The Meridian Club – Lemon-Herb Potatoes – October, 2014

We are pleased to feature celebrated recipes from The Meridian Club, Pine Cay. From comfort food to haute cuisine, be prepared for a taste sensation from Chef Shane Coffey each day at the resort. And for those who have fallen in love with Chef Coffey’s delightful interpretations, we invite you to enjoy these recipes at home in the company of your family and friends. Today’s featured recipe:

Lemon-Herb Potatoes

from Chef Shane Coffey

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds assorted small potatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup assorted chopped fresh herbs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Preparation

  1. Bring potatoes and salted water to cover to a boil in a large saucepan. Cook 10 to 15minutes or until tender; drain.
  2. Toss potatoes with chopped fresh herbs, olive oil,fresh lemon juice, and minced garlic.

The Meridian Club – Marinara Sauce – October, 2014

We are pleased to feature celebrated recipes from The Meridian Club, Pine Cay. From comfort food to haute cuisine, be prepared for a taste sensation from Chef Shane Coffey each day at the resort. And for those who have fallen in love with Chef Coffey’s delightful interpretations, we invite you to enjoy these recipes at home in the company of your family and friends. Today, Chef Shane Coffey from The Meridian Club, a private island resort in the Turks and Caicos, shares his recipe for Marinara Sauce.

Marinara Sauce

from Chef Shane Coffey

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • Pinch of fennel seed
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 56 oz canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup freshly chopped basil

Preparation

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over a medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots and celery and saute until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add in the fennel seed, crushed red pepper, and bay leaf.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes.
  6. Add the sugar, salt and pepper, and basil. Simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes.
  7. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  8. Taste the sauce and season with more salt and pepper, if necessary.

Pine Cay Project Announces Reading Grant to Eliza Simons Primary School

Pine Cay, Turks & Caicos, September 22, 2014 – Pine Cay Project today announced its grant for $4,471 to Eliza Simons Primary School to support the school’s purchase of books and materials to upgrade instruction in reading. The new learning materials will support reading instruction that emphasizes students’ understanding of what they read and, for younger students especially, their recognition of letter sounds. Among several objectives of the reading initiative, the grant will permit the school to establish a reading center in the school library and will support individualized reading instruction for students who are struggling to master basic reading skills. Eliza Simons Primary School is one of two government primary schools on Grand Turk and serves a student population of 249 students, ages 4 through 12.

Under the leadership of principal Juliet Thelwell, the school prepared a detailed application to Pine Cay Project explaining the need for these new materials, the specific items to be purchased, and the enhanced instruction that the new materials will permit. Ms. Thelwell said that the new grant “will provide resources to allow the school to improve the reading skills of all students, especially those who have struggled with reading. With this grant, we intend to reduce the number of students with weak skills in reading and to encourage the love of reading among all students.’

Commenting on the new learning opportunities, Pine Cay Project Chair Elizabeth Pickman said: “These new instructional tools will permit the educators of Eliza Simons Primary School to take their teaching of reading to new, higher levels, for the significant benefit of their students.” Vice-chair Carlton Mills said: “We expect these enhanced learning opportunities to increase student mastery of reading and, in particular, to improve the reading skills of struggling readers.”

About Pine Cay Project

Residents of Pine Cay formed Pine Cay Project in 1989 for the purpose of improving student learning across the Turks and Caicos Islands. Over the past 10 years, Pine Cay Project has awarded approximately $600,000 in grants to TCI schools, the TCI Community College, the Turks and Caicos National Museum, the Department of Environment and Maritime Affairs (for its summer environmental science program), and other organizations. Members of the Pine Cay Project board of trustees include Marie Landel (Boston and Paris), Carlton Mills (Provo), Elizabeth Pickman (New York, NY), Beverly Plachta (Pine Cay), David Rochat (Chelsea, Vermont), Jay Saunders (Provo), and Terry Smith (Buffalo, New York).

The Meridian Club – Fried Chicken – October, 2014

We are pleased to feature another celebrated recipe from The Meridian Club, Pine Cay. From comfort food to haute cuisine, be prepared for a taste sensation from Chef Shane Coffey each day at the resort. And for those who have fallen in love with Chef Coffey’s delightful interpretations, we invite you to enjoy these recipes at home in the company of your family and friends. Today, Chef Shane Coffey from The Meridian Club, a romantic private island resort in the Turks and Caicos Islands, shares his recipe for Fried Chicken.

***Plan this dish in advance as you will require 2 days to prep the recipe.

Fried Chicken

from Chef Shane Coffey

Ingredients

For the brine:

  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed with the flat side of a knife
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 or 6 branches rosemary, each 4 to 5 inches/10 to 12 centimeters long
  • 4 1/2 cups/1 liter water
  • 1 lemon, quartered

Plus:

  • 8 chicken legs, drumsticks and thighs separated
  • 8 chicken wings, wing tips removed
  • 3 cups/420 grams all-purpose/plain flour
  • 3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 cups/480 milliliters buttermilk
  • Oil for deep-frying

Preparation

  1. Place Chicken in the brine brine. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Mix every 8 hours.
  2. Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse under cold water, pat dry, and set on a rack or on paper towels. Dry skin for 1 day in walk in on a rack.
  3. Combine the flour, black pepper, paprika, sea salt, cayenne, and baking powder in a bowl. Whisk to distribute the ingredients. Divide this mixture between two bowls.
  4. Pour the buttermilk into a third bowl. Set a rack on a baking sheet/tray.
  5. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shake off the excess, and set the dusted pieces on the rack. Dip the pieces in the buttermilk, then dredge them aggressively in the second bowl of flour and return them to the rack.
  6. Heat oil in a pan for deep-frying to 350°F/180°C. Add as many chicken pieces as you can without crowding the pan.
  7. Cook the chicken, turning the pieces occasionally, until they are cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes depending on their size.
  8. Remove to a clean rack and allow them to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

The Meridian Club – Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Roll Ups – October 2014

We are pleased to feature another celebrated recipe from The Meridian Club, Pine Cay. From comfort food to haute cuisine, be prepared for a taste sensation from Chef Shane Coffey each day at the resort. And for those who have fallen in love with Chef Coffey’s delightful interpretations, we invite you to enjoy these recipes at home in the company of your family and friends. Today, Chef Shane Coffey from The Meridian Club, a private island resort in the Turks and Caicos, shares his recipe for Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Roll Ups.

Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Roll Ups

from Chef Shane Coffey

Ingredients

  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10-ounces frozen spinach, thawed, drained, and squeeze to remove water
  • 1 cup chopped canned or jarred artichoke hearts
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 cups Easy Marinara Sauce or your favorite sauce

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the salt and cook the lasagna noodles to al dente, according to package directions.
  3. Drain and carefully lay the lasagna noodles out flat on a large piece of parchment paper. Let sit to cool.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg, garlic, spinach, artichoke hearts, parmesan cheese, basil, crushed red pepper, and nutmeg. Stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Line the bottom with marinara sauce, about 1/2 cup. Set aside.
  6. Take about 1/4 cup of the ricotta spinach mixture and spread it evenly onto each lasagna noodle. Top each noodle with 2 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce. Carefully roll the noodles up and place them in the prepared pan.
  7. Top the lasagna rolls with the remaining marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.
  8. Spray a large sheet of foil with cooking spray and cover the pan.
  9. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 35 minutes.
  10. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted on top.
  11. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Turks and Caicos Private Island Resort Features Sweet Treats

Sara Spudowski – The Meridian Club’s C.S.O.

The Meridian Club pastry chef

Sara Spudowski, Chief Sweets Officer

Our very own Pastry Chef Sara Spudowski is a very busy lady. Although she lives and works here on Pine Cay, she also manages her own dessert house based in Alaska. While completely embracing the Pine Cay lifestyle, she is still very much involved with the operation of her business in Alaska, Sugarspoon.

Every month Sugarspoon features a local charity to support. Sara uses The Meridian Club kitchen to create a special dessert to feature the charity and then sends the pictures and directions all the way back to be recreated by her lovely staff in a slightly colder climate. At the end of each month Sugarspoon writes a check to the charity for a portion of the featured dessert sales in hopes to make a small difference.

Purple ComPassion Cake at The Meridian Club

Purple ComPassion Cake

The first charity dessert created here at the Meridian Club was the Purple ComPassion Cake. A purple velvet cake with passion fruit buttercream to benefit AWAIC, Abused Women’s Aid In Crisis. Purple velvet was used to represent their logo and passion fruit used and used in the name to show compassion for those in crisis.

About AWAIC

AWAIC provides 24-hour shelter services and transitional housing, as well as crisis intervention to victims who are leaving a dangerous situation. Through AWAIC’s case management and advocacy programs, survivors are provided referrals to other services such as the Moving Forward program where they can regain their independence and find hope and healing through group support.

A Sampling of Sara’s Sweets

Chocolate Pistachio Tartufo with Fresh Raspberries

Chocolate Pistachio Tartufo with Fresh Raspberries

Basket full Of Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday

Basket Full Of Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday

Lemon Cornmeal Cake with Buttermilk Ice Cream & Spiced Blueberries

Lemon Cornmeal Cake with Buttermilk Ice Cream & Spiced Blueberries

And while guests and staff all enjoy our Turks and Caicos private island resort sweet treats….it’s the very sweet cause that these desserts support that makes us smile!

Guest Photos from Saturday Night Dinner Buffet

desserts at The Meridian Club

Dessert table overflowing with delicious treats

desserts at The Meridian Club

Creamy creations served in chilled glasses

dessert buffet The Meridian Club

Fresh and fruity flavors

The Meridian Club Selected for the 2014 Fodor’s 100 Hotels Awards Honoring the Best Hotels Around the World

New York City, NY — SEPTEMBER 23, 2014 – Fodor’s Travel, the leading name in travel guides for more than 75 years, announced that The Meridian Club has been recognized as a 2014 Fodor’s 100 Hotel Award winner (Beach Getaway category). This distinction designates The Meridian Club as an outstanding hotel as selected by Fodor’s editors and travel experts, recognizing high style, excellent service and a remarkable experience for guests.

meridian-club-fodors-100

Each year, Fodor’s Travel invites their roster of 500 global contributors to nominate the best hotels in the destinations they live and write in. Fodor’s senior editorial team deliberated on over 4,000 Fodor’s Choice picks, poring over the list for months and narrowing their top selections into eight categories:

  • All-Inclusive Vacations — From Antigua to Australia, these properties take care of all the details, so you can fast-forward to complete relaxation.
  • Beach Getaways — If you dream of sandy beaches and lapping waves, consider escaping to one of these 12 resorts, from Oahu to Cancun.
  • Boutique Chic — Tightly curated décor and local style define these 15 smaller hotels, from Calistoga to Zurich.
  • Country Retreats — Romance and relaxation are among the draws at these 11 scenic properties, ranging from grand estates to mountaintop hideaways.
  • Enduring Classics — These legendary properties around the world, from Rio to Paris, are more impressive than ever.
  • Modern City — Sleek design and desirable addresses are the calling cards of these stylish urban hotels.
  • Small Hotels — At these intimate hotels, all with fewer than 50 guest rooms, expect personalized attention and one-of-a-kind experiences.
  • Trip of A Lifetime — From Bora Bora to Botswana, these 12 iconic destinations belong on every traveler’s bucket list.

“At Fodor’s Travel, we know our travelers have high expectations from the moment they check into a hotel — and so do we,” explained Arabella Bowen, Fodor’s Travel Editor in Chief. “Our 100 Fodor’s Hotel Award winners go above and beyond these expectations with their winning mix of service, setting, style, and amenities. We’re confident that a night at any of these properties will be a highlight of the trip.”

As a 2014 Fodor’s 100 Hotel Award-winning property, The Meridian Club will be featured on www.Fodors.com.

Fodor’s Travel covers 7,500 destinations and more than 17,000 of the best hotels around the globe, each of which receives an in-person evaluation. Fodor’s editors’ decades of experience helps take the guesswork out of trip planning, recommending only those hotels, restaurants, and things to do that meet their high standards, and designating the absolute musts with “Fodor’s Choice.” Whether travelers use print guidebooks, ebooks, mobile apps, or Fodors.com, Fodor’s provides highly curated advice on how to travel smarter, including the best arts and culture offerings, where to eat and stay at every price point, and tips and strategies for an authentic and immersive experience.

About The Meridian Club

Beautifully positioned on a two-mile stretch of talcum-powder beach – considered by many as the finest in the Caribbean – The Meridian Club is an environmentally-sensitive private island resort ideally suited to couples seeking an unspoiled, upscale but unpretentious romantic retreat. With no automobiles, televisions, radios or telephones ringing in your ears, you are left to unwind and enjoy the island’s natural beauty and tranquility. For more information, visit www.meridianclub.com or www.facebook.com/meridianclub.

About Fodor’s Travel

The Fodor’s name has been synonymous with travel for more than 75 years. Our award-winning guidebooks, website, eBooks, and mobile apps provide today’s traveler with up-to-the-minute information to over 7,500 worldwide destinations. Our vast team of global correspondents offers highly curated, expert advice on how to travel smarter, from the best arts and culture offerings, to tips and strategies for an authentic and immersive experience, and the right hotels and restaurants for every taste and budget. Learn more at Fodors.com and join our engaged travel community on Facebook (facebook.com/FodorsTravel), Twitter (@fodorstravel) and Instagram (@FodorsTravel). Fodor’s Travel is an imprint of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.

Media Inquiries

Melanie Alexander
617-803-8498

Drive-In Movies in the Turks & Caicos Islands

Pine Cay Delivers Unique Drive-In Theater Experience in the Islands

A drive-in theater in the Caribbean just makes sense, doesn’t it? The ideal tropical weather, warm sea breezes and mild temperatures invite you to extend your time outdoors well into the evening. In the Turks & Caicos Islands, however, there is only one drive-in theater experience to be had, and it was dreamt up by the owners of Pine Cay Island, home to The Meridian Club.

The Golf Buggy Drive-In is a wonderful departure from the entertainment one tends to expect at most Caribbean resorts. Here on Pine Cay, a quirky juxtaposition of Fantasy Island meets Gilligan’s Island, there is a lovely, weekly silver screen tradition. Every Wednesday, a procession of golf buggies winds its way to the airport for some evening entertainment at the only drive-in theater in the Turks & Caicos. Theater, of course, is a loose term used to describe the transformation of the “arrivals and departures lounge” at The Greater Pine Cay Airport on Cowles Field into an outdoor cinema, complete with popcorn.

Sanddollar cinema Pine Cay

Guests at The Meridian Club, a romantic private island retreat, are invited to meet at the Club House at 6pm, after enjoying a tasty cocktail and a delicious snack on the pool deck. Golf carts are assigned or claimed by the “regulars” and the caravan winds its way into the dusk. Less than a minute later guests arrive at the Sand Dollar Cinema around the corner from a wooden yield marker that cautions “Stop. Look. Planes go first.” The managers, Wally and Bev direct traffic and dish out bags of movie-style popcorn while guests jostle for the best viewing spot.

pine cay airport

Within minutes, with hot, buttered and deliciously salty popcorn in hand, the screen flickers to life and the group settles in to watch the show. Greeted by the familiar faces of actors such as John Cleese, Ernest Borgnine, Lou Costello and Bud Abbott, and Bob Crane, along with their unforgettable antics from episodes of Fawlty Towers, The Three Stooges, Abbot and Costello, McHale’s Navy or Hogan’s Heroes, the Sand Dollar Cinema experience is a happy and somewhat-surreal reunion with long lost friends.

popcorn and movies Pine Cay

Sitting comfortably in a golf cart – at the end of a runway no less – on a romantic private island resort, wrapped in the sultry evening air, it’s hard to believe where you are and what you are experiencing. Howling with laughter, munching on popcorn and draped under a canopy of stars, there is a general feeling of disbelief at the experience.

golf buggy drive in The Meridian Club

When the show is over, appetites are suitably whetted for the next over-the-top experience at The Meridian Club…dinner prepared by Chef Shane Coffey and his talented staff.

Golf Buggy Drive-In Movies in the Turks & Caicos Islands take place at The Meridian Club on Pine Cay. It is a wonderful and quirky experience that heartily underscores everything that is important on this private island resort and delivers it with much gusto on the big screen.

golf buggy drive in

Guests Take Part in Caribbean Private Island Resort K9 Training

Creative, Effective and Loyal Security System on Pine Cay?

What a wonderful break I had staying at the Meridian Club on Pine Cay, a private island in the Turks and Caicos. Flying into the Turks and Caicos over impossibly-blue waters is an amazing experience. The short boat trip over beautiful clear waters to arrive at Pine Cay Marina, meeting up with friends, and making new friends makes the journey and the stay even more amazing.

The most interesting part of the island I found was the security system that is in place. German Shepards – yes it’s true! Highly intelligent, trained, loyal dogs that seem to love the island and their Pine Cay family. US-trained, and brought to the island as young adults, the team of 4 receive ongoing training by the on-island security team, John Patrick and Jaime Encallado. Two male German Shephards – Kilo and Roscoe – and two females – Molly and Zora – make up the Pine Cay K9 team. The 3 dogs live with John, whereas Molly lives with The Meridian Club managers, Bev and Wally.

security team caribbean resort

But just because they live on a sun-drenched, Caribbean Island, doesn’t mean they get to relax along with the guests who come from all over the world to this little idyllic slice of paradise in the Turks & Caicos Islands. Each dog has a handler and receives daily training ensuring Pine Cay continues to be a tranquil safe haven. The demands on the team are rigorous with regular training sessions as well as a weekly exhibition session. Each Wednesday the handlers demonstrate the skill and intelligence of the K9 team, and guests are invited to head over to the airstrip to watch and, in some cases, take part in this unique Caribbean private island resort K9 training routine.

When it’s time for some R&R, these canines receive the highest level of hospitality at The Meridian Club, with gourmet meals, baths, daily pampering and breathtaking accommodations. Their job is to walk the beaches and unpaved roads enjoying all the unique vistas on Pine Cay. What a life!

molly german shephard caribbean k9 team

German Shepard’s are the most amazing protection one could have, but does Pine Cay need protection I ask myself? No, clearly they do not especially with these friendly, calm, confident, loyal dogs by the residents’ side. I tip my hat off to this innovative security system that Pine Cay and Meridian Club have in place and plan to return again and again to see my new friends!

Sandra Grisham Clothier is long-time Caribbean resident and hospitality professional.