A Couple of feasts
Last Friday night, Couples Sans Souci Resort's 12th anniversary party featured a remarkable spread of food. The lush Ocho Rios property was the perfect setting for a feast that could meet and even exceed the highest international standards.
At the opening cocktail reception held at the pool deck of the iconic Balloon Bar, as well as the Upper Cassanova Deck, guests were treated to crayfish pepper pot shots, rabbit confit with pumpkin risotto, rosemary chargrilled lamb rack, peppercorn-seared beef tenderloin kebabs, and cheese and oyster stations, among other options.
With cocktails fully savoured, it was time to focus on dinner, which took place on the open lawn by the sea.
There was local and international cold seafood, an antipasti station, and a live market-salad station. Guests had a choice of French, Italian, and Caribbean options.
Those opting to go French were treated to beef Wellington rosemary beef jus and honey-cracked pepper-coated roasted duck, among other tantalising treats.
Caribbean offerings included an aromatic turmeric chicken with pineapple cilantro salad, mushroom and leek-stuffed patty-pan squash with cream sauce and melted pepper jack, and pumpkin and callaloo rice.
Lovers of Italian enjoyed penne amatriciana, parmigiana, vegetable cannelloni with tomato sauce, and gnocchi with truffle oil and gorgonzola cream.
Dessert featured all manner of cakes - cupcakes, multi-flavoured ice cream, pies, custards, truffles, cookies, and chocolate works of art.
What a feast! What a celebration!
Party moves to Tower Isle
But it was not over. On Saturday, it was on to their sister property, Tower Isle, to celebrate their 40th anniversary.
The iconic hotel does things big on any given night, so the hotel chain's executive chef, Stefan Spath, and his team had to really bring it at the event to mark a major milestone in Couples Tower Isle's existence. It's safe to say the team exceeded even the highest expectations.
It rained heavily just hours before the party got started with cocktails at 6:30 p.m., but none of that mattered to the guests, who were met with martinis aplenty and finger foods featuring the likes of sautÈed escargot; crab and pineapple salad; and lobster ceviche. Add to that a vegetarian station, sushi station, oyster station, and there was little time to do anything but dart from point to point, sampling it all.
In the main dining room, the spread was immaculate. The aroma alone was enough to appease the food gods. Seafood on offer included peppered shrimp, mussels, blackened salmon fillet, grilled Mahi-Mahi, and grilled lobster tail.
There were live-carving stations featuring, among other things, beef Wellington with truffle peppercorn sauce; slow-roasted stuffed pork loin with jerk sausage, apricots, sun-dried tomatoes, in a spiced rum reduction; and jerked turkey with spicy barbecue sauce.
The scent from a bustling Asian stationed beckoned guests to sample the likes of crispy duck breast cooked in Thai red coconut sauce with bamboo shoots in basil; live-cooked noodles; Phad Thai noodles; and steamed dumplings.
After all that, a couple of laps in the pool, or a run on the beach might have been in order because the display of desserts made it clear that the sweet treats were not to be missed. Here's a look at some of the finer points of this outstanding feast by the Couples Resorts.