Fri | Jan 21, 2022

JCDC culinary workshops to push originality

Published:Thursday | March 21, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Chef Kimarley Russell poses with his gold medal-winning fruit carving at a previously held Eastern Regional Culinary Championship.
Charlemont High School students display their wines and preserves entries at a previously held Eastern Regional Culinary Championship.

The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) will host eight developmental workshops across the island ahead of the 2019 staging of the Jamaica Culinary Arts Competition and Exhibition. The workshops run from Wednesday, March 20, through to Tuesday, April 9, in preparation for Jamaica’s premier culinary arts competition.

A signature programme on the JCDC’s annual calendar, the Jamaica Culinary Arts Competition and Exhibition has aimed to hone the skills and knowledge of chefs, winemakers and other culinary entrepreneurs across the island for over five decades.

Jane Jerry, culinary arts specialist at the JCDC, notes that in addition to preparing potential participants for the upcoming competition, creativity and originality will be high up on the menu of planned areas to be covered during the workshops.

“Coming to these sessions will be a unique experience for participants, in that the workshops will help them get a feel of what the competition will be like. Also, we are really pushing originality this year; we don’t want participants simply taking ideas for recipes off the internet and replicating them. The aim is to bring out their creativity and to inspire innovation in contestants,” Jerry said.

Jerry further said that one way in which the workshops aim to inspire creativity in participants is through a unique demonstration involving the jackfruit.

“We are looking to use the jackfruit seed, for example, as a product. I think participants will find the demonstrations insightful as well as invaluable as it relates to their potential entries into the competition,” Jerry said.

The western region saw the first of its two workshops, covering the parishes of Hanover and Westmoreland, yesterday at the Savanna-la-Mar United Church Hall, Beckford Street, Westmoreland. A second set of workshops are set for today at the Western Hospitality Institute, Dome Street, Montego Bay, and will cover the parishes of Trelawny and St James.

The central region will host its workshop on Tuesday, March 26, at the St Mark’s Anglican Church Hall, Mandeville, Manchester, and will cover the parishes of St Elizabeth, Manchester and Clarendon.

The northern region will host two workshops, the first in Portland on Wednesday, March 27, at Shan Shy Beach Complex in Port Antonio; and the second, covering the parishes of St Ann and St Mary, will be held at the St Mary Anglican Church Hall, Port Maria, St Mary on Thursday, April 4.

The eastern region, covering the parishes of St Thomas, St Catherine, and Kingston & St Andrew, will see three workshops being held. St Thomas will host the first workshop on Tuesday, April 2, at the Anglican Church Hall in Morant Bay. Kingston & St Andrew will follow with its workshop on Wednesday, April 3, at the Boulevard Baptist Church Hall, 2 Washington Blvd, Kingston 20. St Catherine will host the final workshop for the region on Tuesday, April 9, at the Farmers’ Training Centre, Twickenham Park, Spanish Town.

Workshop participants can expect to learn from culinary experts about the new Culinary Handbook, a guide aimed at helping aspiring Culinary champions on their journey to showcasing their delectable works; an outline of this year’s competition; and invaluable information on how best to prepare themselves for entry.