KINGSTON, JAMAICA, August 14, 2003 - Overachiever, thy name is SuperClubs. For the 18th consecutive year, the SuperClubs culinary team yet again dominated the National Food Festival (formerly Professional Culinary Arts Exposition) sweeping almost 60 percent of the awards for a total of 164 awards - 22 gold, 65 silver and 77 bronze - and 43 certificates of merit.
A highlight of this year`s festival (sponsored by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission), was Starfish Trelawny`s Adrian Weichenberger as he prepped, puréed and presented his way to victory in the Master Chef Mystery Basket competition. Judged on creativity and presentation as well as taste, each chef was given a basketful of ingredients and 45 minutes to create a recipe. Then, after choosing the necessary items from the basket, they were given one hour for the completion of the dish. The gold medal-winner creation was Weichenberger`s Honey-Peanut crusted Tofu with Chickpeas Puree plated on crispy Vegetables and Sweet Potato Roesti accompanied by a Mango Yogurt and Pineapple Chutney- a delicious mouthful in every sense of the word. In addition to the gold medal, Weichenberger received the JCDC`s Master Chef award, $30,000 and the Governor General`s trophy.
Notable individual gold medal performances included Grand Lido Negril executive chef Martin Maginley`s Thai Snapper with Pineapple Ginger Shrimp Noodles Garnished with Coconut Mayonnaise and Seaweed Salad. Maginley also led his culinary team to two golds in their imaginative creations for a Seafood Platter, featuring Lobster Tail Terrine and Salmon Sushi in Saffron Rice; as well as a Vegetable Platter of Quinoa and Chickpea-stuffed Baby Bok Choy, Rasta Vegetable Lasagna Terrine and Baby Carrot and Breadfruit Terrine. Breezes Runaway Bay`s Lincoln Peterkin won a gold with his chocolate showpiece “Wings of Glory;” as did the Grand Lido Braco culinary team, who nabbed “Best” titles in pork, beef, shrimp and dessert dishes.
In other competition news, another SuperClubs star made history by becoming the first female bartender in the festival`s 38-year history to be named Bartender of the Year. Alicia Essor of Hedonism II walked away with the award, and her masterful performance also earned her a two-year scholarship, valued at $75,000 per year, for study towards an associate degree at the Western Hospitality Institute.
“These awards truly demonstrate not only the depth and breadth of talent of our professional chefs and bartenders,” said Hon. John J. Issa, executive chairman of SuperClubs, “but also our deep commitment to providing our guests with a world-class dining experience at each of our resorts. Once again, our staff has raised the bar.”
The annual National Food Festival (formerly Professional Culinary Arts Exposition), which attracts talented chefs and bartenders island-wide, was created in 1965 by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) to encourage creativity in Jamaican menus and dishes using local ingredients.