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Susan Moynihan | Photo: Courtesy of the Resorts | June 20, 2014
Three foodie-focused resorts deliver for couples seeking an epicurean adventure for their special day.
Farm-to-table is one of the most popular restaurant trends today, but it can be a challenging fit for larger fetes like wedding receptions. Show off your good taste at these three destination wedding-worthy spots, which pair their own produce with the best in locally sourced provisions, and offer plenty of romantic ambience to boot.
Round Hill Hotel and Villas, Jamaica
This elegant Montego Bay resort has hosted everyone from Oscar Hammerstein II (an original villa owner here) to Ralph Lauren, a frequent visitor who designed the interiors. Executive Chef Martin Maginley’s on-site organic garden, set on a hillside overlooking the sea, produces everything from lettuces and pole beans to basil, mint and edible flowers. Menus are supplanted with fresh seafood and meats from local farms. For events, he puts a refined take on Jamaican cuisine, with standout dishes like smoked marlin and a rich jerk-spice blend bursting with cinnamon. Catering can also tailor requests from kosher to gluten-free menus. Hold your reception on the ocean-facing Spa Lawn (up to 150 guests), where an 18th century white stone great house provides historic ambience. John Pringle Drive, Montego Bay, 800.972.2159
The Palms Hotel & Spa, Miami Beach
Locals love this 251-room hotel in Miami Beach for its warm Caribbean vibe and lush landscaping. The hotel’s guiding philosophy is “inspired by nature,” and chef Julie Frans of Essensia Restaurant keeps an organic garden on-site, working directly with top organic and local suppliers including Teena’s Pride, Paradise Farms and Swank Farms. For larger events, catering offers custom menus inspired by the restaurant’s dishes—think seasonal options like snapper ceviche, green goddess gazpacho and walnut-crusted warm goat cheese, and grass-fed tenderloin. Pair with organic wines, and offer a signature cocktail made using fresh herbs and small-batch spirits; we suggest the Thai Basil Gimlet, made with basil vodka, lime, jalapeno, ginger liqueur and garden-picked Thai basil. 3025 Collins Ave., 305.534.0505
CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa, Anguilla
You’d expect a resort with “cuisine” in its name to excel in catering options, and CuisinArt Resort takes it to a whole new level. Anguilla is known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, and this 97-suite-and-villa resort fronts a perfect powder-white strand. But the same landscape that makes for beautiful white beaches doesn’t lend itself to agriculture—so CuisinArt built their own hydroponic farm. Set in a half-acre greenhouse designed to withstand hurricane-force winds, the garden uses raised beds for produce from broccoli rabe to bok choy, and irrigated towers for herbs such as thyme, mint, oregano and sage. It’s all showcased in chef Jasper Schneider’s menus, such as at Mediterranean-inspired Le Bistro at Santorini (the island’s only AAA Four Diamond restaurant). Hold your ceremony at the beach, where five-course seated dinners of baby beet salad with goat cheese, roasted mahimahi and butter-poached local lobster are paired with Veuve Clicquot, the preferred bubbly. Love the food? Sign your guests up for a private cooking class with Schneider, and learn tricks for recreating his recipes at home after your honeymoon. Rendezvous Bay, 264.498.2000