Big Chef’s Top Chefs show off their Culi­nary Chops!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Rid­ing Saint Lu­cia’s cur­rent wave of in­ter­est in the culi­nary arts, one of the is­land’s most popular restau­rants, Big Chef Steak­house, has in­tro­duced its own ini­tia­tive to en­cour­age ex­cel­lence and in­no­va­tion in cook­ing.

Big Chef’s Top Chef Culi­nary Com­pe­ti­tion was held on Septem­ber 22nd and 23rd with nine com­peti­tors from Big Chef Steak­house and sis­ter restau­rant Ta­pas on the Bay. The event was or­ga­nized by Ex­ec­u­tive Chef Odeen Martin with the support of own­ers Rosie and Marc Joinville, and com­bined se­ri­ous train­ing and as­sess­ment along with a lit­tle fun for the team.

In the style of many popular TV cook­ing com­pe­ti­tions, the chefs were each given a mys­tery bas­ket of items which in­cluded weird and won­der­ful in­gre­di­ents such as cola soft drink, wasabi beans, duck and chicken feet along with ac­cess to a full pantry and a com­mu­nity ta­ble of vegetables, fruits and herbs. Com­pe­ti­tion was fierce, with only an hour and a half to cook an ap­pe­tiser and en­trée us­ing as many of the in­gre­di­ents as pos­si­ble.

De­spite all the fun, this chal­lenge had a se­ri­ous side, and the chefs were marked on pre­sen­ta­tion, taste, tex­ture, ser­vice ex­pe­di­ence, san­i­ta­tion and pro­fes­sional skills. In­ter­views were con­ducted with each con­tes­tant and they were re­quired to re­port on their own per­for­mance as part of the train­ing course. Chef Tre­van Lau­rent and Chef Adrian Sylvester acted as men­tors and were avail­able to as­sist all the con­tes­tants.

The 1st place prize in the in­au­gu­ral Big Chef’s Top Chef Culi­nary Com­pe­ti­tion went to Bran­ford Ed­mund. In sec­ond place was Ben Val­cin; third was Deirdre Isi­dore.

A spe­cial award for Ris­ing Star was pre­sented to new­comer Adrian Louis, who just left George Charles Sec­ondary School in July and is se­ri­ous about forg­ing a ca­reer in the culi­nary arts. His for­mer teacher Genevieve Pierre came to present the award.

Hon­ourable men­tions were: Dela Ed­win, Jan­nel Oc­tave, Ute Wilson, Tri­cia Casimir, Melv­ina Philip.

Each com­peti­tor re­ceived a cer­tifi­cate of par­tic­i­pa­tion and there were tro­phies for the top three win­ners and the Ris­ing Star, who also re­ceived gift vouch­ers for din­ners and day passes for ho­tels.

The Big Chef’s Top Chef Culi­nary Com­pe­ti­tion was spon­sored by Lazy La­goon Fine Food and Bev­er­age Dis­trib­u­tors, who will con­tinue to spon­sor the event ev­ery six months. Sales Man­ager An­thia Mon­plaisir was one of the judges, along with Chef Jean Claude Amedée. Other judges were Chef Odeen Martin, Kareen To­bierre and Big Chef Steak­house own­ers, Rosie and Marc Joinville.

The proud par­tic­i­pants with their cer­tifi­cates: the win­ners as well as the judges

at a small cer­e­mony to hon­our staff achieve­ment last week.

Rosie Joinville (left) with Big Chef’s win­ning chef, one ris­ing star and top chef

Odeen Martin.

Ris­ing Star Adrian Louis is con­grat­u­lated by

teacher Genevieve Pierre.

Bran­ford Ed­mund re­ceives his first place prize

from Chef Odeen.

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