Berry, Berry Good
Jeannine Laboissiere, owner of On Cranberry Pond Bed and Breakfast, has been crafting specialty meals and juices made with cranberries for Ocean Spray for 19 years. She's the woman behind the table of delicious bite-size pastries at the company's meet-and-greet presentation with journalists from the Caribbean and Latin America on a sunny, albeit a tad chilly, Friday morning last week.
"It's not easy to get into a corporation with your food because they are solicited so much," Laboissiere explains to Thursday Food when we pull her aside to get the story behind her link with the world-famous cranberry company.
"I made cranberry date bars baked with cranberries, oatmeals and other spices," she recalls. The silver-haired cook's entrepreneurial credo to garner interest is simple: "Feed them and they will come." Her bars attracted the taste buds of an Ocean Spray employee who raved about her baking skills and recommended her to higher-ups within the organisation. "They liked what they had because it was different, and they asked me to come in and do other recipes and it blossomed into meetings." The rest is history, as she became the go-to caterer who would whip up her inventive cranberry recipes for special Ocean Spray events, such as the one at which we made acquaintances.
Laboissiere is an avowed cranberry lover. "It's really special and unlike other fruits," she points out. "It stays well in the freezer and is probably one of the most versatile berries I've ever worked with," she tells us, noting that she has created well over 100 recipes, including pastries, drinks and meats.
Care to add a cranberry-inspired dish to the table at your next party or as dessert to Sunday dinner? Thursday Food shares some of Laboissiere's cranberry recipes.
— Omar Tomlinson