Patsy Hewitt enters PAN 2019 to honour late mother
The PAN competition, hosted by CB Foods, means more than just treating folks to good-tasting meals. It embodies the Jamaican spirit and the desire to move forward and to overcome. This is apparent in Manchester’s Patsy Hewitt, who placed second in her parish at PAN 2019 Regional 2, held at Independence Park, St Elizabeth. The competition, scaled down to a private cook-off, was concluded on Saturday, September 28.
Although she describes herself as a natural chef, she credits her mother for having a tremendous influence over her life and craft. Ms Taylor passed away some years ago, but not before telling her daughter that if she persists, one day she may even enter the PAN chicken competition.
“That’s what she told me. She said, ‘One day you might even get into the competition; even if it’s after I’m gone. One day you will make it’,” shared an emotional Hewitt, recalling the woman who taught her everything she knows.
Hewitt credits her mother with imparting proper kitchen etiquette to her and also fuelling her drive in the kitchen. The mother and daughter duo had once been business partners.
“My mother used to get fish from Alligator Pond; I would use CB chicken and do my thing. She did the frying while I jerked chicken. Through everything, she taught me so much, man. I tell you, so much. I don’t like to remember it because sometimes it’s so painful,” said Hewitt, fighting back tears.
“And anything I did that wasn’t right, she never hesitated to tell me,” she added.
From a young age, Patsy learned what it means to persevere. For years, her work in the kitchen has been an avid expression of that progressive spirit. “From I was born, I wanted to go into the kitchen. For years I worked in restaurants with people from my community. I always wanted to do my thing for myself ... I’m always pushing forward,” she said, noting that she would often jerk chicken on Fridays and Saturdays in her hometown of Greenvale.
Having placed second in her parish, Patsy Hewitt is looking to go all-out for the PAN 2019 grand final, set for Sunday, October 27, in St Ann. Like the many chefs before her, she is hoping to claim the cash prize, and ultimately invest in herself and her business. She said:
“If I win, I’m going to do more in the business; the jerk business. I want to expand my thing and do better for myself. I knew I would make it through Regional 2. I told myself if it’s even second place, and see, I’m here now.”