Junior High School students compete in national round of Bahamas Young Chef Competition

(BIS Photos/Mark Ford)

Fourteen junior high school Family and Consumer Science General Studies students who competed in the National Round of the 31st Bahamas Young Chef (Junior) Culinary Competition (Finals) were commended for their efforts.

“You did an amazing job,” said Chef Tevin Kemp, one of the judges for the annual competition held at A. F. Adderley Junior High School Wednesday, November 15, 2023 and organized by the Department of Education in conjunction with Asa H. Pritchard/Mahatma Rice and Robin Hood Flour.

The students who represented schools in New Providence and the Family Islands were: Lael Green, Inagua All Age School; Kymora Dames, San Salvador Central High School; Kellisha Munroe, L. N. Coakley High School; Malia Thacker, Arthur’s Town Comprehensive School; Cerell Simms, North Long Island High School; Shillaya Jean Louis, Jack Hayward Jr. High School; Jusriel Major, Sister Mary Patricia Jr. High School; Christina Lesbott, Central Eleuthera High School; Simmia Lafleur; Preston Albury High School; Clinteea Rolle, Loftus Roker High School; Kayla Derisma, Patrick J. Bethel High; Akeelah Maura, Akhepran International Academy, Samuel Fortune, A. F. Adderley Junior High School; and Aaliyah Cooper, D. W.  Davis Junior High School.

They created dishes using Mahatma Rice and Robin Hood Flour products based on the this year’s theme ‘Celebrating our Jubilee: Bahamian Cuisine…Our Flavour Profile, Our Food Culture, Our Identity.’

Coconut Crab/Avocado Dough Soup and Molton Watermelon/Bean and Rice Treat, Tama Sop Guava Delight and Funky Nassau Crack Conch/Rice Plantain Crepe were some of the dishes prepared by the budding student chefs.

After whipping up their dishes, one-by-one along with their coaches they made their presentations before a panel of professional judges including: Chief Judge Chef Gerald Rolle, Chef Tevin Kemp, Chef Emmanuel Gibson, Chef Michael Adderley, Chef Basil Dean, Chef Edwin Johnson, Chef Jeremy Houghton (Johnson and Wales University) Chef Celeste Smith, Chef Aliea Rolle and Chef Ted Burrows.

During the critique session, Chef Dean encouraged the students to utilize local products and to focus on uniformity. “At the end of the day it adds up to value and perception. [They are] important to the customer. Make sure they look alike because [they] speak to consistency,” he said.

The judges also offered the following suggestions to the students:
– Keep your eyes on the prize. The dishes should reflect flour, rice and Bahamian  products;
– Manage your time;
– Know how to pivot; know how to change course; do not stop if something doesn’t go as planned;
– Study your recipe and spend more time perfecting the food;
– Always make sure the name of the dish is in line with the end dish.

The junior and senior division winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on Friday, November 17, 2023 at Government High School. 

By KATHRYN CAMPBELL/Bahamas Information Services