Panamanian Chef Patricia Miranda Allen, who styles herself as a sustainable gastronomic chef, is one of several international guest chefs who will participate in The Gleaner-sponsored Jamaica Epicurean Escape (JEE) on December 1 and 2 at the Richmond Estate in St Ann.
The term "sustainable gastronomy" as explained by Chef Allen is when nature, chefs, diners and producers go hand in hand and work harmoniously. "Food is perhaps the closest link we humans have with Mother Nature. She sustains us, gives us pleasure, health and life. When we respect and are grateful for what she so generously offers us, using seasonal produce and, even better, produced in our surroundings, we can then say that what comes out of our kitchen is nothing but a feast of love."
Dr David Smith, who leads the JEE's environmental programme, expands on the concept, "The restaurant and catering industries in many parts of the world recognise that our food resources are not infinite, and if it is to be sustainable it must embrace the wider environmental values and do what it can to reduce its impact on the environment," he said.
"So, it is a matter of writing menus to seasonal produce and an ongoing process of buying locally and organically where possible, and of considering animal welfare in the production of our food. Using free-range eggs and poultry, not purchasing lobster out of season and focusing on proper waste disposal as well as reducing, recycling and reusing," Dr Smith maintains.
Chef Allen is chef/proprietor of Cerro Brujo Gourmet Restaurant in Volcan, Chiriqui, Republic of Panama, founded on November 26, 1999. Her career spans over 15 years. She began cooking commercially at La Posada del Cerro La Vieja, Penonomé, Coclé Province. Later, she tested her culinary skills in the Sister Moon Hotel in Isla Grande, Colön, Republic of Panama.
Chef Allen specialises in the preparation of very fresh salads with organically grown vegetables and plenty of edible flowers. Her cooking has strong accents of Asian and Mediterranean cuisines, made mainly with Panamanian ingredients. "I love cooking with a kaleidoscope of herbs, spices and organic ingredients that fuse in a symbiosis of scrumptious and passionate flavours, fascinating aromas and vibrant food presentations. I am looking forward to adding a Jamaican flavour to my repertoire, Chef Allen notes.
For more information, visit: www.jamaicaepicureanescape.com