Fri | Oct 19, 2018

Fun, success for Celebrity Cook-Off

Published:Wednesday | June 24, 2015 | 12:00 AMGareth Davis
Tyrone Brown (centre), winner of the inaugural Portland celebrity cook-off competition, receiving his prizes from sponsor representatives.
Chandra Andru (left), second place winner and Julio Francis, preparing their meals.
Everton ‘beechy stout' McDonald, third place winner preparing his meal.
The judges tasting away at the curried chicken and rice
A test of strength competition, sponsored by IGL

The inaugural Portland Celebrity Cook-off, from all indication, was a huge success. Business operators and other interests are already eagerly anticipating the next leg.

Held on Sunday in the car park at TAJ Pharmacy in Port Antonio, the event attracted prominent figures who were engaged in a cook-off sponsored by the Best Dressed Chicken, IGL Blue Cooking Gas and other local sponsors.

Among the celebrities were Everton 'Beechy Stout' McDonald, businessman; Colin 'Shaka Fame' Bell, radio personality; Tyrone Brown, chef; Julio Francis, inspector of police; and Chandra Andru, business operator/pharmacist, TAJ pharmacy.

The five celebs were, for the better part of an hour, engaged in friendly rivalry of cooking curried chicken and rice, closely watched by community residents, business operators, tourists, and five judges.

During the cook-off, children were kept busy at the kiddies' corner, while adults were entertained by other events including a beer-drinking contest; a test of strength among three men to prove who could hold a 30lb cylinder above their heads the longest; a deejay competition and a dance contest.

A high point of the contest was a dance-off by three of the five cook-off celebrities, Francis, Bell and Andru, who brought the venue to life dancing to a Collin Lucas favourite - Dollar Wine, Indian-style.

A number of prizes were also handed out to other participants by IGL including regulators, gift vouchers, table-top stoves, pencils, and cups.

In the end, all five judges agreed that Andru's Indian-style curried chicken, was breathtaking and sumptuous. However, based on the rules, Brown was awarded first place with his Jamaican-style curried chicken. Andru placed second, while McDonald placed third. The top three finishers each received a gift basket, courtesy of the Best Dressed chicken. The winner also won a table-top stove from IGL, which was later donated to the George Cohen Basic School.

Organiser and founder of the cook-off, Bobby Walker, explained that the response from the business community was encouraging, and residents who turned out for the event were more than happy with what they saw.

"I have to thank our many sponsors," said Walker.

"Our title sponsor, the Best Dressed Chicken, came on board without any hesitation. IGL Blue cooking gas was tremendous with its involvement, and they supplied stoves and gas for cooking. Errol Hanna of Cliff Hanger provided financial support, along with businessman Patrick Lee. Other business operators in Port Antonio also contributed and today's event was like a carnival atmosphere. I also want to thank Stylz FM. This event is definitely here to stay, and next time it will be bigger and better," he added.

Devon Brooks of IGL took time out to commend the participants, the large turnout of community residents and organisers of the event, while pledging the cooking gas company's full commitment to the next staging.

"I am pleased with what I saw today," said Brooks.

"It is events like this one that IGL truly supports, and I am particularly impressed with today's activity. On behalf of my team, I thank the organisers for inviting us on board, and this event can only get bigger. The response today is an indication that this product has a future," he added.