Rainforest Dreams of Sushi

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

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Beginning August 30 Rainforest Seafoods will sell freshly made sushi at PriceSmart Thursday through Sunday each week. Just when you thought PriceSmart had everything, the warehouse club has decided to diversify the fresh food offerings for its members. Not to worry, residents of the Republic of Montego Bay, fresh sushi will be available once a month at Seafood Market on Coconut Way for you too!

Rainforest Seafoods recently held a sushi luncheon in its boardroom. Guests sampled the rolls that will be sold at the PriceSmart sushi bar and, of course, saw chef Eliseo 'Oggie' Caliguia in his element. The local “seafood innovators” have pulled a culinary coup by hiring chef Oggie from the Hyatt Regency Trinidad. The hotel was the place for sushi on the twin-island republic and received several nominations at the Table Talk Food Awards — Trinidad & Tobago edition. Chef Oggie, a Filipino native, was one of the hotel's head chefs. Over his career, he trained with numerous sushi masters, thus making himself one.

On offer at the luncheon were: veggie, California, shrimp tempura, smoked marlin, spicy salmon and spicy tuna rolls. The fish was fresh and delicious; the rice was perfectly seasoned; the rolls were tightly rolled and packed just right, and each piece was equal in size and cleanly cut. Chef Oggie definitely knows his stuff! Thursday Food can already tell that the smoked marlin roll with cucumber, crab sticks, cream cheese and sriracha mayo will be a big hit.

The four-day roadshow will kick off the next phase of Rainforest's sushi-grade seafood business. “We have sold sushi items for some time now, but want to grow the category,” said marketing and communications manager Bethany Young. The company's goal is to not only become the preferred supplier of sushi-grade seafood across the island, but also to train the next crop of sushi chefs.

Since his arrival on the island earlier this month, chef Oggie has trained a number of Rainforest Seafoods chefs in the art of sushi making. In October, he will participate in the Chopstix event at the Jamaica Food & Drink Festival. Rainforest Seafoods has also partnered with the Culinary Federation of Jamaica to train aspiring sushi chefs. And, in November, chef Oggie will conduct a sushi-making workshop at Taste of Jamaica.

According to Young, this “new direction” for the company is a direct response to the “growing interest in sushi locally”. Rainforest Seafoods aspires to take sushi in Jamaica to “the next level” and with a sushi master on staff, it's just a matter of time.

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