Industry experts and professional chefs enlightened students on poultry fabrication, hot food plating and getting ready for culinary competitions during opening day of a culinary conference hosted by The Department of Education, Mahatma Rice, Robin Hood Flour and University of The Bahamas (UB).
Students representing 11 islands and 26 government and private schools participated in the sixth annual Bahamas Young Chef Culinary Conference at Choices Restaurant, UB. The theme for the two-day conference was “Bahamian Culinary Arts: Sustainability Across Land and Sea”.
Shacara Lightbourne, CEO, Island Foodology; Wilton McKenzie, Adelaide Quail Company; chef Addiemae Farrington, UB professor; and chef Marquis Darling, Ministry of Tourism, Culinary Arts Department, led the interactive sessions. The chefs and experts fielded questions from students and family and consumer science teachers during the livestreamed sessions.
Raquel Turnquest, education officer, congratulated each student for making it to that point.
“Getting to the national rounds takes a lot,” said Turnquest. “From the district competitions, to school competitions, to research, reaching out to industry chefs, all of that is not an easy feat. You are all winners for the mere fact that you are here and sitting in this room.”
She told the students that they will be exposed to a lot of information during the conference and urged them to “soak it up”.
McKenzie gave the students and their coaches a lesson and demonstration on dispatching quails using both hand and scissors methods.
Lightbourne led an informative discussion on food security which included a talk on pillars of food security, state of agriculture and fisheries, food production and the processing chain in The Bahamas, agri-ecotourism and strategies to reduce dependency on imported produce.
Farrington shared her plating skills and styles in presenting the finished product.
All of the participating students competed in the finals of the national round of the 2022 Bahamas Young Chef junior and senior culinary competitions.