It was the Pan Seared Snapper Fillet with Jackfruit and Mango Salsa served with Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Polenta and Glazed Vegetables whipped up by Romain Stanley of the HEART Academy that earned him the Golden Dutchie Award and $100, 000 at the 2014 Dutchie Culinary Festival.
The Dutchie Culinary Festival, held as part of the Jamaica Festival celebrations at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre saw other impressive winners including Sakura Watson who copped the overall second place for $50,000 and a Chef Tool Set for her dish, Fish Fillet in Curry Coconut Sauce served with Garlic Mashed Potato and Fruit Salsa. She also won the first place prize in the Dessert Category with her entry, Vanilla Coconut Cheesecake with Avocado Moose earning her a Culinary Course from the University of Technology. Mark Clarke was the second place winner in the Dessert Category which attracted a $20, 000 cash award.
Organized by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, an agency of the Ministry of Youth and Culture with the aim of showcasing the diversity of Jamaican foods in creative and artistic ways, the Dutchie Culinary Festival showcased live cooking demonstrations, cooking competitions, celebrity cook-off and mixology competitions, vegetable, fruit and ice carvings displays and a showcase of Jamaican produces cooked in various ways.
The celebrity cook-off was one of the highlights of the Day which featured Television & Radio Host, Emprezz Golding, Radio Personality, Tricia ‘ZJ Sparks’ Spence, Singer Kelissa McDonald, actor Akeem Mignott and Jamaica Teacher’s Association President Dr. Mark Nicely. After an hour and half of seasoning, tasting and simmering, it was Emprezz Golding who won the competition with her Plantain and Rosemary in Red Wine Pasta served with Garlic Pumpkin Rundown and Fish Damoda.
An overjoyed Emprezz who won $100, 000 for her charity project noted that “for someone who has given her entire life to charity, the cash prize is perfect to support the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) which focuses on prison programmes and ministries, literacy classes and a Half Way House for young men.”
The Dutchie Culinary Festival was added to the Jamaica Festival celebrations and gave semi professionals from colleges, training institutes, restaurants and budding chefs a platform for international exposure.