Food

Steppin' Up To The Plate

Thursday, November 23, 2017

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“I was showcasing Jamaican flavours, keeping things local and seasonal.” This was the self-imposed mandate of award-winning caterer Celeste Gordon, who, joined by her perennial collaborator Siri Saunders, prepared a five-course meal for the 2017 launch of the Jamaica Observer's mentorship brunch series Applaud It! at the newspaper's Beechwood Avenue HQ, Friday last.

In meeting the afternoon's Sagicor Foundation GSAT scholars and their preparatory school peers 'right where they are', the duo sent out a progression of dishes: smoked marlin and cream cheese spring roll; avocado, corn and tomato salad in plantain tarts; coconut scallion risotto with braised jerk pork belly and candied bacon; grilled beef tenderloin, fried garlic herb butter, breadfruit purée; and finally, dessert comprising chocolate mousse, meringue kisses, berry coulis and chocolate crisps.

Seated around the impressive boardroom table, young mentees peppered guest of honour, MasterChef Junior 2017 Champion Jasmine Stewart, and her family — visiting from Atlanta — with questions in a format akin to a press conference as Gordon and Saunders took their taste buds through a wave of homespun savouries and sweets elevated in grown-up style, which not only tested their table manners and soft skills but reinforced an appreciation for the art of dining.

And how did our culinary lead Gordon handle the short attention spans of her young digital-age guests? “For plating, I always try not to incorporate more than four elements at a time so that it helps the speed of the plating,” she shared.

Thursday Food takes a place alongside these formative foodies afforded an inspired experience through the Applaud It! series with signposts from caterer Celeste Gordon.

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