A Journey of Sensory satisfaction
Because J. Wray and Nephew does nothing that is just ordinary, it is no surprise that the food component of the newly reopened Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience (JSAERE) in Siloah St Elizabeth, has been improved by leaps and bounds. Chef Gariel Ferguson who is known for his impeccable attention to details and superb creations, has brought his culinary skills to the new attraction.
Having pleased thousands of palates across Jamaica over the years, Ferguson and his team have gone to St Elizabeth to make the JSAERE an even more joyous event. For Ferguson, the decision was a no-brainer. "I accepted the task before I even saw the place or even understood fully what the task was, but I like a challenge," he shared with Food.
The site visit brought a new set of emotions as a journey to Nassau Valley can be a little daunting, especially the prospect of relocating and getting acclimatised to a whole new way of life.
The JSAERE is often called a sensory journey. Whether it is before or after the actual tour, your senses are treated to the pleasures of the food at the Black River Lounge. For starters, allow yourself to fall in love with ackee dip with crispy plantain, or the chopped pulled jerked chicken with hardo bread spears. As the tour spans hours, you can pace yourself and also enjoy the yellow yam fritters.
The menu was crafted with one thing in mind to make it a true Jamaican experience. This proved to be extremely simple, seeing that it is located in the Breadbasket Parish. Being a master at his craft, Ferguson quickly came up with ways of incorporating the local produce into the daily menu, giving birth to magnificent creations such as the wet sugar rum glazed pork with sweet potato and yam or the mokko jerked chicken.
Twenty-three-year-old Aneice Chang, is the kitchen manager, who boasts that they are delighted to engage the local farmers and try to incorporate whatever is in season in their dishes. "We cater to both locals and tourists, they all want Jamaican dishes. They want the jerked pork and chicken." She added that even though they have only been open for a week, the reviews have been tremendous.
Ferguson added, "We believe that once you have the right ingredients, you do not need to embellish." Similarly, with the right labour force, there are no limitations. Ferguson added that there was no problem finding workers. "I hired the first five people that walked through the door. St Elizabeth people just ready," he chuckled. Ferguson is of the view that though qualifications are important, it is also very important to have someone with a willing attitude and the passion to learn. His aim is therefore to find the young persons with the energy and temperament to function and develop them into great leaders. Here is a look at some of the delicous offerings!