The team at the Caribbean’s No.1 Eco Friendly resort are delighted to welcome aboard their new fusion Jamican Cuisine Star, Chef Melvin Laidlaw. Born in Jamaica and raised in Ontario Canada from the age of 8 his life and travel experiences have brought about a unique style of cooking that fuses European, Asian and traditional American with his rural Jamaican roots to create flavourful masterpieces.
As a young child Laidlaw followed his mother and grandmother around the kitchen, admiring the time and attention they applied in preparing local ingredients, infused & enthused by the subtle fragrance of the complementary herbs & spices. Then of course came the tasting and eating; the joyful sharing of these excellent dishes with family & friends, the pinnacle of every day. Melvin believes it is this background which is at the heart of his unique blending of locally grown, organic, fresh ingredients prepared with love, to be enjoyed socially.
He attended Vancouver’s famous Dubrille Culinary School to gain his official Chef training and accreditation, after which he returned to Toronto and began creating his Mr Spinners brand, specialising in the making of organic pestos, pastas and energy bars to the local Farmers Markets and high-class restaurants. This led to the opening of his ‘Fish Shak’ Restaurant in Toronto’s Kensington Market that featured only ‘wild fish’ and organically-sourced food served in an authentic Jamaican style – a first for Toronto. Sadly the establishment closed its doors after 5 years, following the dropout of a bad investment partner.
Wanting to get back to his source has led Mel full circle back to where it all started, with a world of experience to share with people who visit or live in the land of wood & water; Hotel Mocking Bird Hill are proud that he will be taking Restaurant Mille Fleurs into new realms of gastronomic delight!
A few of Mel’s Favourite Things
- Jamaican Thyme - “ My ‘It’ factor herb which I cannot live without.”
- Mr. Spinners sun dried tomato pesto with hemp seeds – “yes it is my secret recipe and brand but it is fantastic. It goes great with cream cheese on a toasted bagel; added to goat cheese and yogurt it’s a revelation for veg/bread sticks. Yucca Fries with a pesto and mayo dip is something no foodie can turn down!”
- Fried, wild red snapper escabeche with bammy or yucca fries.3. Heirloom tomato salad with purple onion and feta cheese tossed in a DOC Olive Oil & lime juice.
- Curry crab or lobster with steamed jasmine rice and fried plantains with sliced avocado.
- Roast salt cod and yellow yam served with beautifully cool & refreshing jelly coconut water.
- Acai parfait topped with fresh diced banana and granola “oh so good…breakfast or snack.”