Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer
Jamaicans can explore the awe-inspiring culinary flavours of the Caribbean by dining at The Spa Retreat at West End, Negril. The boutique hotel opens its doors to locals who want to have an international dining experience without leaving our shores.
Under the stewardship of chef Anthony Mair, The Spa Retreat's Blue Mahoe Restaurant and Bar Lounge has injected an authentic Jamaican imprint on the menu with an exotic, yet stimulating taste that oozes vibrant flavours, something local and international guests appreciate.
Using all Jamaican products in executing their brilliant meals at The Spa Retreat, they pride themselves on helping to develop Jamaica's culinary brand.
Chef Mair's appetising cassava flour baguette, brushed with Scotch bonnet scallion oil, layered with pineapple-tomato jam and topped with tomato concasse and Jamaican goat cheese, shows culinary agility and flair to be able to use some of the simplest ingredients to arrest the palates into submission.
The openness and shear beauty of dining with a full view of the Caribbean Sea provides a refreshing change to how persons can enjoy a great meal at their Blue Mahoe Restaurant that is almost a best kept secret in Negril.
While the Jamaica cuisine forms a major part of the culinary offerings, steak and seafood forms a huge part of their menu.
The sinful pleasure of a freshly caught pan seared snapper and sautéed lemon thyme shrimp on flash-fried julienne local vegetables, sitting on a lake of lemon grass-scented bouillabaisse is among the list of main courses that is now available with an adjustment to their menu.
Chef Mair gave a renewed appreciation for organic poultry as he prepared a deliciously fresh and slowly cooked organic chicken roulade, stuffed with summer pumpkin rice that massaged the taste buds, as it incorporated a spicy curried velouté and a vegetable medley basket.
There is no doubt that this secret hideaway in the tourism town is on a mission to make an impact on the local cuisine especially with their involvement with the Caribbean Culinary Network and its mission to advance the progress of Caribbean chefs.