On a rainy autumn evening in the atrium of The People’s Kitchen, Chef Cornelius Rogers transported guests from Worcester to a Caribbean island oasis with the help of Angostura Rum. Rogers and co. turned up the whimsy, evoking the spirit of Trinidad with each and every pairing.
Tot-chos and the Caribbean Spritz
Guests were greeted with playful wine glasses rimmed in banana salt and served with striped paper straws. The Caribbean Spritz consisted of Angostura 5 Year Old Rum, Fever Tree Tonic Water and a fresh pineapple garnish. Cubes of Angostura Bitter-Mango Ice slowly melted, resulting in an entirely different beverage by the end of the first course. The adobo chicken Tot-chos (as in tater tot nachos) grasped onto the Spritz’s emerging mango notes with complimentary flavors of avocado and Serrano salsa.
Pho-Real Steam Bun and a Zombie (for 4)
Steamed pork buns called “pow” are a local favorite in Trinidad, so it’s no wonder that the crispy Pork belly, jalapeños, sprouts and pho sauce mirrored an Angostura Zombie so appropriately. This monster of a cocktail came served in hollowed pumpkins with long fluorescent straws for shared consumption. Garnishes of mint and basil on the steam buns enhanced medicinal qualities of Absinthe and warm spices of Falernum.
Pan Roasted Duck Breast and Treacle
The Angostura Treacle is a rum based Old Fashioned, topped with a float of cinnamon-citrus and garnished with a dehydrated apple slice. The union of this tiki concoction with pan roasted duck, pear mostarda, and candied walnuts made for a warming pair on a bone-chilling New England evening.
Warm Semolina Cake and Tom & Jerry
Our meal concluded with moist semolina cake, pumpkin mousse, salted caramel, and a Tom & Jerry. Rogers explained that semolina is a course purified wheat often used to make pasta. Served in a porcelain mug, the Tom & Jerry proved a thick boozy batter. A combination of Cognac, Angostura 7 Year Old Rum, and Amaro di Angostura offered natural undertones of vanilla, maple and cinnamon.