Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 7:00PM – 10:00PM
Event held at: Swirl Wine Bistro
1435 Lyons Rd, Coconut Creek, FL 33063
FoodieFreaks #5 was quite the hit. A level 3 Sommelier (Cynthia Betancourt) was there to explain each and ever sip of the vast array of wines that were elegantly matched to the rich flavors of the evening. Chef Judith and owner Mike were also on hand to explain the origins of each dish as well as the inspiration that went into each preparation.
Chef Judith Able was born in Kingston Jamaica and spent her early childhood on the coastal parish of Portmore. She came to the United States in 1986 to broaden her experiences food and entertainment. She began honing her skills by working at several entertainment venues throughout New York.
- Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts, Johnson & Wales University
- Bachelor of Science in Food Service Management, Johnson & Wales University
- Associates of Science in Baking and Pastry, Johnson & Wales University
- Associates in Applied Science in Hospitality Management, New York City Technical College Associates in Applied Science in Professional Cooking and Baking, Baltimore International College Certificate of Participation from the DCI International Hotel and Business Management, Lucerne Switzerland
With that impressive background, we were ready for something special.
Starting us off was a lovely champagne to get the evening started. What came next was brilliant.
Chef Judith formulated the evening’s fare with a strong Caribbean/Jamaican influence. Some of the dishes were not the usual ingredients that appear on menus of any restaurants that we have seen in the area.
The adventure begins as we hear about the Chef’s history and impressive culinary background.
To get the palate ready, Judith first prepared a gooseberry gazpacho. Floating atop a thin slice of lemon rested a poached shrimp.The chilled soup had a bit of tartness to it from the gooseberries and a touch of spice. Small chunks of crisp cucumbers were noticed with each sip. Garnished with finely chopped red peppers and micro greens.
This appetizers were paired Charles LaFitte Sparkling wine. Vin Mousseux, Brut Prestige.
Making sure that our taste buds would be ready and fully awakened, a Beef Bruschetta was served. Tender beef, cooked medium rare on a toast. A touch of truffle oil was added and then topped with a slice of a ripe cherry tomato.
From here, the real fun begins as a new wine was poured, setting us up for the next dish.
Hogfish, from the local waters and freshly delivered, was the centerpiece of the next offering. Clearly a traditional dish with a twist. Escoveitch vegetables thinly sliced were brined with rock salt and rested aside the acid cooked hogfish to create a carpaccio. Chunks of rock salt would crunch with each bite that worked well with the vinegar rich broad cut vegetables.Intertwined were thinly sliced red onions and cucumbers.
Pairing this dish was Triennes Rose (2016) from Provence, France.
A traditional vegetable in Jamaica is Yams. Blending Italian with the Caribbean was the inspiration of this dish. Fluffy pillows of yellow yams, softly poached served with roasted corn, thyme butter, carrots and splashed with Gran Marnier.
Served with this delicate dish was a Garcia/revalo, Tres Olmos (2015) Luis from Spain
In Jamaican cuisine, out of necessity, nothing goes to waste. Our next dish demonstrated that rater impressively,
Yes, it is a soup. No, it is not made with cod. It does have cow used in the recipe, sort of. A broth of Cow cod soup is a traditional dish in Jamaican cuisine that is considered an aphrodisiac and made with bull penis (or “cod”). It is traditionally cooked with bananas and scotch bonnet peppers in a white rum-based broth. Aside the soup was a ravioli filled with tender meat.
Floating in the rich consomme was a wonton stuffed with beef tongue.
Accompanying this dish was a Hyland Estates Pinot Noir (2014) from Willamette, Oregon.
Now we are getting jiggy! The Chef was on a roll and prepared a take on the idea of surf and turf. Goat cheeks, brain and spiny lobster were part of this aggressive creation. Well cooked, the rich flavors and differing textures were a roller-coaster ride of tastefulness. Served with mashed breadfruit.
This wildly exotic dish was paired with a Cinelli Colombini, Rosso di Montalcinco (2015) from Italy.
Keeping with the game selection, the next sensation was centered around wild boar. The meat was smoked under pimentos that was covered by corrugated metal. Sitting atop a guava reduction, tender and spicy and full of flavor. Served with a bread fruit croquette to round out the dish.
An Adobe Red was selected to accompany this dish. Red Line (2012) from Sonoma, California
Why not? Combine duck egg and spiced rum to make to cradle chunks of jack-fruit. Then, set it on fire! Add some vanilla bean gelato to cool it all off and there you have a tremendous ending to a creative meal with exquisite wine selection. It was so delicious that we wondered if it would be polite to pick up our plates and lick anything remaining.
As we were enjoying this sight and taste brilliance, Chef Judith came out and spoke about how the meal was prepared in honor of her mother. She explained that her mother was a gourmet cook without any formal training…able to make anything taste delicious. Clearly she passed on this talent to her daughter.
To enhance the dessert, our Som for the evening poured a Les Pin (2014) by Chateau Tirecul La Graviere from Monbazillac, France.