Finalists gear for saltfish challenge

Published: Thursday | February 12, 2009

One of the finalists of the Seafood from Norway Culinary Challenge 2009, Richard Pinnock (left), chef, Jamaica Pegasus, displays his saltfish dish, bolinhos de baculao (saltfish balls) alongside renowned Brazilian chef Dada at the Saltfish Culinary Adventure which was conducted by chef Dada last year.

The inaugural 'Saltfish from Norway' Culinary Challenge 2009' will be held on Tuesday, February 17, at Alhambra Inn, St Andrew.

Eleven of the island's leading chefs will present their innovative gourmet saltfish recipes in the quest for the main prize of a trip to Norway. The winner will also receive a gold medal.

The chef who places second will receive a medal and US$400 and the third place winner will get a medal and US$250. All 11 recipes will be featured in a cookbook to be published by the Norweigan Seafood Council (NRSC).

Culinary workshops

The challenge follows on the successful culinary workshops sponsored by Seafood from Norway, dubbed the 'Saltfish Culinary Adventure'.

The three one-day exclusive workshops, held at the Hilton Kingston Jamaica last September, were led by famed Brazilian culinary artist, Chef Dada, who shared new and non-traditional methods of creating tasty, gourmet style saltfish dishes.

More than 30 chefs attended the workshop and they were encouraged to enter the contest and submit an original and innovative dish featuring the Norwegian saltfish.

Svein Wara, NRSC marketing manager, said the recipe challenge is a logical progression in the efforts to encourage the creative and popular use of saltfish.

"Through initiatives such as the Saltfish Culinary Challenge," Wara stated, "the council intends to build awareness of the product and promote its value and versatility".

Judges for the event are Stephanie Scott, chief judge of SSCO Event Management; Svein Wara, NRSC marketing manager; Barbara Ellington, Lifestyle Editor, The Gleaner and Dr. Heather Little-White, nutritionist and chef.

The main criteria for judging are creativity/originality, taste/flavour and presentation.

A serving of the three dishes made at the Culinary Adventure 2008 workshop. This is a combination of saltfish cream and pasta along with the saltfish salad.

The Eleven finalists

Jose Riquelme, Sunset Resorts

Colin Hylton, Guilt Trip

Anthony Miller, Couples Swept Away

Mark Dekrines,Courtleigh Hotel

Christopher Channer, Courtleigh Hotel

Richard Pinnock, Jamaica Pegasus

Damian Coburn, Sandals Montego Bay

Virginia Burke, Walkerswood

Debe Chen, caterer

Oji Jaja, Jaja's Culinary Service

Sue-Ann Montague, Shasuz Catering.