Guests and team members at Sandals and Beaches Negril got a sample of some hot competition as chefs, cooks and cooking enthusiasts squared off in culinary competitions over the Emancipendence holiday.
The cook-offs which served as a motivational tool also fostered great team bonding. The competitors were also driven to come up with creative ideas, share best practices, improve on taste and quality and also learn to work well under the pressure of limited time and the expectations from onlookers.
The competition at Sandals Negril started on July 2 with a total of eight teams challenging each other. The hotly anticipated event culminated on July 31, the perfect segue into the hotel’s week-long Emancipendence celebrations. Stepping out of kitchen as top contenders were chef de partie Fabian Farrier and cook Kanann Cummings. Second place went to cooks Salif Raymond and Daniel Pryce. Both teams walked away with bragging rights for the year, cash prizes, personalized chef jackets, trophies, plaques, and Mercer or Victorinox chef knives.
“It feels pretty amazing to be the winner. I was paired with Fabian who has more years of experience and exposure so I learnt a lot from him. I know now how to work better under pressure, communicate more and not be afraid to try new recipes,” shared Kanann Cummings.
The winning meal was a twist on the traditional Jamaican ackee and saltfish using ingredients from a mystery basket.
Beaches Negril’s cook-off took a slightly different spin, with departments going head to head as they prepared various dishes to include Jamaica’s National Dish, ackee and saltfish. Resort guests were the acclaimed judges who declared the entertainment department with team members Jardine Vassell, Yanike Brown, Patrice Essor and Samantha Dillion as the clear winners. They prepared curried shrimp rundung as well as ackee and saltfish. Second place went to the resort’s revenue department.
“These cook-offs were very well received by everyone. It is healthy competition amongst our team members and challenges them to be more creative with their meal offerings. A great bonus is that it is always very entertaining for our guests and team members and a great avenue to share more about our dynamic Jamaican culture,” shared Sandals Negril’s Executive Chef, Delroy Haye.