La Toque at Sugar Mill — An Exclusive Culinary Journey La Toque at Sugar Mill

Thursday, April 27, 2017

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Luxury brand Half Moon served up the second instalment in its Guest Chef Series at its multiple Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards -winning restaurant Sugar Mill in Montego Bay.The series continued last Wednesday through Saturday with an exclusive culinary journey — La Toque at Sugar Mill with Chef Ken Frank of Michelin-starred La Toque Restaurant in Napa Valley, California.

Frank, who is a widely acclaimed chef, is completely self-taught, and brings a distinctive, personalised touch to his contemporary French cuisine at La Toque. Frank's culinary career began in France after his family moved from California to Yvoire. He subsequently returned to California and received national acclaim at the age of 21, during his stint at La Guillotine. After a 14-year run from 1979, Frank sold the first incarnation of La Toque and opened the award-winning Fenix at the Argyle. In 1998 a second incarnation of La Toque made its debut and has subsequently gone on to acquire two Michelin stars, a 3-star review by San Francisco Chronicle's Michael Bauer and Wine Spectator's Grand Award, the highest honour for a restaurant's wine list. In 2015 Frank became the first American chef to be invited to participate in the Annual Fiera Internazionale Tartufo BiancoD' Alba and was most recently inducted into the Order of the Knights of the Truffle and Wines of Alba; earning the distinction of being one of the world's best truffle chefs.

Thursday Food settled in last Saturday for six courses expertly curated by Chef Frank that truly embodied his acclaim for rich, bold flavours and were exquisitely paired with fantastic selections from Jackson Family Wines.

The elegant ambiance of the Sugar Mill Restaurant served as the perfect backdrop for a truly delightful culinary journey highlighted by a butter-soft Wagyu Strip loin, Pavlova, Foie Gras, Chilean Sea Bass and an interesting twist on Jamaica's national dish, ackee and salt fish. The dishes featured simple, clean constructs that were at once tasty and bursting with flavour. With each table in the near-capacity filled restaurant bubbling with laughter and great convo, it would be remiss of us not to make special mention of the Sugar Mill staff and their delivery of flawless service.

“It's always a pleasure to work in the Caribbean, especially Jamaica,” shared Frank with Thursday Food. “The cuisine is fantastic and the staff at the Sugar Mill is great. I just have to mention the jerk pork and foil roast fish I had earlier today, the use of the okras especially, just so good,” he continued.

La Toque at Sugar Mill follows Sapori d' Italia with Chef Giovanni Ciresa in the first of the series. The event also featured a master class last Thursday with Chef Frank giving patrons the opportunity to learn the art of grilling prawns, the secret to a perfect steak and how to perfect a chocolate espresso soufflé.


(TEXT & PHOTOS Aceion Cunningham)




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