Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer
The ethnic splendour of all natural Jamaican produce was celebrated in an elegant and delicious fare at the Round Hill Hotel and Villas in Hanover last Thursday. Locals and international guests were at their Farm-To-Table dinner, hosted under the patronage of Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke and his wife, Sonia.
The warmth of the Round Hill team was unmatched as they ensured an authentic Jamaican-style dinner with a dash of culinary elegance that is synonymous with executive chef Martin Maginley from the on-property restaurant, The Grill.
From the pineapples on banana leaves décor on the dining table to the family-style servings of each course, it is no wonder that the Farm-To-Table dinner will now become a permanent fixture at the resort.
The unquestionable flavours of Spur Tree's seasonings added some kick to the appetisers of smoked marlin rolled in yellow yam and served with Spur Tree Jerk Mayonnaise on a platter that also boasted Hamilton's smoked pimento sausage slices in home-made pickled mango chutney, coupled with roasted citrus beetroot with crumbled Flagaman goat cheese. A serving for two, the appetising platter encouraged conversation and was prepared with the intent that you share it with the guest next to you.
While most Jamaicans have abandoned the tradition of eating organic chicken, the succulent flavour and rich character of Chigwell Farms' chickens (that are fed on coconuts, corn and callaloo) was highlighted when it was roasted on the charcoal of pimento and sweet wood.
Organic vegetables and thyme gave the steamed snapper fillet a great flavour. It was served on parchment paper, and was easily among the favourites.
Chef Maginley's guava glazed slow-roasted pork loin from Theodore William's farm offered a new appreciation for one of Jamaica's favourite white meats, especially as he served it with papaya ginger chutney. Accompanied with a choice of coconut rice and peas, steamed callaloo and glazed ginger carrots, the only thing imported at the dinner was the chef who is originally from Canada. But he showcased the strength of Jamaican cuisine with an international flair, along with the red and white wines provided by Select Brands.
There was nothing ordinary about the dessert of pineapple galette with Scotch bonnet ice cream. Its unsuspecting taste was revealed as it ignited the taste buds, exposing the true flavours that we have come to know with this pepper. Not to be outdone were the home-made ginger cookies with tomato jam and the triple chocolate banana cake that cemented the evening and left persons with nostalgic memories of how well Jamaica is represented through food.