CCH Pounder gets sweet taste of Jamaica at Sugar Mill
Sugar Mill's executive chef, Christopher Golding, was in his element last Thursday night as he created culinary magic at a dinner hosted by the island's director of tourism, Donovan White, celebrating actress CCH Pounder.
The Avatar/NCIS star was blown away by the sumptuous fried chicken breast, stuffed with traditional Sunday rice and peas, accompanied by the national dish, ackee and saltfish, garnished on the side with an incredibly tasty beetroot sauce.
"Innovative and completely new to me. The chef was challenged, and he did a fantastic job with this dish," said Pounder, noting this was her favourite of the five-course meal served at the elegant Half Moon-owned and- operated restaurant.
Golding, an award-winning chef, went all out and titillated the appetites with a marinated scallop and tuna ceviche clear broth, which was very lithe and tasty.
This first course led the way to an impressive smoked pumpkin soup, enhanced by some of the most flavourful jerked pumpkin seeds to ever touch the taste buds. The seeds, presented as crackers, and soup made with local coconut milk had Golding delivering on a fine-dining experience, and the meal had only reached halfway.
For the third course, the executive chef declared that the Italians had all sorts of gnocchi, so why couldn't he play around with the rich Jamaican food of the land and create authentic breadfruit gnocchi?
Using shrimp, clams and snapper in a coconut rundown, this meal was the number two favourite of the discerning audience, which included board members of the Jamaica Tourist Board and general manager of the Half Moon hotel, Sandro Fabris.
The breadfruit tasted like dumplings, and all were privy to the secret ingredients that went into this fabulous meal.
"I want to make my menu, my dishes, as local as ever. This is very important. Our fruits and vegetables are second to none," stated Golding, who received thumbs ups from the entire group of foodies.
He topped off the evening with his signature Sugar Mill sampler, which was an assortment of pastries.