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 An Au Revoir @ Opa! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/An-Au-Revoir---Opa--_17782927 'Opa!' is what Greeks exclaim in a time of celebration or when expressing joy and gratitude. It's a term that would perhaps aptly reference the two-year tenure of Ambassador of Belgium to Jamaica, Godelieve Van Den Bergh. The ambassador's tour of duty comes to an end in October, at which time she'll return to Brussels. To honour the departing ambassador, Antonio F Da Costa eSilva, Brazil's Ambassador to Jamaica, and producer/restaurateur Alexx Antaeus hosted a farewell dinner party Monday last at the latter's celebrated Greek eatery, Opa! Greek Restaurant and SkyLounge. The table resembled that of a United Nations delegation (think: Brazil, Russia, United States, Chile, Greece and Jamaica). Local Food Thu, 23 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Food Reminiscing on Diwali http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Food-Reminiscing-on-Diwali_17760750 Today, thousands of persons of Indian descent across the region will be lighting small clay lamps filled with oil, candles and artificial chain lights in celebration of Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Light. Houses and public spaces are decorated with small earthen lamps called diyas, signifying the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. Diwali focuses on embracing one's inner light, to dispel physical and mental darkness. Local Lifestyle Thu, 23 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT A Taste of Jamaica - The Bartender Competition http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/A-Taste-of-Jamaica---The-Bartender-Competition_17784065 I was asked to be the head judge for the bartender competition section in the recently held Best Dressed Chicken Taste of Jamaica - A culinary competition put on by the Culinary Federation of Jamaica. Overall, the event had just over 250 participants working in teams or individually vying for a range of titles including the following: Chef/Junior of the Year; Junior Apprentice Chef of the Year; Pastry Chef of the Year and Bartender of the Year. This event also serves as part of the selection process for the Jamaican team to enter the Taste of the Caribbean Culinary Competition to be held in Miami in June 2015. Local Food Thu, 23 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT For Good Food, Great Taste & Good Health http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/For-Good-Food--Great-Taste---Good-Health_17748171 The less-than-auspicious start of Badia Spices in a non-descript store in Miami, by Cuban immigrants who mixed their herbs and spices by hand, has made way 30 years later to Badia Spices, an internationally acclaimed brand whose products are used by professional chefs and cooks worldwide. Local Food Thu, 16 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT VIDEO: The ‘House’ Wins http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/The--House--Wins_17746832 As good as ice cream gets at Kingston landmark Devon House, the historic property is far more than home to dairy-divine licks. Think beyond scoops of Bordeaux cherry, butter almond, Devon Stout or strawberry swirl, and the trip to the Waterloo Road address affords one a six-fold culinary exercise worth taking. Local Food Thu, 16 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Wine — There are lots of apps for that http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Wine----There-are-lots-of-apps-for-that_17739650 Most wine lovers have been in a situation where they are out for dinner or visiting friends, taste a really great wine, write down the info on a piece of paper which can never be found later. Thankfully there are several technology solutions out there. For starters, how about using your smartphone to snap a photo of the wine's label? Local Food Thu, 16 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT TSO Shopping and Wine Tasting http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/TSO-Shopping-and-Wine-Tasting_17703573 Last week Thursday the Jamaica Observer Takes Style Out evening of shopping saw a number of destinations offering refreshments to their guests, and it seems the drink of choice was, of course, wine. Local Lifestyle Thu, 09 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT A Rock Flavoured Oktoberfest http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/A-Rock-Flavoured-Oktoberfest-_17709154   Local Food Thu, 09 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Terra Nova Adds Haute Vegetarian Fare To Its Menu http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Terra-Nova-Adds-Haute-Vegetarian-Fare-To-Its-Menu_17707914 The management of the luxe multi-award-winning Terra Nova All-Suite hotel are never ones to rest on their laurels especially in a competitive environment and as such have unveiled their latest offering: Haute Vegetarian Cuisine - a menu according to the hotel's consultant on all things extraordinary and fab Ardelle Dalla Costa, "that would appeal to the vegetarian in search of a fine dining experience, deliciously composed and served in beautiful surroundings". What Thursday Life is eager to add is that it's a menu that will be as eagerly embraced by all in search of tasty fare. Local Lifestyle Thu, 09 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT VIDEO:Sticking A 'Fork' In It http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Sticking-A--Fork--In-It-_17709586 Debe Ann Chen rolled her latest culinary undertaking, the Fork In The Road food truck, into the town of Mandeville this past Tuesday. A long-harboured dream brought to fruition for the always-bubbly Chen (who gave Thursday Life exclusive access), the 26-year Jamaican resident beamed with pride, though there were hints of underlying second-guessing as to what public reaction would be to the truck parked along Ward Avenue in front of the old Tudor Theatre. Local Food Thu, 09 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT VIDEO: Simply the best http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Simply-the-best_17649903 IT was a baptism into gastronomic heaven. Food enthusiasts found culinary redemption for their anxious after-work appetites last Friday evening as the Heart Foundation of Jamaica staged the silver anniversary of its Simply Red food festival on the lawns of Jamaica House under the theme ‘Celebrating Flavour, Flair and Fashion’. Food Thu, 02 Oct 2014 01:00:00 GMT Sipping on borrowed time http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Sipping-on-borrowed-time_17658445 When you open a bottle of wine with friends and family, it usually disappears in a few minutes. There is no need to worry about spoilage there. If, however, you open a very special bottle just to enjoy a glass or if you run a bar or restaurant and offer wine by the glass, the ability to keep the wines very fresh is important. Local Lifestyle Thu, 02 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Sean John Plates: A Destination Experience http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Sean-John-Plates--A-Destination-Experience_17658211 Ahead of the much-anticipated Destination shindig at GoldenEye last week Saturday evening, guests enjoyed a unique Drive Experience lunch courtesy of ATL Autohaus and Destination Experience at Hermosa Cove, Ocho Rios. Local Lifestyle Thu, 02 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Chef McIntosh Does 'Good' in Sydney, Nova Scotia http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Chef-McIntosh_17584679 After winning the “Master Chef Cook-Off Challenge" in Sydney, Nova Scotia in 2013, Chef Dennis McIntosh was invited back by the Right Some Good team, this time as guest chef for the pop-up dinner at Inverary Resort in Baddock, which took place on Thursday, September 4 and was attended by some 200 guests. Food Thu, 25 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT There Will Be Soup http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/There-Will-Be-Soup-_17605657 As sure as Saturday follows Friday, there will be soup in the Gopaul household as the week-closing meal. It’s a time-honoured ritual my beloved grandaunt Leonie Gopaul — more akin really, to being a second mother — has kept going as a culinary tradition as her own mother (my late great-grandmother) Lillian Gopaul raised her brood of six sons and six daughters on Saturday soup in George’s Plain, Westmoreland. Food Thu, 25 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT Saturday at Linstead Market http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Saturday-at-Linstead-Market_17548474 Immortalised in the popular Jamaican folk song, Linstead Market is home to a colourful cast of vendor personalities, with stalls stocked with a distinct array of farm-fresh produce and veggies as Thursday Life went a-calling last weekend. Get your shopping list ready as we venture to the iconic St Catherine space to see a Saturday market day in action. Food Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT Jerk Pork LINSTEAD Style http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Jerk-Pork-LINSTEAD-Style-_17548602 After calling it a day at the Linstead Market, the unmistakable, wafting scent of pork finds our nostrils as we make our way back to our vehicle parked in the heart of the bustling town. Local Lifestyle Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT VIDEO: Friday Night Roadside Eats http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Friday-Night-Roadside-Eats_17519137 The weekend's almost here and like most, we too are inclined to stay away from the stove on a Friday night. Not quite in the mood for a dine-in experience, the Thursday Life team filed into the trusty Amarok and hit the streets of the capital city in search of roadside eats — eager to discover and tuck into fare readily available alongside the black top. Food Thu, 11 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT Jell-O vs Crème Brûlée — buying wines for people you don't know http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/food/Jell-O-vs-Cr-me-Br-l-e---buying-wines-for-people-you-don-t-know_17507408 To the uninitiated, everyone who likes to drink wine is a connoisseur. This used to cause me some grief in my first few years in this business as not a week would go by that I was not asked to select or recommend wine for someone I didn't know. I get those requests still today. In the early years, when told that the recipient of the gift was a connoisseur, I was eager to make an impressive selection and more importantly, I was eager to meet as many "wine people" as I could. Reality check came when I was invited to the home of one of these "wine people" and I arrived with my bottle of highly allocated, 90+ points-rated Châteauneuf-du-Pape. To my surprise, I noticed quite a few bottles of very cheap Chilean and Australian wines at the bar, which the host explained he very much enjoyed. I braved up myself and offered my bottle suggesting that he add it to his collection and open on a special occasion. He happily accepted it, expressed his appreciation and mentioned that he had heard of it before. After that day I began asking many more qualifying questions when told about other "connoisseurs". Local Food Thu, 11 Sep 2014 02:00:00 GMT