On Sunday afternoon, the Canadian Women’s Club of Jamaica feted women for International Women’s Day on the lawns of the Matalon House, with its patrons being the Most Honourable Juliet Holness, MP, and Thalia Lyn, OD, JP.
A joint partnership with Harbour Wines and Select Brands, it was well attended by a bevvy of well-dressed ladies and gents in support of the celebration, proceeds from which will be used to fund the Club’s outreach activities.
Sweet sounds from DJ Hotlips’ turntable beckoned team BUZZ around the driveway and to the entrance, where we were cheerfully received — think cute linen information packs complete with branded wine glass and a welcoming smile. Thus began the culinary journey.
Our first glance to the left revealed the DJ’s location, three supplier tents —EITS Café, Tea Tree Crêperie, Raffaele’s Gourmet Pizzeria and Fromage. This area also had seating arrangements against a backdrop of large art pieces by Island Art and framing.
To the right, the Catherine’s Peak booth next to permaculture designs and a flourishing vegetable garden by Plant Jamaica, plus the Cannonball and Chocolate Dreams tents. Straight ahead, Chez Maria and Uncorked had their booths, before them were a few wooden benches and a small ‘court’ area in-between, bustling with chicsters catching up amid bites and sips.
There weren’t many formalities, the energy was more centred on a great experience for all. With just-right tunes, golden hour sunshine and light, crisp air, it was the perfect setting for a lovely evening.
Of course, there was the food and wines, the highlight of it all. Here’s what was on the menu.
EITS Café had Bammy Bruschetta – two varieties, tomato and black olive. There’s a certain confidence that comes with the mastery of seemingly simple dishes that pack a lot of punch – they have the formula on lock. We especially delighted in the black olive, red and caramelised onions and feta offering, which paired very nicely with Select Brands’ Kung Fu Girl Riesling.
Next to them was Les Quiches Florentine, Loraine and Marlin, à la Tea Tree Crêperie – their marlin offering was particularly lovely. All paired with Harbour Wines’ Marquis de la Tour Sparkling wine.
Raffaele’s Gourmet Pizzeria – Their offerings —Marguerita, Vegetariana, Marcelliao and Sapori di Napoli—were paired with Select Brands’ Ruffino Chianti and Nottage Hill Chardonnay. The Marguerita though! Chef’s Kiss!
Fromage had Oxtail Arancini Balls [we loved this unexpected take on a local fave] paired with Mènage à Trois Cabernet Sauvignon and Chèvré Canapés with fig-glazed walnuts [pastry done right], paired with Berne Rosé, both beverages from Harbour Wines.
Chez Maria served their Kibbeh Mezza Trio —chicken, beef and pumpkin—alongside hummus and pita chips and a house-made pepper sauce that’s likely very high on the Scoville scale, and yet, very flavourful. These were paired with Select Brands’ Primal Roots California Red, the lightness and balance of which was pleasantly surprising for a blend.
Uncorked kept it simple with a single option, Herb & Roasted Pepper Pasta in a wheel of Parmesan, and, once we sampled it, we understood why. It was fabulous! There was the option to pair with either Torresella Pinot Grigio or Prosecco – we opted for the Pinot and it was a good choice.
Cannonball Café partnered with Butcher’s Block for their menu and placed particular emphasis on introducing Lomo [juicy loin cut] to the guests. Let’s just say their Lomo and Mozzarella Skewers vanished in minutes and will now be added to the catering menu. Of note, too, was the Sliced New York Strip Sirloin on Pointe. Both were served with Harbour Wines’ Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon, the dryness of which balanced both options well.
Chocolate Dreams had a lot to sample, so of course, we indulged. Pistachio Caramel Bites, Salty Caramel Milk Chocolate, Hazelnut White Praline were listed on the menu and paired nicely with Slightly Sparkling Roscato and Trivento Sweet Malbec from Harbour Wines. These were great, but it was their Blue Mountain and Scotch Bonnet-flavoured dark Chocolates [new to the list of offerings] that had tongues wagging.
Both samples were divine!
DJ Hotlips kept the vibes going with an eclectic selection featuring a bit of everything, from Yemi Alade to Beres Hammond. Deiwght Peters and his Saint Models strutted through, and radiant hostess, curator and ideator, Rose Tavares-Finson, who is also vice-president of the Women’s Club, buzzed about ensuring all was well.
We managed to whisk her away for five minutes of chit-chat, where she shared that the intention behind her concept for the event was for women to commune with and celebrate each other and the positive shifts being enjoyed as a collective over the years.
To take a breather, put down the ‘strong woman’ roles and “just be together for the afternoon”. The sponsors were easily sold on it, and even happier to send all-woman teams to represent their brands on the day.
She shared with BUZZ that she was “thrilled, relieved and already planning a bigger staging for next year”, all while stylishly enjoying the fruits of her labour. We can attest that her vision was realised and are definitely looking forward to many others.
Well done to the Canadian Women’s Club of Jamaica for executing a beautiful event!