On our most recent trip to Jamaica, Emma and I, as always, got to sample some wonderful food. So I decided it was time to write a blog on the subject.
Each of our villas in Jamaica has a full staff, including a Chef who has been hand-picked by the villa owner. Our Exceptional chefs are some of the finest Jamaican cooks in the world. Some of these wonderful cooks like to stick with the more traditional type of Jamaican cooking, which in itself is a pleasure for the senses. Others like to venture further and experiment with international twists and turns, but always sticking to their fresh local produce and Jamaican flair which their taste buds grew up on.
Theatrical Lunch at Hillside Villa , Montego Bay
On arrival to the first villa of our trip “Hillside Villa at Round Hill”, Stanley the friendly and gracious butler served a wonderful lunch cooked by Natalie. To begin, we had a tropical fruit salad and a bowl of creamy Vichysoisse , perfect for the tropical weather, followed by a Chicken salad. We ate our lunch out on the balcony overlooking Montego Bay – the view was amazing. When we began our soup, the sun was shining, by the time we started our main course, a tropical storm had arrived which made for some spectacular viewing. Dinner that night was just as delicious, with a starter of Prawn & Avocado salad, followed by grilled Mahi Mahi, rice & beans.
Beautiful Jamaican fruits and freshly squeezed juices featured at every breakfast time. The taste and texture of all fruits in Jamaica is rich and perfect, nothing like the exotic fruits we buy at home, which have travelled thousands of miles, unripe and without real flavour. Jamaicans traditionally eat Ackee & Saltfish for breakfast.
Ackee is an intriguing fruit which grows on trees all over the island. However, the fruit is poisonous and very dangerous to eat if not ripe. It’s difficult to imagine a fruit looking like scrambled eggs when cooked, but that’s exactly what prepared Ackee looks like. It really is delicious.
And of course we cannot forget the delicious Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, some say it’s the finest in the world – Emma and I agree wholeheartedly!
Oshane At Canoe Cove
Lobster Lunch at Endless Summer, Montego Bay
Lobster Lunch At Endless Summer Villa
The next villa on our whistlestop tour was for lunch at “Endless Summer” in Montego Bay. Our butler David served a magnificent Pumpkin Soup, followed by a Lobster Salad prepared by chef Melvin. Dessert was a delicious pineapple upside down cake. An island staple is Pumpkin Soup and each chef has their own twist to the recipe.
Each Jamaican table usually has a bottle or two of various Hot Sauces and the hot & sweet Mango Sauce at Endless Summer gave a delicious little extra twist to the Lobster.
Gastronomic delights at Canoe Cove, Ocho Rios
Hors D’Ouvers at Canoe Cove
Our overnight stay at “Canoe Cove“ was incredible. The young and very enthusiastic staff at Canoe Cove are on a mission to be the best there is in the business. Not least the chef, Akeema, who has a passion for cooking which is impossible not to notice and admire. In between each course, Akeema came to the table to explain every dish with flair and pride.
The amazing team at Canoe Cove
We began our gastronomic evening with an array of hor’s d’oeuvres followed by Spiced Pumpkin & Banana Soup, finished with Coconut Cream. I don’t think a better soup has ever been made, anywhere and luckily for us, Akeema shared his recipe!
Courses flowed throughout the evening to include bacon wrapped deconstructed chicken drumsticks with chilli avocado puree, organic leaves salad with mango scotch bonnet vinaigrette, cracked pepper crusted pork chops with sweet corn rice and callaloo.
One of our colleagues is a vegetarian and Akeema prepared for her a Tofu Pakasa in Rundung sauce. Dietary requirements are no problem for Akeema – he welcomes all requests as a joyful challenge. For dessert, the dreamy Baileys trifle made us feel a little homesick (for a few seconds).
Oshane the butler and his team served our food with happiness and pride. Canoe Cove is indeed a place for Foodies.
About Noreen Harrington
Noreen is Concierge Specialist at Exceptional Villas and brings a wealth of knowledge to the company. With over 20 years experience in the Travel Industry, Noreen has worked in Tourism Marketing and Hotel Management in Ireland, Great Britain and the USA.