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The concept is simple -- sourcing locally produced ingredients from farmers, fishermen and food suppliers during their season, and you've got what is known as farm-to-table dining. It's a way of eating that a local chef is pushing because he believes it's the best way to eat.
"The benefit of eating farm-to-table is that you know and understand where your food is coming from. Regardless of what people may tell you, I strongly believe that organic tomatoes flown in from Peru or California cannot match the nutritional value, taste, look and texture of farm-grown tomatoes from a farmer who is simply doing what our grandparents and parents did back in the day, which was natural farming," said Chef Simeon Hall Jr.
Admitting that the farm-to-table concept is not new to The Bahamas, Chef Hall said people moved away from it as a means of convenience, which rendered the growth of produce in a backyard obsolete. But he believes it's a way of life and eating that should not have died, but it did. And he's on a mission to resurrect the concept.
The farm-to-table concept of dining, or bringing garden-fresh ingredients as quickly and freshly as possible from a local farm to the plate was revolutionized in the United States by Chef Alice Waters of Chez Panisse in the 1970s. In college, Waters lived in France, and it was there that she experienced for the first time, the pleasures of market-fresh cooking. Many well-known chefs in the United States have since been influenced by Waters' beliefs and have taken the farm-to-table concept to heart.
"I'm pushing farm-to-table at home because somebody has to ... someone has to embrace it," said Chef Hall. "We are years behind the movement as it pertains to almost every other place."
His goal is to eventually have a restaurant in a hotel that only utilizes local product -- not in terms of peas and rice and macaroni and cheese -- but local product in terms of taking peas and beans when they're in season and making a French cassoulet. Diners would be able to enjoy a piece of salmon (which isn't native to The Bahamas) but the fish he said would be infused with flavors that complement the local season availability, and as a result he said you could conceivably a get salmon dish with a goat pepper and roast corn succotash.
"I'm a locavore -- but not to the point where I'm being impractical. We're in this to make money, but at the same time, somebody needs to reeducate people, especially the younger generation on the benefits of farm-to-table," he said.
While the chef said farm-to-table does not immediately suggest healthy or even a healthier cooking style, he said it is definitely better ingredients which translate into a healthier lifestyle because there are no pesticides or growth hormones pumped into the ingredients.
"The bottom line for farm-to-table is I know when my eggs were harvested. Who can tell me when they go to any store, ... even stores that have organic eggs, when those eggs came from those hens? I can tell you when my eggs were harvested, and I can tell you at the exact time, and that's what farm-to-table is all about -- knowing where your ingredients came from, and when. And as a chef, my responsibility is both about educating and stimulating. By educating the people they will appreciate it, and by cooking a perfect dish, or a better dish, people will be able to understand. As simple an ingredient as an egg is, he said people would notice the difference between an egg just plucked from the hen's nest over a store-bought egg. The yolk has a deep, rich yellow color. And the white was not as runny when cracked.
"Once an egg gets older, the protein in the egg whites break down and it becomes watery. If the egg is fresh, the egg whites are still vibrant and strong, so the egg itself will stand up better. The taste is going to be deep and rich because the ratio of fat in the egg yolk is going to be higher, and richer, so you're going to get egg and not the watered down version of an egg. Even if you only eat the egg whites, you will taste a better product," he said.
The chef said a simple ingredient like an egg is a wonderful, but underused ingredient in terms of diversity. And that in most instances people do not even cook an egg properly, and don't understand the importance of cooking it properly to impart the best possible flavor.
"Because of our culture, and how we've been raised, people tend to fry eggs too hard and too dry, which does not allow you to get the full flavor of the eggs," he said.
Heat plays an important part in cooking the perfect egg. You don't want to put too much heat on eggs. When doing a scrambled egg dish, Chef Hall suggests that eggs are placed on the heat, then removed from the heat while constantly stirring it almost as you would a risotto, to produce a delicate, fluffy, mass.
Eggs should also never be pre-seasoned before cooking. This breaks down the proteins so instead of getting a fluffy egg, you get a more watered down egg.
In an ode to farm-to-table dining, Chef Hall produced an all-day menu in which eggs starred. He utilized eggs he harvested from hens at Farmer Poitier's farm (which cost $4.99 per dozen). He took those eggs away from the breakfast arena, and showcased them as all-day dining fare. For breakfast he produced a breakfast-scrambled eggs with Gruyere cheese, blistered tomatoes and "burnt" toast with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil); for lunch, Farmer Horatio Poitier's eggs starred in a crispy potato and spinach frittata, and in a play on breakfast for dinner, he did a riff on eggs and bacon.
The chef chose to do a scrambled egg dish, not because it's traditional, but because a lot of people don't understand how to cook an egg, and to explain to them how to do it right.
With the frittata which is basically a baked egg, flavored with whatever you want, he wanted to show the continuation of farm-to-table, and instead of butter and olive oil, he used chicken lard to reinforce the flavor profile of an egg.
"After all, eggs come from chicken, so it's just continuing that process," he said.
Chef Hall added a light salad to cut the dish's richness.
And in a play on breakfast for dinner -- in another classic dish of eggs and baon, he used pork belly (bacon that is uncured and unsmoked) and a poached egg, something most people are afraid to make, but which he said is quite easy if you take your time.
"To make a poached egg, all you have to do is boil an egg in acidulated water, which is simply water that is seasoned with some acid -- whether you use vinegar, lemon or lime -- some form of acid must be added to the water so that the egg white coagulates around the egg yolk and that's it. It's a very simple dish," he said.
To get a true taste of a real egg, Chef Hall suggests that you pay a visit to Farmer Poitier, purchase a few of his eggs and check out the difference in flavor for yourself, on your journey as you start your foray into the farm-to-table dining experience.
Breakfast-Scrambled Eggs with Gruyere Cheese, Blistered Tomatoes and "Burnt" Toast with EVOO
6 Farmer Horatio Poitier brown eggs
A bunch of vine-on Farmer Chad Thompson tomatoes
1 artisan wheat boule (bread)
3 ounces chicken lard (substitute melted organic butter)
2 ounces Gruyere cheese, shaved with a microplane
1 ounce organic butter, chilled
1 ounce first cold press extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
To garnish your eggs, pan roast cherry tomatoes on the vine in a hot pan with chicken lard (or organic butter) and season with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Turn the pan on low heat to cook the tomatoes.
Cut a generous portion of bread, drizzle with EVOO, and toast in a large toasting oven or on the grill until crisp and slightly charred.
As the eggs are the highlight here, we are not going to treat these like the everyday scrambled eggs, but almost like a risotto. In a decent stockpot, add 6 large eggs to the cold pan with no seasoning as the salt will break down the egg. Add the butter and place on the heat. With a rubber spatula, continuously stir the eggs so that you get a creamy, fluffy product. To maintain a constant temperature that doesn't over-cook the eggs, continuously remove the pot with the eggs from the heat, and return to a lowered heat. When the eggs start to come together, completely remove from the heat and add the cold cheese as this will help to balance the temperature in the eggs. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and add fresh chopped chives. This will bring out the flavor of the perfect, soft-cooked farm fresh eggs. Assemble and enjoy.
Chicken lard is chicken fat made by boiling chicken fat deposits with water, then separating and cooling the chicken oil.
Crispy Potato and Spinach Frittata
3 ounces fingerling potatoes, pre-boiled and smashed slightly
3 ounces chicken lard (substitute melted organic butter)
1 fresh Farmer Chad Thompson lime
1 ounce first cold press extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 sprigs of Lucayan Tropical thyme, peeled
A heaping handful of spinach
8 Farmer Horatio Poitier brown eggs
4 whole, fresh Fisherman John stone crab, lump meat removed
A bunch of assorted Farmer Chad Thompson mixed greens
Preheat a cast iron pan and add the chicken lard. Add blanched, smashed potatoes, and allow the potatoes to crisp up. Add thyme leaves, spinach and Andros stone crab meat. With the fire on medium heat, add the just-whisked eggs. Stir evenly and season with sea salt and black pepper. Remove from the heat and place in the oven. Cook at 375 degrees for six minutes, then remove and immediately flip onto a serving plate.
For the salad: Simply take fresh, harvested greens (Chef Hall used a combination of arugula and spinach) and toss with a squeeze of lime, EVOO, salt and pepper. This salad is used to complement, and cut the rich, fatty taste of the eggs and crab.
Eggs and Bacon
2 pieces, 4-ounce pork belly
2 large Farmer Horatio Poitier brown eggs
1 ounce olive oil
1 ounce melted butter
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 large Farmer Chad Thompson limes
1 medium Farmer Sekani Nash avocado
1 ounce Andros honey
1 Farmer Chad Thompson goat pepper
In a large stockpot, bring eight quarts of water to a rapid boil. Add a fresh bay leaf, sea salt and the juice from a small fresh lime to the water. Crack the eggs individually in a small bowl or soup cup.
Season the pork belly with pepper, sugar, garlic, thyme, soy sauce and rosemary. Wrap with plastic wrap and foil and place in a 250-degree oven and cook for two hours until extremely tender. Remove pork belly from foil when done and place on a paper napkin. In a hot pan, sear the pork on all sides while basting it with the oil and butter mixture infused with the rosemary and thyme. Sear for two minutes on each side, then add honey lime pepper mix and continue to glaze. To plate, add the lacquered pork belly, then sliced avocado, poached eggs and cheese crisp.
- Genre : Biography, Crime, Drama
- Rating :
A drama based on the life of Jesse James Hollywood, a drug dealer who became one of the youngest men ever to be on the FBI's most wanted list....
Lucaya International School's (LIS) Michaela Ince will be attending Pomona College with the knowledge that her undergraduate degree studies will be paid for in full as the winner of the Grand Bahama Port Authority's (GBPA) top achiever award. As the winner, she was granted a full four-year scholarship for the college of her choice.
Ince, who was also the valedictorian of the class of 2014, said her years at LIS made her a well-rounded, open-minded individual who is not afraid to face challenges head on. She believes that high school not only taught her academically, but it also taught her valuable life lessons.
She told her fellow International Baccalaureate program graduates that, no matter how challenging something may seem, there is no point in getting intimidated.
"As we prepare to walk out of this graduation ceremony and walk into the 'real world', each of us following our own paths, I would like to remind us all that, while we may never be in a class together again, we will always be our class - the Lucaya International School class of 2014," she said.
Keana Pakosh was named salutatorian.
Fourteen of the graduates were accepted into university with one opting for a gap year. They include: Alliqueka Capron, University of Nottingham, U.K.; Rhumer Culmer, University of Tampa, Fla.; Keana Pakosh, University of Toronto, Canada; Alexander Thompson, Texas A&M Galveston, Texas; George McInnes, gap year; Alexander von Albedyhll, University of Groningen, The Netherlands; Imani Sterling, University of Westminster, U.K.; Eric Grigorof, OCAD (the Ontario College of Art and Design), Canada; Cassandra Haddad, University of South Florida, Fla.; Asiyah Robinson, Gulf Coast University or University of Victoria; Katie Hindley, Newcastle University, U.K.; Ince, Pomona. College, Calif.; Andrew Hindley, Liverpool John Moore's University, U.K. and Rania Williams, Michigan Technological University, Mich.
Sharon Wilson, LIS headmistress, said that for administrators at schools, universities and colleges around the world, the IB is more than a curriculum and a testing service, but a powerful experience in learning and growth; it is a way of life and shared experience that develops character and bonds students and teachers together in friendship and attitudes that will last lifetimes.
Anthropologists agree the notion that the survival of any culture resides in the capacity of its people to cherish that which it has produced, using such indigenous commodities, human as well as capital, to construct positive patterns of living permanently alluring to successive generations of its citizenry. Some centuries earlier, Cicero theorized that expressing gratitude is not only the greatest of the seven heavenly virtues, it ought be regarded as the parent of them all, dominating the province of all that is noble about any enlightened and progressive society. Undoubtedly, these twin notions found best intersection in the life of my mentor, Gus Cooper, the first Director of Sports who easily qualifies as one of the most transformative treasures in Bahamian sport, fully deserving of a nation's gratitude and adulation.
As one of three strong candidates who applied for the post of Director of Sports after Senator Kendal W. Nottage became the first Minister of Sports in 1978, Gus' unique credentials earned him that seminal post. He was largely tasked him with administration and development of what was an original 512.92 acres of Crown lands and wetlands granted by Order of the Legislative Council in 1956 for the purposes of national sports development. He assumed such a task with measured
fanaticism fueled by a passionate minister conscious of the cosmic reality that sports center land was scarcely enough to accommodate the long term needs of the national sporting community, given that 75 percent (75%) of its original acreage had already been devoured by other government agencies. The new minister therefore placed a premium on protecting sports center land, having already been well sized of one proposal to develop a new public hospital at the sports center and another to relocate the Hobby Horse Race Track there.
Buttressed by the fierce loyalty of his faithful liege, Doyle Burrows, and his unrelenting fidelity to the 'Sports Power' philosophy loudly espoused by his indomitable minister, Gus protected the sports center as a national sports preserve, shepherding the redevelopment and naming of the Thomas A. Robinson National Track and Field Stadium which first opened in 1968; the improved Andre Rodgers National Baseball Stadium which opened in 1967; the reconstructed South Beach Pools in 1983; the Baillou Hills Softball Complex in 1984; the Churchill Tener-Knowles National Softball Stadium in 1988; the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium in 1994; and the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association's (BLTA) National Tennis Centre in 1998. Not so well known is the pivotal role of advocacy he played in defending Betty Kelly-Kenning's inclination to build the national swim complex at the sports center, in opposition to lobbyists who wanted it built elsewhere. The swim complex opened at the sports center in 2001. Gus also spearheaded the development of the Grand Bahama Sports Complex in 1995.
Indeed, these historic accomplishments by Gus were not without their challenges as he was compelled to encounter a number of so-called Joshua Generation Ministers, all devoid of the genuine altruism found in the hearts of men and women dogmatically convicted to the precepts of 'Sports Power'. One such Joshua Generation sports minister perceived land dedicated to sports development as more useful for housing or food production. Hence, the use of sports center land for the development of Millennium Gardens. Minister Neville Wisdom rejected such an uninformed proposition when he interrupted the plans of zealots in the Ministry of Housing for further incursion into the sports center. Also, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham intervened to abort plans for a new law school at the sports center, further instructing that the remaining 90 acres of sports center property must be reserved for sports facilities. Those responsible for the current sports center master plan apparently had difficulty with such instructions.
Gus' larger contribution to national sports development was his introduction of enlightened thought to local sports administration. He insisted upon an end to the prevailing jockocratic syndrome which permeated the misperception of athletes as being physically gifted but intellectually deficient. His insistence upon scholarship enhanced the human capital of the sports division to the extent that sports officers and federation executives were figuratively transported from the dust of the playing field to the atmospherics of scientific planning. He oversaw the establishment of high powered sports seminars and sports leaders conclaves featuring expert national and international speakers thereby elevating the organizational and management capacity of local sports leaders, physical education teachers, school coaches and Family Island sports council executives. The scholarship which he brought to sports translated into the kind of national and international sporting successes hereto for unmatched in the annals of Bahamian sport.
Here it is just as important to recall that Gus succeeded in winning the support of Minister Algernon Allen in his 10 years of battle to rationalize a career path for sports officers while at the same time addressing salary anomalies traditionally suffered not only by sports officers but also by officers in the youth division and those serving in the Department of Culture. All these officers had academic credentials and work experiences similar to that of other professionals in the public service, in spite of which they were rated in far lower salary scales. The unintended consequence of such an anomaly was difficulty in retaining and replacing competent officers. Minister Algernon Allen took up Gus' fight and as a result youth, sports and culture officers were incremented and placed in more appropriate salary scales. In the ecology of local public institutions, the entire Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture benefitted at the hands of Gus Cooper. Yet that agency remains unchallenged as the most ungrateful of all public agencies to the men and women who bled it into existence.
Here it is appropriate to contrast such an assertion with Gus' personal appreciation of his sports heritage and the traditions that shaped him. He avidly supported and contributed to a program initiated by Minister Desmond Bannister to have Arlene Nash-Ferguson write an entire series of primary school books that lionized the lives and achievements of Members of the National Hall of Fame. Gus was extremely pleased with Nash-Ferguson's first completion, a wonderful effort on Tommy Robinson meriting Nobel Prize consideration. He was most disconcerted that she was discouraged from continuance of such a nationally redeeming exercise.
As an intellectual descendent and administrative heir to one of the most accomplished sports administrators to grace these islands and the wider Caribbean region then, some of us disciples are simply grateful to have sat at the feet of greatness and to have been exposed to the threads of legacy and the beads of national pride deeply ensconced in the soul of this country's first Director of Sports. Indeed, his great deeds will be his perpetual monument and his eternal rest in the bright light of peace has been so very well deserved. The Right Hand of God will continue to rest upon the foreheads of Cassie, Cisco and Augustus.
The United States is our ally and major trading partner. We are a small country at the end of its southeastern border. While our trade relationship is quite small in relative terms, being a border state makes us significant.
This is especially true because The Bahamas has historically been a smugglers' route. Be it alcohol in the days of Prohibition, or drugs and people in these times, a roguish Bahamas can be a big problem for the U.S. In the 1980s, when our government and security forces were compromised, Columbian drug dealers used Norman's Cay, Exuma, for example, as their major takeoff point to send narcotics to America. We are important countries to each other.
The latest U.S. Department of State report on the investment climate in The Bahamas was critical of the current Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) administration. It said the PLP has failed to fulfill many of its "ambitious campaign promises of economic and fiscal reform".
The report, titled "2014 Investment Climate Statement - The Bahamas", was released on June 26.
"Proposed initiatives included the creation of 10,000 new jobs, the implementation of a national mortgage bailout plan and returning the majority shares in the national telecoms company to state control," the report read.
"Two years later, many of these campaign promises remain unfulfilled."
The American condemnation of the efforts of the PLP caught the attention of Prime Minister Perry Christie. He held a news conference yesterday with a Brookfield representative regarding the restructuring of the debt for the company's Paradise Island hotels. After he dealt with that matter, he defended his government against the view of the U.S., saying it is "simply inappropriate" for U.S. officials to draw negative conclusions on the success of his government's plan based on a "snapshot" of the current situation.
"Unfortunately, some have been led to draw on specific points in the statement to present a negative tone in respect of the plan of action that my government laid out in our Charter for Governance prior to the election and which we are aggressively pursuing during the course of our present mandate," he said.
"...We were abundantly clear in the charter that while our plan does offer numerous measures for short and medium-term relief, a responsible government cannot think only five years at a time. As such, we committed ourselves to a true national development plan that reflects a vision for The Bahamas of the future.
"We have been true to our word and we are pursuing just such a plan for the future."
The Americans went further. The U.S. government took a critical view of the government's bidding and procurement process, noting that several complaints have been received from U.S. companies over the last year regarding an alleged lack of transparency and "undue government interference" in this process in The Bahamas. Christie did not address this issue directly.
This report has come in to the public sphere at a time when the government is seeking to regularize web shop gaming. Web shops offer gambling to Bahamians. Gambling is illegal for Bahamians and legal residents. The PLP administration is seeking to convince The Bahamas and the world that, if it legalizes web shop gaming, banks should accept the cash web shops have made. In The Bahamas, web shop money can be considered the proceeds of crime. The Americans likely have a negative view of the actions of this administration regarding this issue too.
We wonder if the U.S. again perceives The Bahamas as a roguish jurisdiction based on these issues and some of the remarks made in reports such as the one on investments.
We also wonder if the new American ambassador to The Bahamas, Cassandra Butts, will have a more aggressive mandate when she comes here. There has been no U.S. ambassador to The Bahamas in nearly two-and-a-half years. Butts was nominated for the post by U.S. President Barack Obama and is in the approval process before the Senate.
The Americans, of course, are no saints. They have been running a spy program capturing all the mobile phone recordings of Bahamians. Thus far, they have not even had the courtesy to send us an official response on this intrusion.
Their violation of our privacy, however, does not take away from the fact that this is the most powerful country in the world. It can make life difficult for a government and its people if it thinks the jurisdiction is lawless and poorly governed.
Christie and his party like to say the media is always attacking them. They have especially had a fascination of late with The Nassau Guardian. This time, though, it was not us "throwing the blows".
The Americans seem to have a problem with the governing party. The PM should invite the charge d'affaires over and ask him why.
In the words of Hippocrates: "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." These are the words that nutritionists and dietitians live by; as such professionals head into their biennial conference, they endeavor to promote good nutrition, health and wellness as a means to fight against the growing epidemic of chronic non-communicable diseases in The Bahamas.
"We believe in people understanding how to take very basic and affordable foods to help to manage staying in a good health status," says Camelta Barnes, senior public health nutritionist at the Department of Public Health.
Barnes believes a nutritionist's main focus is contributing to the promotion of the public's health and disease prevention through application of knowledge and skills. Dietitians are concerned primarily with the application of knowledge and skills as it relates to improving nutritional status during treatment and management of illness.
She is one of a 20-member team comprised of nutritionists and dietitians who make up the Bahamian Association of Nutritionists and Dietitians (BAND), a body that provides leadership in food and nutrition for better health and well being in The Bahamas, led by Idamae Hanna as president. BAND provides accurate, practical and sound nutrition information to the Bahamian public; works with health stakeholders to implement innovative strategies to improve food and nutrition for better health and well being and advocates to ensure nutrition holds an appropriate level of importance in overall food supply security, among other objectives.
In the dietary guideline produced by the Ministry of Health, nutritionists and dietitians encourage people to choose a variety of foods daily. Among its recommendations, the guideline suggests limiting the amount of high fat and greasy foods consumed daily; making starchy vegetables, peas and beans a part of the diet; choosing foods low in sugar and salt; drinking plenty of water daily; refraining from alcohol consumption or drinking only in moderation; making physical activity and exercise part of lifestyles; choosing foods for their nutritional value and choosing breast milk for infants to start a healthy life.
"The basic nutrients we know that the body needs are carbohydrate, protein, minerals such as vitamin C and the B vitamins, iron and so forth, so what we [nutritionists and dietitians] do then is take the basic nutrients that the body needs and translate them into food," said Barnes. "We give recommendations for foods, bearing in mind we are taking nutrients that the body needs and translating them into foods so that people would know how to get these nutrients."
One of the things that BAND promotes is the consumption of what they term "basic foods". They heavily promote the consumption of root crops like sweet potato, cassava and pumpkin.
"There is a perception that, in order for us to be healthy, we have to go and buy very expensive food, organic foods, or that we have to buy very expensive supplements, otherwise we're doomed. But what we're saying is 'no, not necessarily'," said Barnes.
The BAND member said people should educate themselves about backyard gardening and make their own foods organic. Barnes believes that people should understand how to take basic ingredients like fish, cassava, cabbage, okra and make a basic, but nutritious meal out of them. "Everything has its place...the supplements have their place, but the basic Joe can most likely not afford that, so that does not mean that they're doomed," she said.
The nutritionist noted three areas she has termed "culprits" in the diet that people should try to curtail -- the intake of high amounts of fat, sodium and sugar. Fat, sodium and sugar, in excess, are often the culprits of chronic non-communicable diseases that are rampant in The Bahamas.
"Our whole promotion, our education, everything that we're doing, all the research is based on decreased fat, decreased sugar, decreased sodium. And so what we should not be doing is eating the high intake of fat, the high intake of sugar, the high intake of sodium," said Barnes.
In the sodium department, the nutritionist, who has been practicing for 20 years, said most people do not understand that one teaspoon of sodium is what is needed by the body for consumption for the entire day; added sugar should be kept to a minimum and fat consumption should be kept at three grams or less.
"The misconception is that it's just one teaspoon of salt added to your cooking, but the body only needs one teaspoon worth of sodium for the entire day -- whether you get it from a bag of chips, may have added it to your food, or you may have gotten it from a hot dog you may have eaten, or a can of soup you've eaten -- once understanding that, it shows how easy it is to over-consume salt. Thirty percent of our diet it's recommended that we get our fat, however if you're looking at your food label trying to assess how much fat you're getting, anything that is three grams or lower is recommended as low-fat, and the kind of food that you should be eating. When it comes to the sugar, and we're talking about added sugar which is really the culprit in a lot of our food and beverages, you should have it as low as you can go, as the high consumption of added sugar is highly linked to diabetes and obesity," said Barnes.
Barnes' advice comes as BAND, along with the Ministry of Health and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) hosts the Caribbean Association of Nutritionists and Dietitians (CANDi) 2014 biennial conference in The Bahamas at the Culinary Hospitality Management Institute under the theme 'Influencing Excellence in the Professions of Nutrition and Dietetics', from June 18-20. CANDi is the official regional body regulating and directing the professions of dietetics and nutrition throughout the Caribbean.
Both CANDi and BAND's overall purpose is to promote and maintain technology and information in the professions of dietetics and nutrition.
Topics on the conference agenda will look at nutrition and dietetics in The Caribbean, the medical doctor's perception of the roles of the nutritionist and dietitian, working together with the dietitian and nutritionist for each patient's optimal health, challenges and opportunities for dietitians and nutritionists and re-evaluating the competencies.
2014 CANDi Conference Events schedule
Day 1: Venue: Choices restaurant, The College of The Bahamas
8 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. -- Registration
9:30 a.m. - 11-11:25 a.m. -- Opening ceremony
11:30 a.m. - 12:55 p.m. -- CANDi Biennial general meeting (members only)
1:20 p.m. - 3 p.m. -- CANDi Biennial general meeting (members only)
4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. -- Board of Directors meeting
8 a.m. - 9:05 a.m. -- Registration
9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. -- Nutrition and dietetics in The Caribbean (June Holdip, past president, CANDi, Trinidad & Tobago
10:35 a.m. - 11:20 a.m. -- The medical doctor's perception of the roles of the nutritionist and dietitian (Bahamas Medical Association)
11:50 - 12:55 p.m. -- Working together with the dietitian and nutritionists for each patient's optimal health (Kateca Graham, Nurses Association of The Bahamas
2 p.m - 2:50 p.m. -- Challenges and opportunities for dietitians and nutritionists -- re-evaluating the competencies (Kirk Bolton, president JAPINAD)
2:55 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. -- Mapping the way forward: a practical exercise (Kelly Salmond, consultant, PAHO, The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands
4:20 pm. - 4:45 p.m. -- Day two overview
7:30 p.m. -- Installation ceremony and reception, Government House
8 a.m. - 9 a.m. -- Registration
9:15 a.m. -10:30 a.m. Are you the person in charge or exceptional leader in charge? (Leabner Forbes, certified coach, The Bahamas)
11:55 a.m. - 12: 55 p.m. -- Planning and implementing a dietetic internship program (Dr. Astrid Inniss)
2:05 p.m. - 3:05 p.m. -- Preceptorship (June Holdip, honorary secretary, CANDI, Trinidad & Tobago)
3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. -- Experiences of a dietetic internship program: as the facilitator in hospital (Dianne Charles, Trinidad & Tobago); as the facilitator in the community (Vidya Rajpauksingh-Bharath (Trinidad & Tobago)
3:55 p.m - 5 p.m. -- Overview of day three and closing ceremony
Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell reiterated yesterday that the government does not condone the abuse or ill-treatment of illegal migrants detained in The Bahamas.
Mitchell was asked to respond to comments made in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday by Florida Senator Marco Rubio during a hearing before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
During the hearing, nominees for diplomatic posts were interviewed. Among them was Cassandra Q. Butts, the nominee for U.S. ambassador to The Bahamas.
Rubio expressed concern about the "forceful repatriation" of Cuban detainees by the government of The Bahamas.
"The comments and the exchange in the U.S. Senate should be seen in the context of the hearing in which it occurred and be taken no further," Mitchell said.
He said, "I add only once again that The Bahamas does not condone the ill-treatment or abuse of any one in any of its lock-ups and any generic allegation to that effect would be absurd and incorrect.
"We work with all international partners on migration and other issues and this would most certainly apply to representatives of the American government."
Mitchell was traveling and responded via email.
During the hearing, Butts said one of her priorities, if confirmed, would be to ensure that all illegal migrants detained in The Bahamas are treated humanely.
She was responding to a question from Rubio, who said he has seen some of the images of the alleged ill-treatment.
Rubio seemed to be referring to the alleged abuse of a group of Cuban detainees at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre last year.
Images were aired on a Spanish language TV station in Miami last June purporting to show Cubans being abused by Bahamian officers.
Butts said the issue of migration is of great importance to her and was what attracted her to the post.
"I have not seen the images," she said. "I've certainly heard about some of the allegations with regard to how the Cuban refugees have been treated, [and how] migrants have been treated in The Bahamas."
She added, "It will be one of my priorities to ensure that all migrants are treated humanely."
According to witness statements from marines and detainees at the facility, Cuban detainees were severely beaten after they attempted to escape from the center.
The allegations made headlines for weeks and incensed Miami-based protest group Democracy Movement.
The government officially ordered an investigation into the alleged abuse of the Cuban detainees, most of whom have been repatriated or granted asylum in a third country.
A disciplinary hearing into the abuse claims started last November. Five marines were charged in connection with the incident.
The hearings are on hold as the Bahamas government awaits a response from the Cuban government on a request to interview detainees who were repatriated, authorities have said.
The founder of a global private banking group, EFG International, has launched a new private bank in The Bahamas, arguing that this country's financial services sector has continued opportunities to grow notwithstanding ever-evolving global regulatory standards.
Lawrence Howells, co-founder of Capital Union Bank, has taken on eight staff to date and anticipates growing beyond the capacity of his present office space within the year. Howells has significant experience growing companies, with EFG International, where Howells served as chief executive officer until June 2011, having grown to serve clients in 30 locations globally and to employ around 3,000 staff.
"We felt The Bahamas is a wonderful jurisdiction from a growth perspective. It's clearly a low-income jurisdiction and I think the sovereign risk is interesting to people. It's close to the U.S., and the government stability is impressive when compared with what's going on elsewhere in the world, and it is certainly open to the global investment community when a number of markets aren't.
"It's an attractive long-term place, and with the growing infrastructure and a whole host of other developments coming on stream we think it is terrific. We think The Bahamas will continue to grow even after there is a global automatic exchange of information," said Howells, who co-founded Capital Union Bank along with Clement Ducasse, after 36 years in the industry.
The establishment of the bank is positive news in the wake of the decision by UBS (Bahamas) to close the banking side of its operations in The Bahamas in recent months.
Howells said that while business models that may have worked in the past in the offshore sector may no longer be viable, there are other reasons why he thinks The Bahamas can continue to attract high-net-worth individuals to bring their assets to this country.
"I think the reality is that whatever it was that was done over the last 10, 20 years by a number of high-net-worth individuals who maintained assets offshore is not a viable model going forward, but there are other reasons, sovereign risk concerns, or asset protection, the fact that U.S. people setting up trust accounts here after two years would be protected from bankruptcy claims or old business claims. Or you may have someone who says, 'I don't want to be exposed to having all my assets in the U.S. frozen when there is a civil dispute', so there are reasons like that," he said.
"I think a lot of people will also have to make decisions to manage their tax exposure by managing their travel programs. People can reduce their tax exposure if they spend less than a certain amount of days in a particular country, but you need a residence of some kind and people will look for countries of residence with lower taxation.
"Provided you have a residence and a legal, official permanent domicile and you don't spend more than 'x' amount of time in a jurisdiction, and you are not employed there, then you will not be taxed there. Then the question becomes where will you bank and it's not all that unreasonable that you will want to bank where you live," said Howell, of the opportunity he foresees for Capital Union.
Howell said he considers The Bahamas to be a "remarkable" jurisdiction as far as the ability to attract the "global ex-pat and non-pat community", given the combination of its location, a reasonable home purchase market, substantial airlift and other factors.
Focusing on custody and execution services, money market, foreign exchange, over-the-counter (OTC) and derivatives instruments, among other offerings, Capital Union, he said, will not seek to distinguish itself by its product offerings, but by its service levels.
The bank intends to go after high-net-worth individuals generally, rather than focusing on a particular market.
"I don't see any geographic constraint, but having said that the Latin American market would be a place to be more logically focused," said Howell.
When Steven Best and Cassandra step onto the stage, their audience becomes a part of an unbelievable magic experience that will leave them mystified -- the master illusionist spins Cassandra's head in a full 360-degree turn -- and they remind you to remember to breathe as Cassandra fits herself into a small box and Steven pushes eight stainless steel, razor sharp spikes through her. This is the magic that Steven Best and Cassandra will bring to the stage as the circus has come to town.
So believe it or not, the circus will be truly amazing, based around a new cast performing and appearing on the popular television show "Ripley's Believe it or Not" and its famous museum in the United States. There will be 12 captivating performances of acrobats, contortionists, a Michael Jackson impersonator, local animals, famous cartoon characters such as Sponge Bob, Dora, Turtle and Elmo, a hilarious side-kick midget who will serve as co-ringmaster, daring swords swallowing act, rivaling Steven Best and Cassandra who headlined their own show in Las Vegas for five years, and who are now currently performing in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, in their new large-scale illusion show "Magic Spectacular!" for the best acts of the show title.
The sword act duo known as Captain and Maybelle, promise a show that will be shocking and filled with laughter. The self-proclaimed partners in crime perform classic sideshow entertainment with a contemporary twist, delivering zingers and stingers. Captain is a sword swallower, human blockhead and fire breather.
Captain & Maybelle were on "America's Got Talent Season 6", and if you missed them there, it's another dynamic duo that will leave you astonished and shaking your head in disbelief. You can see them push each other to their utmost physical limits, combining unique sideshow talent and spot-on comedy that will make you laugh and cry and have you asking why. They will show you how they quickly became America's favorite sideshow couple.
Rounding out the must see-acts will be juggler, Jonathan Jackson, and of course the co-ringmaster Stanley B. Booker Jr. who performed with the Universoul Circus in Atlanta, Georgia.
The circus has been brought to town again for the fifth year, courtesy of David Wallace and Soft Touch Productions.
"This year's event will be a circus of soul with lots of music and entertainment to hype the crowd," said Wallace, who said he tries to bring in different acts every year to ensure that the show remains relevant and a must-attend event. "This year in particular, there will be eye-popping, jaw-dropping performances that will have the audience anxious and on the edge of their seats when they see particular acts."
Matinee shows will be held today at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs Gymnasium (KGLI) for schools at 10 a.m., with a 1:30 p.m. show at Gerald Cash Primary. Shows open to the public will be held tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m. at KGLI.
Admission is $12 students, $11 for pre-school aged children and includes a hot dog and drink. Adult tickets are $15 general admission and $20 ringside seating.
Tickets can be purchased at Seventeen Shop, Collins Avenue, Carey's Department Store, Mackey Street, Conliffe's Bakery off Carmichael Road and the Original Swiss Sweet Shop, West Bay Street.
"My critics will argue that I am a horrible politician. When the Christie government was on the brink of disaster, some might argue that the best political move is to let them plunge over the edge. I do not believe that such a posture is in the country's best interests."
FNM Chairman Darron Cash
In Greek mythology, Cassandra, the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy, is a figure of tragedy. She had the power of prophecy, accompanied by the curse of never being believed. A more common version of the story is that, even though she served as a priestess of Apollo and had taken a vow of chastity in order to remain a virgin for her entire life, she was given the power of prophecy by Apollo so that he could seduce her but, when she refused him, he gave her the curse of never having her prophecies believed, no matter how accurate or logical.
This week, Darron Cash, the chairman of the Free National Movement (FNM), came under considerable criticism from his colleagues because he courageously cautioned the party's leadership that they had taken the wrong position in several matters of national importance. Therefore, this week we would like to Consider this... by taking such a bold and courageous position on matters of national importance that are in opposition to the FNM's stated policies and political positions, has Cash relegated himself to a position similar to that of Cassandra whose prophesies, no matter how accurate and logical, are dismissed by those who hear them, namely his colleagues?
In a recent communication to the FNM executive committee, Cash stated that the purpose of his memorandum "is to invite the party to sacrifice its current (yet short-term) political advantage over the PLP government in favor of doing something directly through words and actions - that I believe will be in the country's current and long-term best interests".
Cash criticized two FNM policy positions: the first related to the regulation and taxation of web shops and the second to the party's opposition of the implementation of a value-added tax, especially without offering any concrete alternative recommendations. The latter was especially hypocritical and disingenuous because, as Cash noted, the same value-added tax would have been implemented if the FNM had been returned to office in the general election of May 7, 2012.
The FNM position on web shops
In his memo, Cash chronicled how, in 2010, then Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham confirmed that the FNM council and parliamentarians "greatly support" the regulation of web shops in The Bahamas. He also noted that "our FNM government facilitated the expansion of the web shops. Then we 'elevated' them by calling them in for formal talks, indirectly validating what they were doing. We then gave them more licenses. How have they now become devils?" It is crystal clear that the FNM, while in government, which included three of the current parliamentarians who then served as Cabinet ministers, supported the regularization of web shops.
However, after losing office on May 7, 2012, and before the referendum on January 28, 2013, the FNM, now in opposition, reversed its earlier position on regulating and taxing the web shops. Cash noted: "The leader of the opposition drew a hard line by declaring that the FNM would not support the government because it would not go against the results of the non-binding opinion poll."
Cash maintained, "...that is not a sustainable position. There is no ultimate political escape from a definitive tough position on web shops and gaming. I propose an official position in support of the government's decision to normalize web shops. I propose an early decision."
Cash also astutely observed, "If we want to inspire a new generation of Bahamians to support the FNM and follow us, we cannot be entirely like the FNM that thousands of those new-generation-Bahamians rejected on May 7, 2012. In my view, the announcement to oppose the government's planned action on web shops plays into the narrative that all the FNM wants to do is oppose anything the PLP does for opposing sake. In the new debate over web shops we have an opportunity to perform a course correction."
The FNM position on VAT
In his memo, Cash also challenged the FNM's position on value-added tax which the government intends to implement on July 1, 2014. He observed that FNM supporters were interested in understanding the party's position on VAT and that "the November statement on VAT by the leader [of the opposition] was regarded less as a statement of alternative tax policy and more as an attack on the government for offering a tax option that Bahamians would later learn that the FNM's own minister of state for finance had stated publicly that the FNM would have considered. To reiterate the point, we have to date offered no specific alternatives to VAT."
Stepping back from the edge
In his missive to the executive committee, Cash stated, "My critics will argue that I am a horrible politician. That might be true. At a time when the Christie government was on the brink of disaster some might argue that the best political move is to let them plunge over the edge. I do not believe that such a posture is in the country's best interests. There comes a time when the dream of a new Bahamas must come face to face with the reality of The Bahamas as it is today. Our party must demonstrate the ability to act in a different way."
Political maturity in putting country first
We disagree with those who might suggest that Cash is "a horrible politician". We believe that what he represents is a breath of fresh air in our domestic politics and a level of political maturity that is sorely lacking and badly needed throughout our body politic. We also strongly disagree with the deputy leader of the FNM who suggested that Cash "may have been misled by PLP propaganda" and "is probably misguided in some of the utterances that the PLP has put out there". Why did she not say the same a few years ago when, while she was a Cabinet minister, Cash took another principled stand against the FNM's sale of BTC? Moreover, following that very public divergence from stated FNM policy in favor of what he believed to be best for the country, if Cash was seen then as so easily swayed by opposing political rhetoric, why was he entrusted with the very sensitive and important post of FNM national chairman?
No, we must look at the deputy leader's current criticism for what it is. Spoken like a veteran practitioner of the old-school, tit-for-tat, "don't take no last", scorched earth political approach of an earlier era, the FNM deputy leader has demonstrated anything but a progressive posture; instead, she is demonstrating an approach that is characteristic of the deeply divided partisan polemics that have resulted in the current ineffectual, gridlocked governance of the American "democratic" system. We deserve better and Cash alone has demonstrated that he is prepared to do better.
We hope that the level of political maturity that we have seen this week from Darron Cash represents the next generation of politicians on all sides of the political divide who will be guided by putting country above party and self.
If Cash's mature approach is a precursor of the political behavior that will evolve in the 21st century, then our country will be better positioned to overcome the issues that will surely continue to confront us and emerge as the strong, secure, successful nation we all want to see.
o Philip C. Galanis is the managing partner of HLB Galanis & Co., Chartered Accountants, Forensic & Litigation Support Services. He served 15 years in Parliament. Please send your comments to email@example.com.