Few dishes are as synonymous with their place of origin as jerk is with Jamaica. A flavor and cooking style born out of necessity in the 17th century, jerk has become one of the country’s most well-known global exports—and an integral part of its national identity. It’s the kind of story that is best told on the plate, which is exactly what chef Christopher Golding did at a recent SAVEUR Supper in partnership with Visit Jamaica—and does on a regular basis at The Sugar Mill, his restaurant at the Half Moon resort in Montego Bay. While Golding’s glorious jerk short ribs were the main event, his rendition of other iconic Jamaican foods, from ackee to shrimp patties, nearly stole the show.
The mouthwatering menu and festive table for the evening. Troi Williams / A2i Creative One of the favorite bites of the night was this ackee and avocado salad. Known as Jamaica’s national fruit, ackee is most often compared to lychee. The buttery, nutty yellow flesh forms one half of the country’s national dish: ackee and saltfish. Troi Williams / A2i Creative Another hit appetizer was Golding’s riff on classic Jamaican shrimp patties. Stuffed with curried shrimp and roasted plantains, then fried until crisp, the little pockets were especially delicious dipped into thyme aioli. D.J. Costantino Guests enjoyed cocktails made with Jamaican rum and lemongrass. Troi Williams / A2i Creative The smoked pumpkin soup was spiked with fiery Scotch bonnet chiles and garnished with a swirl of cooling coconut cream. D.J. Costantino Left: Golding wowed dinner guests with these jerk short ribs braised in Jamaican red wine and served atop rice-and-pea cakes. Right: Chef hard at work in the SAVEUR test kitchen. Left: D.J. Costantino; Right: Troi Williams / A2i Creative No More Mr. Nice Pie blogger (and 2018 SAVEUR Blog Award winner) Ellen Gray won the grand prize in the raffle: a trip to Half Moon resort! Troi Williams / A2i Creative It’s not a party without Red Stripe. The lager is a Jamaican standby, and has been brewed in the country since 1928. Troi Williams / A2i Creative