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By Zaya Williams
The inaugural Taste of Wadadli Junior Chef Cook-Off Competition’s first preliminary phase has concluded, unveiling two remarkable schools heading to the finals.
The competition featured nine secondary schools divided into two groups, and after intense culinary battles, the Seventh Day Adventist School and the Sir McChesney George High School emerged victorious.
The Seventh Day Adventist School competed against strong the All Saints Secondary School, Princess Margaret School, Pares Secondary School, and the Antigua Grammar School.
The Sir McChesney George High School secured victory against Glanvilles Secondary, St. Mary’s Secondary, and the Sir Novelle Richards Academy.
In the first group, the Seventh Day Adventist School showcased their culinary skills, preparing a flavorfulPepperpot and Fungi.
This winning dish, crafted by Jr. Chef Janiya Murphy with support from Sommah Martin and guided by teacher Nicola Reefe-Babb, garnered praise for its authenticity, uniqueness, creativity, taste, and presentation. The entire team’s dedication to cleanliness, organization, and meticulous planning shone through.
In the second group, the Sir McChesney George High School demonstrated their culinary prowess with a Pepperpot dip accompanied by fungi chips.
Jr. Chef Gregoryann Thomas, with assistance from Aria Teague and under the guidance of teacher Jahmeel Greaux, created a memorable dish. The fungi chips offered a delightful crunch and flavor, adding to the dish’s overall appeal.
Head Judge for Round 1, Olvanah Burnette, the Executive Sous Chef at Blue Waters Resort & Spa, applauded the young chefs for their exceptional performance. She emphasized the importance of using traditional local ingredients and herbs to craft dishes that truly stand out.
Executive Chef Jeremiah Nathaniel from Galley Bay Resort & Spa, serving as the Head Judge, openly expressed his admiration for the Junior Chefs. He highlighted the potential of some dishes to be featured on the menus of hotels across Antigua and Barbuda.
The second preliminary phase of the competition is scheduled for Monday, with the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute, Antigua State College, Clarehall Secondary School, Jennings Secondary School, and Ottos Comprehensive School participating in the morning session.
In the afternoon, Christ the King High School, The Antigua Girls High School, Irene B. Williams School, and St. Joseph’s Academy will compete.
The winners from these rounds will advance to the finals on December 4. The victorious school will receive a prize of EC$10,000 to enhance their Home Economics facilities, and the winning student will earn the opportunity to represent Team Antigua and Barbuda at the prestigious Taste of the Caribbean event in Miami in 2024.