mini &Eacute;clairs (Coffee/Rum Cream with A Madagascar Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream)<br /> <br /> Raspberry Mousse with Litchi <br /> <br /> Spicy Honeyed June Plum Cr&ecirc;pes<br /> <br /> Hot Chocolate Mocha Mousse Shots<br /> <br /> Picante Pecan Praline Cheesecake<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13369621/filename_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, October 20, 2016 12:00 AM A Southern Style Roast http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/A-Southern-Style-Roast_77388 Charlie McKenna is no neophyte when it comes to tantalising the palates with succulent cuts of pork. In fact, the &lsquo;southerner&rsquo;, who owns and operates Lillie&rsquo;s Q &mdash; a restaurant in Chicago he named after his grandmother Lillie and his father, Quito &mdash; has been experimenting with various ways of satisfying discerning foodies for a number of years, and indeed has awards to prove his expertise in Southern-style cooking. McKenna was in Montego Bay last week as guest chef at the second in the series of Copperwood Pork&rsquo;s &lsquo;Making The Cut&rsquo; to not only exchange &ldquo;his pork notes&rdquo; with local chefs, but to look at theirs too.<br /> <br /> The kitchen, without a doubt, continues to be where all cultures meet, and your Thursday Life team got an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at McKenna&rsquo;s Southern-Style Roast preparation and presentation. Don&rsquo;t even get us started on the mouthfuls of delicious pork. We&rsquo;ll let the photos do the talking. Yes, Tina Hamilton and Haleem Card! <br /> <br /> 1 Remove the thawed pig head from the packaged box (already cut in halves down the middle and thoroughly cleaned).<br /> <br /> 2 The pig head is set in a roasting pan cut side down.<br /> <br /> 3 After the pig head is set in the roasting pan, sprigs of parsley are added to the pig head to add flavour. <br /> <br /> 4 Pieces of aluminium foil are used to tightly wrap around the pig ear.<br /> <br /> 5 Sprinkle salt and black pepper over the pig head and tuck crushed garlic and thyme around head.<br /> <br /> 6 Pour four bottles of CK Mondavi Chardonnay and one bottle of Jack Daniel&rsquo;s Whiskey.<br /> <br /> 7 Pour stock (made of pork bones) over pig head in roasting pan. Pour enough stock to cover the head halfway; the cheeks should remain above water so it can steam.<br /> <br /> 8 Add chopped onions.<br /> <br /> 9 Use aluminium foil paper to cover roasting pans.<br /> <br /> 10 Place the roasting pan on the stove to boil, then transfer roasting pan to the oven.<br /> <br /> 11 Slow roast pig head in the oven (315 degrees) until it is partially cooked &mdash; about 2 hours.<br /> <br /> 12 After 2 hours, remove the aluminium foil from roasting pan, leaving pig ears covered.<br /> <br /> 13 Continue roasting until most of stock has evaporated (pig skin should be deep, mahogany colour) and meat is almost falling from bones when poked with a fork, (about 3 hours or longer).<br /> <br /> 14 Let the pig head rest, loosely covered with foil, for at least 15 minutes before serving. While waiting, use thyme to glaze the pig head with vegetable oil.<br /> <br /> 15 Rest the pig head on a bed of lettuce on a warm platter.<br /> <br /> 16 To serve, cut off the ear and set it aside. Using a sharp knife, lift off the crisp skin in one piece. Cut the skin, including the ear, into small pieces using a knife.<br /> <br /> 17 Serve hot and enjoy! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368553/234740_62378_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368554/234742_62379_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368556/234745_62380_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368568/234749_62381_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368562/234751_62382_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368558/234754_62383_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368567/234755_62384_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368569/234756_62385_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368563/234757_62386_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368557/234758_62387_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368561/234761_62389_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368570/234763_62390_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368559/234764_62391_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368564/234765_62392_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368555/234766_62393_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368566/234767_62394_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368560/234768_62395_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368565/234770_62396_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368552/234774_62397_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368572/234759_62388_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Thursday, October 20, 2016 12:00 AM Clinton vs Trump (Wine) Debate http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Clinton-vs-Trump--Wine--Debate_77511 At the wine Rack with Christopher Reckord I t&rsquo;s two-and-a-half weeks before the USA presidential elections and the gloves are fully off. Cable TV has been beaming US politics directly into our living rooms for years, but this year&rsquo;s spectacle seems to top the entertainment charts. You might wonder what wine has to do with this election. From what I read in Wine Enthusiast Magazine, the Forbes and Grape Collective, there happens to be a Clinton wine, and a Trump wine and many across America have been conducting their own wine debates.<br /> <br /> Clinton Vineyards<br /> <br /> While having no connection to the Clinton family, it&rsquo;s said that the property was &lsquo;loosely&rsquo; named after George Clinton, who was New York&rsquo;s first governor and Thomas Jefferson&rsquo;s vice-president. The winery&rsquo;s website says that &ldquo;the Clinton Vineyards was established in 1976 by Ben Feder, a Bronx-born book designer and artist who fell in love with New York state&rsquo;s mid-Hudson Valley and began building his dream in 1974. Inspired by the beautiful wineries and vineyards of the French countryside, where he had spent time as an art student under the GI Bill after World War II, Feder recreated this sublime experience in Dutchess County. He modelled the 100-acre Clinton Vineyards in the tradition of European vineyard estates and chose to specialise in growing a grape that produces white and sparkling wines. The latter is made in the classic French m&Atilde;&copy;thode champenoise, learned by Feder at the famed House of Bollinger. The first release, the 1977 Seyval Blanc, garnered strong praise from<br /> <br /> The New York Times, resulting in an enthusiastic &ldquo;sell-out&rdquo;. Ben Feder died in 2009, but his wife Phyllis Feder continues to maintain her husband&rsquo;s legacy.<br /> <br /> Phyllis Feder is a great supporter and friend of the Clinton family. In 1993, Clinton Vineyards was served at Bill Clinton&rsquo;s first inaugural dinner. (Interestingly, both wines were included in Chelsea Clinton&rsquo;s wedding in 2010, prior to the sale of the Kluge Estate to Trump). The vineyard holds regular fund-raisers for Hillary Clinton&rsquo;s campaign. The 2015 Seyval Blanc (made from the hybrid Seyval blanc grape, which grows well in cooler climes) draws similarities to a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc for its citrus notes and vibrant fruit aromas.<br /> <br /> Trump Winery<br /> <br /> The winery was created in 1999 by Patricia Kluge in Virginia, very close to Jefferson&rsquo;s Monticello. Kluge, who was married to and is now divorced from billionaire Metromedia boss John Kluge (once America&rsquo;s richest man), invested heavily in the property and the wines did very well with critics. In her divorce from Kluge, she didn&rsquo;t collect a large settlement, but ended up with the estate and later spent much of her fortune on creating the winery. The winery at first received great critical success. Forbes describes the circumstances that led to the sale to Trump as such: &ldquo;Perhaps intoxicated by her success, Kluge decided to expand aggressively. Over the past five years (2007-2011) she took out $65 million in loans, according to public records. The money went into expanding wine production and building a super-luxury subdivision called Vineyard Estates, which was to include 24 multimillion-dollar homes with pools, outdoor kitchens, tennis courts, horse trails &ndash; and even space for private vineyards. That&rsquo;s when the housing crisis hit. Vineyard Estates failed to draw buyers. Property values plunged.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> The Trump Winery is owned by Donald Trump&rsquo;s son Eric and has been part of the Trump family since 2011 when it was bought out of the foreclosure. <br /> <br /> In August, Grape Collective pitted the Trump 2009 Blanc de Blanc against the Clinton Vineyards Seyval Blanc Naturel. Sixty people participated in the blind tasting and the winner was the Trump Blanc de Blanc. The vote was 63 per cent for Trump and 37 per cent for Clinton Vineyards.<br /> <br /> Recently the team at the Robb Report put the Trump Winery&rsquo;s 2015 Chardonnay against Clinton Vineyard&rsquo;s Victory White 2015 Seyval Blanc in a blind tasting, and the results proved to be as close as polls predict this year&rsquo;s election to be. In the end, Clinton led with just four more votes than Trump.<br /> <br /> Christopher Reckord &ndash; Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to [creckord@gmail.com]creckord@gmail.com &lt;mailto:creckord@gmail.com&gt;. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope @chrisreckord and on Twitter:@Reckord.&lt;/mailto:creckord@gmail.com&gt;<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368342/234942_62311_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368343/234943_62312_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13368341/234944_62313_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, October 20, 2016 12:00 AM Video - Lunch & Convo With Brian Lumley http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Lunch---Convo-With-Brian-Lumley_76807 It&rsquo;s been a while &mdash; 10 months, to be exact &mdash; since Chef Brian Lumley left our shores for Doha, Qatar. He has, during this time, been in development mode for Aspire Katara Hospitality, under whose umbrella will fall a Caribbean-themed restaurant that will form part of the &lsquo;Marina Project&rsquo; located at the most prominent location in Qatar, notably West Bay, overlooking the Pearl Island and The Persian Gulf, complete with eight over-the-water bungalows. The 200-seat restaurant slated for a summer 2017 opening will see Lumley as its consulting head chef. A typical day for Lumley commences at 11:00 am and ends at 9:00 pm. First order of business is meeting with management and colleagues, then on to a test kitchen where Caribbean and Latin American dishes are experimented with, in the hopes of creating something new and different. <br /> <br /> Herein lies the pressure. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a dry spot,&rdquo; says Lumley, &ldquo;so the food must wow.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> To this end, hours are spent in the test kitchen, but this is a unique opportunity for Lumley to elevate Jamaican and, by extension, Caribbean cuisine. &ldquo;Qataris follow the religion of Islam and shun alcohol and pork. They enjoy Indian, Turkish and Lebanese cuisine. Our food [Jamaican] is therefore familiar, as it is flavourful. What&rsquo;s new and impresses their palates are our spices &mdash; our pimento, Scotch bonnet pepper, jerk &mdash; and ackee. I shipped some, but we also get supplies from the United Kingdom,&rdquo; explains Lumley.<br /> <br /> When asked about the pressure of coming up with innovative plates, Lumley&rsquo;s response is, &ldquo;I am under pressure but it&rsquo;s the type of pressure I thrive on.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> There was, thankfully, no pressure Monday afternoon at the Jamaica Broilers Group of Companies&rsquo; idyllic McCook&rsquo;s Pen compound. Indeed, Lumley found the lush landscaped property, blue skies and mild temperature decidedly relaxing, and a welcome change from the arid Qatar landscape. It was inspiring enough for him to make the change from serving Qatar royalty to serving Christopher Levy, president and CEO of one of the most advanced and diversified agricultural producers in any developing nation today, and a few of his executives.<br /> <br /> Lumley&rsquo;s three-course lunch demonstrated just how much he has embraced the various cultures into which he has immersed himself. Cream of pumpkin and sweet potato chicken soup with garlic croutons was the first course. The hearty yet light starter raised expectations, which were not dashed with the entree &mdash; deboned chicken thighs stuffed with callaloo rice with a cilantro onion salad, green hummus and beetroot creamy potatoes.<br /> <br /> Here&rsquo;s how Lumley described lunch. &ldquo;Who doesn&rsquo;t love pumpkin soup? Today&rsquo;s is a balance of flavours. When the pumpkin was not where I wanted it I added a little bit of honey, then the sweet potato. There were no bones in your Best Dressed Chicken entree because the bones were used in the soup. Maximum use was made of each ingredient. Simple, but certainly not simplistic! A lot of work went on behind the scenes. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The entree was the deboned Best Dressed Chicken thigh. I added Scotch bonnet pepper, cilantro and parsley to the hummus to increase the taste profile. Grapeseed oil is a neutral oil, unlike olive oil that adds a different taste to the palate. It&rsquo;s light and refreshing, so I used it to blend before I separated the green oil and added the sediments. The sediments are what I used to add colour to the hummus, and here&rsquo;s a great tip: blend it with ice and it comes out refreshingly smooth and full of flavour. It&rsquo;s perfect with grilled meats!<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The jerk chicken was grilled, stuffed with callaloo rice and served with beetroot mash potatoes. Beetroot is consumed a lot in Qatar, so I incorporated it in the entr&Atilde;&copy;e as an homage of sorts to the Middle East. It&rsquo;s my first time doing beetroot mash. I used two separate ones, so when combined in piping bags; they become a nice rich colour. Indeed, beetroot gives a beautiful colour when mixed with potatoes or anything white, plus it&rsquo;s excellent for the blood.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Lumley&rsquo;s last words: &ldquo;The experience that I&rsquo;m gaining starting a kitchen from scratch, working with architects from Italy and interior designers from Switzerland, is invaluable. As is attending board meetings with different companies and being in a room with everyone hazarding a guess as to who this youngster is!&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Invaluable, indeed, we concur, in between mouthfuls of dessert &mdash; assorted macaroons with dulce de leche ice cream and exotic fruits. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13352418/233792_61059_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13352417/233778_61063_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13352420/233762_61057_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13352421/233765_61049_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13352422/233795_61062_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13352423/233774_61054_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13352424/233793_61060_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13352425/233777_61056_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13352426/233764_61048_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13352427/233772_61052_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13352428/233775_61055_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13352429/233761_61046_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13352430/233759_61044_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13352431/233760_61045_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13352432/233791_61058_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13352433/233763_61047_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13352434/233770_61051_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13352435/233773_61053_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13352436/233794_61061_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13352437/233767_61050_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, October 13, 2016 2:00 AM 5 Days &mdash; 8 Glorious Culinary Experiences http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/5-Days---8-Glorious-Culinary-Experiences-_76505 The Jamaica Food & Drink Festival is not only back, but based on the number of sponsors seated around the New Levels Decor summer-chic inspired tasting table inside the Rio Bueno meeting room of the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel Thursday last &mdash; it is considerably bigger! &ldquo;We had companies coming to us this year and tickets are already sold,&rdquo; shared CB Foods Brand Manager Alicia Bogues, the dynamic force behind the festival. &ldquo;We are, &ldquo;she continued, &ldquo;determined to put Kingston on the culinary map and are thankful to have the Jamaica Tourist Board as one of our sponsors... our chefs, you will agree after this taste session, are up to the task.&rdquo; It was no idle boast! With 20 sponsors to impress, the Festival&rsquo;s coterie of culinary players, notably Gariel Ferguson, Oji Jaja, Jacqui Tyson, Alexx Antaeus, Alexa Von Strolley and Nadine Hoballah-Burie, were ready to throw down! <br /> <br /> Gariel Ferguson was the first out of the kitchen and raised the bar so high with his low and slow-smoked Premium Copperwood Pork Ribs with crispy pork belly and powdered bacon that Thursday Life feared for the other presenters. Those fears were soon allayed, however, with Oji Jaja&rsquo;s cumin shaved duck salad, which was fresh and light in taste, not to mention exquisitely plated.<br /> <br /> Never one to cower in the shadows, Jacqui Tyson demonstrated her prowess with her handling of the fried pork chops stuffed with smoked gouda and bacon with a jalapeno and Scotch bonnet relish. The result: warm caressing pops of distinctive flavours.<br /> <br /> Chef/patron Alex Antaeus presented fresh, grilled-just-right octopus on a stick that disappeared within a second and a flavourful Greek pizza presented on a stick. Alexa Von Strolley amped things up with two tasty sandwiches &mdash; Arepa de Pabellon with achiote shredded beef, black beans, fried plantains, rice, fried egg and chimichurri with shredded curried chicken, ghost pepper, avocado crema coleslaw and tomatoes. <br /> <br /> This outstanding sneak taste climaxed with sweet treats courtesy of the 2015/2016 Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards pastry chef of the year Nadine Hoballah-Burie, whose spicy chocolate mousse and raspberry mousse with lychee-infused rose water left little doubt as to her forte of executing decadence with a light hand and balancing flavours.<br /> <br /> With the inclusion of two new categories this year notably Vintage &mdash; a celebration of Robert Mondavi Winery&rsquo;s 50th anniversary &mdash; and Picante, the five-day, eight-event, delectable culinary adventure slated for Wednesday, October 26 - Sunday, October 30 is a must-do. <br /> <br /> Of note is that the Rousseau sisters, Suzanne and Michelle, will once again host Brunch at The Gallery on Sunday, October 30. Be warned: Only a few tickets are left. Get yours today<br /> <br /> @www.jafoodanddrink.com<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351322/233344_61014_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351312/233345_61016_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351303/233273_61012_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351309/233279_61013_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351302/233346_61015_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351317/233349_61017_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351315/233350_61018_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351316/233351_61019_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351318/233352_61020_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351307/233353_61021_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351319/233354_61022_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351305/233355_61023_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351310/233357_61024_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351314/233358_61025_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351306/233359_61026_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13348840/233362_60955_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351311/233363_61028_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351313/233364_61029_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351301/233365_61030_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351308/233370_61031_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351304/233371_61032_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351300/233373_61034_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351321/233372_61033_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, October 13, 2016 2:00 AM Kingston 8 Acquires Its Own Cellar http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Kingston-8-Acquires-Its-Own-Cellar_76785 with Christopher Reckord Kingston has a new spot to relax, unwind, enjoy great food and wine and yes, spirits too. Cellar 8, the brainchild of entrepreneur Wendy Facey and JN Finance&rsquo;s GM Aditi Dhiman is further bolstered by marketing consultant Nasma Chin and Hillel Academy Prep nurse Jenny Pragnell to round out the foursome that has brought this chic space to the market. <br /> <br /> Neatly tucked away in the &lsquo;Upper Manor Park&rsquo; plaza, the multi-level Cellar 8 is a three-in-one location offering patrons a bistro, a premium spirits bar and a wine bar. The current drink menu offers seven wines by the glass (four whites and reds) and the Spirits by the Q list offers Tanqueray, Absolut, Glenfiddich, White Overproof, Appleton V/X, Johnny Walker and Hennessey. The menu selections, courtesy of UTech/Culinary Institute of America/Johnson & Wales trained Chef Ramesh Maragh, include a variety of salads, pasta, pizza, sliders and a developing suite of entrees. <br /> <br /> Feedback has been generally positive, especially from patrons living in and around the Stony Hill, Manor Park, Norbrook and Constant Spring areas. Here is what I was told this week: &ldquo;&hellip; Finally, somewhere to chill out close to home&rdquo; ; &ldquo;liking it so far, hope they iron out the kinks quickly&rdquo;; &ldquo;&hellip; was hoping to see a better wine selection, I also hope they train and bring the staff up to speed quickly ..&rdquo;; &ldquo;&hellip; I don&rsquo;t think they should have opened until they were absolutely ready; I am tired of lame excuses about opening in order to iron out the kinks&rdquo;, &ldquo;&hellip;.love the decor, it&rsquo;s comfy, but service needs to step up fast, fast&rdquo;, &ldquo;.. the place looks fabulous, but if it&rsquo;s a wine bar, they are very lacking in wine selections&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> Wine-centric locations in Jamaica are growing, probably led by Kingston&rsquo;s increasing wine appreciation. The city that consumes the most wine in the world is Paris. In a recent study by France&rsquo;s INSEEC Business School it was determined that Parisians consume 697 million bottles of wine each year, or 51.7 litres per capita. That roughly translates to a glass of wine five nights a week per person; that&rsquo;s doable. Additional research from the Wine Institute has revealed that 14 of the globe&rsquo;s top 15 nations for wine consumption are in Europe, along with Uruguay. Vatican City is at the very top of the wine-drinking league, with an average resident consuming an impressive 54.26 litres a year. <br /> <br /> The Kingston Metropolitan Area (technically comprises Kingston and the suburban section of St Andrew) is approximately 155 sq km (60 sq miles) with just about one million people compared to Paris proper, which is only 105 sq km (40 sq miles) with 2.3 million people, Vatican City is 0.44 sq km (0.17 sq miles) with 1,000 people, so I think we have an amazing opportunity, don&rsquo;t you? <br /> <br /> Christopher Reckord - Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to creckord@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351466/233723_61002_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351465/233725_61004_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351464/233727_61006_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351463/233728_61007_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351467/233730_61008_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351462/233758_61010_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351469/233726_61005_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351470/233731_61009_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351471/233721_61000_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351472/233724_61003_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13351473/233722_61001_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Thursday, October 13, 2016 2:00 AM Home Is Where the Dining Table is&hellip; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Home-Is-Where-the-Dining-Table-is-_75928 Of course, you may not be a foodie family like us and have the need for an eating area in every section of your home, but wherever or however you choose to share your meal, make it a special time of day, when you shed all the stress of the outside world and rejuvenate as a family. Create your traditions that bond you tightly, traditions that will act like an assuring beacon when the world gets dark. I truly believe that the greatest gifts we can give our children (and ourselves) are a strong family base, a strong faith, an open mind to other cultures and lifestyles, and a strong national pride. All these gifts can be achieved by the simple act of sitting together as a family and gratefully breaking bread.<br /> <br /> We had the pleasure of having house guests a few weeks ago. It was perfect timing &ndash; having just said &lsquo;goodbye to our two oldest college-bound children, the house had become eerily quiet and, honestly, a bit sad. Thank God for a family event; my husband&rsquo;s cousin and her family came to spend a few days with us. Once again, the house was filled with the tinkling melody of children&rsquo;s laughter!<br /> <br /> A couple of days into the visit, my husband&rsquo;s cousin gave us a curious look and said, &ldquo;You know what I&rsquo;ve noticed? Nearly every room in your house has an eating area.&rdquo; Now, everyone who knows the Schwapps knows that we are a foodie family, but never had I realised that our love of food had so obviously dominated our home d&eacute;cor! I laughed at the observation with a little bit of shame. Then I thought long and hard about the nature of our family and I realised something &ndash; many of our happy, carefree moments are indeed spent around a dining table, whether eating, playing cards, or engaging in a raucous conversation (let me use this opportunity to apologise to our neighbours). Those areas have also become the centre for most of our extended family get-togethers, be it birthdays or Christmas. <br /> <br /> As I reflected on these truths, I realised that the cocoon of family, that invisible sheath that protects and strengthens us, was mostly woven as we sat for hours around a table. There we were always allowed to be our quirky selves, without any judgement or malice. Trust me, we have now long passed the shock of seeing Claire get up mid-conversation and &ldquo;bus a move,&rdquo; or her father try to follow, or Briana sit with an uncontrollable &lsquo;lean-to&rsquo; mop of curls on her head, or Daniel expound with sacred seriousness on the dangers of feral cats on Jamaica&rsquo;s environment. <br /> <br /> If I were asked what advice I would give to anyone raising a family, it would be to try to eat at least three meals together per week. I know, I know&hellip; it is hard &ndash; between work schedules, football practice, ballet&hellip;but if it is even for 45 minutes, schedule time each week to sit together and weave your cocoon. There is nowhere that will be safer for your children to be themselves, to share their experiences from school or in friendships, to get advice on how to navigate this world, than being surrounded by those who love them. Studies have proven that children from families that eat together are more likely to receive higher grades in school, and less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.<br /> <br /> Now, many of us who grew up in Jamaica may be familiar with the concept of the &lsquo;formal dining room&rsquo; &ndash; that room with the special table and chairs where we sat with our backs straight and were warned not to place our glasses directly on the polished mahogany. I am not at all &lsquo;dissing&rsquo; the concept of a formal dining room &ndash; I know many of us may have to entertain business associates in our homes and have the need for such rooms. However, it is important that when we sit to eat as a family our children are not stressed. The fact is, they will have accidents and spills, but it is important to make this time about building and acceptance, not degradation and annoyance. It is with relaxation and freedom that feelings, thoughts and even &lsquo;secrets&rsquo; are allowed to flow. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335372/232166_59705_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335374/232168_59707_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335365/232175_59713_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335378/232167_59706_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335371/232174_59712_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335376/232173_59711_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335367/232171_59709_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335370/232169_59708_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335375/232172_59710_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, October 06, 2016 12:00 AM An Affair Of The Heart http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/An-Affair-Of-The-Heart_76026 Despite the threat of Hurricane Matthew, gourmands, fashionistas, patrons and well-wishers gathered on the lawns of Jamaica House last Friday for a worthy cause &mdash; to raise funds for the Heart Foundation of Jamaica&rsquo;s mobile clinic at the 27th staging of the Simply: Red charity event. Held under the patronage of Prime Minister Andrew Holness in association with Fidelity Motors, and with formalities handled by media personality Emprezz Golding, the evening of gastronomical delights did not disappoint. <br /> <br /> Aptly themed Flavour, Flair and Fashion, it attracted an impressive culinary roster of multi-award-winning caterers and chefs, notably Lorraine Fung, Jacqui Tyson, Gariel Feguson, Theo Smith, entrepreneur-cum-chef Saleem Lazarus &mdash; whose delicious seafood chowder is cited as a reason for many to return year after year &mdash; as well as international chefs Ed Doyle, Steve Postal and Nicco Muratore, who coached the members of the Young Chef&rsquo;s Club during the evening&rsquo;s cook-off. With over 60 stations from which to indulge, patrons eagerly showed their appreciation for as many offerings as possible. The evening&rsquo;s wines were poured courtesy of the Embassy of Chile.<br /> <br /> Dancehall reggae group Voicemail delivered a crowd-pleasing performance which brought the evening&rsquo;s proceedings to a satisfactory close. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335357/232336_59736_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335348/232347_59737_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335342/232348_59738_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335358/232349_59739_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335343/232351_59740_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335354/232355_59741_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335351/232356_59742_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335341/232359_59743_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335347/232360_59744_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335345/232361_59745_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335353/232362_59746_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335346/232363_59747_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335355/232373_59845_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335350/232379_59749_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335352/232381_59843_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335349/232382_59751_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335344/232383_59844_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335359/232384_59753_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335356/232387_59754_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335340/232389_59755_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13336241/232334_59727_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13336240/232571_59734_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13336239/232412_59730_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13336238/232551_59733_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13336237/232343_59726_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, October 06, 2016 2:00 AM Wines, rum and a dash of fun to weather the storm http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Wines--rum-and-a-dash-of-fun-to-weather-the-storm_75952 With Christopher Reckord There&rsquo;s no disputing that hurricanes can and have been catastrophic, and having gone through many storms and hurricanes notably Allen, Gilbert, Ivan, Dennis, Emily, Wilma, Dean, Nicole, Gustav and Sandy, to name a few, the rumour mill which precedes the event and is filled with misinformation still amazes me. What does NOT surprise is the tremendous amount of humour that is associated with these looming disasters &mdash; I faintly hear my late grandmother&rsquo;s voice say &ldquo;stop tek serious t&rsquo;ing mek joke&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> As I am submitting this column 24 hours before Hurricane Matthew&rsquo;s effects are felt by Jamaica, all I can do is offer prayers that all the preparations were adequate and that the storm passes with little effect. <br /> <br /> As I trolled social media, I could not help but notice the number of people who mentioned wine, beer, rum or some other alcoholic beverage as part of their hurricane preparations. Does anyone remember Hurricane Gilbert&rsquo;s months of no power or running water? Drinking our sorrows away is not a Jamaican or Caribbean peculiarity &mdash; it&rsquo;s global. <br /> <br /> Enjoy a few of those moments that helped to reduce the stress associated with Hurricane Matthew. <br /> <br /> Christopher Reckord - Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to creckord@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335383/232224_59724_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335379/232212_59717_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335368/232226_59725_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335387/232216_59719_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335381/232223_59723_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335382/232221_59722_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335384/232217_59720_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335385/232218_59721_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335386/232214_59718_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, October 06, 2016 12:00 AM Foodie News: Until Soon&hellip; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Foodie-News--Until-Soon-_74594 It is with mixed emotions that Thursday Life wishes Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards winning caterer Trevanne Donegal bon voyage as she heads to the UK to further hone her culinary skills. Naturally we are delighted, but will miss her optimism and resolve to deliver at a high level every single time. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I just wanted to say that the Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards has been such a blessing and inspiration for up-and-coming chefs like myself,&rdquo; said Donegal when she popped by. &ldquo;Encouraging us to develop our skill and to strive for more; elevating the standard and quality of work that we present. It is with that drive and dedication to do more that I&rsquo;m happy and proud to say that I am off to London to continue on my culinary journey at Le Cordon Bleu. I am very grateful for the many articles that you have printed in the Jamaica Observer that featured my work. It has been an invaluable contribution to my career. Thank you for giving culinary professionals an outlet to express the art of cooking&hellip;<br /> <br /> I look forward to coming back to Jamaica with a more exposed and refined talent, sharpened knives and an increased passion for my craft.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> We, too, look forward, Trevanne, to sharing your progress with our readers, and to your return. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335373/229620_59715_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335366/229619_59714_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335364/229701_59716_repro_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Thursday, October 06, 2016 2:00 AM Kai Down Under http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Kai-Down-Under_75304 What to do after last year&rsquo;s spectacular Marilyn Monroe-themed Cha&icirc;ne des R&ocirc;tisseurs affair was clearly a no-brainer for Jamaica Inn general manager and global cognoscente Kyle Mais, who took guests &lsquo;Down Under&rsquo;, Abercrombie & Kent style, last week Saturday. <br /> <br /> Mais, who lived in New Zealand and was during this time a frequent visitor to Australia, proved the consummate host and tour guide. Guests in safari garb assembled at the hotel&rsquo;s West Wing for the walkabout where they enjoyed libations from The Spirit World that included the refreshing Campari Down Under (a blend of Campari, sweetened lemon juice, soda water and Schweppes), Starbough Sauvignon Blanc and Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir wines paired with exotic palate teasers like shrimp on the barbecue, smoked North Island freshwater eel kabob, New South Wales rabbit stew, grilled lollipop New Zealand lamb, Northern Territory kangaroo kebab and grilled skewered aonani (Brussels sprouts) . <br /> <br /> The walkabout proved a formidable precursor of what was to follow an hour later on the sand under the luxurious safari tent styled by Frances Mais and her team from An Affair To Remember. The pulsating drums of Milton Bonner coupled with the haunting sounds of the didgeridoo delivered by Jacqueline Hussey-Pearson created the perfect dinner ambiance. Kai (Maori word for food) hedonists found their name cards and eagerly perused the dinner menu. The hotel&rsquo;s general manager wasted little time in setting the tone for what would become a most memorable eight-course affair. It was now over to executive chef Maurice Henry and the culinary crew of the Jamaica Inn. But not before the affable Larry Watson, vice conseiller gastronomique, introduced the Kai pour, notably the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, whose crisp yet subtle citrus notes sufficiently prepped the mouth for traditional Maori fare like the South Island Whitebait Tempura with contemporary splashes of lemon aioli and the most intriguing pineapple and avocado salsa, a perfect balance between zest and spice. The Hupa, steamed kaikora green- lipped mussels heaped in a lemon grass and saffron broth with a solid kick from the Scotch bonnet pepper, found refuge in the plum and black cherry notes of the Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2013. <br /> <br /> Things got better with the Kai Moana, a crispy - think: sprat in both look and texture - Rotorua Rainbow Trout crowned with salmon caviar. The adventurous diners nodded in approval as they tucked in. The presentation of the palate cleanser, a passion fruit sorbet, served in a rainbow-coloured egg cup of sorts, did its job for what was to come: Fiordland Venison and wild ostrich kebab, two bold flavours that complemented rather than competed, leaving no gamey aftertaste but rather caressing pops of bold flavours. <br /> <br /> Thursday Life loved the deference paid to the main with the parsnip mash and asparagus finished with a cherry balsamic reduction. The wine poured was Nugan Estate Durif, whose raspberry and plum pudding melded with earth, chocolate and spicy vanilla undertones, further seduced the taste buds. The purini (Maori word for dessert), a kiwi pavlova marinated with a kiwi compote and served with shavings of dark chocolate paired with a light glass of South Australian Banrock Station Moscato, was alas, the evening&rsquo;s major flop. A selection of New Zealand cheeses, however, brought the evening to a satisfactory end. <br /> <br /> Thursday Life takes you Down Under ... http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319920/230959_58296_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319918/230985_58304_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319919/230993_58309_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319917/230972_58311_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319922/230958_58295_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319924/230974_58299_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319925/230979_58301_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319926/230986_58305_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319927/230984_58303_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319928/230991_58307_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319929/230962_58297_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319930/230956_58293_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319931/230966_58298_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319932/230957_58294_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319933/230990_58306_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319934/230977_58310_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319935/230992_58308_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319936/230951_58292_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319937/230978_58300_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319938/230981_58302_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13320936/230996_58345_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13320935/230997_58346_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13320934/231012_58354_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13320933/231030_58360_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13320932/231016_58355_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, September 29, 2016 2:00 AM Wines from Down Under for Wild Down Under at Jamaica Inn http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Wines-from-Down-Under-for-Wild-Down-Under-at-Jamaica-Inn_75383 with Christopher Reckord The &lsquo;save the date&rsquo; was sent to the members three months in advance, followed closely by a special dress code notification filled with sample photos of what &ldquo;Safari&rdquo; can look like. So it was no surprise that the most recent session of the Jamaican Chapter of the Cha&Atilde;&reg;ne des R&Atilde;&acute;tisseurs, titled &lsquo;Wild Down Under&rsquo; and held at the storied Jamaica Inn, was sold out about a month in advance with a deep waiting list. Our host, Maitre Hotelier Kyle Mais, Jamaica Inn&rsquo;s general manager, previously lived in New Zealand and wanted to share the region&rsquo;s gastronomy and the wonderful wines from Down Under with members and their guests. <br /> <br /> Wines Down Under<br /> <br /> Two great wines were offered at the cocktail hour to a most enthusiastic crowd. The Starborough Sauvignon Blanc is a fresh white wine with aromas of citrus and tropical fruit. The palate is layered with flavours of passion fruit, guava and kiwi. The red wine on offer was the always delicious Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir with its nose of plum and black cherries. Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2013 has overtones of baking spices and leather. A soft palate entry, supplemented by chalky tannins, builds structure towards an intense, brooding finish.<br /> <br /> Dinner began with the benchmark for New Zealand&rsquo;s intensely flavourful style of Sauvignon Blanc &ndash; Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc &ndash; refreshing gooseberry and passion fruit. This was served with the first course, simply titled Kai.<br /> <br /> The second course was the highly acclaimed Hupa (mussels served in a lemongrass and saffron broth with the right amount of Scotch bonnet), which went surprisingly well with a red wine &ndash; the intense and powerful Mudhouse Pinot Noir from Central Otago, which is the central part of New Zealand&rsquo;s south island. It is full of bright red cherry and darker bramble fruit, layered with notes of mocha and spice, and its finely balanced tannin and acidity provide great grip and length.<br /> <br /> The Amisfield Pinot Gris (pronounced &ldquo;pea-no gree&rdquo; &ndash; also known as Pinot Grigio) might have been my favourite of the night. This white wine is multi-layered, expressing luscious aromatics of ripe pear and nectarine with a hint of mace spice. These lively flavours are integrated with barrel-influenced components delivering a spicy and nutty palate with length and depth. <br /> <br /> The final red wine for the night, which was served with the Miti (meat course), was the Nugan Estate Durif. Durif is otherwise known as Petit Syrah, and the Riverina region in New South Wales, Australia, produces some of the best examples available. The Manuka Grove Vineyard Durif is a deep crimson colour with a youthful hue, aromas of ripe raspberry, plum and cherry with hints of chocolate and allspice. A rich and flavourful wine displaying ripe lingering tannins with a generous palate of raspberry and plum pudding melded with earth, chocolate and spicy vanilla undertones.<br /> <br /> Our final wine for the night was Banrock Station Moscato; it is mildly sweet, slightly fizzy, and has notes of pineapple and other tropical fruits. The alcohol makes it tremendously smooth to drink, perfect for an end-of-summer gathering on the beach at Jamaica Inn.<br /> <br /> No one complained about the copious amounts of wine available for all to enjoy at Jamaica Inn. Viva La Cha&Atilde;&reg;ne!<br /> <br /> Christopher Reckord - Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to creckord@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319942/231093_58325_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319944/231094_58326_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319945/231095_58327_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319943/231096_58328_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319941/231099_58331_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319947/231098_58330_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13319948/231097_58329_repro_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, September 29, 2016 12:00 AM 30,000 Champagne Flutes poured! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/30-000-Champagne-Flutes-poured_74534 with Christopher Reckord Regular TV viewers would have been watching keenly this past Sunday for results when the Emmy Awards were announced for some of their favourite TV shows. Our focus today &mdash; you guessed it &mdash; the menu and the copious amounts of wines and Champagne poured later on that night at the Governor&rsquo;s Ball. <br /> <br /> The Emmys After-Party Menu<br /> <br /> 7,400 attendees at Sunday evening&rsquo;s Emmy Awards made their way from the Microsoft Theater to the exclusive Governor&rsquo;s Ball held at the LA Convention Center for a three-course dinner prepared by Joachim Splichal, master chef and founder of the Patina Restaurant Group, executive chef of Culinary Gregg Wiele and pastry chef Frania Mendivil that, according to Sydney Mondry of InStyle online, &ldquo;created an elevated, agriculturally driven menu&hellip; homage to a new concept of luxury - the true elegance of nature&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> First Course:<br /> <br /> Heirloom Beets - Pistachio - goat cheese &ldquo;bonbons&rdquo;, blood oranges, preserved lemon, roasted eggplant pur&Atilde;&copy;e, baby fennel confit, lolla rossa, black olive &ldquo;soil&rdquo;, and tangelo vinaigrette<br /> <br /> Main Course: &ldquo;Turf & Turf&rdquo; - thyme-roasted tenderloin and slow-braised short rib, wild mushroom pithivier, rapini, rainbow carrots, and caramelised shallot jus; Dessert: Cocoa Chocolate Cr&Atilde;&copy;meux - Tropical coconut mousse, torched meringue, and exotic fruit.<br /> <br /> It is estimated that there were more than 250 chefs in the kitchen and around 1,000 wait staff to ensure flawless service.<br /> <br /> Wine by numbers<br /> <br /> This year Sterling Vineyards, the most visited winery in Napa Valley, was selected for the first time as the official wine sponsor of the 68th Emmy Awards season. Each Primetime Emmy winner received a bottle of Sterling Vineyards&rsquo; flagship wine, Platinum Cabernet Sauvignon, encased in a specially engraved and personalised gift box. An estimated 7,300 bottles of Sterling Vineyards wines were uncorked during the entire Television Academy&rsquo;s Award Season from July through to September, culminating in Sunday&rsquo;s Primetime Emmy Awards. Made entirely from exceptional Napa Valley fruit, the 2014 Sterling Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon was enjoyed throughout the star-studded evening by Emmy nominees, presenters and members of the Television Academy. Afterwards 5,040 bottles of Sterling Vineyards wines were uncorked at the Governor&rsquo;s Ball.<br /> <br /> Bubbly<br /> <br /> This year marks the second sponsorship appearance of Ferrari Trento, Italy&rsquo;s most awarded sparkling wine producer, as the official sparkling wine partner of the Emmy Awards season, which culminated in them pouring 30,000 flutes from 5,000 bottles for the nominees, winners and Governor&rsquo;s Ball guests. Ferrari is imported in Jamaica by GK&rsquo;s Harbour Wines & Spirits.<br /> <br /> It is my wish that our major awards events in Jamaica will some day have wines of this calibre being poured on a regular basis. <br /> <br /> Christopher Reckord - Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to creckord@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13303506/229560__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13303499/229562__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13303503/229565__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13303502/229566__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13303504/229567__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13303501/229569__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13303498/229571__w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, September 22, 2016 12:00 AM The Michelin Man http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/The-Michelin-Man_74652 Exposing its hotel destinations to the wonders of Spanish cuisine has been a worthy preoccupation of Grupo Iberostar for a few years now. It was The Rock, which would next be added to the hospitality group&rsquo;s series #IBEROSTARChefOnTour with a kitchen-enthusiast Fernando Arellano, the 2-Michelin starred executive chef and patron of Castell Son Claret restaurant Zaranda in Mallorca. Sitting through seven courses, Thursday Life dined, and sipped on paired wine portfolios and varietals from Spain, last Saturday evening, at the Cornwall buffet restaurant at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall, in the Second City. Our verdict? An experience that we were delighted to be part of. Our single regret: so few local chefs and caterers were in attendance. Why? They like us would have fully grasped the importance of simplicity! Interpret this to mean not overwhelming &mdash; but the delivery of clean plates of fresh interesting pairings like the tiger prawn with mango remoulade and ginger or the white garlic lobster, grapes and summer truffle and the masterfully paired veal tongue, glaced warm leek and potato salad &mdash; a feel good pop in the mouth of what could be best described as a refined goulash. The dessert &mdash; The four seasons of the Majorcan almond &mdash; an explosion of nutty sweet pleasure that brought the seven course dinner to a perfect end. Mention must also be made of the flawless service. Thursday Life eagerly looks forward to the next gastronomic affair which according to the property&rsquo;s affable manging director will be early next year. Feast your eyes on the tannic pours and gastronomic keystrokes enjoyed by gourmands and oenophiles as we made the right notes...<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304317/229734__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304323/229736__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304320/229739__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304324/229743__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304321/229744__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304326/229747__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304319/229749__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304329/229754__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304327/229841__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304314/229857__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304333/229740_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304334/229745__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304336/229730__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304338/229728__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304340/229781__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304341/229729__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304342/229731__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304344/229738__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304345/229753__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304347/229735__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304348/229748__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304349/229752__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304350/229751__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304352/229746__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13304353/229741__w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, September 22, 2016 12:00 AM VIDEO: A Ruling &lsquo;Passion&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/A-Ruling--Passion-_73212 Crossing the Atlantic, and over unto our fair Caribbean isle, the Pasqua brand confident in the welcoming palate of The Rock&rsquo;s oenophiles, partnered with its Jamaican distributor Select Brands 1876 Wines arm to showcase its Verona-based portfolio via a wine-pairing dinner, on September 6, at Uncorked in Sovereign North. A three-course dinner executed by Uncorked&rsquo;s new executive chef Damion Stewart &mdash; previously of CRU Bar & Kitchen and the CPJ Deli &mdash; and preceded by cocktails, gave invitees a solid window to familiarise themselves with the myriad bouquets of the winemaker&rsquo;s offerings. Guided by Pasqua Vineyards Export Manager and legacy Cecilia Pasqua, with the on-site support of Select Brands execs, Thursday Life discovers the &lsquo;passion&rsquo; behind this Italian family&rsquo;s traditions.<br /> <br /> (PHOTOS: KARL MCLARTY)<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287930/227045__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287911/227053__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287922/227057__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287918/227056__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287913/227055__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287940/227052__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287908/227050__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287936/227049__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287927/227048__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287932/227047__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287949/227046__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287912/227044__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287923/227043__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287938/227042__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287914/227041__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287942/227040__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287950/227039__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287928/227038__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287919/227063__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287945/227061__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287934/227060__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287910/227059__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287925/227058__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287926/227054__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13287909/227694__w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, September 15, 2016 2:00 AM VIDEO: Cooking With Kaci http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Cooking-With-Kaci_73444 The Cooking with Kaci series stopped by the Audi Showroom Thursday last where, with the evening&rsquo;s co-host Harbour Wines & Spirits, it staged a successful cooking event. &ldquo;Mainland Say Cheese&rdquo; Brand Ambassador Kaci Fennell-Shirley welcomed all to an evening of delectable wine and cheese pairings. Audi Head of Business Damien Kerr and Group General Manager of ATL Automotive Matthew Cripps also welcomed guests to the Oxford Road showroom and encouraged them to enjoy the magnificent cars ready to be taken home. Cripps elicited laughter from those in attendance as he spoke of his first passion &mdash; notably cars, and his second &mdash; cheese and wine. <br /> <br /> The formalities over, Fennell-Shirley donned her apron to introduce guests to the many ways of incorporating Mainland cheese on their daily routine menu. The Miss Universe 2014 contestant and newly-wed assured the gathering of her ability to cook and shared that &ldquo;the apple doesn&rsquo;t fall far from the tree&rdquo; &mdash; a reference to her well-known caterer mum Kim Fennell.<br /> <br /> Guests enjoyed an array of small plates comprising Swiss beef sliders, shrimp pasta alfredo, Parmesan chicken wings with a dip consisting of Parmesan cheese, cream cheese and pesto, and Edam mac and cheese balls. Each offering which was paired with wine from Harbour Wines & Spirits made for a tantalising treat. If that wasn&rsquo;t enough, shortly after a brief Cooking with Kaci video, guests were offered cheese-themed desserts such as grapes bathed in cream cheese and drizzled with walnuts, and a classic Swiss cheese platter. One lucky lady, however, received a grandiose treat. Registered optometrist Dr Romea Mitchell was gifted a new red hot 2017 Audi Q3 by her ophthalmologist husband Dr Maynard Mcintosh. Indeed it was a marvellous night!<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286618/227486_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286624/227476__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286625/227478__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286623/227482__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286627/227483_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286626/227490_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286620/227491__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286621/227488_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286619/227489__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286622/227487_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286629/227484_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286628/227485__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286617/228001_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286631/228002__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286632/227493_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286633/227481__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286634/227477_w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, September 15, 2016 12:00 AM Sunsplash Jamaican Cuisine http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Sunsplash-Jamaican-Cuisine_73543 If you are passing through Brown&rsquo;s Town, St Ann, be sure to check out new restaurant Sunsplash. A mere three months old, the Jamaican and soul food restaurant with a full line bakery and ice cream parlour has become the town&rsquo;s hotspot, cultivating constant traffic as well as nods of approval as a result of both the food and warm welcome. From all appearances, at Sunsplash, the customer always comes first. <br /> <br /> Thursday Life visited the establishment last Friday and broke bread with its owner Michael Thorpe and his partner, author of Soul and former competitor on Food Network&rsquo;s Rewrapped, Chef Dawn Tyson, as the enterprising duo shared what inspired them to take their talents and a few recipes to Jamaica. <br /> <br /> Thorpe, being Jamaican-born, was ready to come home &ldquo;...to start a business out of philanthropic notions. (I) wanted to bring something back to Jamaica... and I later asked Chef Dawn to partner with me.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Scrumptious food aside, what sets them apart from other restaurants in the area is their method of cooking. Sunsplash prides itself on being a farmto- table establishment. <br /> <br /> Tyson shared, &ldquo;We are working together with our farmer Rohan Ricketts as a cooperative. We are hoping to be 85 per cent farmto- table by November. <br /> <br /> We now get all of our produce from our farm and can soon add poultry and pork.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s early days yet, but according to Thorpe, &ldquo;Patrons can look forward to our continued standard of excellence in taste, quality and hospitality. Look for our changing main specials, daily soup specials and seasonal bakery specials.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Kingston is also on the drawing board. Thursday Life looks forward.<br /> <br /> Address:<br /> <br /> 53 Main Street, Brown&rsquo;s Town<br /> <br /> St Ann, Jamaica<br /> <br /> Tel #:876-917-6957<br /> <br /> BBQ CHICKEN WINGS<br /> <br /> Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 3 pounds chicken wings<br /> <br /> 2 teaspoons dried thyme<br /> <br /> 1 teaspoon salt<br /> <br /> 1 teaspoon pepper<br /> <br /> 2 cups flour <br /> <br /> Your favourite BBQ sauce<br /> <br /> Oil for frying <br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> Clean chicken and season with thyme.<br /> <br /> Mix flour, salt and pepper. <br /> <br /> Fry wings then cook for 7-8 minutes<br /> <br /> Rest cooked wings on paper towel to soak up excess oil. <br /> <br /> Toss chicken in BBQ sauce <br /> <br /> Save some of the sauce to use as a dip.<br /> <br /> Serve.<br /> <br /> SUNSPLASH STYLED COCONUT MACAROONS<br /> <br /> Ingredients:<br /> <br /> 5-1/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut<br /> <br /> 7/8 cup sweetened condensed milk<br /> <br /> 1 tsp vanilla extract<br /> <br /> 3 large egg whites<br /> <br /> 1/4 tsp salt<br /> <br /> Method:<br /> <br /> Preheat the oven to 325&deg;F.<br /> <br /> Set two oven racks near the centre of the oven and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. <br /> <br /> In a medium bowl, mix shredded coconut, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract, then set it aside. In the bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. <br /> <br /> Use a large rubber spatula to fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture. <br /> <br /> Using two spoons, form heaping tablespoons of the mixture into mounds on the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1&rdquo; apart. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden and the bottoms and edges are deeply golden. <br /> <br /> Let them cool, then serve.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286705/228058_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286711/228050_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286722/228070__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286724/228064__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286710/228053_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286712/228057__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286713/228069__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286715/228054__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286716/228065__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286718/228062__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286719/228052__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286720/228067_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286723/228061__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286725/228063__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286728/228060__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286729/228055__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286731/228059__w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, September 15, 2016 12:00 AM Eleni&rsquo;s Rising Star http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Eleni-s-Rising-Star_73883 It&rsquo;s difficult to concentrate on anything save the selection of breads and pastries at Eleni&rsquo;s, but a pause as we waited to pay our bill and a sweep of the establishment gave Thursday Life the opportunity to meet Diandra Dixon, or &ldquo; Seventeen&rdquo; as she is affectionately called at Eleni&rsquo;s Bakery as a result of her age. The former University of Technology (UTech), Jamaica student &mdash; she completed a one-year Baking Technology course &mdash; with a passion for baking, stemming from watching countless shows on the <br /> <br /> Food Network to co-founding the Dream Cakes Club at Ardenne High School, has landed a dream internship and she is determined to make the most of it ahead of continuing her education in Canada or France. Her long-term career goal is to become a world-renowned pastry chef.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This opportunity has,&rdquo; explains Dixon, &ldquo;given me a chance to learn the ins and outs of the business. I&rsquo;ve learned a lot about French pastries and the type of ingredients needed to produce the best pastries and breads for your health. Fortunately, being around masters in their fields, I have had the opportunity to learn not only from their recipes and techniques but have gained insight into what makes a master a true master. I&rsquo;m the youngest here and feel great when people I don&rsquo;t know congratulate me on my work.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Her advice to her peers: Follow your dreams! Never give up, especially when the going gets tough. Take every opportunity that you can to follow your dream and build your self-confidence. It is important to never stop learning. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286661/228319__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286660/228318__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286662/228322__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286663/228321__w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, September 15, 2016 2:00 AM Tasting Sassicaia &mdash; one of the most soughtafter fine wines in the world http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Tasting-Sassicaia_73766 With Christopher Reckord It proved somewhat of a challenge - incredibly - to convene a group of busy wine lovers to enjoy with chef/patron Pierluigi &lsquo;PG&rsquo; Ricci of the multi-award-winning Italian restaurant Toscanini, a bottle of one of his prized possessions. Acccording to the wine press: &ldquo;one of the greatest wines in the world;&rdquo; &ldquo;Sassicaia, the most collectible Italian wine&rdquo;; &ldquo;one of the world&rsquo;s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon wines&rdquo;; &ldquo;one of the most sought-after fine wines in the world&rdquo; - and these are merely a few quotes on the celebrated Italian red wine. <br /> <br /> Breaking the rules - Super Tuscans<br /> <br /> In Italy, like most countries in Europe, the government regulates the type of grapes that can be grown in a certain region, similarly to how our coffee is regulated. Many years ago, a number of winemakers decided to break with tradition and grow varietals that were grown in other countries and not be shackled by the government laws. As a result of this they could not put the official region names on their wines, and they were classified as &lsquo;vino da tavola&rsquo;- Italy&rsquo;s lowest wine designation. These producers had to come up with interesting names for their products. These wines became unofficially classified as &ldquo;Super Tuscans,&rdquo; a term conjured up by the press and customers. Eventually the government modified the rules in an attempt to bring them back into some sort of regulation. The success of Sassicaia which inspired Tignanello contributed greatly to this.<br /> <br /> Way ahead of its time<br /> <br /> A wine made mainly from Cabernet Sauvignon was a fundamental change to the Tuscan and Piedmont tradition of Sangiovese and Nebbiolo, respectively. The innovative decision to plant this variety at the family&rsquo;s Tenuta San Guido was partly due to the similarity between this Tuscan terrain and that of Graves in Bordeaux. Made in the 1940s and initially consumed only by the family, friends and visitors, Sassicaia entered the world stage, after much prodding in 1968, to critical acclaim with its first international release, and thus the Super Tuscan Pioneer was born. Sassicaia is so distinctive it was granted its own DOC - Bolgheri Sassicaia - as of 1994 - a first for any Italian wine. PG brought not one, but two different vintages of Sassicaia for us to enjoy, the 2006 and the most sought-after 1985. <br /> <br /> 2006 Sassicaia, Tenuta San Guido<br /> <br /> Absolutely delicious, rich, powerful, yet elegant, with concentrated black fruit notes is what came to mind as I tasted the 2006 Sassicaia, which is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc. My fellow tasters - Select Brands executives, the husband-and-wife team of David and Tania McConnell - loved this wine, but we were all very intrigued with the ever-changing, ever- evolving, mesmerising 1985 Sassicaia in the other glass.<br /> <br /> 1985 Sassicaia, Tenuta San Guido<br /> <br /> When you sit with fellow wine lovers and share a bottle of one of the greatest wines ever produced, it&rsquo;s more of an experience than a tasting. Here is what the world&rsquo;s leading wine critic had to say about this wine: 100 points - James Suckling in the Wine Spectator - &ldquo;No wine has ever been as great as this from Sassicaia, and it is one of the best wines Italy has ever produced - June 1989&rdquo;; 100 points Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate- &ldquo;I have had this wine in tastings with 1985 and 1986 Bordeaux first-growths and top 1985 California Cabernets. In each tasting the 1985 Sassicaia has not only been my favourite, but the first choice of the majority of the tasters. Unquestionably one of the most compelling and dramatic Cabernet Sauvignons I have ever tasted, it continues to go from strength to strength. The colour remains an opaque black/purple, and the huge nose of minerals, licorice, blackcurrants, and smoky oak is persistent and intense. With extraordinary richness, full body, unbelievable concentration, and a moderately tannic, opulent finish, this thrilling wine remains young and largely unevolved. It has at least 20-25 years of longevity.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> On behalf of my fellow tasters I would like to thank Pierluigi &lsquo;PG&rsquo; Ricci for this once-in-a-lifetime experience; it&rsquo;s now our turn to reciprocate.<br /> <br /> Christopher Reckord - Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to creckord@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286739/228207_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286733/228211__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286735/228210__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286736/228202__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286737/228203_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286738/228204__w300.jpg Local Food Thursday, September 15, 2016 2:00 AM