The Spirit of Carnival
Seafood Oil Down with Roast Breadfruit (Photo: Gregory Bennett)

It was a bright morning, yet perfectly comfortable with a light breeze wafting through the beautifully decorated porch of Débè-Ann Lange of Cutting Edge Gourmet by Débè. Ruth Levy of Inception Design had worked her magic and the theme of the wine pairing, "Spirit of Carnival", was beautifully portrayed via bright and muted colours. The dulcet tones of steel pan drifted sweetly through the air, played by PHM BluPrint Steel Band.

Sunday brunch hosted by Lange paired with wines courtesy of Ohran Cato, category manager - wines, CPJ, on March 5 was a memorable affair.

Guests upon arrival were greeted with a Lavender 75 cocktail (made of Bombay Gin, Lange's lavender syrup, fresh lemon juice and Kramer sparkling wine). Hors d'oeuvres were a feast unto themselves and included conch fritters, green fig souse, pineapple chow, fresh pineapple and Portuguese garlic pork.

There were, too, cups of porridge and a coffee station.

Come time to sit, the experience commenced with a watermelon salad which was served with Maschio Prosecco Rosé. The sweetness of the melon paired with the tartness of the feta and lemon juice in the heavy cream dressing made the prosecco rosé taste crisp and clean. With just a hint of sweetness, it was a perfect pairing.

This was followed by a Best Dressed Chicken Cacciatore with diced tomatoes and queen olives reduced in a rich, velvety herbaceous tomato sauce atop a simple white polenta. Louis Latour Beaujolais-Villages, a rich and complex red, bold enough to complement the chicken, was the perfect foil. Together, this wine with the chicken truly evoked the Carnival spirit: a melange of many different elements coming together to form a unique and exciting experience.

Taste buds were further tantalised with the serving of the Copperwood Crispy Back Pork Belly Corn Taco. The taco filling included shredded cabbage with a lemon-cilantro vinaigrette and slices of the crispy pork belly topped with a greek yogurt cilantro basil dressing. This was expertly paired with Hob Nob Shiraz which had just enough tannin to cut the richness of the pork belly making it a delight to all culinary senses.

Lange then tried something new for her palate cleanser: a Sicilian Lemon Frost, which was sharp with the rind of the lemon, but smooth as the consistency was that of a pudding. Interesting, to say the least! It was now showtime! Enter: Seafood Oil Down with Roasted Breadfruit. Jumbo shrimp and lobster cooked in garlic and coconut milk, seasonings and pumpkin, a West Indian favourite but done lighter, sans pigtail. This was flavourful and light and Ohran decided that the only wine that would do this justice was the Fantini Pinot Grigio. Light, dry and perfect with the seafood. Absolutely divine!

The meal was finished with what Lange called "pavlova meets trifle". Served in a saucer Champagne glass, the lightly brandy-drizzled cake was layered with fruit cocktail, English custard, heavy cream then topped with a meringue and cherry. A playful and not-too-sweet end to a lovely meal, paired with Annabelle Cuvée Blanche, a light semi-sweet sparkling white which seemed to be made for the trifle. Between the lovely garden setting, the pan music and the meal guests were left satiated and ready for the next instalment in October.

Photos: Gregory Bennett

CPJ Wines Category Manager Ohran Cato introduces the afternoon's pours.(Photo: Gregory Bennett)
Susan Millwood and Winston Rowe of Cutting Edge Gourmet serve the watermelon salad which was paired with Maschio Prosecco Rose.(Photo: Gregory Bennett)
Best Dressed Chicken with olives and tomatoes atop white polenta (Photo: Gregory Bennett)
Copperwood Crispy Pork Belly Corn Taco served with Hob Nob Shiraz.(Photo: Gregory Bennett)
The non-shellfish main: Grilled Salmon and Tenderloin with a mixed bean salsa and lingonberry purée(Photo: Gregory Bennett)
Trinidad Portuguese Garlic Pork (Photo: Gregory Bennett)
Conch Fritters with Imperial sauce (Photo: Gregory Bennett)
PHM BluPrint Steel Band members Adrian Williams and Jodi-Kay Martin (Photo: Gregory Bennett)
Cutting Edge Gourmet by Débè Creative Director Débè-Ann Lange-Chen (right) shares the frame with Appleton Estate Senior Blender David Morrison and his wife Nastassia Morrison, CEO, HomeMaid Jamaica. (Photo: Gregory Bennett)
Cutting Edge Gourmet by Débè Creative Director Débè-Ann Lange-Chen (right) with the O Team (from left) Senior Associate Editor, Lifestyle & Social Content Novia McDonald-Whyte, Financial Controller Donnalee Findlay, Managing Director Dominic Beaubrun and Deputy Managing Director Natalie Chin. (Photo: Gregory Bennett)
Veteran Cutting Edge Gourmet server Robert Williams serves the best wines CPJ has to offer.(Photo: Gregory Bennett)
Palate cleanser: Sicilian Lemon Frost (Photo: Gregory Bennett)

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