PAN Finals this Sunday
This Sunday, October 30, the 28 finalists (including two wild cards) of PAN 2016 will compete for the coveted title of Grand Champion in a battle of innovation and will.
Closing out the Regional level, the battle lines have been drawn and the competitors have been busy sharpening their skills and perfecting their recipes.
With winnings totalling over $1 million in cash and prizes for the champion (the biggest jackpot in the 11-year history of the competition), each competitor is giving their all to ensure they taste victory. In addition to a business development grant from Jamaica National, CB Foods will also provide one year's supply of chicken; National Baking Company will provide a year's supply of hard dough bread; and Miracle Tomato Ketchup courtesy of Miracle. Also at stake are gifts from Red Stripe, Digicel, Walkerswood, and Pepsi, to name a few.
Wayne Morgan, who finished first place at Regional two for Kingston and St Andrew, says he has been in preparation mode for the finals.
"It's either go hard or go home. My game plan is to win. But let's see what happens," the 50-year-old from Red Hills Road explained.
Trelawny's Charlette Nelson, who won first place for her parish at Regional two, says her strength lies in her sauces and seasoning.
"What makes my chicken special is the sauce and the seasoning. That's what I am taking into the finals," she said.
Elgin Town, Hanover resident Van Dyke Bernard, who won first place for his parish and also won the Miracle Tomato Ketchup Tallawah Sauce competition, is confident of victory.
I WILL WIN
"I am going to do my best, and by doing my best, I know I will win," the 36-year-old explained.
When she got the call that she was a wild card, St Catherine resident Audrea Charlton was overcome with joy. "I was nervous at first but I am happy to be back in the competition. I entered to gain exposure because this is something that I do for a living," explained Charlton.
Since she was made redundant from her job at the JUTC nine years ago, Charlton has been doing pan chicken on weekends.
According to Janelle Brown, marketing manager at Continental Baking Company, "As another PAN event draws to a close, Continental Baking Company is again pleased to have partnered with CB Foods on the largest and most anticipated annual food festival. The variety, style and culinary flavours of the various pan chicken entrepreneurs always add so much to the event. CBC is proud to have been a major partner of this event, and we look forward to PAN 2017, which is sure to be even more exciting and enjoyable."
Gillian Hyde, general manager, JN Small Business Loans, whose company provides business grants to the top three winners at the grand finals, reaffirmed the brand's continued support of the event.
"Over the years, PAN has provided small-scale jerk vendors with access to opportunities to grow their operations. This has allowed many of the entrants to evolve their businesses from a single jerk pan to having multiple pans in various locations, expand their offerings and in some instances improve their locations. It was this desire to see more persons develop as entrepreneurs that prompted JNSBL to become part of PAN 2016. We believe that through training and advice, we can also assist many of the vendors to become more successful."