Chef Shorne re­turns to dis­play culi­nary skills at Cap Mai­son’s Celebrity Chef Event

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Faye-Chantelle Mon­de­sir

On Thurs­day Jan­uary 14th, 2016 the Cap Mai­son Re­sort and Spa hosted a press con­fer­ence to in­tro­duce Saint Lu­cian Celebrity Chef Shorne Ben­jamin.

Chef Shorne has re­turned to Saint Lu­cia, fol­low­ing a ten-year ten­ure in the United States, to par­take in a spe­cial Celebrity Guest Chef event at The Cliff at Cap. Though lit­tle is known about him lo­cally, Chef Shorne, who usu­ally re­sides in New York City, is widely rec­og­nized in the USA and the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket­place. Last year he rep­re­sented Saint Lu­cia at the 11th In­ter­na­tional Iron Chef Com­pe­ti­tion in Toronto, Canada, fea­tur­ing promi­nently in main­stream me­dia there.

In a one-on-one in­ter­view with the STAR Chef Shorne dis­closed that one of his ob­jec­tives while here is to use lo­cal farm pro­duce. “The farm­ers here work very hard and I just want to rep­re­sent them for their hard work and present a good meal on a plate by us­ing a lot of good, lo­cal pro­duce,” he said. One of his favoured lo­cal pro­duce is the christophene. When asked why he replied: “I think some­times it is not re­ally used, so I am go­ing to use my culi­nary abil­ity and art­work to show­case this, in ad­di­tion to the menu I have.”

Ross Steven­son, Gen­eral Man­ager of Cap Mai­son, dis­closed on Thurs­day that work­ing with Chef Shorne marks the start of the re­sort’s 2016 guest chef se­ries: “Ev­ery year in Jan­uary, Fe­bru­ary, March we cre­ate a se­ries with guest chefs and in­vite chefs from around the world to cook and bring some of their spe­cialty items and skills for the gen­eral pub­lic of Saint Lu­cia and the guests stay­ing at the ho­tel to en­joy. This is the se­cond time that we have been able to con­vince a Saint Lu­cian na­tional to come back to their roots.”

Steven­son added: “This is go­ing to at­tract Saint Lu­cians vis­it­ing the is­land in ad­di­tion to Saint Lu­cians liv­ing on the is­land too. And I think why it does that is be­cause it creates that dif­fer­ence, it creates an in­ter­est, es­pe­cially when we have a Saint Lu­cian who has worked in dif­fer­ent restau­rants in the US cre­at­ing dif­fer­ent skills and in­flu­ences.”

Said Chef Shorne: “I am go­ing to use pretty much what I have learnt and my her­itage and bring it back to Saint Lu­cia. I have looked at the menu at The Cliff at Cap Mai­son and it is pretty much sim­i­lar to what I have been do­ing in the US and I am ex­cited about go­ing back to my roots and en­sur­ing that there is vi­brancy.” He added: “I am hum­ble and would like ev­ery­one to know me for my food rather than as ‘Chef Shorne’.”

When asked about his spe­cial­ties, Chef Shorne told the STAR, “I took the con­cept of ox­tail, which is Caribbean­based, mar­keted in New York; and there were ap­prox­i­mately 2,000 peo­ple who tried it and they loved it. My in­ten­tion was to trans­form the ox­tail: I pre­pared it with ragout, egg­plant, mar­malade and they were sim­ply en­grossed and cu­ri­ous as to what ox­tail was. I was happy to rep­re­sent me and, of course, Saint Lu­cia.”

Chef Shorne in­tends to use items he re­mem­bers while grow­ing up as a child in Saint Lu­cia. “Some­thing I would like to high­light is the al­mond, some­thing which is very com­mon in Saint Lu­cia. As a young boy, I used to eat those when I was hun­gry. And so I thought, ‘How can I trans­form this item, which is com­mon in Saint Lu­cia, into a dish?’ And so I have de­cided to do a soup with it,” he said with a smile.

Chef Shorne in­her­ited his culi­nary flare from his grand­mother who owned a restau­rant over­look­ing the ocean in Soufriere. His fam­ily hails from Choiseul and Soufriere but he was born in Cas­tries and resided in En­tre­pot. He at­tended the Leon Hess Com­pre­hen­sive Sec­ondary School and grad­u­ated in 1987, re­main­ing on is­land for a year be­fore trav­el­ling abroad. His pro­fes­sional ca­reer blos­somed post grad­u­a­tion from the pres­ti­gious French Culi­nary In­sti­tute, New York. He worked with fa­mous Mas­ter Chef Jean Ge­orge at the pop­u­lar ABC Restau­rant, NYC; along­side James Jermyn at the award­win­ning restau­rant Maloney & Por­celli, and also at the well- known Lower East Side NYC con­tem­po­rary restau­rant Falai.

Shorne is the co-founder of ShorCuli­naire Inc., Pri­vate Chef and Cater­ing Ser­vices.

Chef Shorne Ben­jamin is here in Saint Lu­cia as part of

Cap Mai­son’s on­go­ing guest chef se­ries.

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