Patois Restaurant speaks many food languages
Like Picasso in his studio, Simone Haughton-Campbell is a genius in her dining room. Jamaica's only female executive chef employed to a large hotel chain took Food on a titillating gastronomic journey recently, at one of the six speciality restaurants she manages at Couples Swept Away Negril.
The eatery, tagged 'Patois', spoke the rich Jamaican language with ease. However, the creativity displayed by Haughton-Campbell showcased the diversity of the international flair that she has been exposed to.
Tapping into her artistic juices, Haughton-Campbell introduced the palate to a trio of seafood. Using natural herbs from the hotel's garden, the woman who has been a 'chef' since high school, added sumptuous grilled pineapples, a smoked marlin mousse and sweet potato chips to awake the senses.
However, the best meal on the small dish was the tasty Jamaican pickled salt fish and fried bammy, which satiated the appetite and played host to the taste buds.
For soup, the mastermind, who has obviously opened the door for others to follow, went trendy, introducing a coconut cream of plantain and pumpkin soup. The roasted plantain within the soup was served in a Calabash bowl, balanced on hardwood, and banana leaves, which played the role of props.
A salad followed, but a photo from this writer would not give it justice. So, imagine a yogurt passion dressing topping a combination of arugula, lettuce, papaya, roasted cashew nut, completed with fried goat cheese.
The Patois dinner menu was halfway through the five-course finale when the woman, who uses mainly local products, presented pimento rubbed seared salmon, accompanied by charred vegetables, such as leek, asparagus, bell peppers and baby carrots, finished with beetroot, mashed potatoes and lemon grass balsamic sauce.
The lemon grass found in many of the island's spas nowadays offered a strong and unique aroma.
The option of beef tenderloin became exactly that; combined, the two entrees became a mouth-watering surf and turf that won over the taste buds.
Finished with a red wine reduction and hydrated mushrooms, Haughton-Campbell dried the mushrooms, placing them on top of the oven for a day or two to dry, creating a winning combination.
Haughton-Campbell's salted caramel bread pudding was the perfect icing on the cake. Complemented by thyme ice cream, soursop lime Anglaise and coconut water, this dessert was out of the box.