Dining with a view at Kanopi House
Located in cool hills on the outskirts of Port Antonio is a hidden gem known as Kanopi House. The road might be rocky up to the entry, but once you arrive, the view from the lounge will captivate you. And their menu is equally tantalising and will have you salivating for seconds.
Head Chef Terri-Ann Jarrett gave a warm welcome with the invitation to peruse the diverse menu. It was just beyond sunrise, so the choices ranged from continental to local breakfast options – the smell of fresh herbs and spices wafting in the open, clean air beckons to your taste buds. Omelette lovers will be ‘egg-cited’ by the full serving, with contents customised to your liking. The salt mackerel rundown with sides of boiled green bananas and johnny cakes conjured up country cooking from the matriarch.
Noting that positive feedback was why she became a chef in the first place, “I love when people visit Kanopi House and enjoy their meals. That definitely puts a smile on my face,” Chef Jarrett told Food. Unofficially, she has been a chef for almost a decade, sharing that she comes from a long line of chefs and, by extension, foodies. Playing upon this strength, she began cooking at a small farmhouse, where she developed a pure love for the culinary art form.
After falling on hard times, the mother of three took care of her children by day and sent herself back to school. She attained her food and beverage certification from the HEART Trust/NTA vocational school, now HEART/NSTA Trust, in Buff Bay, Portland.
Armed with qualifications and seasoned with experience, Chef Jarrett applied for a post as an entry-level chef and got first-hand experience in the kitchen, satisfying the hunger of a bus load of foodies in her first week. “I believe the manager at the time had faith that I could pull it off. And I did without a hitch.” Almost two years later, she stands as both the head chef and the food and beverage manager for the property.
“My team is young, but they’re very hard-working. I help to nourish their strengths and work on their weaknesses. And I appreciate that they show respect in the process,” the 34-year-old said. Specialising in all meals of the day, Jarrett prefers to prepare breakfast because it is the first meal of the day and “you have to start the day out with a bang”. She said, “Breakfast sets the tone for the other wonderful meals of the day. So I’m happy to start on a high note”.
Their menu offerings are Asian barbecue chicken, stuffed crab back with a sweet salad, Buddha bowls, dim sum with spicy Asian sauce, ginger scallion fish, coconut curried shrimp and sweet jerk chicken. Chef Jarrett’s jerk chicken has even been said to rival the great Boston.
On a personal note, having lost her mother at an early age, she is happy to be making her children proud and hopes that her angel is looking down from heaven and smiling at her accomplishments. “Many people fall in love with the view, so I’m always delighted when they stay to dine because they are able to awaken all of their senses,” she added.