The Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel was the venue Saturday last for "Epicurian Elegance", the latest in the series of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs dinners. The Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is the oldest and largest food and wine society in the world and the local chapter organises a series of dining events across Jamaica in the finest culinary locations.
Our hosts, Terra Nova's Managing Director Ruth Hussey, General Manager Michelle Hussey, Executive Chef Kenard Swaby and Culinary Consultant and Stylist Ardelle Dalla Costa delivered an evening of gastronomical delight that many are still raving about.
Guests on arrival enjoyed caviar on endive, spicy crab-filled button mushroom caps, pimento-infused polenta, with jerk chicken mousse and roasted red pepper coulis, garlic escargot in miniature bammy cups. The fresh and elegant Champagne Laurent-Perrier, specially selected by Caribbean Producers Jamaica, complemented the hors d'oeuvres. There was too, a special Rumfire cocktail.
Dinner commenced promptly at 8:00 pm in the classic candle-lit Regency Room with an appetiser of mahogany duck confit on glazed ortanique slices with anise orange drizzle and mahogany wine reduction. Another Caribbean Producers selection accompanied this dish, the 2010 Château d'Esclans 'Whispering Angel' Côtes de Provence Rosé, a light, creamy rosé with fresh raspberry and glazed citrus flavours, followed by a lively finish.
The hotel's signature classic lobster bisque followed with a dash of house pepper sherry. The fact that the peppers were from the family farm upped the culinary convo and became one of the most talked about dishes for the evening.
Truth be told, many wanted more! The salad course came in the form of oven-roasted beets, feta confetti and garlic chips over Blue Mountain fancy greens, with a salted crouton and honey mustard vinaigrette. This dish was paired with a 2009 Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Regional Collection offered by wine and spirits importer Select Brands for this course.
This Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc has a bouquet of ripe tropical and citrus fruits that flow through to the palate, finishing fresh and crisp; lovers of a more fruit- forward style of Sauvignon Blanc really savoured this wine. The fourth course was a delicate pan- seared black cod on a bed of sweet and sour onions with wilted baby spinach.
The sharp refreshing lime sorbet presented in a 'smoking' glass bowl was the perfect segue into the entrée — delicious tournedos of fillet mignon, on a medallion of hard dough bread with brandy pate, sautéed mushrooms and a red wine reduction.
Another Select Brands wine was an excellent match for the steak — Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2009. This Franciscan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon has been aged for 20 months in oak barrels and offers aromas of black cherry and plum with notes of cedar on a lingering, velvety finish. The Cockburn's Special Reserve Port, also from Select Brands, was served with Dawn Mitchell's trio of confection which brought this culinary triumph to an end.
"Excellent food", "A Fantastic dinner", "The best yet", "The finest service", "Outstanding wines, wish we had more" are but a few of the comments from the Chaîne members and their guests, some of whom stayed until the wee hours of the morning enjoying after-dinner digestifs.
Christopher Reckord — Businessman, Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on twitter: @DeVineWines @Reckord