You work hard for the money, so pat
yourself on the back and the stomach when you take your Labor Day break this
year. Run away to Jamaica for five days of indulgence at SuperClubs Grand
Lido Negril resort. Famed not only for pampering its guests at the AAA
four-diamond level, the resort has acquired new cachet among “foodies” with
its annual “Epicurean Escape” Labor Day weekend.
Organized with Food & Wine Magazine, the fifth annual “Epicurean Escape”
will take place September 2 - 6, 2004. A five-day moveable feast, the
resort stuffs the agenda with cooking demonstrations, pastry classes and
tasting seminars devoted to wine, martinis, rum and Cognac - served up by
celebrated chefs and winemakers.
This year’s star chefs include Sam Choy, a.k.a. “Hawaii’s Culinary
Ambassador” since 1995. Bringing the flavors of Aloha to equally tropical
Jamaica, Choy is United Airlines’ celebrity chef, a best-selling cookbook
author and TV host of “Sam Choy’s Kitchen” on NBC’s KHNL Channel 8. A
culinary dynamo with three restaurants in Hawaii and one each in Guam, Tokyo
and San Diego, he nonetheless espouses a relaxed attitude, encouraging
guests to “Take the challenge, be creative, and above all, have fun!”
On loan from Arcodoro restaurants in Texas, Elfisio Farris has been
showcased at no less than the James Beard Foundation. Food critic John
Mariani described Farris’ Houston Arcodoro as “the only true Sardinian
Ristorante in the U.S.” A native of Sardinia, Farris made his name by
popularizing the island’s simple rustic fare.
Grand Lido Negril’s executive chef Martin Maginley, the leading
light of New Jamaican cuisine, returns from Food & Wine’s Third Annual South
Beach Wine & Food Festival to once again reinvent island cuisine, for
example glazing ribs with guava, rubbing pork loin with Blue Mountain coffee
and mixing Jamaica’s ackee into a new take on Italian bruschetta with Scotch
Bonnet mango butter and Jackfruit gazpacho.
In addition to demonstrations and classes by visiting chefs, wine tastings
and seminars, pastry classes, mixology sessions will fill days topped by
such events as a cocktail sunset cruise on-board the resort’s own 147-foot
luxury yacht, once the honeymoon vessel of Princess Grace. New to this
year’s event is the Negril Sampler that offers guests an opportunity to
experience area attractions including Rick’s Café, Margaritaville and
Finishing the weekend in style is the multi-course grand gala dinner
featuring a signature dish created by each chef, paired with wine selected
by the sommelier. Due to the overwhelming response, the resort is hosting
two consecutive evening receptions on Saturday and Sunday evenings that need
to be booked in advance, at $75 per person.
Four-night/five-day “Epicurean Escape” packages start at $2,264 per couple,
for a beachfront junior suite with Jacuzzi, excluding airfare. Once at the
resort, guests need never reach for their wallets until checkout time, as
all meals, alcoholic beverages, activities, entertainment, laundry and
drying cleaning are included, and tipping is simply not permitted. Among
the many amenities guests enjoy at adults-only Grand Lido Negril are golf at
the 18-hole Negril Hills championship course, a fully equipped fitness
center, and all land and water sports including scuba diving.