CB Chicken Pan Chicken Championship Eastern Regional Elimination
Pan Chicken men and women from Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine, St Mary, Portland, and St Thomas are in the final stages of concocting delicious sauces and tweaking age-old pan chicken recipes in preparation for the 2014 CB Pan Chicken Championship Eastern Regional Elimination, slated for Saturday at the UDC car park in Portmore.
Jason Walters, Carl Jobson and Derricia Henry, parish winners from the Central Regional Elimination, are among the first finalists who advanced to the CB Pan Chicken Championship Grand Final. The event, dubbed Jamaica's largest cooking competition, is known for transforming the beloved pan chicken into a delicacy providing unique, tasty variations of the local dish; while attracting thousands for the all-day festivities. Now in its ninth season, the competition continues to grow in influence, affording much-needed opportunity for entrants.
Walters and the other winner note that the main ingredient the contestants in Saturday's competition will need is determination. "I run a restaurant in Lititz, before you reach Junction, in Alpart division. It's a breakfast shop where I do breakfast in the mornings, and on the weekends I do fry and jerked chicken. I used to cook outside the primary school in a little shop but they built a wall which stopped children from coming to the shop," notes the St Elizabeth winner.
When he was approached by the Social Development Commission's (SDC) representative (CB's on-the-ground partner in communities across the island), Walters decided to give the competition a try. "We a go mash it up, man," I tell the SDC lady. "When I was going my girlfriend was saying look how long you no do no jerk. I just say have some faith," he recalls. His coconut-jerk chicken was the first to be declared a winner at the CB Pan Chicken Championship Central Regional Elimination.
up to standard
According to Derricia Henry, "Going to the competition I had my mind set on one goal - to win. I made sure my presentations were at a certain level, and that everything was up to standard where my presentation and taste are concerned." The 20-year-old said she began doing pan chicken three years ago at the W&A Restaurant. "When I applied, there was no vacancy on the inside so I usually help jerk. Now, I want to go much further. I want to go as far as this profession will take me. That's why I entered the CB Pan Chicken competition, I wanted the exposure and show my cooking skills," the Manchester winner said. Her barbecue hot and spicy jerk sauce also won first place in the Grace Tomato Ketchup, Grace Ketch Di Taste sauce competition.
Clarendon parish winner and runner-up in the sauce competition, Carlton Jobson, is already planning for the grand finals. Jobson, whose pan chicken is a hit in May Pen, told Food, "Dem haffi trust it cause it smell so good." He said he was sure of his win at the regional competition. "I told myself I was going carry home the trophy so I preparing for it. I going bring it home. I telling you," Jobson said.