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Vincy Flavours 2006 a huge success

Vincy Flavours 2006 a huge success


by Adrian Codogan Dec.15.06

From firesides to gas stoves and traditional to international Kingstown awoke to the aroma of Vincy Flavours 2006. Amidst the hustle and bustle and background music from Heritage Square, bartenders and culinary artists got down to battle for the ultimate #1.

“We have to strive towards a world standard cuisine which would add toward the menu of reasons to come and visit St Vincent and the Grenadines”, said Culture Minister Rene Baptiste. “This display exhibits the excellent usage that we could make of our local foods, vegetables and fruits in creating unique Vincentian culinary delights, I applaud the SVG Hotel and Tourism Association for taking this initiative and I look forward to working with them in the future”, she further stated.{{more}}

Held under the theme “From whence we came” the event saw participation from several institutions groups and individuals. The Fancy Tourism Association stood out with mouth-watering potato puddings and dookunas, farine and cassava-bread baked on the spot on copper and fireside.

In crisp white tunics with blue borders, the competitors churned out a variety of savory delights while the judges with stern faces paid close attention. Frying pans sizzled and blenders squealed as the crowd cheered each new creation from locally grown dasheen, carrots, cabbage and peppers.

Local manufacturers St Vincent Distillers Ltd, Erica Country Style and Tropical Nature Products makers of D’Andre wines were selling their products and offering free samples.

Bartender Lennon Sprott of Raffle Resorts (RR) who won the top position as the Master Bartender wooed the crowd with a pumpkin carving in the shape of an intricate arch with birds perched on top and a dasheen carving in the form of a cocktail glass in which he served dasheen punch – his own creation. Champaign made by mixing Gonsalves black wine and ginger ale was a big hit while non-alcoholic passion punch also made a splash. Finished foods and beverages were displayed on a side table.

Chef Of the Year 2005 McLean “Shabba” Sampson, a Sous Chef at RR and bronze medallist at Miami’s Taste of the Caribbean said “I did not compete this year I wanted to give the younger guys a chance it’s not all about me. This year we are creating fusion, taking two starches and making it one marrying the flavours and making local foods look real expensive.”

Ehab Rashwan Food and Beverage manager at the five star resort told SEARCHLIGHT, “We don’t care about awards, I am very proud of my guys they work very hard and anyone of them can handle a kitchen by himself anywhere in the world, in my company I have to train someone to take my place before I can get promoted, that’s the way it goes”.

The evening culminated with a fierce rumble between Edward Blucher of RR who won the Master Pastry competition and Keith “Chucky” Taylor a freelance chef of Rose Place Bottom Town, who told SEARCHLIGHT that he started his career 19 years ago in a Chinese restaurant in St Croix. He also worked Cotton House and Firefly in Mustique and on Youngs Island.

“I am a ghetto chef,” while expertly whipping a vinegrete dressing,”you see when I am in the kitchen is all business, Ah want to show the youths ah difference, the guns and violence Ah don’t believe in, I have two kids the boy likes to cook and the girl likes to eat”.

The winners at Vincy Flavours 2006 will represent SVG at Taste of the Caribbean in Miami next year.

There were 18 winners in six categories. Placing first in the Master Bartender categories was Lennon Sprott with niel DaSilva second and King Fields third. The Junior Bartender was awarded to Wendy Simmons with Jannelle Lavia second. The Master Chef was Christopher John while Gifford Soleyn was second and keith Taylor and Nesta Brown tied in third position. The Master Pastry Chef was Edward Blucher with Marrolin Ollivierre placing second. The Senior Chef was named as Rodal Miller with Gail Ann Porter second and Janelle Lavia third while the Junior Chef was won by Janelle John and in second position was Iantia Sam with Juanna Holder and Tamika Caesar tied in third position.