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Young chefs rise to the challenge in Bodden Town

| 14/12/2016 | 0 Comments
CNS Local Life

L-R) James Myles (Youth Services Unit), Team Bradley’s Tarec Francis and Bradley McLaughlin; Team John Gray’s Rianna Jones and Shaelah Parchment Henry; and judge Georganne Rankine

(CNS Local Life): Two teams of young chefs battled it out for the title of Bodden Town District Cook-Off Champions on Saturday, 10 December 2016. Organised by the Youth Services Unit, the event was held at the Stacy Watler Pavilion in Lower Valley. The teams each prepared a chili appetiser, a lionfish entrée and a cold drink.

Competing were Team Bradley (Bradley McLaughlin, 14; and Tarec Francis, 15) and Team John Gray (Shaelah Parchment Henry, 12; and Rianna Jones, 11), using stoves donated by Home Gas.

The contestants squared off in front of an audience who had not only come to cheer and support but were also eager to judge the chili appetiser in the people’s vote portion of the contest. Team Bradley lightly sautéed the lionfish main, which was served with a fresh mango salsa made with sweet peppers, mangoes, onion and cilantro on a bed of white rice, accompanied by a tamarind drink.

Team John Gray countered with pan-fried lionfish served on a bed of white rice and a garden salad. Their drink was fresh orange juice with ginger.

After tasting and conferring, the event’s judges – Georganne Rankine, national youth culinary coordinator; and Brittney Bodden, national youth culinary prefect – found in favour of Team Bradley. The team also won the people’s vote for their chili dish.

Ronald Francis, who was supporting his son, said, “Tarec and Bradley weren’t at all nervous before the competition started and worked together well, while one cooked the other was sous chef and vice versa.

“According to the judges it was a fairly close-run thing. Both Brad and Tarec know that they’re going to have to cook out of their skins to win the national contest.”

As well as receiving personalised chef jackets, Team Bradley earned the title of Bodden Town Youth Cook-Off champions and entry into the National Youth Cook-Off at the Agriculture Show in March next year. The six teams taking part will have up to two hours to prepare a three-course meal, including a Caymanian dessert and drink, and will be coached by a professional chef.

The George Town District Cook-Off takes place on Monday, 23 January 2017 after the National Heroes Day festivities.

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Category: Food, Youth

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