JFDK goes Lovestruck with savoury and sweet fare
With affairs of the heart and the appetite at play, Valentine’s night got off to a sizzling start as couples made their way to Jamaica Food and Drink Kitchen for its signature Lovestruck event, Indulge.
Chef Celeste Gordon took her guests on an exquisite five-course experience, inclusive of wonderful wine pairings.
The first course presented was the citrus butter-seared scallops. It provided a perfect pairing for the Sea Dun Chardonnay. The accompanying plantain salsa was certainly a refreshing complement. While the second course of the night was the crowd-pleasing balsamic roasted pear with whipped feta and mixed greens.
As pairs engaged in scintillating conversation, they were entertained by musical interludes from singer Bryan Royes. He serenaded the Lovestruck indulgers with romantic renditions of songs like Best Part by Daniel Caesar featuring H.E.R. and Lost Without You by Robin Thicke, just to name two. Royes was accompanied by guitarist Chris Campbell.
A frozen-like dessert, that can be described as a fancy sorbet, the third course featured a rose champagne granita, which was simply heavenly.
Love was certainly on the brain as it became one of the backdrop soundtracks for course four: a choice between salmon fillet with leek and garlic cream or the apple and red wine marinated pork loin chop, topped with smoked tarragon cream. Both mains, which were served with plantain and sweet potato hash and roasted Brussels sprouts, and paired with Sea Sun Pinot Noir, had food lovers celebrating in animation and elation.
And just when you think it was over and it couldn’t get any better, Chef Gordon took us to school by inviting couples (and singles) to join her in the kitchen to plate the strawberry shortcake for ourselves.
The groups of two were introduced to four ingredients: vanilla sponge cake, strawberries, Cointreau whipped cream and chocolate bark. The coupled-up mission, which they graciously accepted, was to construct their own culinary masterpieces.
Chef Gordon demonstrated certain key techniques and from there, it was an elegantly liberated display of cream piping, strawberry cutting and chocolate bar topping.
Once the class element was over, couples returned to their tables to indulge in an accompanying mudslide made with El Dorado Rum Cream.
Chef Gordon was truly delighted that everyone enjoyed the experience. “The salad seems to have been a standout. I have had a lot of good and positive feedback. The other dish that persons loved and were happy with was salmon,” she told Food.
The chef went on to talk more about her inspiration behind the Indulge menu. “I always cook with flavours that I am attracted to. I tend to use things that are local, just to keep that flair. I also find things that are in season. But for this menu, we were trying to do a different range of proteins. So seafood, chicken and pork were prepared to give variety in the meal journey.”
With the love day now gone, she is looking forward to going back into the kitchen for her cooking class next week Tuesday.