Thu | Nov 14, 2019

Community chef Kemar Stewart vies to win PAN 2019

Published:Thursday | September 19, 2019 | 12:11 AM
The CB Foods mascot celebrates with Kemar Stewart (centre) and Nicole Hall, assistant brand manager, CB Foods, at the PAN 2019 Regional One Competition in August.
Trelawny’s first runner-up, Kemar Stewart, in his zone at the PAN 2019 Regional One Competition.
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As many contestants vie for the PAN 2019 championship title, community support plays a vital part of their success during the event.

Top chef Kemar Stewart, hails from the parish of Trelawny, in where he placed second at the Regional One Competition. He is set on taking home the cash prize at the Grand Finals on October 26.

Stewart has the unwavering support of friends and family. In fact, it was a relative who suggested he join the PAN 2019 competition, hosted by CB Foods. “My uncle was the one who suggested the idea to me. I always wanted to open a restaurant, so when I saw the opportunity I decided to use this platform to showcase my talent. It also helps that my community is behind me,” said Stewart.

The chef did not win the trust of his community on a whim. He earned it by cooking at family get-togethers and church functions, such as barbecues, and more. He is at times tasked with organizing these events as well.

Proud of being able to serve his community utilising his culinary gift, he remains active in the community church. His pastor is one of the biggest fans of his cooking for its rich flavours and top-of-the line presentation. He imagines judges at the PAN 2019 Regional One competition were impressed with his offering for similar reasons.

Presentation

“I think people like the taste of the food, but also the presentation; the way I decorate the plate. The way it looks and tastes is important,” shared Stewart.

The outpouring of support from his community and family is by no means one-sided.

“I help out at my family’s restaurant, Tarriannah’s, on Slipe Road in Kingston. It’s the reason I’m in Kingston now. Since before the competition started, I’ve been here lending a hand where I can,” he explained.

It’s no wonder his relatives and good friends are excited about his entering PAN 2019. Supporters came out in droves to see him compete in the Regional One leg of the competition: relatives and friends from Trelawny and Kingston, with some people flying in from Canada to show their support.

Confident

Stewart is confident that he will live up to their expectations.

“I think the judges were impressed with the taste of my pan chicken.

The presentation was pretty good too, not perfect, but I did pretty good. I was confident that I would place first in my parish, but I think I know where I went wrong.”

His intent is to make up for it at the Grand Finals. “At first, when I was entering, I was nervous. I didn’t know what judges were looking for; I didn’t know what to expect.

There were certain things I wanted to try out with the seasoning and ting. I will do that at finals,” he added.

Whether or not he takes home the big prize at the Grand Finals, one thing is for certain: Kemar Stewart is on the right path to fulfilling his dream!