The competition was fierce, the atmosphere tense as both culinary teams and individuals from tertiary institutions, hotels and other culinary outfits vied for the coveted Best In Category awards which included among others, Chef Of The Year, Best Use Of Beef, Ice Carver Of The Year, Bartender Of The Year.
Competitiors from Sandals, Hilton Rosehall, Grand Palladium, Rock House, The Jamaica Pegasus, Holiday Inn, Knutsford Court, Couples Sans Souci, Couples Tower Isle, Goddard Catering , The Heart College Of Hospitality, Montego Bay Community College, Utech, Kenilworth & The Montego Bay Convention Center pulled out all the stops, tantalizing both our noses and tastebuds with their delightful creations.
The two day competition/expo also included cooking demos & the sampling of sponsors products. Of particular note was the vast improvement in the bar competition presentations.
Drinks & Desserts
The top achievers in Taste of Jamaica 2014, staged by The Culinary Federation of Jamaica,, will begin training almost immediately for next year’s Taste of The Caribbean Competition in Miami where they will compete for Top Caribbean Culinary Bragging Rights.
Chef Of The Year - Rochelle Grindley
Bartender Of The Year - Adrian Johnson
Pastry Chef Of The Year - Shakera Cassie
Junior Pastry Chef of the year Tiffany Grant
Ice Carver Of The Year - Rohan Henry
Best Show Piece Display - Shevon Timol
Chocolate Competition - Errol Sewell
Seafood Competition - Silverio Marrone
Pork Competition - Marlon Brown
Chicken Competition - Daven Willlis
Beef Competition Micheal Thomas
Senior Team Competition - Couples Sans Souci
Teritiary/Vocational Team - Utech
Mystery Basket - Gregory Goffe
Fruit and Veg Competition - Christopher Hobson
Wedding Cakes Sharyne Stultz
1. What is your favourite local ingredient? Pimento ...believe it or not the aroma accentuates any protein and preserves the flavours.
2. Who or What has influenced your style?
Jamaica is known for its melting pot.. as such growing up here has shown me to respect all cuisines and as such combine all cuisines to formulate my own sense on style and diversity. I cook from adjoining various cultural flavors adding our CARIBBEAN FLAIR greatly.
3. What is your favourite international flavor/cuisine?
I don't have a favourite international flavour or cuisine. I accept all palates and flavours thereby loving them all
4. What award or achievement would you like to accomplish?
I would love to attain the title of Caribbean Chef of the Year notably "FEMALE". My aim is to be recognized for my work through my passion and skill set. I dont want to be seen as a woman who dominates but as a chef who does
5. If you had to do it all over again...what would you do differently?
I definitely would not do any thing differently. All mistakes are lessons to be learnt and as such I am the person who I am today because of those lessons. I was young and motivated and therefore inspired to do great no matter the challenges. I'm a fighter, survivor, a soul sister who just loves what she does no matter the challenges. I aim to set the bar for young and upcoming female chefs.
6. What is your worst kitchen disaster?
Being injured the day before an important competition to determine who would represent Jamaica for the World Skills 2011 competition in London. I was determined I would not go down without a fight, thereby competing injured. In doing so I further aggravated my severely bruised finger that had been cut to the nerve by opening an oven to place my dish in. While inserting the dish into the oven my finger got squeezed and I let go of the door closing it on my other hand and getting burnt badly, nonetheless I still pulled through.
7. Other than cooking, what are some of your passions?
I love the medical field... I like helping individuals requiring attention with injuries. I also have a passion for modeling.
CHEF GRINDLEY'S COOKING TIP TO THE AVERAGE COOK
The secret to good tasting food is cooking from the heart where love transcends into great flavors and a balance is met.
Join us in wishing Rochelle every success at the Taste Of The Caribbean 2015! May your dreams come through(true)!
To learn more about Chef Grindley see her profile page at http://www.popupgourmetjamaica.com/sous-chef-rochelle-grindley.html
The Pop Up Gourmet Jamaica Team