by Cessie Cerrato – It’s no secret that Moon Palace Jamaica Grande, Palace Resorts’ newest property in Ocho Rios, is on its way to becoming Jamaica’s top luxury hotel. Open just under a year, the AAA four diamond awarded property is the talk of the town. From it’s phenomenal amenities, to its luxurious rooms, chic nightclub & sophisticated bars, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande is THE place to visit in Jamaica.
But let’s be honest, what’s the one thing we all like to indulge on while on vacation? Well, the food of course! Nothing can ruin your vacation experience more, than horrible food- and we’ve all been there. But, at Moon Palace Jamaica Grande, that is certainly not the case. With four distinct dining options on property, you’re sure to find something to please your palette.
And, what makes the cuisine so unique, is the man behind it: Executive Chef, Dennis McIntosh. Dennis is no stranger to the island, and his culinary skills are well known among Jamaica’s foodie scene.
It’s no surprise that every bite you’ll take at MPJG, comes with a lot of love and local touch. We sat down with Dennis for a little one on one and here’s what we found out. We’re sure you’ll agree, when you love what you do, and put that passion into it every day, the results are outstanding. That’s what we learned when we chatted with Dennis. One taste of his dishes and you’ll know why, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande is unmatched in its gastronomic offerings.
Q & A with Dennis Mcintosh
Where are you from?
I am a proud Jamaican from the East of the island in St. Thomas born in a small town in the hills called Ness Castle.
When was the first time you realized you wanted to become a chef?
From as far back as the age of 9, I was always helping my mother prepare cakes and puddings. There’s nothing better than the smell of a kitchen and the satisfaction of knowing you gave people joy from something you made.
What fascinates you about food?
Food brings people together around a table to laugh, celebrate and give thanks. What is your favorite dish to make? Beef Wellington it an old classic that requires just the right amount of skill to make it come together, just right.
What is your favorite food?
Fresh fish – something I’m pleased to say we have plenty of here in Jamaica!
What trends do you see for the food scene?
Informal dining where fresh, locally-sourced cuisine made with seasonal ingredients can take center stage, ultimately allowing the diner to taste the destination and culture.
What is your favorite local Jamaica dish and why?
Ackee & Salt Fish is Jamaica’s national dish. Much like our people, the dish is full of flavor, spicy, versatile, unforgettable and can always get people taking.
Any special memories growing up that led you to the culinary field?
As the first born in my family, I was responsible for helping to bring food home from the markets on the weekend. I’ll never forget those special moments with my mother picking the best fruits, vegetables, fish and meats. On our way home, I was always eager to talk to my mother about what we would prepare for the family and how I could help as her young sous chef.
What’s your favorite spot to eat in Jamaica and why?
Home is most definitely where my heart (and appetite) is. There’s no greater place for me to enjoy a perfect meal than on my patio at home overlooking the ocean on Sunday afternoon with family, friends and the birds.
What’s your favorite restaurant at MPJG?
Pier 8. Beyond the unforgettable mountain and ocean views, I love the relaxed open kitchen concept for our fresh seafood offering.
What’s your favorite part of the guest experience?
We treat our guests like family at Moon Palace Jamaica Grande, and as members of our family, I love welcoming them to our beautiful property and ensuring we surpass their culinary expectations throughout their entire stay.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I am passionate about developing young cooks and growing the next generation of culinary superstars, many of which are part of my incredible Moon Palace Jamaica Grande team.