Wed | Apr 21, 2021

Organic food, fresh flavours and au natural flare

Published:Tuesday | November 17, 2015 | 3:41 PM
From toto and seasonal fruit cobbler to vegan banana bread and gluten free chocolate cake; guests had guilt free and sweet desert options.
Sous Chef Dexter Royes (left) and Chef Dennis McIntosh prepare lamb stew with cassava dumplings and pimento.
Guacamole, fried green plantain chips, and dasheen chips. Just a few of the vegan options prepared by STUSH in the BUSH.

The grounds of the Mount Plenty Organics Farm in Orange Hall, St Ann, presented a rustic, rich and radiant backdrop to the inaugural staging of an exquisite evening of 'Food, Art and Goodwill' suitably titled Farm to Table.

On Sunday, November 8, Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust's (Pan-Jam) C.B. Facey Foundation and Mount Plenty Organics invited guests to experience the global food movement under the skilful hands of chefs Dennis McIntosh, Dexter Royes, Brian Lumley, and Chris and Lisa Binns.

"Organic produce are very high in nutrients and filled with flavour," shared executive chef of Moon Palace Jamaica Grande Ocho Rios, Dennis McIntosh. "I love that organic farmers are very hands-on, they listen to what is in demand in the kitchen, and there's also the traceability factor when you consider what you're putting inside your body."

Chef McIntosh prepared a brown lamb stew from the farm animals provided. The stew was essentially prepared with elements of Scotch bonnet, pimento and finished with onions and pepper, garlic and cassava dumplings. With pears in season, the side dish was a fresh, exciting and colourful Pear Salsa made with diced pears, onions, peppers, cucumbers, cilantro and Scotch bonnet oil.

Vegetarian and vegan delights

STUSH in the BUSH owners Lisa and Chris Binns, part of the local organic and healthy-eating movement, provided a wide array of vegetarian and vegan delights for guests to savour. From freshly peeled and pressed dasheen and plantain chips with the option of adding guacamole and chimichurri sauce, to roasted eggplant and pumpkin with chopped mint to zesty green salads and hearty vegetable soups.

"We really want people to have a feeling of health and wellness after eating what we have to offer," shared Chris Binns. "We have a tendency to want sleep after we eat, which is ridiculous because we eat to refuel and to do more work. A lot of times we eat flour, white rice, and chemically processed foods which act like depressants to our bodies. A nice salad, you can eat a huge plate full with some dressing and you're full."

The piece de resistance was the cow on a spit. Slowly turned and roasted to perfection, visually visceral yet stunning, the mouth-watering beef was a staple on every plate.

Chef Lumley, brand ambassador for Best Dressed Chicken, also shared his crowd-pleasing jerk chicken chimichurri.

Of course, no meal is truly complete without dessert. Sweet-tooth fans were treated to a tasty and rich gluten-free chocolate cake, banana bread and papaya cobbler. The locale allowed for fresh fruit as well.

Meals were accompanied by organic green juice and fruit smoothies, Smatts Jamaican Rum and coffee beverages by Pan-Jam subsidiary, Jablum.

Farm to Table, now an annual event, exemplified the creative, highly palatable, sensual food fare that Brand Jamaica can offer through fresh organic vegetables, ground produce, herbs, meats and wines grown locally.

Some of the proceeds raised are earmarked to assist Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust's C.B. Facey Foundation in building a model school for Jamaica at Boys Town Infant and Primary School, located in Trench Town, Kingston.