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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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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February 04, 2015
Lukka Kairi Restaurant and Bar, which opened its doors to the Bahamian public last week, raised $13,093.00 at its grand opening charity event on Saturday evening. One hundred percent of the donations between 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. were earmarked for Teen Challenge Bahamas...
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January 30, 2015
Sir Oliver's restaurant at The Balmoral Club opened its doors to reservations from the general public with a Retro Bahamian night during which patrons dined on old-school Bahamian favorites -- bologna sandwich, cheese sandwich, conch fritters and conch salad shot; hot items featured steamed pork chops, corned beef and white rice, coleslaw, plantain, chicken-in-the-bag, bread rolls and their signature raisin bread pudding popping up on the dessert menu with other treats. Lunch at Sir Oliver's will be served between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.; dinner is between 6 p.m. with the last seating at 9 p.m.
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January 30, 2015
The Team at Lukka Kairi is very excited to announce the Grand Opening and Charity Event of its new restaurant “Lukka Kairi Restaurant and Bar” – Fresh Bahamian Flavors. Lukka Kairi restaurant is located oceanfront on Wood Rodgers Walk, between the Straw Market and Pompey Square...
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January 29, 2015
The Grand Bahama Agribusiness Expo 2015 was officially launched during a press conference, Wednesday, by Ms. Brenda Colebrooke, administrator for West Grand Bahama, at the Ministry for Local Government...
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January 27, 2015
“Grow what we can and buy what we must” said Minister V. Alfred Gray, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government during a press conference to launch the ‘Bahamas Agricultural, Marine Resources and Agribusiness Expositions 2015’...
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KFC Nassau helps the hungry with over $13,000 New Year's Donation to The Bahamas National Feeding Network
January 21, 2015
Committed to giving back to communities in which its brand operates, KFC Nassau brought cheer to the start of the Bahamas National Feeding Network’s...
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January 02, 2015
Gregory Collie II knows that he's "sweet mouth" and to indulge his sweet tooth he started making cookies from scratch "just for the heck of it" to enjoy whenever he had a craving and especially to enjoy while watching football with family and friends. But five months after losing his job, and one month after the birth of his first child, he found that things were tight financially and he needed an income. Collie turned to the thing he enjoyed most -- baking cookies -- something he had only done for pleasure, but which people told him he needed to sell. Out of necessity, The Cookie Caterer was born in July 2012 as a way for Collie to generate income to pay his bills and find a way to live. Today, The Cookie Caterer is in high demand with Collie looking to hiring help to ensure that he can meet the demands placed on him.
Collie started The Cookie Caterer with just four flavors -- chocolate chunk, white chocolate, double chocolate and oatmeal raisin. Today his menu also boasts red velvet, and s'more cookies; and cookies can be customized, according to a customer's preference, meaning the combinations are almost endless. With the advent of the New Year, Collie said his customers could expect new flavors to the menu, as he will be experimenting with liqueurs to add to his cookies.
He hopes they're a big hit as were the red velvet cookies that were introduced for Valentine's Day and which became a year-round much-requested item.
On average, Collie's home-based cookie business churns out about 200 cookies daily. During December he averaged 400 daily; his orders more than doubled daily during the Christmas week. Christmas Eve and Valentine's Day are his busiest days during which he averages 1,000-plus cookies.
And he does all of this in a regular 30-inch oven with four cookie sheets.
In the two years that he's been selling his cookies, the growth he said has been staggering.
"I've become busier and busier, where it' to the point I'm going to have to start looking into expanding and start hiring some help," he said.
Currently Collie's day begins around 6 a.m. to bake off cookies to fill daily orders.
"To be honest, I don't set hours. I have to provide ... and that's the balance everyone struggles with -- the balance between the professional and the personal life. But I realize where I want to take the company, and how much time I'm going to have to put into it. " He likes orders to be in by 11 a.m. so that he can plan his day and work out his delivery route so that he can ensure he has time for his family in the evenings.
No matter how long he's in the kitchen for scooping, baking and switching out cookie sheets, Collie said he does not view it as a chore or work as he really enjoys baking.
"It's a labor of love and I enjoy doing it. I've been doing it so much to this point that it's almost second nature and I don't really feel it."
When you get a delivery from The Cookie Caterer, Collie says you can be assured that you're getting a product that has been made to order and won't be old or stale. And he assures that you will be getting the softest, moistest cookies possible, unless you decide to order your cookies with a crisp texture.
"The cookies are all homemade and handmade with love and care and tastes like the best homemade cookies you'll ever have," said Collie.
His cookies' shelf life he said will depend on how you store them after delivery. If you leave them in the original container, he says the shelf life may be two or three days. If you place them in an airtight container he says they could last up to a week. And if you refrigerate them he said they last even longer.
His top three sellers are chocolate chunk, red velvet and white chocolate. He says he finds people partial to his oatmeal raisin as well. Collie himself says the cookie he can't resist is his double chocolate cookie. For those persons who have not had one of his cookies as yet, he said it's hard to make a recommendation as people's tastes. He usually recommends they opt for a sample box of the basic flavors -- chocolate chunk, double chocolate, white chocolate and oatmeal raisin -- and depending on a person's budget he said they could throw in red velvet as well.
"It's tough to recommend because everybody's so different, but all the cookies are delicious," he said.
The Cookie Caterer's treats start at $10 for 15 cookies and $15 for 25 cookies, prices which he said is extremely affordable when they take in what they're getting and the quality of the product -- freshly baked and customized to each customer's needs.
Collie who says he feels "liberated and completely free" baking and selling his cookies because he's not tied to anybody, and doesn't have to ask anyone to take a break or vacation time, says he feels completely independent. He also wants to look into a brick and mortar storefront for his current online business, franchising opportunities and has a 10-year plan on taking his company global after he has received inquiries from people in other countries.
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December 20, 2014
Mix a star chef with everyday supermarket ingredients, 150 modern, delicious recipes with global flavors that home cooks can make with ease, and you have Chef Todd English's newest cookbook -- Cooking in Everyday English The ABCs of Great Flavor at Home" -- the world-renowned chef's fourth book.
On Thursday, English hosted an exclusive book signing for his latest cookbook at his Olives restaurant at the Atlantis.
"Cooking in Everyday English The ABCs of Great Flavor At Home" is divided into 10 mouthwatering chapters -- cocktails and appetizers; soups, salads and sandwiches; vegetables; starches; birds and eggs; meat; fish and shellfish and desserts. And most recipes have 10 or fewer ingredients, and most are prepared in 30 minutes or less.
The book includes a beginner's primer that focuses on spice rubs, vinaigrettes, compound butters, aiolis and master pasta and dough recipes that are easy to make yet go beyond the true basics.
There are also 50 simple essential techniques from peeling an avocado in seconds to extracting meat from lobster, offering simple skills that save time and effort in the kitchen with an eye on how you cook at home.
Throughout the book there are a number of how-tos, which makes it feel like the reader has a personal "cook whisperer" at their side with Chef English walking his readers through the basic techniques every cook should know.
The celebrity chef, restaurateur, author, television personality and entrepreneur, who is a four-times James Beard Award winner's with more than 20 restaurants said his latest cookbook is about his style of cooking -- cooking at home, cooking fresh and cooking farm to table.
"I always believe in cooking common ingredients in uncommon ways, so it really gives a twist on things that are simple. These are recipes that I've been doing on and off for years, and some new ones that came out of just working in the kitchen."
He also provides pictures for every recipe in the book, as he believes it's important for his readers to have visuals as to what the finished dish should look like. He also offers a suggestion as to what to drink with each dish.
While English says every recipe in the book is stellar, pressed as to what his readers should try to make first out of his new cookbook, he did admit to being partial to the Double-Carrot Risotto which he said is healthy and delicious.
English's new book took him about to year to write. It was released last year, but he held off the release in The Bahamas so that he could do the book signing.
Chef English, who is known for his interpretive rustic Mediterranean cuisine also did a live pasta cooking demonstration on Friday, at Olives, which included a tasting and personalized book. And his freshly made pastas with offerings like seafood fra diavolo (spicy tomato sauce, shrimp and Maine lobster), butternut squash tortelli (brown butter, sage and Parmesan), ricotta ravioli (roasted tomato basil sauce, sweet Italian sausage, and garlic breadcrumbs) and handcrafted rigatoni Bolognese (old-school Tuscan Bolognese and shaved Parmigiano) are some of the most requested items on the menu, as people can see their pasta being made for their dish.
The whole snapper from the fish market, which is seasoned simply with olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled a la plancha, and served with a watermelon radish slaw and a choice of four sauces -- roasted tomato butter, pineapple ginger vinaigrette, salsa verde or lemon caper scampi butter, is a big seller from their fish market.
Rounding out the top three top three requested items on the Olives menu is the diver scallops with sweet pea risotto, pancetta and a 63-degree egg.
Chef English is also the author of "The Olives Table," "The Figs Table" and "The Olives Dessert Table".
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November 26, 2014
Improving food security in The Bahamas and the Caribbean region begins with increasing production and productivity among small farmers throughout CARICOM countries. The Ministry of Agriculture...
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