October 6, 2022

Authentic food, music on tap for Roycroft Caribbean party

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BScreen Shot 2016-01-21 at 9.18.40 AMy KAITLIN LINDAHL East Aurora Editor From Orchard Park Bee

Despite much of Western New York getting doses of lake-effect snow in recent days, the Roycroft Inn is planning on a hot, tropical night for its annual Caribbean Island Party.

The event is set to take place from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, at the inn, 40 S. Grove St., East Aurora.

In order to create the correct scene, the inn is enlisting the help of its chefs, Krista Van Wagner and Andrew Nuernberger, to whip up authentic Caribbean cuisine for the party.

According to Van Wagner, the menu will include, among other things, rice and beans, and jerk pork on brioche buns with a mango chutney and jerk mayonnaise.

Van Wagner, who has her own line of Caribbean-inspired sauces and marinades that will be incorporated in the menu, said the Caribbean cuisine is one she’s had history with, as she lived in Grand Cayman for two years and in Jamaica for five months.

“I kind of lived it,” she said of the cuisine. “Each dish, each recipe, I have a story about.”

Van Wagner said she got her start with Caribbean cuisine in Jamaica.

“I helped a friend from the [United] States Americanize the Jamaican cuisine with a French flair,” she said. “It was in Runaway Bay, Jamaica, so I went down there. I wrote menus, trained the staff.”

As for the jerk spices that will be incorporated in Friday’s menu, Van Wagner recalled an anecdote about obtaining the recipe.

“When I was in Jamaica, I couldn’t get the recipe. I could not get that recipe. Things were called different names … and they were secretive,” she said. “When I lived in Grand Cayman, I was the executive chef, I said to one of the Jamaican employees … ‘We’re making jerk chicken for the menu.’ He goes ‘No, we can’t. We have to get the pimento from my mother. She’s coming back from Jamaica. They don’t sell it on this island.’ … He finally brings it in two weeks later, and I looked at him, and I’m like ‘pimento. This is called allspice.’ This is why it’s so funny; allspice is all around the kitchen. If you go to the baking area, we used it all the time. You didn’t have to wait.”

To pair with the Caribbean food, the party will also feature tropical-inspired cocktails that will be available for purchase.

Aside from tasting just right, the party will sound just right, too, with the addition of Lancaster High School’s Carnival Kids Steel Orchestra. The Carnival Kids are slated to kick off the party.

“There’s 20 students, and they’re up on stage — they fill it — and it’s so beautiful, the music,” she said.

Following the Carnival Kids will be Jim of Pirate Dreams, which performs a Jimmy Buffett tribute.

Tickets can be purchased at the door for $25. The ticket price includes both entertainment and food. A cash bar will be available.

“It’s just really fun,” she said. “It’s the right place to be right now. … It will be a beautiful event this week.”

For more information, call the Roycroft Inn at 652-5552.

email: [email protected]

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