Bridgette Young excites palates
Chef Bridgette Young graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in culinary arts and food service management from Johnson and Wales University, in North Miami, Florida a few years ago.
Over the Christmas holidays, the Jamaican who now resides in Seattle, Washington the Mecca of fresh seafood showcased her culinary experience at a private dinner at Rosh Ramchandani's home at 22 Freeport, Montego Bay, St James.
Ramchandani paired Spanish and Argentinian wines, which he distributes under his Rosh Marketing brand, with Young's creation. Cooked within the view of an intimate group of foodies, the majority representing, 'One Drink Only', the meal had guests in awe. Young has been the winner of numerous mystery basket competitions in Miami, and it was clear why.
As early as 8 p.m., her discerning guests felt very comfortable, knowing that her time spent in Ofterschwang, Germany- where she gained experience at Sonnenalp's Silberdistel, a Michelin-star restaurant, had prepared her for just about anything.
Young's menu was inspired by Jamaican local farm-to-table organic ingredients, some of which she foraged from her Uncle TC's backyard. According to her, most Jamaican backyards consist of edible flowers and fruits in abundance. She utilised local fruits in season, such as June plums, passion fruits and sorrel. This made her dishes not only interesting but creative and quite satisfying.
Edible flowers such as Ixora, White Begonia and the Blue Plumbago were used to garnish her dishes. These flowers are common in most tropical gardens and are often used as garnishes, in salads and as spices.
Her opening dish, tagged a palate teaser by guests, was a citrus blend of grapefruit, orange, Chardonnay-soaked raisins, wrapped in cucumber. Paired with Sauvignon Blanc, a fruity wine with intense tropical flavours, this was the perfect combination, said Ramchandani.
Describing the wine aged in French oak for six months, the wine connoisseur said the Sauvignon Blanc was golden in colour, with festive green flashes, fruity and floral aromas.
Young introduced the palate to pan-seared scallop on a bed of red beetroot puree, garnished with blue plumbago picked from her uncle's backyard.
This meal was paired with Pinca Las Virtudes Chardonnay, a white wine, which really brought out the taste in the seafood.
For the third course of this excitingly delicious meal, Young became extremely creative with a tropical lobster gazpacho, stocked with mango, lime and oranges. Ramchandani met expectations with an Argentinian Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine selection was appropriate and went well with the cold soup.
Entree for Young was pistachio-crusted baked lamb chops, served on a bed of carrot puree, pan-seared sweet potato and puree sweet potatoes.
Cooked for approximately 15 minutes (because of the size of the lamb), it was tender, juicy, and tasty. It caressed the tongue and made love to the taste buds. With little time to prepare this meal, Young did not even get to marinate the meat, all she had time to do was a dry rub, but this was the star dish of the night.
Her chocolate coconut creme brulee dessert with June plum cake, topped with whipped cream had guests exclaiming.
Young is currently based at Elliott's Oyster House in Seattle, the number one oyster house in the US. When in Jamaica, she creates culinary magic for her friends.