January 2017 Full Moon Dinner

Well, the start of the New Year has begun, and to kick things off, we decided to pay homage to the guy who takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’: Father Time.

Aged and fermented foods were the focus of the menu for Thursday, January 12th, 2017, and Enrique Rodriguez from 3BV Distributors in St. Thomas helped us out on the beverage side of things with some of his imported selections.  Some of you may know Enrique from his other job: running Rodriguez Auto Parts.

We did a four course menu this time around and Enrique had fun raffling off lots of bottles for guests to take home.  Photographer Leah Randall was on hand to take shots of the space, the food, and the guests.

We also had our sails up over our outdoor space, which is really close to completion!  Just a few more tweaks here and there. Big shout out to Mathew Gibney and Ben Lewis for their parts in making it happen.

 

For the First Course, Chef Nils went with:

Pickles / Jamon / Smoked Salmon Rillet / Sourdough / Preserved Lemon Jam / Aged Manchego 

And Enrique poured a Witte Beer from Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY

 

David from Caravan Auto, who is actually quite an accomplished baker, hooked us up with some of his phenomenal Sourdough Bread.  We preserved our lemons and made our pickled items.

Next on the docket, we had:

Salt Fish Croquette / Island Chow Chow / Caviar / House Creme Fraiche / Mustard Greens

Enrique paired it with LaChouffe, a Golden Ale from Brewery Achouffe in Belgium.

Banana Leaves and Mustard Greens straight from our own garden!

For the main course, we did:

Dry Aged Beef Sirloin / Stilton & Cauliflower Gratin / Brussel Sprouts / Speck

We quick dry-aged our beef for about three days using a technique involving fish sauce and cheese cloth.  The result was just the right amount of funkiness coupled with a subtle hint of aged Stilton in the Gratin.

Our beer selection was the flagship beer from Brewery Duvel Moortgat, also a Golden Ale from Belgium but with less spice.

To finish things off, it was a

Pound Cake / Kombucha Gelee / Merengue / Fizzy Fruit

The Kombucha was made in house by Chef Mat and the fruit was made fizzy using CO2 and a whipped cream siphon.

The beer choice was probably the most popular because it was so unusual.  A Cuvee Brut from Brewery Liefmans, also in Belgium (I sense a theme here).  Lightly sweet and fruity, it was the perfect accompaniment to the dessert course.

Unfortunately, no one captured an image of the dessert or the beer being poured, so we’ll just have to stick in a picture that was ripped off of the brewery’s website…

download

We also didn’t get a traditional group shot at the end of the evening (streak broken!), so in lieu of that, here are some shots of happy guests and staff throughout the evening.

 

Thanks again to all who participated, and we look forward to next month’s dinner.  The theme is: Keep the Romance Alive – Legendary Aphrodisiacs on Saturday, February 11th, 2017.

Thai Me Up! November 2016 Full Moon Dinner Recap

Wow, what a Super Moon (literally)! The closest one we’ve had in almost 70 years, and we were blessed enough to have great weather, during this otherwise rainy November, to be able to see it in all it’s spectacular beauty.

img_2451

“Hey, look!  The moon!  And some cars!”

We were also lucky enough to be able to get our new outside space pulled together just in time for a capacity crowd and our largest gathering to date, thanks to Mathew Gibney.  He’s our gardener AND handyman extraordinaire.  We think it came out pretty nice, and are looking to improve it even more for future events.  (REMEMBER: The Windy Level space is available for FREE* if you book a minimum of $2500 in catering services at our venue).

 

Onto the menu.  We’ve had a ton of requests for Asian-inspired food, so being the people-pleasers that we are, we developed a menu based on Mathayom’s childhood palate.  Here it is in all it’s glory:

Course #1 – Broken Summer Roll: Shrimp / Black Rice / Sweet Chili
Drink: Lemongrass & Thai Basil Mojito
img_2392

We wanted to make this one look like a “Shrimp Volcano”, with the Chili Sauce as the hot lava (not pictured)

img_2456

Apparently, it’s not pronounced, “Moe-JAI-toe”

Course #2 – Tom Ka Pĕd: Coconut Soup / Duck / Lime Leaf

For the soup course, we did a twist on the traditional Thai Coconut dish. Our version contained Duck Confit Dumplings, a trio of vegetables (Pearl Onion, Shiitake, Roasted Pepper), and fresh Lime Leaf from Chef Jeh’s garden.  We took some of the banana leaves from our garden, used them as covers, and added a touch of smoke to our version.

Course #3 – Pho Real:  Crispy Catch / Pho Fumet / Sweet Potato Glass Noodle
Drink Pairing: Spicy Mango-Tumeric Sour
fullsizerender_2

Chili threads accent the dish and add a pop of color

We got some snapper and created a glass noodle cake for the base.  For the sauce, Chef Nils made a local Wahoo Fumet and added some of the traditional spices and seasonings one might find in Pho, such as ginger, onion, garlic, star anise, and cinnamon.  We then reduced this down for an intense yet light flavor base.

Course #4 – 18th Parallel: Mango Pork / Purple Curry / Fried Basil
Drink Pairing: Lime Leaf Bourbon Ginger
fullsizerender_3

Purple Curry is the new Yellow Curry

For the meat course, we used a mixture of flavors that encompassed those found in both Southeast Asia as well as the Caribbean.  Because the climates are so similar, we have a lot of products that thrive in our respective environments, but are put together differently.  To make the purple curry, the chefs used beets, purple potatoes, coconut milk, and lots of love.  The pork shoulder was sliced, pounded, and braised with mango and spices, and we threw on some pumpkin for depth and color.  Thai Sticky Rice (sent down by Mat’s mom) and Fried Basil completed the dish.

 

Course #5 – Buddha Belly: Coconut Custard / Tea Redux / Rambutan Coulis
Drink Pairing: Spiked Thai Iced Tea

By the time dessert course came out, folks were busting at the seams, so we kept the portions small and manicured.  Chef Ben torched the tops of the Coconut Egg Custard to create a brulee effect, afterwhich the kitchen drizzled a jasmine tea reduction and rambutan coulis to add to the flavor combo.  The spiked Thai Iced Tea was a refreshing bit of caffeinated buzz to end the evening.

 

Of course, no Full Moon Dinner at #windylevel is complete without a group shot.  We had so many people, that we had to move everyone outside into the new area to fit them all!  Our free shuttle came right on time and got our guests back downtown, with tiny turmeric plants to commemorate the evening.

Next month: Winter is Coming! – Hearty and Traditional Fare with Silverado Wines on Tuesday, December 13th.  Make your reservations today if you will be on island and wish to join us!

Recap : May Full Moon Wine Dinner

Another Full Moon Wine Dinner on the books, and another great success! Thanks to everyone who joined us last night for an Italian inspired menu and wines from AB Cellars. Mark Elia put together great pairings for the menu – below, check out each course, plus some behind the scenes photos!

 

Amuse Bouche : Grilled Flatbread / Fig / House Ricotta / White Balsamic Reduction

Paired with Valdobbiadene Prosecco, Trentino Region

FullSizeRender (17)

First Course : Lobster Bisque / Clam / Wild Local Thyme / Shrimp Oil / Coconut Foam

Paired with Tribbiana Trebbiano, Pisa Region

Second Course : Seared Local Tuber Gnocchi / Garlic Braised St Croix Jackfruit / Malabar Honey / Sorrel Puree / Local Yucca Flower / Infused Salt

Paired with Poggio ai Ginepri Rosata, Bolgheri Region

Intermezzo : Mutiny Rhum Lemongrass-Coconut Gelato

FullSizeRender (26)

Third Course : Plantain Wrapped Monkfish / Windy Level Pumpkin Caponata / Basil / Balsamic Reduction

Paired with Langhe Nebbiolo, Piedmont Region

Fourth Course : Fungi Explosion Ravioli / Mixed Wild Mushrooms / Thyme Beurre Rouge / Parmesan / Micro Greens / Shaved Black Truffle

Paired with Scopaiolo Red Table Wine, Pisa Region

Fifth Course : House Made Cannoli / Amaretto Ricotta / Toasted Almond / Cinnamon / Trebbiano-soaked Apricot

Paired with Vin Santo Sangiovese, Pisa Region

FullSizeRender (15)

And of course, the night wouldn’t be complete without a group photo!

FullSizeRender (16)

Next month’s Full Moon Wine Dinner will be a vegetarian menu, so stay tuned for more details!

Recap: April Full Moon Wine Dinner

Tastes of the Iberian Peninsula at Windy Level

Well, if you missed last month’s Full Moon Wine Dinner, all we can say is, we’re sorry! It was a delicious, whirlwind trip through the culinary variations of the Iberian Peninsula: Spain, Portugal, the Coastal Regions, France, and the Moorish influences. Check out the menu and some photos below!

SPAIN : Spanish Vegetable “Paella” / Squid Ink Rice / Saffron Creme

PORTUGAL : Portuguese Pulpo y Caldo Verde / Iberico Shoulder / Kale Chip

COASTAL : Branzino de la Costa Mediterrania / Aioli / House-grown Tomatoes

FRANCE : Rabbit Galatine / Duck & White Bean Boudin Blanc / Parsnip

MOORISH INFLUENCE : Braised Spiced Apple / Fig / Mascarpone Ice Cream

The May Full Moon Wine Dinner is Sunday, May 22nd (we’re looking at you, STJ & STT service industry peeps with Sundays off!), and the menu will be Italian with some Caribbean twists. Check in on our Facebook page this week, we’ll be posting the full menu soon, and there are a few changes to the format this month!

Remember, you can follow us on Twitter @stjohncatering, and Instagram @mathayom for behind the scenes photos and a sneak peeks at upcoming events!

Recap : March Full Moon Wine Dinner

This post was supposed to go up yesterday but, technology. So instead we’ve got a Good Friday post! Enjoy the course by course recap of the Wine Dinner menu below.

The evening kicked off with passed appetizers and sparkling wine – in keeping with the “Old World vs. New World” theme, guests sampled Champagne Pol Roger Brut Reserve, NV and Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs, Napa, North Coast, 2013. The appetizer offerings included Beef Plantain Tostone Cups, Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Crab, and cheese boards with dried & fresh fruit, mustards, spreads, nuts, & pickled vegetables.

The first course was a Local Tuna Nicoise Carpaccio with cured egg yolk, fried caper, roasted olives, lemon emulsion, duck fat potato, & a tomato “tartare” of red beets, avocado, pumpkin, micro greens, scallion & tuna oil. Wine pairings for the course: Sancerre Blanc, Eric Montintin 2012 (Loire Valley, 100% Sauvignon Blanc) and Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley 2014.

IMG_2228

With the second course, technique was front and center: Bacon Caprese, Smoked Tomato & Proscuitto Cups were composed of mozzarella and ricotta burrata, tomato, basil, & apple smoke contained by shaved Serrano ham, served on a slate plate with house bacon lardon, pesto, grilled crostini & tomato powder. Wine Pairings: Domaine D’Arton – Hautes D’Arton Cotes de Gascogne 2013 (Colombard/Sauvignon Blanc blend) and  Sterling Sauvignon Blanc, Napa, North Coast 2013.

Following a pineapple & celery intermezzo, the third course was a fish course – Ginger Fish in Rice Papillote with curried peas & carrots and coconut scallop crudo. The Wahoo was wrapped in rice paper parcels with ginger & zucchini scales, and the scallop crudo was accompanied by coconut milk, ginger juice, avocado puree and paddlefish caviar. Wine Pairings: Domaine Jean-Pierre Eleven Chablis 2012 (100% Chardonnay) and Cuvaison Chardonnay, Napa Valley, Carneros, 2012.

IMG_2247

The penultimate course featured a Petit Filet with Oxtail Ragout, wild thyme, crispy corn agnolotti, corn puree, micro greens, & preserved lemon. Wine Pairings: Cahors Chateau de Cedre 2012 (Malbec, Merlot, Tannat blend), and Archival-Ferrer Malbec, Argentina 2013.

IMG_2243

Saving the best for last is the real deal – we wrapped up the evening with a dessert course of Foie Gras Creme Brulee & Berries, with spiced tulle crackers, almond brittle, seared foie gras, port redux, & our own Windy Level mint! Wine Pairings: Monbazilliac – Domaine de L’Ancienne Cure 2010 (Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc/Muscadelle blend) and Ice Wine Reisling, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, 2013.

From beginning to end, the evening was full of good company, laughter, and delicious food and wine. We celebrated a birthday with some guests from the States, got creative with our tasting notes on the wine selections, and even managed to get a pretty excellent group shot! We look forward to our next Full Moon Wine Dinner on April 22nd – hope you’ll join us!

IMG_2241

Exciting New Happenings at Windy Level

St John Catering has grown up a lot since 2003. We continue to cultivate new skills and explore new techniques, trends, and opportunities, the ultimate goal always being the best catering experience possible for our guests. For most of the last 13 years, that’s meant bring the experience TO the guests – in villa fine dining, family style and gourmet drop off, wedding & event catering, private jets, charter boats – you name it, we’ve catered it.

This year we’ve got an entirely new set of experiences to offer at our new home base, Windy Level, on St John. For those of you who’ve been familiar with our fair island over the years, you may know Windy Level. The space has a long tradition in the local community and has grown through various iterations over the years. We’re excited to begin this new part of our journey in a space that caters to family and community fun.

Our first event will be this month’s Old World vs. New World Full Moon Wine Dinner* on March 22. Guests will enjoy five courses, each paired with an Old and New World wine, in addition to pre-dinner treats and beverages and an Intermezzo course.

We look forward to hosting monthly full moon dinners as well as pig roasts, birthday parties, wedding receptions, community events, and so much more. Whatever your event idea, we encourage you to consider Windy Level as we continue to built St John memories for years to come. Stay tuned to see more photos of the space and our upcoming events!

*$150 per person, the doors open 03/22 at 6:15 and dinner begins at 7:00 pm. Call 340-777-5464 for details.

Making it Your Own Part 3-All the Extras!

Now that you have your perfect location, the guests are sipping on your custom crafted cocktail, what is your next step for creating an event that will hardly be forgotten? All the extras!

This island boasts a slew of talented musicians who add the perfect amount of ambiance to any celebration. Some of our favorites include Greg Kinslow and his variety of bands (see above video) for an energetic and festive vibe and the wonderful husband and wife duo of Lauren and Bo who harmoniously combine vocals and guitar for a light and airy mood that can be later spiced up with classic favorites to really get down to.

Steel Pan Player

If you want to do something very Caribbean, how about having a steel pan player perform? Steel pans are a great accompaniment to the breathtaking backdrops that this island has to offer. Whether the event be on the beach or at a villa, this is a great way to incorporate the sounds with the sights.

Fire Dancer

Caribbean Dancer

Looking for a little flair? How about a fire dancer to spice up the night? We have also included events with traditional West Indian Carnival-esque dancers complete with limbo pole to get the crowd loosened up. We can help put you in contact with the right entertainer.

Need to be sure that the event is captured forever? Let us help you find a photographer or videographer to record all the fun you’re having on St. John! We have always been a big fan of Blue Glass Photography‘s work and invite you to check out their portfolio.

If you want to make something happen, let us know. We have been on island for years and are able to help make recommendations and build connections with many talented people! Cheers to creating your dream event!

Making it Your Own Part 2-Location

coral bay view

View from a formal dining event in Coral Bay

If you are having an event on island, you already know this, but this place is beautiful. Exquisitely so. With that said, there are an incredible amount of spaces in which to have your event–but you will want a location that reflects the purpose of the event and your own personality.

outdoordining close up

Outdoor dining from an event at Virgin Grande Estates

One of the most appreciated spaces is right at your own rental villa. If you are having a formal dinner for all of your travel partners, just make yourself comfortable in the indoor or outdoor dining space that the home offers. We will use the linens and table wear to create the scene for one of your most memorable meals.

Wedding in Upper Peter Bay

Wedding in Upper Peter Bay

The set up for a beautiful wedding poolside at a villa

The set up for a beautiful wedding poolside at a villa

 

If you are having a large event, be sure to check the restrictions on the villa when booking. Some will not allow any gatherings, some will limit the guest count to 20, so be sure to communicate this when planning your stay. Having the event at the villa you are staying at allows the party to come to you! We will bring all necessary tables, chairs, and bar set up to make sure that all needs are met.

Welcome party at Sirenusa

Welcome party at Sirenusa

A formal dinner at Grande Bay

A formal dinner at Grande Bay

Don’t have a villa but still want to have a gathering? We have worked with Sirenusa and Grande Bay if you are staying at one of the properties and can offer in-condo dining or with permission, access to outdoor common areas. We have even worked with bars like Dr!nk to host an event with appetizers or even full buffet menus!

A wedding at Oppenheimer Bay

A wedding at Oppenheimer Bay

How about having the event on a beach? One of our favorite locations for weddings to pig roasts is at Oppenheimer Beach. Only a few minutes out of town, this beach has everything you will need: an indoor area with full kitchen and bathrooms, plenty of outdoor space, access to the beach, and a fantastic sunset viewing spot.

If you are one for an adventure, consider dining on a boat, or even better, a helicopter! Just say the word and we will figure out all of the details.

outdoor peter bay dining

Dinner in Upper Peter Bay

Remember, its all about location, location, location!

Call to book your event today! 1-340-777-5464

Making it Your Own Part 1–Drinks

At St. John Catering, we want to make sure that your event reflects your style: from the setting to the main course to the bar offerings, and what better way to put your own twist on it than with a signature drink.

If you have a bar at your event, there are a few selections that most people like to include–mostly tropical drinks with a Virgin Islands staple: rum.

The most widely known is the Painkiller. It consists of both light and dark Cruzan rum, Coco Lopez (cream of coconut), orange juice and pineapple and is topped with freshly ground nutmeg. A great way to provide this for a party is to have the non-alcoholic version pre-mixed and to allow your bartender to pour the rum over ice and top it with the rest. This helps to ensure that guests are getting the right amount of alcohol for their own preference and to make sure that those who don’t consume can still have a taste of this delicious blend.

Dark and Stormy’s are also a favorite–traditionally done with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, topped with ginger beer, and garnished with a lime. These no fuss drinks are a great way to get the party going.

Last but not least is a classic Rum Punch. Let your guests choose either light or dark rum and serve it over ice with a blend of pineapple, orange and cranberry juice with a splash of grenadine.

These drinks, along with a full bar, make your event complete–but how about making it one to remember?

By including a signature drink in your menu, your guests will have a chance to try something new, and remember it always!

We have done the simplest of cocktails like Cruzan Cherry Rum and Coke to twists on the favorites like a ‘Nilla Killa–a Painkiller with Cruzan Vanilla Rum to a special request that the bride called Stoli Doli–fresh pineapple infused Stoli on the rocks.

There are plenty of suggestions we have that were enjoyed in the past like a Coconut Mojito or a Passionfruit Margarita but the best part is that this cocktail embodies your special event.

Have something in mind? Just contact Mat to add your signature cocktail to the menu of your next event.

It’s a Pig in a Box

What is better than a beach party? A beach barbecue!

What’s better than a beach barbecue? A beach pig roast!

The perfect beach feast!

Chef Mat prepares to carve a pig at a beach wedding at Oppenheimer Bay

If you are ready to create a memorable party with something fun that brings the whole crowd together, consider this unique addition to your event.

Not only is it a crowd favorite, it is also a favorite of Chef Mat. He loves the island vibe that a pig roast creates. It is communal, casual, and as Mat says, “you can’t be pretentious at a pig roast.” Kick off your shoes, enjoy the view and the company–and of course, the smell of roasting pork mixed with the salt air.

La Caja China

La Caja China

While you don’t have to have your event on the beach, you do have to be somewhere outside with space for the portable oven, known as La Caja China, or the China Box. The wooden box has a metal liner and a grate to hold the pig, then a metal tray that sits atop the pig that holds the coals and a lid to seal in the heat. This unique cooking technique cooks the meat in about 6 hours from start to finish–about half the time as a traditional spit does–but the preparation at St. John Catering starts at least a day before.

Chef Mat says that the first step is that the pig is marinated by injecting a chimichurri type sauce called mojo that is bursting with citrus and herb flavor directly into the meat. It is then rubbed in salt and left for 24 hours to cure.

On the day of the event, the coals are lit and once they have come to temperature, the pig is laid belly side down and will roast for about 3 hours. Then it is carefully turned over and roasted for an additional hour. The pig then rests before slicing. The end result is a moist and tender meat with a smokey, crisp skin–the perfect combination and what every grill master is after.

Done to perfection

Done to perfection

The meal is complete with a selection of sides including a skillet cheesy cornbread with scallions, potato salad, pasta salad, a variety of vegetable sides and fresh green salad with homemade dressing.

A pig roast is perfect for a welcome party, a birthday celebration, and is absolutely ideal for a beach wedding or any gathering with 40 people or more.

The pricing is $75 per person and includes two chefs to cook and carve the pig, all sides, set up and clean up. Servers are also available at additional cost.

Contact Mathayom and St. John Catering to set up your pig roast today!