Judah Seymour, a twelfth grade student of Akhepran International Academy, beat out thirteen students to win the senior division of the 31st Bahamas Young Chef New Providence District Inter-Island Culinary Competition.
Judah’s winning creations were both vegan; he said his plant-based cooking is inspired by his family and Rastafarian lifestyle.
He totaled 637 points for his flour dish of Breadfruit n’guava Jubilee Twist with Soursop; and 625 points for his rice dish of Stuffed Cabbage Parcel topped with Cole slaw and Plantain (filled with coconut peas n’ rice and fried coconut fish).
Of Judah’s rice dish Chef Joel Johnson said, “This man made fried fish out of jelly coconut and it tasted good … and that in itself is the height of creativity. Chef Aliea Rolle said, “For your fish dish the flavors were spot on … lime, pepper, seasoning. The way you incorporated the fish with the rice, encased with the cabbage was a very beautiful presentation. The flavors went well together. The plantain on top was spot on. In the flour presentation, we got the flavours of the guava, the breadfruit; the texture of the twist was nice … not too sweet, the flavours were well blended. It was good!”
He faced stiff competition from Donny Barr Jr. a student from the Centre for the Deaf, who was injured 45 minutes into the competition, and whose school was a newcomer to the contest.
Donny’s rice dish of Cream Coconut Rice Parfait with beet compote (a sweet and spiced parfait made with a beet compote and topped with avocado mousse and toasted coconut) accumulated some 621.5 points; and his flour dish of Tropical Lobster Bake: A savory flour dish full of aromatic spices filled with a creamy crawfish stew totaled some 633.5 points.
“The flavor profile for his Tropical Lobster Bake was awesome. His combination of flavors married very well. As soon as we tasted it we got the burst of different flavors at the back of our tongues,” said Chief Judge Chef Gerald Rolle.
“I’m not too fond of beets but the flavors were amazing. All of the components he incorporated were well put together. The presentation could have been more refined with more color — green, yellow and herbs.”
In his absence, Chef Rolle advised Donny’s teachers to have him work on improving his presentation.
Trailing behind in 3rd position was Abigail Rolle, an 11th grade student of Anatol Rodgers Senior High School, who aspires to become a Mathematics teacher and dreams of owning a chain of restaurants serving Bahamian cuisine.
The annual contest, sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Technical and Vocational Training (Family and Consumer Science Education Unit), Mahatma Rice and Robin Hood Flour was held Thursday, October 19, 2023 at Anatol Rodgers Senior High School.
The contestants were challenged to create unique dishes using Mahatma Rice and Robin Hood flour products to the theme “Celebrating our Jubilee: Bahamian Cuisine…Our Flavour Profile, Our Food Culture, Our identity.”
Seven judges eagerly observed as the students labored in the kitchen. After listening to the presentations and sampling each dish they decided the fate of each of the students. The panel included: Chief Judge Chef Gerald Rolle, Chef Aliea Rolle, Chef Hazel Rolle, Chef Celeste Smith, Chef Michael Adderley, Chef Joel Johnson and Chef Hanna.
The Food and Nutrition and/or Hospitality and Tourism Studies students were judged on the following: Presentation of recipe and kitchen accuracy, organization/sanitization, preparation, nutritive value, originality and creativity, aesthetic appeal, flavor and taste and overall presentation.
3rd – Abigail Rolle, Anatol Rodgers Senior High School
4th – Lamont Missick, C. R. Walker Senior High School
5th –Jasmine Rolle, Kingsway Academy
6th – Shermia Forbes, C. V. Bethel Senior High School
7th – Camille Stevens, St. John’s College
8th- Philicia Paulino, Doris Johnson Senior High School
9th- Lashae Adderley, Jordan Prince William
10th – Leon Moody, R. M. Bailey Senior High School
11th – Fenrick Rolle Jr., Programme Sure
12th – Alicia Allen, Doris Johnson Senior High School
13th – Shekera Reid, C. C. Sweeting Senior High School
14th – Sergio Meadows, Bahamas Academy
Raquel Turnquest, Education Officer, Family and Consumer Science Education Unit, congratulated all of the students for their participation. “You should all be very proud of yourselves,” she said. “I think this is the highest amount of entrants we’ve ever had in senior high school competitions – 13 schools represented, 14 participants. Thanks to all of the Family and Consumer Science Education teachers and parents/guardians for their support.”
The National Round of the Culinary Competition (finals) for the junior division will be held on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at A. F. Adderley Junior High School.
The National Round of the Culinary Competition for the Senior Division will be held on Thursday, 16 November, 2023 at Anatol Rodgers Senior High School.
The 30th Annual Bahamas Young Chef Awards Ceremony will be held on Friday, November 17th 2023 at Government High School.
By KATHRYN CAMPBELL/Bahamas Information Services