From the garden to the plate

If I had to choose one word among
the many I could use to describe The Brasserie Harvest Dinner, it would be
‘fresh’.

February’s instalment of the monthly
event featured what was fresh in the Brasserie’s own garden, as well the
produce from local farms.

The dinner takes place in the
screened-in area of the Brasserie garden adjoining the restaurant. The garden
features tomatoes, peppers, carrots and several other vegetables, along with a
wide variety of culinary herbs.  The
restaurant actually has eggplant growing in the landscaping islands in the car
park.

The evening started with sparkling
wine and passed hors d’oeuvres, namely shots of local carrot soup with cumin
cream  and crispy local pork belly with
cabbage slaw. 

Once seated, Joel Walton, who is an
accomplished farmer, talked a little about gardening. He told guests that the
first rule of gardening in the Cayman Islands was that you had to think upside
down because most planting happens here in the autumn and not the spring, as it
does in most of the northern hemisphere.

Much of the meal that followed was served
‘family style’ in bowls or on platters that are passed around the two long
tables.

The first thing served once guests
sat down was chilled beet soup with chive crème fraiche.  To tell the truth, beets aren’t my favourite
vegetable. I’ll eat them, but they’ve never exactly rocked my world.  I was therefore unprepared for the explosion
of fresh flavour the beet soup provided, much to my astonished pleasure.

The rest of the first course
consisted of a deliciously fresh salad and wahoo flatbread, served with
Benziger Sauvignon Blanc.

The main course comprised local
salt-crusted tuna with ackee and callaloo and stewed curry goat.  The fish is always fresh at the Brasserie – a
result of having their own working fishing boat – and the tuna, as usual, was
outstanding.

 The fish and meat were served with an array of
vegetable dishes including lemongrass rice, boniato (tropical sweet potato) puree
and the most divine lobster macaroni and cheese imaginable.

Accompanying the main course was
Hedges, Independent Producer, Merlot. Looking at the label and tasting the
wine, you’d swear it was French, but this under-the-radar gem from Blackbeard’s
Fine Wines and Liquors – which provided the wines for the evening – is actually
from Washington State.

The meal was topped off with tangy
lemon bites, yummy flourless chocolate cake and a salted coconut caramel candy
that tasted great, even if it did melt in the humid outdoor air.

The Brasserie Harvest Dinners are
not only one of the best values for money around, they are also hands-down the
freshest meals available.

LOCALHarvestDinnerSTORY

Guest Chef Dean Max, left, and his assistant prepare to plate the vegetables.
Photo: Alan Markoff
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1 COMMENT

  1. This is waht is lacking on this island.. and I emphasize the word “island”. This is an island where the locally produced food items is almost non-existent. There is one way of saving and money and provide future sustainability, invest in agriculture. The state of affairs is a shame in terms of Agriculture. Maybe, this typ of work is to de-meaing for the local people…, then I would glady do it.

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