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Pre-launch of Alwen's Promise

 
 
 
 - A Green Happening -
 
While calypso stirred the air in Roseau, and costume designers feverishly completed their finishing touches for Carnival 2008,  Dominica latest eco-inn, Alwen's Promise, rolled out at Macouchrie Beach with a "Green Happening" Pre Launch. Under direction of Culinary Institute of America trained Chef Joe Ushinski of Maryland, Dominican Cadets worked over plates of local greens, roasted dasheens and sweet potatoes, mango flavored marlin and chocolate gravy meats.

 

 

 
Chocolate Mole?

While the average Dominican uses cocoa sticks for early morning breakfast, few have seen it used in a savory stew called chocolate mole. Said to have originated with the Incas of what is now Mexico, chocolate gravy with minced almonds and toasted pumpkin seeds was one such "green dish" made up wholly of Dominican ingredients served at Macouchrie Beach. Visiting Dominicans such as former Fannie Mae Financial Analyst Simpson Gregoire and wife, indulged alongside Dr. Clayton Shillingford and Dr. Dave Shillingford of the Dominica Academy of Arts & Sciences. Education and Culture Minister Vince Henderson praised this new effort at crafting a new and unique organic cuisine for Dominica and lauded the visionary nature of Alwen's Promise. 

Situated in the lush Layou Valley, Alwen's Promise is the brainchild of  US based Dominicans Alberta and Wendell Christian. Alberta's was born on Layou Park Estate where her father was estate foreman. Her husband  Wendell was a Soil Conservation Officer in the area in the 1950s. Their objective, or promise, is to use the solar powered eco-tourism inn to promote renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and heritage tourism on Dominica.  They have formed a family company to marry the talents of their children and place that effort at the disposal of Dominicans desirous of partnering for sustainable development.

The project will promote the creative use of local foodstuffs to brand a new international green cuisine with the assistance of Chef Ushinski. Such a partnership will include the Dominica Hotel & Tourism Association which was well represented by Pat Inglis and Judith Pestaina and the Clean Energy Corporation led by Adenauer Douglas. Another partner, the cadet movement, will benefit from having its own culinary unit. Such an introduction to the culinary arts offers a new career option to young Dominicans who can then staff Dominica's expanding tourism sector or compliment their disaster management and life skills.

 

 
A Unique Delight!

It was with delight that plates were passed around of organic dishes, with an international flair: marlin with mango and green seasoning relish, pork chops and chicken chocolate mole, lobster on toasted grapefruit wedges soaked in rum and brown sugar, and tomato bruschetta on local french bread.  All of this was washed down with local juices, sorrel, and rum punches from the venerable Macourchrie Rum made at the 18th Century sugar mill - the only one of its kind in the Caribbean still powered by a water wheel off the Macouchrie River. Indeed, even the rum was produced by the renewable energy of a running river. The event was embroidered by the sun glistening off the azure blue Caribbean sea a few steps from the gazebo, while the coconut palms swayed in the light breezes and a light rain offered a blessing from on high.

 

Dominican Businesses United

This coming together of Dominicans to promote local business was a worthy tribute to our 30th Anniversary of Independence and a victory for team work. The event was organized with the kind assistance of Mr. & Mrs. Dense Shillingford of Macouchrie Estate, Mrs Lesley Ann Green, Jennifer Fadelle, Lisa Samuels of Creative Design, Major Francis Richards, and Capt. Robin, Lt. Henry and other officers and staff of the Dominica Cadet Corps.

 

The project is designed by Independence Energy Homes (www.zeroenergy.com) and built by Stewart Paris of Stewco Corp. The project will be formally launched in the summer of 2008.

Declaring Dominica's Independence From Fossil Fuels
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