Dinner on the farm
Noel Thompson, Gleaner Writer
We travelled back to the picturesque south coast to see how the unique Farm to Table Dinner was progressing just five months after it was launched.
Well, it was no different than we had experienced at first - well supported, except this time, instead of being held on a Saturday as is customary, it was held last Wednesday evening; when the temperature had dropped significantly to about 60 degrees - quite chilly indeed.
Founder of the Farm to Table Dinner concept, American-born Liz Solms said there were more overseas visitors who attended last week's event, being held in the middle of the week. The Saturday events usually attract a number of locals who travel from as far as Kingston.
Although the monthly event has been gaining traction, Solms maintains that she sticks to her original plan of hosting no more than 35 people at a time so it does not lose its authenticity and appeal. She admits, however, that increased interests has been shown in the dinner.
"We decided to keep the number at 35 and our events have been sold out. There have been more interests and so we have given consideration to accommodate those persons," she said.
The Farm to Table Dinner is held once monthly at Round Hill, at the border of Southfield in St Elizabeth. It's an occasion where guests meet at the gate of Rudolph 'Dull' McLean's country house and are given a welcome glass of champagne and finger delectables, such as fried turn plantain stuffed with goat cheese.
As twilight falls, guests are escorted a few chains down a dirt track where tables are lined out and draped with white linen cloth, accompanied by wooden chairs set under mango trees. Small kerosene lamps are shared among guests as a source of light, as the crickets sing in the dark.
And the staff of Jakes Hotel and Villas and Jack Sprat Restaurant find it a pleasure to cook the meals and serve guests. Last Wednesday's menu included candied sweet potatoes, roasted yam, curried goat, roasted chicken, rice and peas and ital sip, followed by dessert.