Sun | Jul 22, 2018

A toast to Mothers

Published:Thursday | May 12, 2016 | 12:01 AM
Smoked chicken and root vegetable soup with sweet corn and Spanish onions paired with Marqués de Cáceres Excellens Rose at ‘A Toast to Mothers’ at the Round Hill Hotel and Villas on Sunday.
Caribbean Producers Jamaica’s Mike Turner shares a toast with Round Hill’s food and beverage director, Hillary Stewart.
Mango salad with fresh Mozzarella cheese paired with Chateau Minuty Prestige Rosé.
Taste bud opener watermelon sprinkled with feta.
A pan-seared snapper with green olive tapenade, paired with Sofia Coppola Rose.
Coconut mousse with champagne gelee paired with Fantinel Rose Brut.
Merna Lowe (left) joins Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams (second left) and her family for Mother’s Day brunch. From third left are: Ffolkes-Abrahams’ husband, attorney-at-law Peter Abrahams; her brother-in-law, attorney and consul general of Sweden, Peter Goldson; nephew, David Goldson; sister, Suzanne Goldson; her mother, Greta Ffolkes; and nephew, Alex Goldson.



It was indeed 'A Toast to Mothers,' as Round Hill Hotel and Villas, teamed up with Caribbean Producers Jamaica (CPJ), to titillate the taste buds of mothers on Sunday at a sold-out brunch.

The food was par excellence, which was not surprising, since those who know Round Hill are accustomed to having flavours in their mouths, once one of the country's best executive chefs - Martin Maginley works his magic in the kitchen. And, the work of the innovative food and beverage director, Hillary Stewart is well known.

With the combination of Maginley, Stewart, and Mike Turner of CPJ the event was certainly a hit.

After three weeks of tasting and pairing, the three and their staff presented the creme de la creme of brunches this side of the island. An incredible violinist played soothing music, while the ocean's crashing waves provided background harmony.

The view was stunning, the food fresh and delectable, tasty beyond description and obviously prepared with love.

To tease and awaken the taste buds, a watermelon sprinkled with feta was served first, but this was a four-course meal with much more to come.

And so, chef Maginley properly introduced a smoked chicken and root vegetable soup, with sweet corn and Spanish onions as starters. "We used the wine to saute the vegetable and infuse with the broth," Stewart said.

Turner presented a wine with an expressive bouquet of floral and red berry notes - the Marques de Caceres 'Excellens' Rose.

With soup out of the way, it was the mango salad that tantalised and gave a special joy to the palate. Served with fresh Mozzarella cheese, the hotel's food and beverage director spoke with pride when she said, "The Mozarella is freshly made and the basil is from our herb garden. We reap it before the sun comes out, so it maintains its sweetness."

The Feta is from a goat farm in Mandeville, she revealed, again bubbling with pride that Round Hill was one of, if not the first hotel in Jamaica to start using cheeses produced in Jamaica.

With this fantastic dish, the Chateau Minuty Prestige Rose was brought to the table and even before it touched the back of the throat, the salmon pink wine, which is very soft on the nose, with hints of citrus and white flowers, proved it was the right match.

A pan-seared snapper with green olive tapenade, like the ocean, created waves. Because it was so fresh, the fish did not need much seasoning. The green olive tapenade was perfect, for a meal usually served with tomato. Obviously, tomato would have caused a clash with the paired Sofia Coppola Rose, which is ripe, with flavours of cherry, raspberry and a citrus zest. Feminine, stylish and beautifully fragrant, the snapper had no choice but to start a love affair with the taste buds.

For dessert, a delicious coconut mousse with Champagne Gelee, was paired with Fantinel Rose Brut, which guests were told is a classic blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

It's going to be difficult not to return to Round Hill next year for Mother's Day.