The staff of the luxury hotel and resorts, Elegant Hotels, went to battle at Tamarind to determine who had the best cou cou and flying fish dish.
The 20 employees from the seven resorts – Treasure Beach, The House, Crystal Cove, Waves Hotel and Spa, Turtle Beach, Colony Club, and Tamarind – competed in the inaugural Elegant Hotels Culinary Competition. Every resort thought they had the best flying fish and cou cou so the management of Elegant Hotels hosted the culinary competition. The kitchen staff were not the only competitors to bare their knives but three employees from the housekeeping department, waiting staff and storeroom also participated in the competition.
However, the kitchen from Tamarind by Elegant Hotels dominated the competition with Donna Forde winning the Traditional dish and Jamal Blackman taking home the top prize in the Contemporary section. In addition to their prized plate, the winners received $500 in vouchers and a weekend staycation for two.
Second place in the Traditional segment went to Makeba Fields of Treasure Beach and third place to Antonio Yearwood. Meanwhile, Treasure Beach sous chef Ashley Thorpe was second place in the Contemporary dishes and Shakaya Bell from Crystal Cove placed third.
The dishes were innovative, as one contestant created a dessert from the national dish and another person offered caviar. Group operations director of Elegant Hotels Gale Talma revealed that the dishes created by Forde and Blackman will be featured in the first edition of the Elegant Hotels Recipe Book.
“The creativity has been really phenomenal. Sometimes you don’t know how much talent you have in your kitchens until you put out something like this and you see what they create, and it has been really great… the team spirit and the enthusiasm and everybody coming out to see what their hotel has been doing,” Talma remarked.
The operations director disclosed that the recipe book will solely feature Barbadian ingredients and products – a concept which seeks to highlight local dishes to the international landscape. “We don’t want international recipes. We want great local recipes out there that our staff produce. We really want to feature our staff and the recipes they create using mainly local products,” she explained.