Sat | Nov 17, 2018

'Young Chefs' - Latoya Panton's dreams come to TV

Published:Thursday | June 9, 2016 | 12:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence
Audi’s Etus Coleman interacts with young Chef Alexxandria McPherson.
Kisha and Kurt Anderson with their son and contestant, Chef Matthew.
Kamaal Azan (left), with wife Carmela, takes a cute photograph with the self-proclaimed troublemaker of the bunch, Chef Noah.
The woman with the vision and talent, Chef Latoya Panton.
From left: Lezanne Azan, accompanied by Kamaal Azan and Jon Azan, receives her giveaway from Hunts Business Manager and Massy representative Kandise Morgan-Small.
Chef Latoya Panton’s youngest student, Taanvir Vaswani and his grandmother, Veenal.
Aditi Dhiman and son Karan (right) supports Aman, the chef of the family.
Kayann Lewis (left) lends her support to her lovely daughter, Chef Andrica Morris.

From teaching a 16-year-old to forming a cooking club and now her own reality cooking show, chef Latoya Panton set no limitations on herself. Now, she has collaborated with BIGGA, and developed Jamaica's first reality cooking show Young Chef.

The Audi showroom on Oxford Road in St Andrew was transformed into the perfect foodie haven and fun room for the children, at Tuesday's launch of the show. Formalities began with BIGGA's Kimberly Lawson taking charge. Of the 13 contestants, none is over the age of 11. They introduced themselves and revealed their favourite dish to prepare. The youngsters named dishes such as shrimp Alfredo, steak, and ackee and salt fish pizza.

Panton gave those gathered a taste of what the programme would be like, by showing some behind-the-scenes footage. In the clip, the youngsters managed knives and chopped vegetables faster than many adults. Guests and proud parents watched in awe. The television show will have the children competing preparing dishes each week with someone being eliminated at the end of each episode.

Panton revealed that her young chef club started with her inviting the neighbourhood children over to cook in her garage on a two-burner stove, before it gradually turned into a class. She loved helping the children not only develop a love for the kitchen, but to gain confidence.

The night also included giveaways from Audi, Azan's Supercenter, Hunts, and Excelsior. Chi Ching Ching performed his song 'Breadfruit' and had the contestants show off some dance moves.

Young Chef will be broadcast every Sunday at 5:30 p.m. on TVJ starting Sunday, June 12.