A Taste of... Grand Lido Negril
For the last several years on Labor Day Weekend, Grand Lido Negril has been host to
a gala Epicurean Escape in conjunction with Food and Wine Magazine. Well known
international chefs and sommeliers are invited to work along with Grand Lido's award-
winning chef, Martin Maginley, to create a festival of demonstrations, cooking classes,
seminars, and wine and champagne tastings. The highlight of the event is a grand gala
formal dinner showcasing the talents of each of the guest chefs.
Chef Sam Choy
This year Chef Maginley was joined by Hawaii's Culinary Ambassador, Chef Sam
Choy, along with such well known artists as Matthias Wolf of Gautreau's in New Orleans (currently closed while undergoing remodeling since hurricane Katrina), Stephen Window of Rappongi in La Jolla, and Robert Fathman of Azure in Boston, named one of Food and Wine's Best New Chefs of 2004. Sweet treats were provided by Sue McCown of Earth & Ocean in Seattle. Sommeliers John Burke from the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, along with Anthony Giglio, columnist and author, led guests through a wine tasting paradise. Master Blender Joy Spence from Appleton Jamaica Rum helped guests create their own special blend of rum to take home.
Classes were yummy and fun, with lots of guest participation. As if more food were
needed at Grand Lido, guests snacked on ethereal chocolate truffles (which they made
themselves), crab spring rolls, risotto with shrimp and coconut green curry, among others, and took home recipes for each of the chefs' presentations. Sommeliers Burke and Giglio presented wines so spectacular they brought tears to one's eyes. An energetic
competition among all the chefs, a la Iron Chef America, had the audience laughing and
cheering as well as hoping for a taste of the gourmet presentations.
On the final evening, the grand gala formal dinner began with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres around the pool bedazzled with floating flowers and candles. Moving upstairs to the banquet hall, guests stepped into a fairyland of twinkling trees and lights, where they enjoyed a Hollywood production featuring synchronized service of magnificent delicacies. Each chef presented his or her course along with the wine specially chosen for that pairing. Following dinner guests retired to the pink marble lobby of the resort for
after dinner drinks and truffles. It was a night to remember.
Sue McCown's Truffles
No matter what time of year we visit, Grand Lido Negril is always full of repeat
guests. In fact, they have a t-shirt that says, "We do Lido Again and Again and Again…"
When we meet someone who has visited 10 times or 23 times we always ask,"Why?"
And almost every one says the same thing; there may be places with better food or
nicer beaches or even better service, but no one ever, ever manages to bring it all
together into one terrific package better than Grand Lido.
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