Stush in the Bush
For the past two years , my foodie friends have relentlessly rebuked me for having not experienced the award-winning farm-to-table eatery, 'STUSH in the BUSH'. But on Sunday, a woman whose favourite toys are boxing gloves and battle ropes Debbie Grant changed that trajectory when she treated more than 24 of her friends who pushed, supported, motivated and believed in her when she entered the Supligen Jamaica Amateur Bodybuilding and Fitness Association National Championships last year.
Grant, fondly called MG (Mrs Grant), took us on a journey that saw us driving into the hills of St Ann to what is indisputably Jamaica's best-kept secret Zionites Farm, in Free Hill.
Like Grant, who came out of her comfort zone to walk on a stage with women half her age (competing in the bodybuilding competition), none of us knew what we were getting into at STUSH in the BUSH.
All we knew was that we wanted to experience food capable of creating that orgasmic feeling when it massages the tongue; food with the ability to make love to your palate.
Grant made no promises. However, every time she mentioned the names of the farm's owners, Chris and Lisa Binns, all were anxious to meet this couple who had succeeded in changing the way one thinks about food.
In fact, Lisa, the 'stush' one, who opted to reside in the 'bush' with Chris, far exceeded our expectations.
The pair were reluctant to transform the rustic setting into anything too modern.
Their bedroom and kitchen share a space; their contemporary toilet has no door, and their recently built drawing room is wide open without any windows, allowing interaction with the natural elements.
Solar energy is their saviour, and their organic farm, their haven. It is difficult to call Stush in the Bush a restaurant, because it is far more than that. It is solace. It is a venue that inspires thoughts of Eden.
The food is obviously prepared with love, and the staff are not trained to bend over backwards there is no need, excellent service is par for the course.
For Yasmeen Matazz it was an amazing experience. "I can't wait to go back. The food is delicious. Pizza, pizza and more pizza. The watermelon salad was my favourite," she said.
Another adventurer, Stacy-Ann Williams was still in awe with the food days later, describing the experience as amazing. "I probably had three servings. I over indulged," she admitted, adding that she enjoyed the tour of the farm and taste-testing various plants. "I saw real live lettuce in the ground," she said, explaining that before she had only seen them in the supermarkets.
The dishes that had her taste buds crying for more were the desserts, particularly, the passion fruit butter sauce, and the plantain chips. The vegetarian pizzas were great and the mulberries were delightful.
Overall, the plantain chips seem to have received the most 'votes' among the group.
The woman who had convinced everyone to leave home on a Sunday to dine in the bush, was as smitten as other members of the group. "From the plantain chips, served with Stush's chimichurri sauce, to the beet carpaccio salad, the fire grilled vegan pizza cooked to order, and the delectable cashew cheesecake topped with Jamaican mulberries it was fantastic."
Michelle Doswald described the adventure as fresh, clean and healthy with lots of flavours. The watermelon salad, she said, was her favourite, while the coconut bacon pizza was interesting. "The pizza was perfect; I couldn't get enough of the plantain chips," she revealed.
For her, Lisa and Chris Binns were the perfect hosts. Check them out but reservations must be made.