Food/Cooking

The hard-working faces at the NAGB

April 24, 2015

Now well into the second quarter of 2015, the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) continues to build its team as it moves full steam ahead with new events, shows, talks, film screenings and plans for its Mixed Media Summer Camp.
Director Amanda Coulson, who returned home in late 2011, has been leading the NAGB's team for over three-and-a-half years since taking over from Dr. Erica James. By her side have been Office Manager Luann Morris, a cherished member of the National Art Gallery team since before its physical existence, almost 17 years ago, and New Media Technician and Videographer Jackson Petit, who has spent 10 dedicated years with the gallery doing everything from directing promotional videos to co-ordinating gallery events. Assistant Curator, Averia Wright has spent almost four years promoting the gallery's mission, moving up from her original curatorial trainee post during that time. Under Wright's supervision, Jodi Minnis has worked as the gallery assistant for the past year.
This year, both Wright and Minnis will be taking the next steps in their professional development. Wright will be going on to pursue her master's of fine art in the U.S. in August, and Minnis looks forward to completing her Associate of Fine Art at the College of The Bahamas this May and moving toward an art history degree .
Believing in life-long development and learning, the National Art Gallery is proud to continue fostering an environment that encourages personal growth and celebrates team transformations resulting from educational and professional maturation. Former Collections Manager and Assistant Curator Ashley Knowles went on to pursue higher education, completing her master's degree in anthropology at Oxford University after working at the NAGB for 2 years. Similarly, John Cox, the gallery's former chief curator, now heads The Current - the art team responsible for filling mega resort Baha Mar with Bahamian art works.
Over the past few months, the NAGB has welcomed a group of fresh and talented staff members, each committed to leading the Bahamian art movement through promotion and education.
The year began buzzing with the excitement of the Seventh National Exhibition, which opened in December 2014. Education Officer Corinne Lampkin joined just in time for the show's installation; since then, she's been keeping busy with the gallery's educational outreach efforts, events and communications. Growing up on New Providence, Lampkin attended university in Canada and the U.K. and has developed a background in communications and public relations. These days she can be found spreading the word on the gallery's new and upcoming happenings and working in tandem with Education and Curatorial Support Associate Abby Smith giving tours, putting together in-class presentations and planning memorable events.
Smith joined the NAGB team a month later, in January, bringing her background in fine art, international relations and diplomacy and global studies in international affairs and cultural and social policy to the team.
An avid Junkanooer, Smith has been designing Junkanoo costumes for years. In more recent times, she's been popping in on classrooms around New Providence passing on information about Bahamian art and art history to students of all ages, she can be found coordinating events, assisting the curatorial team and utilizing her creative prowess through digital design. Smith is also the creative mind behind the spirited videos that have been popping up on the NAGB's Facebook page of late.
One of the smiling faces recognizable from the NAGB's videos belongs to Natalie Willis, who has recently moved back to The Bahamas from the U.K, where she studied for four years. Originally from Grand Bahama, Willis has been putting her passion for visual art and knowledge of digital media to good use as a curatorial trainee, working with Assistant Curator Averia Wright and Smith. When she's not ensuring operations at the gallery run smoothly on a daily basis, Willis is often busy editing the gallery's promotional videos, helping manage the collection of works at the gallery and putting together exhibitions like "If" by cousins Margot and Nicolette Bethel.
The newest addition to the NAGB team will be Holly Bynoe, who has accepted a post as chief curator. The appointment comes after well over one year of searching for a suitable candidate with both the training, practical experience, and knowledge necessary for the important position. The founder of ARC Magazine, Bynoe has extensive knowledge of the region's histories, social movements and relationships with visual art. For years she has been dedicating to working throughout the Caribbean and North America, building connections with art communities in the respective countries. She has demonstrated her curatorial skills in this nation with the Seventh National Exhibition, Antillean: an Ecology. The exhibition, now on display at the NAGB until May 10, prompts discussions about identity in relation to race, class, economy and gender. Bynoe co-curated the show with COB Art Lecturer Michael Edwards.
With its capable crew, the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas looks forward to a rewarding future of promoting and preserving art, linking creativity with history and social movements and educating the public on the country's blossoming visual art community.

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Beat the heat

April 24, 2015

The English have their ice lolly which New Zealanders refer to as icy poles, and the Irish call freeze pops. In the United States they're called popsicles or ice pops.
Europeans have the granizada. Hawaiians enjoy the shaved ice, while Italians partake in granita. Kulfi is the go-to treat for Indians, and shares the same creaminess as American ice cream, but tends to be denser, even a bit chewy owing to the rice or corn flour added to it. Halo halo is a popular Filipino dessert with mixtures of shaved ice and evaporated milk to which are added various boiled sweet beans, jello and fruits; while patbingsu which in its most basic form is Korea's rendition of shaved ice which get a simple topping of sweetened adzuki beans; raspao, a shaved ice is popular in Panama. It is sweetened with artificial flavors or fruits, and you can add sweetened condensed milk or maple syrup, and the Mexicans have their popsicles known as paletas.
Even though it's still the beginning of spring, the mercury on the thermometer makes it feel like summer's already here, and there's no better way to enjoy the heat than sucking on a cool treat. Around the world, the icy treats are all different, but the one thing they all have in common is that they are definitely the go to summer treat. Wherever you go in the world, there is that perfect cool treat that helps to keep you cool as the mercury soars.
In The Bahamas in days of yesteryear, the "cup" or "baggie" -- a simple mixture of the flavor Kool-Aid of choice, water and sugar, frozen in a plastic Cup or plastic sandwich bag -- was the go to treat for kids seeking a cooling moment as they went about their fun in the sun.
It was a normal sight to see a kid sucking and licking on their frozen treat during those lazy, hazy hot days. It was normal to see children with their lips plastered into the plastic cups sucking away at the icy treat, or turning it upside down after sucking the "sweet" liquid from the top to get to the sugary goodness at the bottom; and the baggie lovers using their teeth to nip a corner out of the sandwich plastic bags through which they sucked their treat.
While the treat can still be found in some neighborhoods, or at school fairs opting to give students a taste of yesteryear, sadly the days of knocking on the neighbor's house to purchase that "cup" or "baggie" simply just isn't the norm -- and it's even rarer to see neighborhood kids running about the yard or in the streets, because they're indoors playing with their latest electronic gadget.
Chef Simeon Hall who considers himself a curator of Bahamian culinary arts who recently addressed students at a culinary school was in awe and disbelief that many of the students did not know about "cup" or "baggie" or even have a concept of what it was.
"Their responses scared and disappointed me," said Hall. "But their answers prompted me to challenge them to create what I believe will be the next generation of the 'baggie' Bahamian frozen treat.
While the chef was one of those kids that enjoyed the "cup" and "baggie" treats in his youth, as a chef, he says the professional in him could not prepare red, purple and orange Kool-Aid flavored "baggies" and "cups" and as a result, he created a template for the treats that would allow anyone to take fresh fruit and herbs, and transform the "cup" and "baggie" it into an upgraded, modern version of the nostalgic treat.
Now that spring is here, and summer around the corner, he says you can use his basic stepped up recipe to make the treats, and introduce your children to a favorite icy treat from your past if they have not had one as yet.
"A cold frozen drink in a plastic bag would take any and all of us back to a time and place filled with incredible memories. My hope is that this will remind people of a great past and take our younger Bahamians into a great future," said Hall.

CHEF SIMEON HALL'S
MANGO THYME BAGGIE
(frozen Bahamian summer treat)
Makes: 4

1 cup fresh mango puree (substitute your favorite summer fruit puree)
3 cups distilled water
4 sprigs fresh thyme, optional
Juice from 1/2 lime
1 cup fresh cane juice (substitute 1/4 cup light brown sugar and 3/4 cup distilled water)

Simmer the water and thyme on low heat. Reduce the 3 cups to 2 cups to infuse the thyme flavor. Strain and cool.
Combine all the remaining ingredients and thyme water. Place in sandwich bag with twists. Freeze for 5 hours.
Serve semi or fully frozen on a hot day.
Pomegranate, beet root and strawberry, orange mango, tangy lime and white grape are also favorite combinations of mine for this cool summer treat.
Chef's tip: Freeze recipe in ice trays and add it to any glass of distilled water to make naturally flavored water the entire family will enjoy.

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Chef Clare continues his culinary journey at Deep Water Key

April 13, 2015

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well,” wrote Virginia Wolf. This concept is the premise behind Deep Water Cay’s latest hire of well-known Grand Bahamian Chef Dwain Clare...

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Minister of Social Services and Community Development the Hon. Melanie Griffin on Friday addressed the Rotary Club of West Nassau at The Poop Deck

April 02, 2015

Minister of Social Services and Community Development the Hon. Melanie Griffin on Friday addressed the Rotary Club of West Nassau at The Poop Deck at Sandyport on the Government’s new Re-Loadable Pre-Paid Card...

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Almost 3,000 Utilizing Re-Loadable Pre-Paid Cards

March 31, 2015

More than 1,000 additional Bahamian families who have been certified eligible to receive food assistance under the auspices of the Department of Social Services were able to utilize Re-loadable Pre-Paid Cards instead of paper coupons to obtain food items as of Friday, March 27, 2015...

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Bahamians Must Lessen Dependency On Foreign Food Imports, Says Gray

March 28, 2015

Agriculture and Marine Resources Minister the Hon. V. Alfred Gray said Friday that Bahamians must do more to decrease our dependency of foreign food imports...

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Indulge your addiction

March 27, 2015

Addiction is a noun that means the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice, or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. You will definitely form an addiction to Biteddie "Teddie" Bethel cupcakes so much so that she named her company very simply -- Addiction -- the name absolutely says it all.
When you bite into an Addiction cupcake you will always want more, according to Teddie who has dubbed her loyal customer base as "sugar heads" because they simply can't get enough.
"When you bite into my cupcakes you always want more which is why I always refer to my customers as sugar heads," said the high school student who specializes in petite desserts. "I choose to do small things because people are so health conscious and are always thinking about small bites with less calories."
These addicting cupcakes treats are being delivered by a young baker who has been baking and selling her cupcakes and four-inch cakes for the past three years, and uncompromisingly declares that her red velvet cupcake is the best out there and the best you will ever have. This confidence comes from a 16-year-old St. Anne's School student.
"I make the best red velvet in The Bahamas and I promise you that," says Teddie, an 11th grade student.
Her classic red velvet with cream cheese she said is her most popular flavor on a cupcake menu profile that spans some 20 flavors. Her current top sellers include cookies and cream; Staggerly (Captain Morgan cupcake which is soaked in rum and topped with a vanilla bean frosting); Guinness and Irish Cream cupcake with Irish cream liqueur buttercream; Reese's peanut butter cup (chocolate with peanut butter); Nilla Nilla (vanilla bean); 14 carat gold spiced carrot cupcake (which is spicier than usual); her Addiction signature cupcake (chocolate base with a vanilla bean buttercream and Spanish caramel); Tres Leches y con dulce de leche (three milk soaked cupcake topped with a combination of whipped cream and buttercream cream frosting with dulce de leche; Chocoholic (chocolate fudge cupcake with chocolate fudge buttercream drizzled with dark chocolate and topped with mini chocolate chips); Guava Duffy (vanilla bean cupcake with guava cream cheese buttercream frosting); Pina Colada (pineapple and coconut flavored cupcake with a pineapple and coconut cream cheese buttercream rolled in toasted coconut and topped with a maraschino cherry); Hazels cupcake (chocolate cupcake with chocolate hazelnut buttercream stuffed with crushed Ferrero Rocher chocolate); Apple pie cupcake (cinnamon apple-flavored cupcake with apple pie filling buttercream topped with apple pie filling).
She also offers seasonal cupcakes. For the fall and Christmas season she offered a pumpkin and spice and everything nice cupcake (pumpkin-spiced cake with cream cheese frosting with a butterscotch drizzle); Eggnog pound cake; and a sweet potato pound cake with a bruleed marshmallow drizzle.
And for those that want to take their cupcake addiction over the top, Teddie will stuff your treat with almost anything you want from caramel to whipped cream, and even candy.
She does pull-apart cupcakes, in the shape of letters or numbers, and is known for her hand-piped roses and flowers that look exactly like the real thing.
Teddie has been baking for most of her life, and said it comes naturally to her. As far back as she can remember she says she has always been in the kitchen, from as young as three-years old.
She was introduced to baking by her grandmother Judy Boyd. Over the years she has had many influences from a neighbor who had a bakery in which she spent many afternoons watching her during her primary school years, then going into the kitchen with her grandmother as she cooked dinner for the family and baked coconut tart. Teddie has also spent time in the Swiss Pastry Shop baking with the Ginters with whom she did work-study last year.
"I really enjoy baking," said the teen. The one thing she's not into is cooking. She actually says she's bad at it.
She also says she does not bake from recipes, and that she comes up with her flavor profiles from her travels.
"I travel a lot, and if I see a flavor I like, I recreate it in my own way," she said.
Still a high school student, Teddie who is demand for her addictive cupcakes says she can be found in her kitchen at 4 a.m. on some days, and after doing her homework in the evenings to ensure that she fills her orders.
She preps the night before to ensure she has her ingredients, and will make frostings, before arriving at school by 8:25 a.m. then she goes home and bakes her treats. If she has an order for the next day, she starts the cycle all over again, prepping and making frostings, checking her pantry to ensure she has everything she needs.
She may be a home-based business, but unlike many teenagers, she does not "half-step" as she puts it. She has Ministry of Health certification, and recently signed a contract with Sea Shells Restaurant, which will sell her cupcakes every Friday.
Teddie has plans to attend Johnson & Wales University. She has participated in their summer program which she said wasn't enough for her.
The money she makes from selling her cakes and cupcakes is also put to good use. Last year she had a goal to make over $1,000 to help pay for an immersion language trip she wanted to take to Panama, and she did it. She doesn't believe in relying on her parents for everything, and feels she has the tools to help herself.
To become a Teddie Bethel 'sugar head' you can order by telephoning 426-4441 or biteddiebethel@gmail.com or follow her on Instagram at @addictioncupcakes or #addictionbahamas. Her four-inch cake sells for $15; cupcakes are $22-$23 a dozen; and her pull apart cupcakes start at $54.

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Journey to the Taste of the Caribbean

March 20, 2015

The 2015 Bahamas National Culinary Team lines up to commence anew, their journey to Taste of The Caribbean. The prestigious culinary and mixology competition is one of the most prominent events held in the region, attracting top chefs and mixologists from competing destinations throughout the Caribbean.
The National Culinary Team is pleased to welcome back seasoned chefs; Chef Ron Johnson, owner of Savory Arts, as manager of the team and Chef Sheldon "Tracey" Sweeting, proprietor of Le Sprouts Personal Touch Services, gold medal winner in 2014; three time winner of the "Pastry Chef of the Year"; and three time inductee into the Caribbean Chef's Hall of Fame.
Chef Sweeting is back to mentor the team as a competitor and team captain. Chef Richmond Fowler II of Albany Private Resort, and Chef Charon McKenzie of Lyford Cay Club, both seasoned competitors and silver medalists in 2014 are also aboard as team members. Master Mixologist, Marv Cunningham, from the Aura Nightclub at Atlantis who competed in 2014 for the first time against a formidable group of mixologist, and came home with silver, has rejoined the team once again.
Crystal Morley, winner of the inspirational Junior Chef Cook Off held at The College of The Bahamas' CHMI on Thursday, February 19, 2015, joins the team as junior chef.
Leonardis Moss, also a student chef at The College of The Bahamas joins the team as apprentice chef.
Rico Neely, of St. Anne's High School and Shelby Coleby will train with, and join the team in Miami, where they will garner invaluable experience cultivating their culinary and competitive skills, through their interaction with the National Culinary Team.
This year, while the focus is on showcasing the chef's formidable, unique skills in the beef, seafood, pastry, mixology, chef, and team of the year competitions; the team is pleased to have the opportunity to nurture and enflame the intrinsic culinary passion of the young chefs.
"Our youth are our future," said seasoned Chef Tracey Sweeting. "These young chefs will carry on our legacy. It is a legacy that Bahamian chefs have refined and defined over many decades. As my grandmother inspired me to follow my passion, and be the best I can be in this industry; we must do the same for our burgeoning chefs."
Team Coordinator Charlotte Knowles-Thompson from the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association said, "Indeed, our elder, elite chefs have become mentors for our younger generation of chefs.
"It is a thing of beauty, to watch the team work with the junior chefs and nurturing them during the training. We are so happy we are able to have the young chefs accompany us and participate in the 2015 Taste of the Caribbean Competition.
"The experience of competing with our amazing National Culinary Team will provide the young chefs with a lifetime of invaluable experience."
Team Manager Ron Johnson said, "We are focused and remain steadfast in attaining the grand prize of winning gold for The Bahamas.
"Team Bahamas is enthusiastic and excited about our unique offering; we have consistently been a top notch team and deserving of our sterling reputation.
"Our confidence and diligent work ethic, combined with our dedication, passion and perseverance will translate into success, worthy of gold medal status."
The Taste of the Caribbean Competition will take place from June 11-14 in Miami, Florida.

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Planting Trees for Forestry Awareness Week

March 17, 2015

Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville, participated in the planting of fruit trees at The Beacon School in recognition...

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Minister for Grand Bahama Promotes Healthy Living for Consumer Education Month

March 17, 2015

Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville, on Friday at Cost Right spoke on...

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Agriculture Expo Participant Uses Sales To Pay School Fees For Needy Children

March 17, 2015

Turning a pastime hobby into a cottage industry business, former school teacher, Maxine Ritchie of Long Island, Bahamas...

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COB students join Bahamas National Culinary Team
COB students join Bahamas National Culinary Team

March 02, 2015

It was a throw-down the likes of which left mouths watering and palates yearning to be satisfied. Culinary students at The College of The Bahamas’ Culinary and Hospitality Management Institute (CHMI)...

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Bahamian cuisine with a modern twist

February 20, 2015

Classic Bahamian cuisine with a modern interpretation will be showcased by celebrity chef Simeon Hall Jr. at the National Black College Alumni (NBCA) Hall of Fame Foundation's 10th Annual Chefs of the World (COTW): A Taste of Fame event.
The fundraising event at which top chefs showcase their culinary talent takes place March 2 in Atlanta, Georgia at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta; It will be hosted by Emmy Award-nominated television host, author and celebrity chef Marvin Woods who is known for his infectious personality, signature bandana and creative twist on food. Proceeds from the event support scholarship programs for students pursuing a degree in the fields of hospitality or culinary arts.
Hall's five-course menu for 10 will feature Bahamian conch chowder (Andros conch bisque, charred fresh conch bites, carrot gel, pickled tomatoes and green plantain); island potato salad (farmer's market potato medley, smoked bacon mayonnaise and micro lettuces); chicken souse (sous vide chicken, ice-filtered broth and all spice laced vegetables); coconut water granita with rum-laced milk intermezzo; roasted oxtail ragu, pumpkin dumplings, smoked onion steam sauce; and salted guava banana bread, goat pepper chocolate gelato and brulee bananas.
For the first time in COTW history, the chefs will work with a theme -- Old Hollywood glitz and glamor. It will allow the 20-plus chefs and their teams to go beyond the dishes with their creativity.
Hall, the chef/owner of Simeon Hall Restaurant Managing Group Ltd., a food service consultation and restaurant design firm, said the theme ties in perfectly with his cooking style.
"My goal has always been to share food culture from The Bahamas with the world and I think a forum like this, with a diverse audience will enable us, myself and the entire team helping to execute this to showcase Bahamian culture," said Hall.
The fact that it is to benefit aspiring chefs he said extends his reach with the work he already does with young, up and coming chefs, making the experience that much more rewarding.
During the event's cocktail reception he will serve fire engine bites (fried sticky rice stuffed with corned beef, steam sauce and micro celery); Grammy Nola's fish cakes (potato and salt cod cakes with Sriracha aioli and micro cilantro; and fried guava duff (guava donuts stuffed with guava rum pastry cream.
"My entire mantra has been what I have called present day history," said Hall. "To me, present day history is a modern interpretation of traditional and classical Bahamian food culture and that's what we're going to be emphasizing at the event," he said.
Chef Hall who has more than 20 years experience in the culinary industry said its his goal to share food culture from The Bahamas with the world said the upcoming event provides him with the perfect forum to do just that as it will have a diverse audience which he said excites him.
The chef who has worked and consulted in the Americas, Europe, Asia and throughout the Caribbean is also an avid food writer and blogger. He was also featured last September at the Food Network in Concert at Ravinia's "Eat, Drink, Rock!" event in Chicago, Illinois, where he represented The Bahamas. During that appearance Hall was among 75 top chefs. He participated in the "Hot Hot Hot" luncheon for which his culinary offerings included a spicy Bimini conch cake with aged goat pepper hot sauce, pickled cherry tomatoes, curry yogurt sauce and micro celery/cilantro salad; and old-fashioned Bahamian peas and rice for approximately 1,200 people.
The opportunity for Hall to be represented at COTW was made possible through Immerse Bahamas, a destination and project management company and Dolphin Cove Bahamas.
Immerse Bahamas President and CEO Ginger Moxey said the idea of having a Bahamian chef participate in COTW was an event she was happy to sponsor the chef when the idea was pitched to her.
"We are pleased to partner with Dolphin Cove Bahamas and to be working with the Consulate of The Bahamas and Bahamas Tourist Office in Atlanta to ensure that Chef Hall gets maximum exposure as he takes The Bahamas to the world," said Moxey.
"I'm excited about the trip. I want to say a heart-filled thank you to Immerse Bahamas and Dolphin Cove Bahamas for believing in my talent. My goal has always been to share food culture from The Bahamas with the world and I think a forum like this, with a diverse audience, will enable us, myself and the entire team helping to execute this, to showcase Bahamian culture," said Hall.
Tables at the event will be sold to a sponsor with all monies going to a scholarship fundraising pool. Scholarships range from $500 to $3,500. To date, the NBCA Hall of Fame Foundation has issued 70 scholarships.
As the cool weather passes through the islands, Chef Hall knows that everyone could use a little comfort food in their lives and shared his Grammy's Banana Nut Bread for you to enjoy.

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Perfect

February 06, 2015



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Monroe College's Culinary Arts Students win 19 Medals at Ace Holiday Showcase Competition
Monroe College's Culinary Arts Students win 19 Medals at Ace Holiday Showcase Competition

February 06, 2015

Monroe College, a national leader in urban and international education, today announced that students from its Culinary Arts program were awarded 19 medals at the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Long Island Chapter Holiday Showcase Competition...

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