Buzo on the Rock
(Photo: Naphtali Junior)

"I pride myself in knowing what people, in your position, sitting in those chairs, want... the local team is ready, plus, I have 10-12 members of my team from Barbados and Trinidad here just to be sure," shared Trotters Restaurant Group Director and buzo Osteria Italiana principal Peter George as he officially opened buzo (Jamaica) to over 100 guests on Tuesday, March 7 at 1 Park Close, New Kingston.

It was no idle boast from the celebrated restaurateur, venture capitalist, regionalist and crusader for digital technology. Giving people what they want before they know that they want it has long been the success elixir that has eluded many. George's lauded track record from Port of Spain, Trinidad to Bridgetown, Barbados, however, puts him in good stead. But he's taking no chances.

There's no hovering, white-gloved maître d, but, suffice it to say, even the most discerning was impressed as they ascended the steps, through the doors and came face to face with a hand-painted mural depicting Botticelli's Birth of Venus. Space is at a premium. Think: 7,700 square feet with indoor seating for 160 and at least 60 more for al fresco dining on the wrap-around terrace. The hushed luxe Karen Aboud interior, open kitchen, walls of wine and top-shelf bar complete the visual feast.

The formalities were brief focusing on a chance encounter by Novia McDonald-Whyte, senior associate editor lifestyle and local content at the Jamaica Observer, in 2006 at George's acclaimed Port of Spain restaurant Prime then his attending the Table Talk Food Awards in Jamaica that same year to accept an award, to the launch of the Food Awards in Trinidad in April 2013, and now a full circle moment as it were with the opening of buzo Osteria Italiana in Kingston, Jamaica.

Carreras Chair Patrick Smith, who was living in Trinidad at the time, in bringing greetings, spoke to the world of food according to the genius of Peter George and offered insights into what one can expect.

The evening's guest speaker Aubyn Hill, minister of investment, industry and commerce, congratulated George and expressed his delight at the level of investment. "This is a major statement... if you know me, and for the past few months that I've been minister, all I've pushed is export. We cannot become rich unless we export to a lot of rich people," he shared before joining George, Minister of Finance and the Public Service Nigel Clarke, buzo Floor Manager Jaime Lee Bingham, and McDonald-Whyte in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Bonhomie was in abundance as guests caught up in between shared appetisers, copious glasses of vino and hand-crafted cocktails.

As with any new establishment there were hiccups (it was not, in the words of George, a banquet) but the culinary team led by Executive Sous-Chef Nikita Goddard showed grace under pressure as they ensured that guests enjoyed a taste of Northern Italian cuisine with the hope that they will return to enjoy the many menu offerings that are cooked from scratch.

With George's longtime friends on hand to raise a toast to his success and to welcome him to The Rock it is our hope that this is the continuation of the Caribbean as a culinary destination.

Cin-cin, Peter!

Editor's Note:

See more highlights from buzo's official opening on tomorrow's Page 2.

buzo Osteria Italiana

1 Park Close, New Kingston

Tel: (876) 999-BUZO

IG: @buzo.jamaica

Website: buzojamaica.dinemaestro.com

Opening hours: Mon to Sat 11:00 am - 11:00 pm. Closed on Sundays.

Living in the 'mo-mint' was student Nishani Clarke in a ruffled number.(Photo: Naphtali Junior)
From left: Trotters Restaurant Group Director and buzo Osteria Italiana principal Peter George; Jamaica Observer Deputy Managing Director Natalie Chin; and Managing Director Dominic Beaubrun. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Sun Island Managing Director Raymond Miles and his wife Eva (centre) caught up with buzo Osteria Italiana - Trinidad Manager Debra Findlay. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Trotters Restaurant Group Director Peter George (right) greets Minister of Finance and the Public Service Nigel Clarke and his wife, Rupika Delgoda-Clarke, Professor of Biochemical Pharmacology & Pharmacognosy director, Natural Products Institute, University of the West Indies. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Attorney-at-law and President of the Senate Tom Tavares-Finson (centre) and his wife Rose Tavares-Finson received a warm welcome from Trotters Restaurant Group Director and buzo Osteria Italiana principal Peter George. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Trotters Restaurant Group Director and buzo Osteria Italiana principal Peter George (right) shared the frame with guest speaker, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Senator Aubyn Hill and his children's book author wife Tamara. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Trotters Restaurant Group Director Peter George (left) shared a moment with Caribbean Policy Research Institute Executive Director Damien King. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
Trotters Restaurant Group Director and buzo Osteria Italiana principal Peter George was delighted to host Member of Parliament, St Andrew East Rural and wife of Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Juliet Holness at buzo Jamaica.(Photo: Naphtali Junior)

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