A farmer's dream come true
The third time was the charm for Denton Levers, a master of Boston-style jerk. Levers has been doing pan chicken at Glencars Jerk Centre in Port Maria for many years, even successfully branching off into catering for schools and events. But he could not conquer the CB Pan Chicken Championship. That was until September 16.
A farmer at heart, Levers explained that he rears chickens, pigs, and many species of birds, including ducks, geese and pigeons, but he is known for his delectable jerked pork, especially during the Christmas season.
"I had entered the CB Pan Chicken Championship two times before, and I wasn't even interested in entering again from about four years ago. But SDC (Social Development Commission) called and asked if I was interested, and I said, 'Sure'," Levers explained.
"The competition is fun; it's exciting. I carry my kids there with me. It's a family event and I like that. Even if you don't win first or second place, you don't lose. You get the pan, the chopping board, the chopper, CB Chicken, Grace Tomato Ketchup, other Grace products, breads from National, Spur Tree sauces, lots of other things. Down to the coal we get. And all the things they give you when you enter the competition, you get to keep."
But Levers left the CB Pan Chicken Championship Eastern Regional Elimination with far more. As parish winner, he also walked away with $40,000 in cash as well as gift packages from Grace Tomato Ketchup, National Bakery, Spur Tree Sauces, and Housekeeper Aluminium Foil.
"I feel really good. Really, really good. It cause us to want to go further to win the national championship. We are going with the same recipe, but we'll try to upgrade it to be ahead of the race," he said.
BEST FOOD FESTIVAL
The second stop in the first round of eliminations, the Eastern Regional, was held at the UDC car park in Portmore and was the first CB Pan Chicken Championship elimination event to run from noon to 8 p.m. The change worked well for the organisers as attendees who had last year shied away from the sun came out in droves to experience the event dubbed Jamaica's best food festival.
Advancing to the championship cook-off from the East with Levers are Stephen Baugh, St Mary runner-up; Norman Chambers and Clive Griffiths, Kingston and St Andrew's winner and runner-up, respectively; St Thomas' Pauline Rainford and Emile Shand; Portland's Delroy Thompson and Duwayne Palmer; and St Catherine's Carlos Thomas and Andrea Harris.
Each parish winner received $40,000 and the runner-up $20,000. Rounding off the awardees for the evening were the Grace Tomato Ketchup 'Grace Ketch Di Taste' Sauce Competition winners: Annie Simpson - first place, Clive Griffiths and Pauline Rainford, and Duwayne Palmer.