Lifestyle

Talk of the Town: where The Past Dictates the Future

At The Wine Rack

with Christopher Reckord

Thursday, December 28, 2017



There are few events curated by organisations with the express purpose of preserving the camaraderie and pleasures of the table and promoting excellence in all areas of the hospitality arts. The gastronomic society known as the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is the only one of its kind in Jamaica that has been hosting some of the most remarkable dining affairs across the island for over 30 years.

This month, the Jamaica Pegasus hotel returned to host the society's 2017 induction event after a break of a few decades. Group Director, Marketing & Sales Nicola Madden-Greig and General Manager Peter Hilary worked closely with their respected Executive Chef Mark Cole to create, theme and deliver a menu befitting the special event. This year, 10 new members were inducted into the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs and three new members into the Société Mondiale du Vin, a sub-organisation whose focus is the appreciation of wine and crafted beverages. We were joined by our new Caribbean Bailli Provincial Alan Feuerstein, who served as inducting officer for the evening, and his wife Rayna as our special guests.

 

Jamaica as a World Gastronomy Destination

This dinner's theme might be somewhat connected to our Government's mission, through the Ministry of Tourism, to position the island as a recognised contributor to the global culinary environment. Madden-Greig, one of our hosts, chairs the Gastronomy Network of the Tourism Linkages Programme set up to drive the hospitality sector. I doubt that any chef in Jamaica has hosted as many world leaders, including a sitting US president, as Executive Chef Mark Cole. Chef Cole has been on a personal mission to take Jamaican gastronomy to the next level through his passionate involvement with the Culinary Federation of Jamaica and with events around the theme “Beyond Jerk”. It might be against that backdrop that this induction event was aptly themed “The Past Dictates the Future”, a culinary journey celebrating the future of Jamaican cuisine.

 

The Past Dictates…

After the induction ceremony in the Legacy Suite, guests were invited up to the Talk of the Town on the 17th floor, where they were given a history lesson on the Jamaican foods that were most sought-after in the late 1800s when Jamaica held The Great Jamaica Exhibition of 1891, an event that was billed “the most extraordinary commercial event in the history of the Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies”. The video presentation informed us that in those days the Black Land Crab was described by commentators as “the most savoury and delicious morsel in nature” and even “the greatest delicacy in the world” ( Jamaican Food, B W Higman). This significant inspiration led to our first course of Black Land Crab and Goat Cheese Kibbie. Six delectable courses followed, each accompanied by a range of carefully selected wines. They included Pascal Jolivet Attitude 2015, Sauvignon Blanc, Loire, France; Whispering Angel Rosé 2016, Provence, France; ZD Pinot Noir 2014, Carneros, California, USA; Miòl Prosecco Brut NV, Treviso DOC, Italy; Grgich Hills Merlot, 2013, Napa, California, USA; Thomas Barton Réserve Sauternes 2013, Bordeaux, France.

 

My Favourite Wines

I really loved the ZD Pinot Noir. ZD Wines has been producing Pinot Noir every year since 1969. This highly acclaimed, multi-award-winning wine was made with 100% certified, organically grown Pinot Noir grapes. With its dark cherry aromas, this Pinot has a bit more power than most. Aged for 10 months in French oak, you taste the rich red fruit supported by hints of cedar, vanilla and spice.

The Grgich Hills Merlot, another favourite, is rich and powerful. I whispered to my wife that this Merlot was very “cab-ish” with firm tannins, very powerful but balanced. With 18 months on French oak, it was bottled in April 2015 and released to the market in January 2017. This wine will only get better with age.

Vive la Chaîne!

 

Christopher Reckord - Information Technology Entrepreneur, Wine Enthusiast and Vice Echanson- Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, Bailliage de la Jamaïque. Send your questions and comments to creckord@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord

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