The national dish of ackee and salt fish was the perfect start to the cold winter night of December 1. It was the 18th Children of Jamaica Outreach scholarship gala and awards at the LaGuardia Plaza hotel in Queens, New York.
Jamaicans living in New York and friends of Jamaica turned out to support this worthy event, all in the name of needy children in both countries.
While Christmas carols played in the background, guests sat for what was to be a very delicious fare.
The meal started off with roasted and quartered beet salad with toasted pistachios topped off with citrus vinaigrette. For some who don't like the 'earthy' taste of beet, this was offset by the citrus vinaigrette and crunchy pistachio.
Entrée was a choice of salmon topped with mango and cantaloupe salsa, or curried breast of chicken with curry sauce accompanied by rice and peas and a medley of seasonal vegetables.
The salmon was very flavourful, not an easy feat.
The chicken, while boasting the curry flavour, was not curry chicken as Jamaicans know it. It was more like baked chicken with curry sauce, but still delicious.
As usual, the dessert took the 'cake', literally. A cheesecake with mango and wildberry purée and whipped cream, it was the perfect end to a night of good friends getting together with great food.
- Nashauna Drummond