Keisha Shakespeare-Blackmore, Staff Reporter
For years Jamaican chefs have competed in high-profile culinary competitions abroad, such as Taste of the Caribbean. However, this time around, they will get to showcase their skills in a similarly prestigious competition, Taste of Jamaica, right here on the island.
Taste of Jamaica is being organised by the Culinary Federation of Jamaica (CFJ) and will be held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on October 15 and 16. The competition chair is Chef Ravi Anne from the Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort & Spa. Other committee members are: Chef Steve Sowa, Half Moon; Chef Michael Dannecker, Hilton Rose Hall; Chef Daniel Schweizer, Goddard Catering; Chef Dennis Macintosh, president CFJ; Chef Mark Cole, SuperClubs; Chef Kevin Broderick, Rock House & Push Cart; Chef Anthony Miller, Couples & Swept Away; Cara Mitchell, secretary; Phillip Stewart, Caribbean Commercial Services; Richard Dennis, Wican Limited and Delwin Rochester, Jamaica Tourist Board.
Chef Ravi explained to Food that the competition is being held as a means of motivating young chefs. The CFJ is committed to bringing out excellence in young chefs and motivating them to reach their goals while showcasing their talents locally and internationally.
"Every day cooks and chefs do their best in their individual kitchens at their places of work, but the competition will bring their talent, skills and professionalism to a new level," added Chef Ravi.
The affable chef noted that, for the competition, there will be 100 participants and the Jamaican National Chef Team that will go on to compete in the Taste of the Caribbean 2012 will be chosen from the competition. The Taste of the Caribbean is an international event hosted by Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, an event in which chefs from all over the Caribbean compete for titles such as chef of the year, pastry chef, among others.
Chef Ravi said that patrons coming out to the event get a chance to be blown away by chefs excelling in the kitchen and to sample delectable food from the sponsored booths at a low cost.
For adults it is $400 for a day, $600 for both days; students with ID will pay $300 for one day and $400 for both days. Chef Ravi noted that the event will be held annually and he hopes that it will be bigger and better each year.