Junior and senior high school students receive awards in Bahamas Young Chef Culinary Competition

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Proud winners, Antonesha Thompson (Senior Division), left, and Kristen Ingraham (Junior Division). (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

Jacqueline Gaylene Pinder, Senior Education Officer, expressed the Ministry of Education’s commitment to ensuring that students are equipped with the tools that lead to a “wholesome” lifestyle. Ms. Pinder addressed the Awards Ceremony for the annual Bahamas Young Chef Culinary Competition, March 15, at Marriott Courtyard Hotel.  The ceremony brought to a close the 27th competition in which students from public and independent schools who are enrolled in Family and Consumer Science Education (Food and Nutrition/Hospitality and Tourism) studies competed in three phases: school-based, Family Island districts & New Providence (junior and senior), and the Annual Young Chef Culinary National Competitions. During the final phase the students were required to prepare dishes to represent the 2019 theme which focused on indigenous or native foods of each island represented in the competition. The theme was ‘Creatively Embracing Indigenous Foods Through Innovation for Sustainable Development.’

The Hon. Halson Moultrie, Speaker of the House of Assembly, attended the closing event. Chef Edwin Johnson and Labrano McPhee gave reflections. Tatianna Major and students of C.R. Walker Senior High School provided entertainment. Ms. Pinder told the students that their preparation for the competition will continue to benefit them long after the event.  She said since its inception the Bahamas Young Chef Culinary Competition has challenged the culinary aptitude of thousands of Bahamian students, helping them to fully appreciate the benefits of sharpening their skills in this field. She said past competitors have gone on to win scholarships to attend culinary institutions both home and abroad and the competition has been credited with supplying a consistent flow of talented young chefs to take up positions in the foodservice industry throughout the world. “The idea of producing meals which include indigenous fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices is key to ensuring that The Bahamas meets its commitment of teaching children the significance of healthy lifestyle that can be maintained using local produce,” said Ms. Pinder.

“In order to excel in this competition, you would have spent months refining your culinary skills.  To make it this far you had to demonstrate to your tutors your ability to produce an edible dish using correct cooking techniques while maintaining proper sanitation habits all while generating a final product of high quality and exceptional flavor.” She acknowledged the teachers, coaches, parents, and guardians and applauded the contributions of the 27th annual Young Chef Culinary Competition Committee. She also highlighted the contributions of Asa H. Pritchard Ltd. for continued commitment to the initiative.

In the Senior Division, the winners were:

1st – Antonesha Thompson, C.R. Walker Senior High School, New Providence

2nd – Alissa Swain, Patrick J. Bethel High School in Abaco

3rd – Delcardo Sweeting, St. George’s High School in Grand Bahama

4th – Tatianna Major, Old Bight High School, Cat Island 

In the Junior Division, the winners were:

1st – Kristen Ingraham, Preston H. Albury High School, Eleuthera

2nd – Kendra Estil, D.W.  Davis Junior High, New Providence

3rd – Sierra Turnquest, N.G.M. Major High School, Long Island

4th- Sarah Braynen, East End Junior High School, Grand Bahama

The awards were as follows:

Senior High School division

1st prize – $1,750 scholarship and gold medal

2nd prize – $1,000 scholarship and silver medal

3rd prize – $550 scholarship and bronze medal

4th prize – $350 scholarship and ribbon

Junior High School division

1st prize – $650 and gold medal

2nd prize – $450 and silver medal

3rd prize – $300 and bronze medal

4th prize – $150 and ribbon

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