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In fine fettle

Nigel Keegan from Grape Expectations demonstrates a delicious four-course meal with wine pairings and we find out how his love affair with fine food and wine began.

Self-confessed “Foodie” Nigel studied at The Scottish College of Textiles & Design in Galashiels, a town in the Scottish Borders, UK. This is where he developed an interest in the food industry while paying his way through his studies, working at many large food and beverage events and cooking for friends and flat mates. “My passion for food just grew from there” he says.

After working in the UK for a while, Nigel decided to try living in the BVI where he could be warm all year round! He was soon drawn to working in the food industry in various roles until 8-years ago when he ventured out on his own with Grape Expectations – importers of fine international gourmet food and beverages and catering to local residents, restaurants, resorts, private islands, chefs and charter yachts.

Grape Expectations is a large provisioner to the crewed yachts with predominant weekly turn-arounds. The preference for consistent supply and quality has charter Chefs returning weekly. All perishables are delivered in insulated packaging to maintain the best quality products.

Over the years Nigel’s business grew and now there are two locations – the Grape Expectations store and warehouse located at Road Reef where customers can stop by to pick up their fresh gourmet seafood such as sides of fresh salmon, tuna, king crab legs, prawns, lobster and Chilean Sea Bass (to name just a few). As well as the highest quality meats from such brands as Silver Fern Farms in New Zealand for Angus grass-fed beef, D’Artagnan in the UK for duck and Naked chicken from Joyce Farms along with a large range of gourmet dried foods, Nespresso coffee pods plus fine wines and premium and specially sourced spirits. Condiments and sauces from all over the world complement the quality proteins they supply.

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For the 2022/23 season there’s lots of new exciting products to complement the range including delicious charcuterie biscuits and grissini, savoury and onion jams, a wide selection of cured meats, bacon, sausages and much more. Keep an eye on Grape Expectations’ website for all the new products, where you can easily order online.

The second location is the Grab’n’Go Bakery at Meridian Plaza, Wickhams Cay II that serves barista-style coffee, gourmet sandwiches, salads, snacks and pastries along with made-to-order cakes for special events such as weddings and birthdays. They also cater for events from this location.

Method

For the Charcuterie board

Thinly slice the Golden baguettes. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and place on a baking sheet and bake until crisp. Arrange the charcuterie ingredients to your preference on a wooden serving board.

For the Sea Bass

Using a mandolin, finely slice the carrots, zucchini and red peppers. You will need half a cup of the mixed vegetables per person.

Bring a medium-sized saucepan of water to the boil, add a pinch of salt and cook vegetables for 4-minutes. Strain the vegetables and set aside.

Lightly coat the base of a frying pan with olive oil and then place the pan over a medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, season the fillets with a little salt then place in the pan.

Cook for 3–4 minutes until the outside is golden and crisp, then carefully turn the fillets over to cook for a further minute. The fish is cooked when the flesh becomes opaque.

In a small saucepan, heat the Yuzu & Miso sauce on a low heat and stir until warm. Do not boil.

Place the vegetables on one side of the serving plate and the sea bass on the other, then pour over the warm Yuzu & Miso sauce.

For the Tenderloin

Using a sharp knife, cut the cauliflower florets into evenly sized pieces.

Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a large stockpot over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Place the cauliflower pieces into a steamer basket and place over the simmering water. Steam for 6-8 minutes and then remove the pot from the heat and uncover, tilting the lid away from you to avoid the steam.

Place the steamed cauliflower into a blender with 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic and a knob of butter. Blend until silky smooth and set aside.

To cook a 1-inch tenderloin to medium-rare doneness, lightly coat the base of a frying pan with olive oil and then place the pan over a high heat. Once the pan is hot, place the tenderloin in the pan and sear on high heat for two minutes on each side. Then lower the heat to medium and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or 12 to 15 minutes for medium doneness.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat, then stir in the flour and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Gradually pour in the milk, stirring constantly, until the sauce is smooth and all the milk has been added. Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir in the blue cheese. Cook until the cheese has melted and the sauce has thickened slightly, then season to taste.

Place two generous tablespoons of the cauliflower in the centre of the serving plate, place the steak on top and drizzle with the blue cheese sauce. Add some sweety drops to garnish and serve.

For the Mochidoki Ice cream

Choose your favourite flavours from the range at Grape Expectations. Keep chilled until ready to serve. Accompany with some fresh berries, a sprig of mint to garnish and a Roma Nespresso coffee. Bon appétit!

Grape Expectations is located at Road Reef in Road Town (opposite VISAR Headquarters). Open on Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm. Order online at: grapeexpectationsbvi.com. Call/WhatsApp (284) 346 9463, email [email protected] to place your orders or discuss special requests with Nigel. Delivery throughout the BVI.

Grab’n’Go Bakery is located at Meridian Plaza, Wickhams Cay II and open Monday to Friday 8am to 3pm @grapeexpectationsbvi.

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