April 13, 2012
Temple Christian School's Dwayne Sinclair knows he can throw down in the kitchen. That fact was cemented when he won the New Providence Senior Finals and the National All-Island Senior Young Chef competition last year, sweeping all categories, winning best rice and best flour dish en route to the overall senior title. This year was no different. The graduating senior put his titles on the line and mounted a successful defense. He bows out of high school as a two-time champion of the competition sponsored by Mahatma Rice and Robin Hood Flour.
"It felt like all the hard work paid off," said Sinclair whose Island Pina Colada Upside Down Cake and Island Crack Conch Cannelloni with Julienne Vegetables wowed the judges who voted them the best flour and rice dishes once again.
"[Sinclair's] food compared to the others really stood out," said One&Only Ocean Club Executive Chef Emmanuel Gibson. "His food showed his passion and creativity."
Sinclair, 17, walked away with $1,500 and a $10,000 scholarship to Lincoln College of Technology in West Palm Beach, Florida. By virtue of his win, Sinclair will travel as a junior chef with the Bahamian national squad to the Taste of the Caribbean competition, June 20-24 in Miami, Florida.
Looking back at his win, Sinclair who decided to challenge himself fully in his final showing at the competition, opted not to do any prep work prior to the competition. Nothing was prepared. He did all of his cooking and garnishes during the competition. While he said it proved to be hectic, he found he was calmer and found everything easier - that is until time for the awards ceremony. It was at that point that he doubted himself.
"You hope you win, but you really don't know until they call your name," he said.
"He was outstanding and it shows great potential," said Chef Gibson who Sinclair does work study under at the Courtyard Terrace Restaurant at the resort.
The chef said Sinclair shows great potential and that the young chef competition is a needed event which provides an avenue for high school students who aspire to the culinary arts to learn.
"They get to see so many other people's work, plus working under pressure makes a person stronger and allows them to think on your feet, so in real life situations, they can use the experience to be poised, calm and focused, and let it come out in their daily work," said Gibson.
Placing second was Sherika Gibson of S.C. Bootle High School, Abaco, with her Abaco Express and Blackwood Delight.
Third place went to Deja Burrows of Queen's College. She prepared Deja's Creamy Mango Rice Pudding with Tropical Fruit Salsa and Island Conch and Crawfish Tart with a Mango-Curry Sauce.
Stevette Murphy of North Long Island High placed fourth with her Poached Curry Grouper and Rice with Tangy Carrot and Onion Rings and Steamed Cassava Delight and Pineapple Guava Sauce.
Gibson, a graduating senior, took home $750 and a $5,000 scholarship to Lincoln College of Technology. Burrows left with $300. Murphy picked up $200 for her fourth place finish.
Judging the competition with Chef Gibson were Chef Edwin Johnson, Sapodillas Restaurant; Atlantis; Debbie Wheeler, manager of Test Kitchens for Mahatma Rice; and Chefs David Pantone and Manfred Schmidte of Lincoln College of Technology.
Chef Edwin Johnson who's been with the competition since it's inception 20 years ago, noted that organizational skills by the students have developed and improved tremendously. He also said that overall presentation including balance, color, knife skills, sanitation, nutritional value and the incorporation and utilization of indigenous products had also improved. He also mentioned that the students that now compete seem more relaxed and confident overall.
The sponsors' products, Mahatma Rice and Robin Hood Flour, are distributed in The Bahamas by Asa H. Pritchard Ltd. In addition to providing almost $4,000 in prizes each year, the sponsors also provide transportation to New Providence for competitors with their coach, and cash stipends for teachers and contestants to assist with the purchase of supplies.
Island Conch and Rice Cannelloni with Vegetable Julienne
Recipe: Dwayne Sinclair
2 tbsps butter
3/4 cup mirepoix
3 tbsps conch, diced
1 medium garlic clove, chopped
4 large sprigs of thyme
1/2 cup Mahatma Valencia rice
1 1/2 cups conch consomme, homemade
3 oz coconut milk
2 oz milk
3 oz mascarpone cheese
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
1 (16 x 4) sheet of ground conch meat pressed out to 1/8-inch thickness
2 large eggs
1/2 large lime, juiced
1/4 small goat pepper, ground
1 small finger pepper, ground
1 oz onion, ground
1/2 cup flour plus 1/2 cup cornstarch
5 oz seasoned Panko breadcrumbs
1 liter vegetable oil
For the vegetable julienne
2 tsps butter
1 small garlic clove
1 large thyme sprig
1 each large red, green, yellow and orange bell pepper (julienned)
1/2 medium red onion, julienned
Salt and pepper
For the creamy corn jalapeno and bacon ragout
1 strip thick-cut bacon
1 large thyme sprig
1 small garlic clove
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (1 ear of corn)
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup half and half
1 small jalapeno pepper, diced
4 tbsps half and half
Salt and pepper
For the plantain chips
1 small green plantain, peeled
Heat a medium saute pan. Cook the bacon until crispy. Saute the garlic, thyme and corn for about two minutes until tender, add the flour and cook another minute or so. Turn the heat to high and add the first addition of half and half. Bring to a boil. Season and let cool, then add the remaining ingredients and toss until well combined. Cover until ready to reheat for plating.
For the filling: Simmer consomme in a sauce pan. In another saucepan over medium heat, saute the mirepoix, garlic, thyme and conch in butter for two minutes until translucent. Add rice and cook for three minutes. Add half of the hot consomme to the rice and stir vigorously. Cook until the consomme is absorbed and the rice mixture looks almost dry. Add the remaining consomme and repeat the process all over again. While waiting for the second batch of consomme to be absorbed, heat the milk and coconut milk. When the rice mixture is almost dry again, add the hot milk and coconut milk. Check the seasoning. Turn the heat down to low and let the rice cook covered. When the rice is completely done, stir in the mascarpone cheese. Remove the rice from the pan and place on a plate and chill in the freezer until cold.
Assemble: Place the conch skin/wrapper on your work area with the longest sides going left to right. Make a few logs of the rice filling, and place in the center of the conch wrapper. Roll it up, shape into a proper log and freeze until cold.
Coating: Set up your station with four bowls, one each for flour, egg mixture, Panko breadcrumbs and empty plate for the finished cannellonis.
Assembly: Remove the chilled conch and rice logs from the freezer and place on cutting board. Using a serrated knife, but off the ends of the roll, then cut approximately five mini cannellonis from the log. Shape the cannellonis so that they are perfectly cylindrical
Final cooking: Place the cannellonis in the hot oil and fry for about one minute, just to lightly brown the breadcrumbs. Place the fried cannellonis in a dish lined with tissue and place in a 350 degree oven to warm through. Turn off oven, cover the dish and leave in the oven to keep warm until ready to plate.
For the vegetable julienne: In a medium saute pan, saute all ingredients until slightly softened about half-way cooked. They will finish cooking when it is time to reheat to plate.
For the creamy corn jalapeno and bacon ragout: Heat a medium saute pan. Cook the bacon until crispy. Saute the garlic, thyme and corn for about two minutes until tender, add the flour and cook another minute or so. Turn the heat to high and add the first addition of half and half. Bring to a boil. Season and let cool, then add the remaining ingredients and toss until well combined. Cover until ready to reheat for plating. (If the bechamel sauce is too stiff when ready to plate, just add a little more half and half and heat under a low flame, stirring constantly).
For the plantain chips: Using a mandolin, slice the green plantain lengthwise about 1/8 inch thick. Fry the chips in hot oil until golden brown and crisp. Immediately after the chips come out of the oil, season the chips with sea salt.
Island Pina Colada Upside Down Cake
Recipe: Dwayne Sinclair
3.7 oz dark brown sugar
2 oz white sugar
3 oz butter
4 large all spice berries, crushed
4 large cloves, crushed
3/4 tsp powdered ginger
6 grams ginger root, grated
1/2 large vanilla bean, split
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 medium star anise, crushed
20 fresh thyme leaves
12 tbsps fresh pineapple, diced
8 large maraschino cherries, diced
1 tbsp coconut, shredded
2 oz butter
2 oz mascarpone cheese
3 oz sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
4 oz Robin Hood all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp rock salt, ground
1 tsp baking powder
2 oz coconut milk
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste
10 grams grated fresh coconut
5 grams grated fresh coconut, roasted
It is very important that all ingredients be at room temperature
Caramel: Mix all ingredients together and place approximately one tablespoon of the caramel mixture into each of the 12 cavities of the silicone pan.
Fruits: Mix the pineapple and cherries together with some vanilla bean paste and place about one tablespoon of the mixture on top of the caramel in the silicone pan.
Cake: Cream the butter, sugar and mascarpone cheese together for about one minute on medium high speed until fluffy and smooth. Incorporate the eggs. Add the dry and wet mixtures, alternating between the wet and dry. Remember to always begin and end with dry. Stop mixer and give the bowl a scrape down, then place back on the mixer whip at high speed for about 10 seconds to incorporate some air. Place the batter into a pastry bag and pipe the batter into the silicone molds on top of the caramel and fruits. Remember to fill the molds only 3/4 of the way full. Place the silicone pan on a sheet tray lined with a Silpat baking sheet and place in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and the center springs back when pressed.
Salted Coconut Benne Crumble
Recipe: Dwayne Sinclair
25 grams sugar
44 grams flour
13 grams fresh grated coconut
1 pinch sea salt
29 grams butter
1/2 tbsp benne seeds
Place all ingredients in the bowl of a mixer and mix for one minute. Spread the mixture on a Silpat-lined baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven until golden brown, about six to seven minutes. Remove from oven and let cool, then place in a container until ready to plate up.
Coconut Lime Sorbet
2 oz. coconut milk
2 oz heavy cream
41 grams simple syrup
17 grams Malibu rum
1/2 large lime, zested
Mix all the chilled ingredients together and place in an ice cream machine to churn until almost frozen, about 20 minutes. Place the sorbet into a container and freeze until solid, or ready to plate.
13 grams sugar
13 grams butter
13 grams egg whites
13 grams flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
3 tbsps crushed pistachios (to decorate tuile before baking)
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until the mixture is smooth and well incorporated. Place the mixture into a pastry bag with a medium round piping tip and pipe about eight (three-inch lines) onto a silpat-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the tuile batter with the crushed pistachios. Place in a 350-degree oven and bake until golden brown about one to two minutes. Remove from oven, cool and store until ready to use.
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