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Saint Martin French Caribbean Media Dinner

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Feast, Fun, and Fusion: Saint Martin’s Culinary Delights Steal the Spotlight!

February 21st, 2024

Hey there, travel enthusiasts, food connoisseurs, and all you adventurous spirits! This is Noah Torres, your South Florida Insider, and have I got a story for you – a culinary escapade like no other!

(pictured L to R) South Florida Insider staff Noah Torres and Henry Vega. Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Per

Let’s kick things off with an irresistible proposition: Craving a getaway that’s just around the corner and worth every minute?

Allow me to welcome you to the “Friendly Island,” where the captivating blend of French and Dutch Caribbean cultures invites you to embark on a journey filled with elegant decadence, a rich tapestry of cultural wonders, and culinary delights. Our destination? The enchanting Saint Martin!

Island Insights: Unlocking the Secrets of Saint Martin

Gracefully situated in the northeastern part of the Caribbean, nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Saint Martin unveils a world of wonder with its enchanting statistics. Explore the highest point at Pic Paradis, rising majestically to 1,391 feet, offering panoramic views of the island’s lush landscapes. With 37 pristine beaches, including the idyllic Orient Bay and Anse Marcel, Saint Martin sets the stage for relaxation on crystal-clear shores or adventurous water activities.

Immerse yourself in the “Friendly Island” vibe, where the fusion of French, Dutch, and Caribbean influences creates a joyous and multicultural atmosphere. This cultural tapestry is further enriched by the island’s history, providing a unique experience for every traveler.

The economy of Saint Martin centers on tourism with 85% of the labor force engaged in this sector. Over one million visitors come to the island each year with most arriving through the Princess Juliana International Airport in Saint Martin.

As you plan your getaway, dive into the thriving attractions, keeping a keen eye on the much-anticipated festivals such as the “Festival de la Gastronomie.” Stay informed about the latest island developments, offering a deeper understanding of the vibrant Caribbean experience that awaits you.

But before we immerse ourselves deeper in the festival frenzy, let me rewind back to a soirée orchestrated by the dynamic team of the French Saint Martin Tourist Office, spearheaded by the mesmerizing Market Manager Canada/USA, Suzanne Scantlebery. In the heart of the luxurious Loews Coral Gables Hotel, this exclusive event set the stage for an evening filled with sophisticated indulgence and culinary excellence. Our adventure unfolded as we stepped into this soirée, our taste buds were in for a treat, poised for an unforgettable night that would linger in our memories.

Picture this: an intimate dinner, a curated menu by the culinary virtuoso Executive Chef Ricardo Jarquin, and an ambiance drenched in the rich flavors of French Caribbean cuisine. Gastronomy was the star, and it promised more than just a meal – it was an odyssey into the heart of culinary arts, exploring the diverse and vibrant tapestry of French Caribbean cuisine.

Chef Jarquin’s culinary journey was an experiential extravaganza, each dish a masterpiece capturing the essence of the island’s gastronomic heritage. Suzanne Scantlebery added a touch of cultural richness, sharing insights into Saint Martin’s thriving history and culture.

SAINT MARTIN: THE FRIENDLY ISLAND, FRENCH CARIBBEAN MENU

First Course:

Wine Pairing with Lallier Blanc de Blancs Champagne Brut, a “Frisée and Bitter Green Salad” with Nigerian Prawn, charred pineapple, fresh herbs, and lime vinaigrette.

Second Course:

Wine Pairing with Pascal Jolivet Sauvage Blanc Sancerre, a “Crispy Crab Cake and Citrus Crab Salad” – avocado and coriander mousse, papaya and scotch bonnet relish, crispy plantain chip.

Third Course:

Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

A choice between “Chicken Lokri” – herb-marinated grilled chicken breast, lokri chicken risotto, grilled asparagus, shaved asparagus salad OR “Pan-Seared Snapper Fillet” – sweet potato puree, charred plantains, sauce creole, lime, and fresh coriander. Both paired elegantly with Louis Latour Meursault Blagny Premier Cru.

Dessert:

Wine pairing with Trimbach Gewurztraminer Vendanges Tardives, a “Coconut Dessert” – coconut sorbet served in a coconut shell with mango and yuzu.

THE EXPERIENCE: A Delightful Tropical Chic Escapade

Indulging in Saint Martin’s culinary wonders was an extraordinary experience. First, the “Nigerian prawn” (similar to what looked like a extra huge jumbo shrimp), adorned with a tantalizing “lime vinaigrette” green sauce, was an exquisite blend of flavors, paired with a glass of wine called the “Lallier Blanc de Blancs Champagne Brut”.

My absolute favorite part of the evening, however, was the “Journey Cake,” which proved to be something of an awakening. Its soft and savory allure, reminiscent flavor of a Hawaiian roll but with a Caribbean twist, left an indelible mark on my palate with a story I’ll never forget. Suzanne shared with me the story of the origin of the “Journey Cake” – and back in the days, it would take men a long time to get to work as many would go on foot, so their wives would prepare these delicacies to keep them strong for the long road ahead. This added layer of history and tradition made every bite of the “Journey Cake” even more special, as I felt connected to the rich heritage of Saint Martin. A gastronomic journey into Saint Martin’s history unfolded with each delectable bite, paying homage to the meticulous preparations of the past.

Chef Ricardo Jarquin’s artistry reached its pinnacle with the crispy crab cake. A perfect fusion of tenderness and freshness, wine paired with the “Pascal Jolivet Sauvage. Blanc Sancerre.” Together it was a culinary crescendo that echoed through the halls of my mind, body, and spirit like a symphony made from heaven. This soirée was not just a dinner; it was an exploration of the rich culinary heritage of Saint Martin, leaving me eagerly anticipating the next chapter in this sophisticated gastronomic narrative.

But how can we forget the dessert! Indulging in the dessert was like savoring a harmony of flavors, a captivating finale that heightened the extraordinary evening. A splash of vibrant colors and a fresh, savory taste, the coconut sorbet was served in a coconut shell, adorned with mango and yuzu. This culinary masterpiece, resembling a flower arrangement, provided a taste of the fresh and rich essence of Saint Martin. Paired with a sweet glass of wine of the “Trimbach Gewurztraminer Vendanges Tardives,” the coconut sorbet was a delightful dance of tropical notes on my palate, leaving behind a lingering taste of paradise.

Now, diving into the Miami scene, amidst all the buzz, this event served as a sneak peek into the Food Network’s, “South Beach Wine & Food Festival,” teasing our taste buds with the vibrant flavors that awaited all the eager festival-goers. The Saint Martin Tourist Office delivered a culinary masterpiece, blending gastronomy, culture, and camaraderie seamlessly. From the curated menu to the warm hospitality, this night was nothing short of enchanting.

As we savor these memories, it’s essential to mark our calendars for their upcoming event, the “Festival de la Gastronomie”, from November 11 to 22, an ideal opportunity to discover the art of food on Saint Martin. This is your invitation to plan ahead, ensuring you don’t miss out on the next chapter of Saint Martin’s culinary saga.

Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

In conclusion, my fellow wanderers, the Saint Martin Tourist Office deserves a standing ovation for orchestrating an evening that celebrated the soulful flavors of the French Caribbean. For those who appreciate fine cuisine and yearn for a cultural immersion, this is a must-experience event. An absolute delight that left me in a dreamy state of mind – more flavors, more culture, and more memories. Here’s to future events from the Saint Martin Tourist Office – may they continue to tantalize our taste buds and whisk us away on new adventures! Cheers to unforgettable nights and delectable bites!

Follow on Instagram: @discoversaintmartin & @iamfriendlysaintmartin or visit their website, for more information: https://www.st-martin.org/us/

See more photos at https://www.instagram.com/breathtakingmemoriesphoto/

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • (pictured L to R) South Florida Insider staff Noah Torres and Henry Vega. Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Per

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

  • Photo credit Media/Trade dinner at Loews Coral Gables: Yania Perez, Breathtaking Memories Photography

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