While our star athletes continued to mine gold in Moscow and make Jamaica proud, a different team was just three-and-a-half hours away displaying their culinary skills in France.
Last week Thursday, we gave you the background to our summer project in France called Straight from Yaad — A Taste of Jamaica. We left off our short story at the point of decision — Go or No Go for the Friday night festival.
When our team arrived at the festival site on Friday morning ready for the first day of work, we were greeted by a number of the organisers of the event who were all in a very sombre mood. The regional authorities had just informed them of another impending storm; with the devastation of the previous weekend still fresh in everyone's mind, the Friday night festival was cancelled. Our team, focused on the job at hand, took to the kitchen and did all the required preparation for the rice & peas, chicken, pork, and roast fish for the next two days, because the Saturday and Sunday shows were still on.
Jamaican Menu Outsells French Menu
The main stage shows began at around 4:00 pm, the VIP restaurant was opened at 7:00 pm. On both nights, the Jamaican menu outsold the French menus during long periods. Many visitors to the VIP area were very interested in trying what the Jamaicans has to offer. Three days of food was finished in two days; first to go was the roast fish, then the jerk pork ran out. Soon the rice and peas ran out. The only reason we had some jerk chicken left was that one small pre-seasoned batch was partly hidden in the storage.
My challenge — Bordeaux Wine & Jamaican Food
The festival was over and it was time to exhale.
Château Fontesteau winemaker and proprietor Dominique Fouin sat with us and gave us some open, honest feedback. One important challenge he put to me was how to pair Bordeaux wines successfully with Jamaican food. For a good food and wine experience, the wine should taste just how the winemaker intended, and the food should taste just how the chef intended. The intention is for a delicate but well-choreographed dance between each sip of wine and each taste of food — none overpowering the other. We have put a Bordeaux wine and Jamaican plan in place for 2014.
A very special thanks to the chefs and their organisations who made the investment to make the trip to France a reality: Catering by Lorraine - Lorraine Fung; Miss T's Kitchen - Anna-Kay Tomlinson; G's BBQ - Gariel Ferguson. The team would also like to thank Sean Garbutt and Walkerswood Caribbean Foods for their support. We also thank JAMPRO and the OPM for the giveaway items.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we thank the Reggae Sun Ska team, especially Arnaud Bengochea and our Jamaican connection Sam Clayton Jr, for making this all possible and hosting us in Bordeaux.
One thing is for sure: Jamaica is a cultural Superpower!
Christopher Reckord - Businessman, Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to email@example.com. Follow us on twitter: @Reckord