No butcher, baker or candlestick maker here

July 03, 2015

What does a pool engineer, a mechanical engineer, a part-time funeral director and a high school lad all have in common? They comprise the squad of men known as Da Snapper Crew who claimed the 3rd Annual Smokin' Hot BBQ title.
Dwayne Murray, the team manager; Al Fernander, assistant manager; Garner Dawkins, the chief griller; Don McDonald, the second griller; Stephen Beneby, the seasoning technician; Jeffrey Moncur, the sauce technician and his son Jaylen, a high school student who helps them out and Rodney "Red Snapper" Russell, the group's coordinator, describe themselves as a bunch of guys who come together daily at Red Snapper at Arawak Cay to have meaningful competition, eat conch salad, enjoy a few cocktails, indulge in a few cigars and maybe throw some pork, chicken and ribs on the grill when they want something to eat.
And boy, do they like to talk, especially about their grill, which they think is the best on the island, and that they could enter a competition with it. If the judging is anything to go by, they've twice been judged the best grillers on the island having won the Bahamas Fire and Welding title, then turning around and claiming the grand champion title at last weekend's Smokin' Hot BBQ competition.
"We must give credit to Rodney "Red Snapper" Russell who we actually sit and talk with everyday," said Moncur. "He actually pushed us into doing it. He told us to stop talking and go out there," so he deserves the credit. "
With Russell's words in his ear, Murray put his money where his mouth was and entered the team they called Da Snapper Crew in the Bahamas Fire and Welding Competition. The win there gave them the confidence to enter their second grilling competition in as many weeks, a title they now have under their belt as well.
In winning the competition, Da Snapper Crew claimed the title in the toughest category -- brisket, a cut of meat they had never even cooked before. Their weekend grill usually just has the staples of the Bahamian BBQ scene -- pork, chicken and ribs.
"We were all shocked when we won brisket because we had never done it, but it feels good," said Moncur of the division win and the overall title.
"We went in expecting to do our best, and at a certain point we knew that we had a good shot at winning. It was a feeling we all had. Initially we went out there just to have fun ... we didn't take it serious, and I think that was the key component to the whole competition, having fun with it," he said.
He believes it was their flavors that put them over the top, and like Kentucky Fried Chicken, they refuse to share the secrets to their recipes.
Da Snapper team will go on to compete in San Juan, Puerto Rico, February 2016, and also compete in either Memphis in May or the Jack Daniels World Invitational competitions to which they intend to take the flavors of The Bahamas.
Starting on July 17, the public will be able to get a taste of Da Snapper Crew's BBQ, as they will be grilling at Red Snapper every Friday and Saturday to raise money to defray the cost of their travel expenses to the international competitions they will be traveling to. On one of those fundraising days he says they just may surprise people with their award-winning brisket.

Smokin' Hot BBQ
Competition overall results
Da Snapper Crew
Da Pit Boys
K and J
EZ Like Mudder Sic Grillers
Da Gone Fishin' Group
Pirates Pub
Meat Police
Star Grillers
Smoking Hot Ventures
The Bootleggers
Sun Pigs
Flaming Hot Boys
Bahama Bar B King
Crazy Ques
Charlie & Da Boys
Hot Grillers
CHMI Student Jr. Team

Chicken (top three)
Da Gone Fishin' Group
CHMI Student Jr. Team
Meat Police
Pork Ribs (top three)
Star Grillers
Pirates Pub
Hot Grillers
Pork (top three)
Flaming Hot Boys
K and J
Da Snapper Crew
Brisket (top three)
Da Snapper Crew
Da Pit Boys
The Bootleggers
Hamburger (top three)
The Bootleggers
Smoking Hot Ventures
Pirates Pub

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Ready, set -- steam and display your coffee knowledge

June 19, 2015

Countless times a day, there's the steady hiss of steaming milk, the whirl of blenders and the splash of coffee filling cups in Starbucks stores, as passionate, hardworking baristas handcraft countless beverages for customers daily -- and 15 of them stepped up to the handoff to display their talent in beverage artistry and knowledge -- with the winner earning the right to represent Starbucks Bahamas at the 2015 Starbucks Barista Championship later in three months.
Emerging out of last week's pile of 15 to go head-to-head in the July 24 final were partners from Starbucks' Palmdale location -- D'Andrea "D" Smith and Steven Hepburn. They both go into the final at the Palmdale store with clean slates, evenly scoring 50 points each in the semi-final. The final showdown will take place on July 24 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
The winner will take a one-week trip to Seattle in September to visit the Starbucks Support Center (headquarters) and iconic Starbucks locations such as the first store in Pike Place Market and the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room.
Smith was ecstatic and shocked that she made it into the final.
"It's not that I doubted my skills, but I'm just so proud," she said.
In preparation for the final she said she was prepared to work hard by getting her hand on any and all information she can find, do her research and sharpen up her skills.
"I'm going to look for the areas of opportunities that I can grow in, so that when the time comes I'm going to take it home," said Smith who has been a Starbucks barista for just three years in which time she said her passion for coffee has been ignited.
During the Starbucks Championships, baristas compete in three categories -- Barista Craft, Signature Beverage and Personal Coffee Tastings. Baristas showcase their latte art skills, create their own signature beverage using ingredients that currently exist in Starbucks stores, and provide a coffee tasting of their choosing. That tasting may include a food pairing, music or any other sensory experience that enhances the coffee experience.
The Bahamian baristas competed in two categories --the lucky pick coffee tasting where the competitors had to choose a coffee at random which simulated a customer walking into the store and the barista having to have the ability based on their coffee knowledge to sell the customer a coffee that fit their needs; and latte art.
Going into the semi-final Hepburn said he had felt intimidated because of the coffee knowledge his peers had.
"I honestly felt that I was one of the people that was behind, but I studied hard, was passionate about it, went out and did my thing," he said.
In preparation for the final he said he planned to engage in a lot of reading and practicing public speaking in front of his friends and peers as if he were leading a coffee seminar.
Starbucks' global coffee and tea education manager, Chad Moore, said the idea behind the championships is to celebrate what their baristas do daily. He said the championships give baristas the chance to demonstrate their passion and pride for coffee, and showcase their skills.
With Starbucks Bahamas sending a Bahamian champion to the Starbucks Championships for the first time, the local competition also gives their partners the opportunity to improve their beverage quality, according to Javan Smith, Bahamas market learning and development manager for Starbucks.
"I've seen a whole lot of growth, and seen people who couldn't bear tasting coffee who are now expert coffee tasters. And I can only imagine what will happen after we finish the coffee master component of this 14-week program," said Smith.
While only one person taking the coveted Seattle trip, all of the baristas that participated in the program will be "winners" as they will have the designation of coffee masters.
Dino Matsas, general manager, food and beverage John Bull said the competition has been inspiring for the team.
"As we've grown over the last nine years we've been blessed to have such a wonderful public following, and now what we've done with the help of our team has been to elevate the experience to the customer by educating and expanding on coffee knowledge with the partners, so it's really empowered the team to become better at what they do each day, and to share that knowledge and that passion with our customers," said Matsas.
The food and beverage general manager said their partners were all engaged, inspired and passionate throughout the process which he said spoke to the culture of the company.
"Our company is not about serving coffee, it's about connecting with customers and making those human connections which is the long-lasting experience that we would wish our customers to have when they come into any one of our stores."
As for the upcoming final, Matsas said with both finalists scoring even, that it's a level playing field.
"Competition is going to be tough, but competition is good -- competition raises the bar, and one thing about this whole initiative is that it's raising the bar in our stores and how we operate, and representation of the brand. We definitely want to continue to elevate not only the partners' experience but the customer's experience," he said.

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The National Culinary Team reacts to winning the 2015 Taste of the Caribbean competition

June 19, 2015

The Bahamas National Culinary Team won three of the five top categories at the Taste of the Caribbean culinary competition, earning honors for the first time in the 16-year history of the competition as Caribbean National Team of Year. Individual honors went to Marv Cunningham (Caribbean Bartender of the Year) and four-time winner Sheldon Tracey Sweeting (Caribbean Pastry Chef of the Year).
Presented by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, Taste of the Caribbean featured cooking and bartending competitions between 10 Caribbean island culinary teams.
The eight-member squad won three gold medals, two silvers and one bronze medal. Gold medals were won by Bartender Marv Cunningham (best rum drink), Chef Sheldon Tracey Sweeting (pastry chef of the year), and Crystal Morley (junior chef of the year). Silver medals went to Richmond Fowler II (chef of the year) and Sweeting (cheesecake competition). Charon McKenzie took a bronze medal in the beef/seafood competition. The competition was held June 12-14 at the Hyatt Regency in Miami, Florida.
In the win, Team Bahamas saw two members inducted into Hall of Fame (HOF) -- Sweeting and Cunningham. Sweeting pulled off the three-peat, winning Pastry Chef of the Year for the third consecutive year. (He also took the title in 2006). Inducted into the HOF with Sweeting was Cunningham by virtue of his best rum drink win. The only other Bahamian to secure a HOF berth in the 16 years of the competition was Sally Gaskins in 2004.

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Royal Towers team triumphs at Battle of the Stars
Royal Towers team triumphs at Battle of the Stars

June 17, 2015

It was a day filled with aromas, flavours, herbs and spices, chicken and tilapia, healthy cooking and stiff competition as Atlantis’ Health & Safety Department showcased its first Battle of the Stars culinary competition...

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Sandyport's new, 'Blue Sail' Ocean Front Restaurant

June 11, 2015

A new casual dining restaurant, ‘Blue Sail,’ has opened on the beach at Sandyport Beaches Resort and Hotel offering spectacular beach bar and outdoor dining views with a Mediterranean French fusion menu with Bahamian favourites...

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More than 4,000 residents now using Social Services debit card
More than 4,000 residents now using Social Services debit card

May 19, 2015

MORE than 4,000 residents of New Providence are now part of the Department of Social Services' modernised food assistance programme...

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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.

(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 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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