Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Fun and Frolic with our Restaurant Week Ambassador | Kaysian goes organic

Published:Sunday | October 30, 2016 | 10:00 AM
Jelly coconut cream of pumpkin soup.
With no idea of what she would be making Kaysian knew she would find a way to incorporate Scotch bonnet pepper.
Kaysian quite at home as she sautées some vegetables for the signature entrée.
Jerked shrimp with plantain hash brown.
Restaurant Week Ambassador Kaysian Bourke arriving at Zimbali Retreat in Caanan Mountain, Little London, Negril.
Kaysian plating Zambali's signature dish.
Alicia adding the coconut water for the jelly coconut cream of pumpkin.
Green banana salsa plated in the form of a palm tree.
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A true Jamaican experience - from farm to the table, welcomed Restaurant Week Ambassador Kaysian Burke to the Zimbali Retreat in Caanan Mountain, in Little London, Negril, Westmoreland.

Waiter Kenton Johnson was very happy to welcome Kaysian who would be experiencing the retreat's Mountain Cooking Studio.

Though no stranger to the kitchen, this experience was something different for Kaysian, taking her out of her comfort zone. She had never made all-organic dishes similar to what she was about to tackle.

But you would never know. A Kingstonian from birth, Kaysian seem quite relaxed walking through the seven acres of beautiful flowers and farm produce with her able guide Clifford Williams.

He gave her a quick tutorial on some of the produce grown on the farm, and she boasted as she recognised Scotch bonnet peppers which she picked to be a part of her dishes - even though she had no idea what they would be.

Then it was on to the kitchen. One of Zimbali's signature dishes is green banana salsa and Kaysian dove right in. Stepping into her world a little, she carefully designed and decorated her plate with boiled green bananas, peanuts and shredded carrots and cucumber topped with tomato salsa to create the look of a palm tree.

The ingredients for the next dish got Kaysian excited. It was jelly coconut cream of pumpkin soup - a blended mixture of coconut water with a hint of Rosemary, thyme and pumpkin cooked down in coconut cream.

Kaysian soon realised that cooking at Zimbali Retreat was an art form. She was amazed by the natural beauty and flavours that were being used in the dish. Every other sentence from Head chef Alicia Swainbank stressed that all the ingredients used in her kitchen are natural. She is a strong believer in supporting local farmers - in fact, their mantra is "no farm no food."

Kaysian was soon very comfortable acting on her own with little or no instructions from Alicia. A lover of seafood, she was really in her element when it came to another Zimbali's signature dish - jerked shrimp with plantain hash brown. Lost in the aroma of natural flavours and herbs she couldn't wait to sit and sample her creations.

It was safe to say, art is indeed everywhere and she was now an even bigger lover of the art of food.

Zimbali Retreats - Mountain Cooking Studio

Caanan Mountain Westmoreland Little London, Negril

485-2789/252-3232http://www.zimbaliretreats.com/

email: zimbaliretreats@gmail.com