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 VIDEO: From Italy, With Love http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/From-Italy--With-Love-_16420218 Feel-good warmth embraces your heart and appetite at Toscanini. The Italian restaurant — founded 15 years ago by British-Italian siblings Pierluigi and Lella Ricci at Harmony Hall in Tower Isle, St Mary — has become a standard-bearer, of sorts, for authentic cuisine served up with a side order of agreeable personality. Local Food Thu, 10 Apr 2014 02:00:00 GMT Catch of the day with rainforest http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Catch-of-the-day-with-rainforest-_16430824 Thursday Life shares an intimate Sunday brunch with close friends and family of Allison and Alistair Smalling at the view-blessed, hillside Kirkland Heights home of Allison's parents Noeleen and Hendricks Porter. With Rainforest Seafoods as the main ingredient, our host, homemaker par excellence Allison Porter-Smalling whipped up dish after dish of seafood delights that took the culinary imaginations of those gathered right to their favourite marina and beachside hot-spots. Let's dig in! Food Thu, 10 Apr 2014 15:00:00 GMT Two Sisters and BUN http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Two-Sisters-and-BUN-_16427489 It's that time of year again — Easter is upon us! With schools closed, all three generations of the Rousseau clan usually pack up and head to the coast for the week. And what a glorious week it usually is! It's all family, friends, and 'food for days', as they would say in Trinidad. On Good Friday we enjoy a fish dinner, as many practising Christians would have given up meat for Lent. On Sunday afternoon we always have an Easter egg hunt for the boys and we gorge on chocolate. And then there is the Sunday roast, which on Easter is lamb and potatoes served with mint sauce. We invite friends and family to come and spend the day with us, so the trail of leisurely visitors who take the 2 _-hour drive to pop in and hang out makes it all very enjoyable. Local Food Thu, 10 Apr 2014 02:00:00 GMT RED STRIPE LAUNCHES 1 LITRE BOTTLE http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/RED-STRIPE-LAUNCHES-1-LITRE-BOTTLE-_16442739 Jamaica is known for being a trailblazer in many areas. Now the local beer market can be acknowledged for another first. Jamaica's leading beer, Red Stripe, has unveiled a new one-litre packaging with plans to have it in trade by month end. The new bottling was officially revealed to the public at an event in Congrieve Park Portmore last week. Local Lifestyle Thu, 10 Apr 2014 02:00:00 GMT Haute Desserts  at Cafe Blue http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/HAUTE-Desserts--at-Cafe-Blue_16397623 Nothing excites a connoisseur like a great cup of Joe. Even finer is freshly brewed, and better yet, a cup o’ roasted liquid pleasure enjoyed in Blue Mountain country. Café Blue’s Irish Town location was the checklist stop for the Jamaica Observer Food Awards judging panel last Monday, and to say the caffeine-happy among the judges were thrilled would be an understatement. Local Food Thu, 03 Apr 2014 02:00:00 GMT Crystal Edge Restaurant  - The 'Edge' OF Glory http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Crystal-Edge-Restaurant----The--Edge--OF-Glory-_16378430 Home comfort goodness could very well be Winsome Hall's secret sauce. The charismatic restaurateur of Crystal Edge puts true heart and the right kick of flavour into her eatery's pleasing options of Jamaican menu faves. Welcoming the Jamaica Observer Food Awards judging panel for dinner last week Monday — a special treat, considering it's the sole day Crystal Edge is closed for business — Hall whipped up a sunset spread of chicken soup, roast chicken, oxtail and rice n' peas for her guests that set the stage for easy table conversation over comfort fare. Local Lifestyle Thu, 03 Apr 2014 02:00:00 GMT Café Blue's High Premium http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Cafe-Blue-s-High-Premium_16378301 Nothing excites a connoisseur like a great cup of Joe. Even finer is freshly brewed, and better yet, a cup o' roasted liquid pleasure enjoyed in Blue Mountain country. Café Blue's Irish Town location was the checklist stop for the Jamaica Observer Food Awards judging panel last Monday, and to say the caffeine-happy among the judges were thrilled would be an understatement. Local Food Thu, 03 Apr 2014 02:00:00 GMT Rainforest Seafoods Dinner http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Rainforest-Seafoods-Dinner-_16387215 Throwing out our line for a host for a Rainforest Seafoods-themed dinner party, we reeled in quite a catch -- Sagicor Holborn Road Branch Manager Christopher Lawe. The accomplished insurance executive surprised us last weekend with a command performance in the kitchen of his upper St Andrew townhouse. His intuitive and razor-sharp culinary skills -- who knew? Lawe teamed up with attorney-at-law fiancée Michelle Fitz-Henley to host a four-course seafood dinner for an intimate coterie of friends, work colleagues and family. Utilising Rainforest Seafoods' retail offerings of seafood mix, shrimp, salmon and gourmet trout steaks, Lawe produced a winning buffet spread that had most guests returning for seconds. Join us at the table for highlights from a special seafood dinner. Local Lifestyle Thu, 03 Apr 2014 02:00:00 GMT The Song of the Banana Man http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/The-Song-of-the-Banana-Man-_16378979 Touris, white man, wipin his face, Local Lifestyle Thu, 03 Apr 2014 02:00:00 GMT Of Burgers, Wines & Sweet Treats http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Of-Burgers--Wines---Sweet-Treats-_16326893 The word is out: Ribbiz Ultra Lounge's curry goat burger is to die for! Instantly addicted at our first bite last year, we thought it prudent to make a beeline, with our Jamaica Observer Food Awards judges and guests in tow (including San Francisco-based chef and restaurateur David Lawrence and his wife Monetta White, live-wire media personality Khadine 'Miss Kitty' Hylton and ever-charming clothing retailer Jimmy Josephs), to the trendy watering hole and eatery for group food therapy on March 17. Created by Ribbiz resident food guru Don Creary, the curry goat burger — a just-right blend of spicy flavour offset with a sweet mango chutney dip — scored enthusiastic feedback from the judges, several of whom remarked how impressed they were by the ingenuity of goat being crafted into a burger. Local Lifestyle Thu, 27 Mar 2014 02:00:00 GMT Lawrence of San Francisco http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Lawrence-of-San-Francisco_16331381 Heads turn as the tall, hard-to-miss David Lawrence strides into the Regency Bar & Lounge with his gorgeous, petite wife Monetta White. "It's nice in here," he shares, taking a leisurely look around. We're glad he's impressed. UK-born Lawrence -- a dead ringer for British actor Idris Elba-- is the chef/patron of 1300 Restaurant & Lounge on Fillmore, a supper club in San Francisco, California. His parents, Daphne and Frank Lawrence, left Jamaica in the late-1950s for the United Kingdom. The classically trained Burton upon Trent-born chef, who was raised in Wembley, moved to the United States, some 26 years ago, where he worked at the Hilton Hotel as chef de cuisine, and then ran the celebrated Carnelian Room complete with jaw-dropping views of the city's skyline. Local Food Thu, 27 Mar 2014 02:00:00 GMT Traditional Jamaican Sweets http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Traditional-Jamaican-Sweets_16325718 To tell the story of traditional Jamaican sweets, our journey begins under the blistering hot sun of a Jamaican sugar plantation and ends in the gritty urban streets and picturesque country markets of today's Jamaica. Local Lifestyle Thu, 27 Mar 2014 02:00:00 GMT Countryside's Fantastic Fridays http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Countryside-s-Fantastic-Fridays_16328430 Countryside is all the rage on Friday nights. Teeming with a bustling after-work crowd, and families on a culinary break from their home kitchens, there is an electric energy in the air at the Courtney Walsh Drive-situated foodie spot. Reopened in November last year, the Countryside welcomed a Friday night roving band of Jamaica Observer Food Awards judges with wafting scents of grilled chicken and pork, seafood, caffeinated beverages, and an array of tempting delights waiting to be sampled by our all-too-eager panel of tasters. Local Lifestyle Thu, 27 Mar 2014 02:00:00 GMT Wine lovers complain! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Wine-lovers-complain-_16328777 Wine lovers are a restaurant's best customers. Unfortunately, most restaurateurs in Jamaica have not yet learnt that lesson. A wine lover will visit and spend good money in an establishment over and over again, if there is a good selection of wines, and the food is decent — notice, the food does not have to be orgasmic. Local Lifestyle Thu, 27 Mar 2014 02:00:00 GMT Sign of the Times http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Sign-of-the-Times_16355020 With the help of the Jamaica Tourist Board and just ahead of the release of Caribbean Potluck, their hotly anticipated cookbook, Michelle and Suzanne Rousseau added some spice to the New York Times Café, as guest chefs in celebration of Women's History Month. With temperatures in the city hovering at 40 degrees, staffers at The Grey Lady got some welcome warmth from a flavour-packed menu featuring Grilled Chicken with Spicy West Indian Salsa Verde, Sweet Potato Gratin, Creole Sesame Spices Slaw and Spiced Jerk Cashews. Local Lifestyle Thu, 27 Mar 2014 02:00:00 GMT Two Sisters and Blue Mountain Coffee http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Two-Sisters-and-Blue-Mountain-Coffee_16272212 FOR us, the sweetest and most idyllic moment of the day, hands down, is when we take that first sip of Blue Mountain coffee in the morning. Whether you're an early riser and that first sip happens at dawn or whether you venture from the bedroom a little later taking that first sip with the clarity of the 8 o'clock Jamaican sun, this is one of life's sweetest pleasures. Just imagine it: cool morning breeze, a hummingbird flits by, the scent of cutting grass, chirping birds in the background... your perfect Jamaican morning simply would not be complete without a cup of Jamaican java to start it off. Local Lifestyle Thu, 20 Mar 2014 02:00:00 GMT Christopher's at Hermosa Cove http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Christopher-s-at-Hermosa-Cove_16271094 Joined by guest judges, Digicel sponsorship manager Tahnida Nunes and visiting Trinidadian Leslie-Ann St John, head of business development of Genetics Pharmaceuticals and restaurant consultant, the culinary-curious band of Jamaica Observer Food Awards judges journeyed to St Ann last Monday. The destination: Christopher's Restaurant at Hermosa Cove Villas. Local Lifestyle Thu, 20 Mar 2014 02:00:00 GMT Chef on the Rise - Damion Stewart http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Chef-on-the-Rise---Damion-Stewart-_16210349 Chef at the Caribbean Producers Jamaica Limited (CPJ) Market Deli and the CRU Bar & Lounge, Kingston. Local Lifestyle Thu, 20 Mar 2014 02:00:00 GMT Sushi, No Problem Mon http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Sushi--No-Problem-Mon-_16289006 The 16-year-old sushi savant Motoshige Sato, invited along with his chef and restaurateur father Kazuhiro, by the Japanese embassy as a part of ongoing diplomatic celebrations between both countries, showcased his lifelong love affair with the cuisine that is globally synonymous with his homeland. The audience of attentive chefs and restaurateurs gathered in the Jamaica Pegasus's Polo Lounge eagerly savoured the art of sushi-making and Sato's creations. Thursday Life goes table-side to see this culinary prodigy at work. Local Lifestyle Thu, 20 Mar 2014 02:00:00 GMT Terra Nova's 'Wonderland' http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Terra-Nova-s--Wonderland--_16135791 "It's always tea-time." — Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Local Lifestyle Thu, 13 Mar 2014 02:00:00 GMT VIDEO: A Half-Century at The Pelican http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/A-Half-Century-at-The-Pelican_16205611 In 1964 when Stanley and Clarissa Scudamore and their friend Jeremy Bennett, who was an accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, gave the food industry a go, and opened up The Coffee Shop (which in due course would be rechristened The Pelican Grill), little did they know their culinary upstart would outlast many others that came before and after, and today, bear the illustrious honour as a landmark eatery on Montego Bay's fabled Hip Strip. "We really didn't know what we were doing," revealed Bennett to the Jamaica Observer Food Awards Committee Chair NMW Thursday last at what we've dubbed 'Cheers, the-celebrated eatery'. Truth be told, they had not yet perfected the formula; that would come a few decades later. But with Clarissa assigned the kitchen and service aspects of the business, Bennett the accounts and stock control and Stanley purchasing and stores, they were certainly off to a formidable start. Failure was not an option even in the face of adversity. Stanley Scudamore died after a stroke in 1967. The business continued with Clarissa and Jeremy. The two married in 1970, pelicans continued to frequent the vicinity and generation after generation frequented the soda fountain enjoying the thick, rich, tasty jumbo malt. Noted industrialist Jimmy Moss-Solomon, a long-time devotee of Pelican Grill who was unable to attend Monday's walk down memory lane due to prior committments, raved about the establishment and we are certain will ensure a case study be handled by the Mona Business School. Indeed, how many restaurants in the region can boast a pension plan for their staff? Local Food Thu, 13 Mar 2014 01:00:00 GMT Two sisters and Pickapeppa http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Two-sisters-and-Pickapeppa_16230309 No Jamaican pantry of any good repute is ever without an adequate stock of Pickapeppa sauce, and certainly not ours. We adore Pickapeppa; in particular, we love it as an accompaniment to a piping-hot Jamaican patty. Our love and respect for this 100 per cent authentic Jamaican sauce only grew after we had the pleasure and great privilege to visit the Pickapeppa factory, located in Shooters Hill, Mandeville. Established in 1921, the factory, still in its original location, is steeped in history. As we stepped through the door we were surrounded by a sense of how important it is to hold on to these gems and to learn the stories and honour the great minds behind these incredible Jamaican brands. Ultimately, they reveal to us aspects of ourselves and of our history that we may not be aware of and they give us something to be proud of. And so it is no surprise that our visit to the Pickapeppa factory impacted us so greatly. What stood out most, as it often has throughout this great food journey, is the unfaltering commitment to quality and values that is required to produce a great brand and how, with purity of intention and purpose, the simple can be elevated to the extraordinary. Everything about the Pickapeppa brand is evidence that tradition can indeed be carried forward in this technological age and that not all systems need be automated because technology simply cannot replace the human element. Local Lifestyle Thu, 13 Mar 2014 02:00:00 GMT Chef on the Rise - Colleen Royes http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Chef-Colleen-Royes_16136798 Chef Colleen Royes considers being a chef a late-in-life calling. After completing a degree in Management and Economics at the University of the West Indies and working at the national airline for nine years, she longed for a change. She loved to cook and it seemed a no-brainer the moment she decided to enter the culinary world. Fast-forward nine years from that moment. With a culinary degree under her belt and valuable experience gained at Half Moon Hotel, Goddard Catering and Round Hill Hotel and Villas, Royes is now the executive chef and co-owner of Decadent Catering and Events and Grillerz Restaurant. Her passion, drive and ambition come from a perceived notion that she always has to be playing catch-up, to make up for the time spent in the airline industry. Local Lifestyle Thu, 13 Mar 2014 02:00:00 GMT Epicurean Entertaining http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Epicurean-Entertaining_16231808 Is it me or is everyone on a mission to do "something different" to entertain friends, family or clients? In the last couple of years I have worked with a number of organisations to use wine and food events for team building, to entertain new business associates or to celebrate winning a major deal. Local Lifestyle Thu, 13 Mar 2014 02:00:00 GMT VIDEO: Sugar Mill Restaurant Ushers In 50 Years Of Excellence http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Sugar-Mill-Restaurant-Ushers-In-50-Years-Of-Excellence_16189318 Diamonds are forever, and after 60 years it's safe to say that Half Moon, Rose Hall, Jamaica A Rock Resort is readying itself for another six decades. Local Food Thu, 06 Mar 2014 03:00:00 GMT