Food/Cooking

Bahamian chef to participate in Food Network event

August 16, 2014

Chicago will get a taste of The Bahamas next month as Bahamian chef Simeon Hall Jr. will treat participants of a special Food Network concert at the Ravina Festival to Bahamian culinary delights.The concert, which will be held on September 20, will attract thousands of food lovers to Chicago. It's the first time that The Bahamas will participate in the event.Chef Hall will be among 75 top chefs and will participate in the "Hot Hot" luncheon prepared by the Islands of The Bahamas."We are going to represent The Bahamas, and we have three categories that we are working with. One of them is a VIP event for 300 people and a major event for 1,200 people and then there is something even bigger than that. I am just working along with the Food Network kitchen to produce," said Hall.

"It is a great privilege but first and foremost representing The Bahamas anywhere is fantastic. We are doing everything uniquely Bahamian...down home. We will be preparing conch chowder, old fashioned peas and rice, dried conch, and we are doing a twist on a dish, which is a little bit more modern but it is still uniquely Bahamian. Everything that we are doing is going to be uniquely Bahamian."The concert will also draw music lovers to its doors as John Mayer will be performing. A Bahamian DJ that lives in Chicago will perform at one of the scheduled events.

"It's going to be very Bahamian, and we plan to take some Bahamian props over there and we want it to feel very local because we are taking these things over there to sell The Bahamas," said Hall.The chef representing The Bahamas has an extensive resume from working as an executive chef, food and beverage manager, executive sous chef and as a culinary expert at locations such as Walt Disney Cruises, Marriott Hotels, Island Catering Inc, Grenada W.I., Taino Beach Resorts Ltd. to Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort and The Ritz Carlton's Abaco Club to name a few.

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Bahamian Chef Tim Tibbitts and Ministry of Tourism Heading to New York City to Represent Bahamas at Ocean Style's Taste of Caribbean

August 14, 2014

On August 6, Chef Tim Tibbitts of Flying Fish and the Ministry of Tourism took to New York City...

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I've never met a crawfish I didn't like
"I've never met a crawfish I didn't like"

August 13, 2014

You know them as lobsters … one of the best, most succulent seafood delicacies you'll ever taste. But here in The Bahamas we call them crawfish. Same incredible taste, just a different name...

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CHMI apprentice cook coordinator receives ACF honorary fellowship

August 09, 2014

Culinary Hospitality Management Institute (CHMI) Apprentice Cook Coordinator Chef Addiemae Rolle-Farrington has received honorary fellowship into the American Academy of Chefs (ACF).
Rolle-Farrington received her honorary fellowship medal on Sunday, July 27 at the 2014 ACF National Convention in Kansas City, Mo.
She was the second Bahamian - after Chef Edwin Johnson in 2006 - and first woman to receive honorary induction into the ACF.
"I was elated. I was speechless to tell you the truth," said Rolle-Farrington. "It means all the hard work has paid off. I've now become an ambassador for the country, and I can now sit at the table and attend meetings," she said.
The ACF organization was created for one basic reason -- to promote a professional image of American chefs worldwide through education of culinarians at all levels, from apprentice to the most accomplished certified master chefs of the culinary arts.
Through her honorary fellowship, Rolle-Farrington said she wants to be an inspiration for youth, showing them that they can come from humble beginnings, but they don't have to stay there.
"I want the students to know that, in everything they do, you must give 100 percent to accomplish your goal. And to never look for somebody to say thank you, and to just do it from your heart and do it for the passion," said the chef.
Rolle-Farrington has been a chef instructor since 1986, but has been in the industry since 1979, when she worked as an apprentice chef at the Holiday Inn, which is now the location of The Cove at Atlantis on Paradise Island.
The former 10-year president of the Bahamas Culinary Association (BCA) (1986-1997), she has traveled the world as a culinary judge, coach and competitor. She served as a private chef to former United States Ambassador Sidney Williams and U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters. She is also on the board of directors of the Caribbean Chef's Association and was chef of the year 1991-1992.
As a coach for The Bahamas Chef Association, she has trained chefs for local, regional and international culinary competitions including the Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt Germany and the ACF South-East Regional and Central Regional Culinary Competitions.
The American Academy of Chefs, the honor society of the ACF, recognizes ACF members who have met the rigorous requirements and whose culinary achievements and involvement in the ACF qualify them for fellowship into the prestigious society. Honorary fellowships, such as those received by Rolle-Farrington and Johnson are conferred upon individuals in recognition of their dedication and service to the culinary profession as well as their unique accomplishments in enhancing culinary arts.
Nearly 800 chefs and culinary educators have been elected to the prestigious academy. To earn the right to list "AAC" following one's name, a culinarian must be a member of ACF, have fulfilled all the stringent requirements for membership in the AAC and be present at the ACF National Convention for induction. Honorary AAC Fellows like Rolle-Farrington and Johnson, enjoy the prestige and privileges of their ceremonial awards, but "HAAC" instead of "AAC" is listed after their names.

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Will the Bahamas Be Hosting the Next Taste of the Caribbean Competition?

July 29, 2014

Taste of the Caribbean is one of the most important showcases of Caribbean Cuisine. The famed food fest recently took place in Miami, but is there a chance that next year’s event will be hosted in the Bahamas? Tourism Minister, Obie Wilchcombe, certainly hopes so, having recently spoken to the press about the strong pulling power of Caribbean food: “Our food is important and we want people to go everywhere and talk about it. We are very proud of the effort that the national culinary team has made. I think that we have so much to offer and I would like to see this conference come to the Bahamas because I’d like to show the world what we can do in the culinary aspect.”

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Melia Supports Local Farmers Hotel Features Field to Table Fare

July 21, 2014

When a guest orders dinner at the Melia Nassau Beach on Cable Beach, chances are there’s a little something special on the plate...

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From the bottom to the top

July 12, 2014

It was a scene reminiscent of last year's Island Flare Food Fight -- Leanna Clarke found herself at the bottom of the pot after the preliminary cook-off round, but she rose to the top to become the toast of the town during the finals. Clarke walked away with the 2014 title and a $40,000 scholarship to the prestigious culinary institute, Johnson and Wales University. She also walked away with a one-week summer camp scholarship to the university
Clarke, a graduate of Anatol Rodgers High School, earned the win from the plantain competition with her rack of lamb stuffed with plantain, spinach and feta cheese. The dish was laced with a plantain, onion and mushroom relish and served with a plantain and herb couscous.
"I feel great and I'm actually surprised that I won," said Clarke, after she was able to compose herself. "Overall I was very excited about the competition. The [judge] told me that I corrected everything that went wrong [during the preliminary round], so that was probably why I won."
Clarke said she can't wait to attend a one-week summer boot camp at Johnson and Wales University from July 20-25. She also received airfare, accommodation, meals and uniforms.
"I'm so excited about the boot camp because we're going to learn different cuisines, so that's what I'm really looking forward to," she said.
Naquana Evans, a C.I. Gibson graduate, was judged second. She produced a plantain and pumpkin risotto served with poached plantain hog snapper and a plantain and spinach roulade with asparagus and buerre blanc.
Deandra Ellis, a C.V. Bethel graduate, was third. Ellis also won the prize for the most creative use of plantain for her dessert dish -- a deconstructed plantain and pineapple tart, nutmeg and plantain chip ice cream and plantain tuille with berry sauce. She took home a Kitchen Aid Pro Line immersion blender set for her efforts. Ellis is the first to win such a prize, as the award has just been introduced to the competition this year.
Evans and Ellis were both also awarded $40,000 in scholarships to Johnson and Wales University. All scholarships are contingent on the winners securing five Bahamas General Certificates of Secondary Education (BGCSE) examinations and maintaining at least a 3.0 grade point average. They will join Clarke at the summer culinary boot camp.
The food fight, which took place at Sandals Royal Bahamian Hotel (preliminary) and the Mall at Marathon (final), was sponsored by the Sandals Foundation, which donated more than $2,000 toward the equipment the students used to create their culinary masterpieces. Other sponsors included the Mall at Marathon, Kelly's, Master Technicians, Coca-Cola and Bahamas Local.
Before the competition, the student chefs practiced their plantain dishes in the kitchens at Sandals Royal Bahamian.
"The student chefs didn't disappoint. They brought their A-game," said Chef Jamall Petty, president and founder of Island Flare. "You could tell all of them had been trained for this big day and each of the creations they submitted was unique compared to the previous battles. Some of the stuff they did could have intimidated a seasoned chef."
This year made four years since the competition began.

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Leeanne Clarke Takes Top Spot in Island Flare's Food Fight 2014
Leeanne Clarke Takes Top Spot in Island Flare's Food Fight 2014

July 09, 2014

Like last year’s Food Fight winner, Leeanne Clarke found herself at the bottom of the pot after the recent preliminary cook-off round at Sandals Royal Bahamian...

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Sweet 41 -- Graycliff produces limited edition chocolate medallions to celebrate independence

July 05, 2014

The gold, aquamarine and black are being represented in a unique, fun and sweet way to celebrate the country's 41st independence. The Graycliff Chocolate Factory has produced a limited edition chocolate medallion in celebration of Bahamian Independence Day 2014. The three-inch diameter limited edition chocolate medallions are emblazoned with the Bahamian flag and stamped with the Bahamian coat of arms. They can be purchased at the Graycliff Chocolatier at $4.95 per pop, and can be had in the chocolate of your choice -- white or dark. They can also be purchased at Solomon's Fresh Markets, The Atlantis Sundries Stores, the Plait Lady in Marina Village and at foodstore2go.com It's a delicious way to add a unique twist to the celebration of the country's 41st independence.

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Island Flare's Food Fight Ready for Battle

June 23, 2014

Last year’s Food Fight winner came back from the underdog position to clinch the culinary competition’s top spot. This year she will look on as a new student chef attempts to follow in her footsteps...

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Billfish Grill Opens at Palm Cay
Billfish Grill Opens at Palm Cay

May 23, 2014

More than 100 dignitaries, residents and guests ate, drank and toasted to the success of Billfish Grill at Palm Cay last week, celebrating the opening of the first new upscale restaurant in New Providence in many years...

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Tessa 'Monet' Lightbourne is Bourne Sweets

May 17, 2014

Tessa "Monet" Lightbourne, known as the High-heeled Lady of Radio and host of the popular radio show "Rendezvous" on Star 106.5 FM, can now boast that she's an award-winning baker after capturing the inaugural dessert competition in the second annual Bahamas Smokin' Hot BBQ competition. And she did it with a dessert that she hadn't expected to win -- her oatmeal raisin cookie.
"I was happy...shocked," said Lightbourne, whose dessert won under the Mudda Sic Grillers team. Her pina colada bread, which she had pinned high hopes on under the Hot Star Grillers team, placed fifth; that concoction featured strawberry jam and rum compote and was topped with whipped cream and toasted coconut .
"Literally, when I heard the pina colada placed fifth, I was like, 'Mudda sick. That whipped cream probably [melted]'. I messaged everybody saying my dessert came fifth, [with an] unhappy face, so I look around, Greg [Lampkin] is there. He's like 'Uhhh, that's alright'. Then we heard 'Mudda Sic Grillers'. I [turned] around, [looked] at Greg and [said] 'The cookie!'
When I went up and they asked me what I baked, I was hesitant to say a cookie, because it just sounds so trivial -- a cookie."
Lightbourne believes her pina colada bread did not do as well because she did not provide enough for all the judges to taste.
She admits that her cookie dough is a little different from most oatmeal raisin cookies. She says she does two things differently, one of which is the addition of a spice that she refused to reveal. She held tight to her second secret.
While the winner of the BBQ competition walked away with a $2,500 purse and the opportunity to compete at the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue in October, Lightbourne got bragging rights.
"I was just happy to say I have an award-winning oatmeal cookie," she said.
Lightbourne entered the barbeque competition at the very last minute.
"Originally I didn't even know about a dessert competition until the night before, so I decided to do two things - the oatmeal cookies to give out and the pina colada bread as the actual dessert for the competition. The oatmeal cookies were just supposed to be something sweet for all of the three Nassau Guardian tents to give out, so I put the cookies there for people to sample," she said. "I entered the oatmeal cookies never thinking that a cookie would beat out trifles and cakes and everything else I saw in the dessert competition," she said.
A lot of people aren't aware that the radio deejay who heats up the airwaves between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, loves to bake and cook, and has been doing so since she could stand up. She originally baked for family and friends before baking on a larger scale to help raise money for her sister's medical bills and give a little extra every year. She then started selling her treats at the office and had to come up with a name for herself. Bourne Sweets - a play on her last name - was born. She also sells her treats at a few other businesses around the island.
Consistently she makes cookies -- her award-winning oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, gingersnap, malted and cranberry chocolate; her loaves -- carrot pineapple, banana bread, pina colada bread and pumpkin spice bread; her brownies and her scones -- blackberry orange-scented iced, bacon, cheddar and chive and cheddar and chive. Occasionally she offers a speciality item. After Easter, she utilized leftover hot cross buns to make bread pudding. Most people know that to make a proper bread pudding, the bread should be at least a day old.
And she always insists that anything she makes is contingent on the season, as she never uses canned ingredients. If she can't get fresh pumpkins to roast, she doesn't bake the pumpkin loaf that week.

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Gone Fish'n takes the whole hog

May 09, 2014

With a win of the pork ribs division, second place showings in brisket and showmanship, fifth place finish in chicken and 19th place finish in pork, the Gone Fish'n team, led by Haymish Moxey, took home the whole hog in the second Bahamas Smokin' Hot BBQ competition. After a hot day of grilling, the team walked away with a $2,500 purse and the opportunity to compete at the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue in October.
Moxey, proprietor at the family business known as Gone Fish'n on the Western Esplanade, described the win as "redemption", especially after his team's sixth place showing in the inaugural event. That competition was won by Kwivan Miller's Bahama Bar B King team, which finished in the reserve champion spot this year. This year, Miller's team won the chicken division, took fourth place in pork, placed sixth in brisket and made a seventh place showing in pork ribs. Bahama Bar B King also competed in dessert. They placed 10th.
"After last year's competition we realized where we fell down -- plating, presentation and the meticulousness of what the judges wanted as far as how the food should be laid out," said Moxey. "We saw that we lost a lot of points in those areas and that was how we lost the competition. We won a lot of medals, but it wasn't enough to capture the title."
This year the Gone Fish'n team paid attention to the rules and took advice from a BBQ competition veteran on plating their meats and how things should be done professionally. The diligence paid off in a big way for them at the Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned event. Moxey now has that coveted plaque in his front room in what he says is his favorite spot -- right across from his favorite couch so that he can see it while he relaxes in the evenings, watching cooking shows on television.
"Not being boastful or bragging, but we entered the competition at the last minute last year and I knew we had taste, but we paid no attention to plating and so forth. This year we paid attention," he said. "It was a glorious feeling -- great redemption - especially when we realized we were close to winning last year. Overall, all of the competitors were competitive and with great food, but it was a good feeling to win," said Moxey.
Moxey led the family-oriented team that included his brother, Sterling Moxey, and his nephews, James Ingraham and Brian Austin -- who all work at the restaurant.
Bahamas Waste Haulers hauled off a third place performance overall after topping the field in brisket, a second place showing in pork ribs, a 23rd place showing in pork and a sixth place showing in chicken. They also entered dessert where they finished third. Twenty-four teams rounded out the field.
Moxey, who runs Gone Fish'n, is a boat captain by trade; he described grilling as something he did as a hobby before he got serious about it. The sauce he serves at his beachside restaurant is one that he's been making for the last 25 years, which he said he perfected about 15 years ago.
"Being a boat captain and traveling doing yacht deliveries, I always had the opportunity to be with the chefs on the yachts, who were always cooking. So I started twisting [their sauces] up and playing around with it. I think about 15 years ago it was perfected to what it is today," he said.
He swears by his sauce, which he said has merited encouragement, over the last three years, from diners for him to bottle it. After his Smokin' Hot BBQ competition win he says there's an offer on the table he's thinking about taking, but will have to mull over within the next few months just to be certain.
It's been one week since the Gone Fish'n crew threw out their line in the competition and came up with the biggest catch -- one that he says he gives God the glory for.
They've celebrated their BBQ win and will be closed this weekend to get themselves geared up for the busy summer season, during which he says his team puts in 12-hour shifts. The Gone Fish'n restaurant will reopen on Wednesday, and Moxey is planning something special for his customers that will encompass discounts and complimentary items.

OVERALL RANKING (24 teams)
Gone Fish'n
Bahama Bar B King
Bahamas Waste Haulers
Da Pit Boyz
Guardian Grillers
Smoke Eaters
Charlie and 'Da Boys
Da Meat Police
Sun Pigs
Vitamin Water
Bootleggers
Radio House Smokers
Beat Our Meat
Mudda Sic Grillers
Pirates Pub Bar and Grill
Flamin' Hot Boys
Gardi's Smokehouse and Grill
Grill Swill and Chill
Hot Star Grillers
Downtown Charlie Brown
Serial Grillers
Taste of Perfection -- Exuma
Island Smokehouse
Unique Grillers

BRISKET -- TOP 5
Bahamas Waste Haulers
Gone Fish-n
Radio House Smokers
Mudda Sic Grillers
Da Meat Police

PORK -- TOP 5
Smoke Eaters
Da Pit Boyz
Taste of Perfection -- Exuma
Bahama Bar B King
Sun Pigs

CHICKEN -- TOP 5
Bahama Bar B King
Da Pit Boyz
Flamin' Hot Boys
Vitamin Water
Gone Fish'n

PORK RIBS -- TOP 5
Gone Fish'n
Bahamas Waster Haulers
Charlie and 'Da Boys
Guardian Grillers
Da Meat Police

DESSERT -- TOP 5 (12 teams)
Mudda Sic Grillers
Radio House Smokers
Bahamas Waste Haulers
Flamin' Hot Boys
Hot Star Grillers

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World-renowned chefs participate in Minority Chef Summit

May 09, 2014

World-renowned chocolatier, Chef Erika Davis, is certain that students at The College of The Bahamas Culinary and Hospitality Management Institute (CHMI) have learned at least one lesson from her -- the culinary hustle.
An alumna of the Bravo! television network's popular "Top Chef" franchise, Davis is the creator of the three-day Minority Chef Summit, launched at CHMI on Friday, May 2.
"The culinary hustle is, [the students] watch me fly from Nassau to Vegas, or from Vegas back to Nassau or to Miami or New York, and they follow me on Facebook," she said. "They should see what culinary hustle is, because the culinary industry has changed. You can't just graduate out of college and expect to make a decent living. It doesn't work that way," said Davis.
"You have to be on your hustle. You have to be multi-tasking. You have to know how to work social media. You have to work your career."
The Minority Chef Summit came about as a result of Davis' interaction with the CHMI students while she was working at Graycliff Chocolatier as creative director.
"You can walk into an all black college in the United States, but you can't walk into an all-black culinary school, and the feeling that overcame me was just such pride, and my heart filled up with such amazement," she recalled. "I [wondered] how I could just keep it to myself...I wanted to do something that would be good for them."
Those early encounters with COB students grew from the chef's initial interaction with Chef Addiemae Farrington, a faculty member at CHMI. Farrington remembered those initial meetings well. She was excited about the opportunity for COB students to meet and form relationships with expert chefs.
"Our students were exposed to the exciting foods of the world and the new trends," she said. The student exposure was an important motivator for Davis.
"My passion is even more for our future culinarians, because if we don't invest in our future, what will we have from our history of working so hard? The people before us made these big footsteps for us to fill, and we're making footprints for them to fill, but we have to teach them to fill [those footsteps] the proper way," she said.
"That's what Minority Chef Summit is about -- reaching out to our young ones, being able to inspire, to motivate, to educate, to have an ear open."
The summit provided an opportunity for top chefs to be a part of educational seminars, demonstrations and specialty dining events. Among the line-up of world renowned chefs were Bryant Terry, Ron Duprat, Asha Gomez and Addiemae Farrington. Chef Keith Rhodes, a James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef Southeast (2011), also participated in the event. Chef Rhodes has been voted North Carolina's best chef for three consecutive years.
"We are very flattered to be here," he said. "We, unfortunately, are not involved in many minority gatherings, and being here today is a solidification of what we do just on a culinary level and what we stand for on the other side of that as well, in community, in community inspiration."
Rhodes is used to being the sole minority chef at many of the events in which he participates - a state of affairs he refers to as "very polarizing, and very lonely at times".
"But I know that God has put us there for a reason," he said. "And we hope that we can continually inspire people and have people that are brave, that are strong and that are willing to share. That's one of the reasons we are here - to share our story with a lot of the youth."
Rhodes said that being in The Bahamas was not so far removed from being in the United States and that black Bahamians and African Americans, he said, are "leaves on the same tree". He spoke to a common experience -- whether it be distractions that keep one from maximizing potential or simply the size of the task at hand.

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