Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Roger Clarke, has endorsed the annual pan-jerked chicken competition, staged by the Caribbean Broilers Group of Companies, describing it as an example of the government’s emphasis on entrepreneurship and producing and eating more local foods.
Speaking at the launch of the 2012 tournament on May 1 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, Mr. Clarke noted that, over the years, Jamaica’s poultry industry had grown and advanced to the stage where the sector is currently “almost self-sufficient”.
“That is the direction we should always go and we are also now in a situation where we can begin to export chicken to other places. What it (tournament) is doing is underlining what we as a government…support wholeheartedly ….eat what you grow, grow what you eat. But what is even more important is the fact that coming out of that little start with the pan (jerked) chicken, we have developed so many entrepreneurs. It is something that we should be proud of,” Minister Clarke said.
Caribbean Broilers Group Chief Executive Officer, Mark Haskins, informed that this year’s competition is expected to be bigger and better than the previous years, as it will coincide with celebrations marking Jamaica’s 50th independence anniversary.
He said the company has, again, partnered with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) to stage the tournament, which will see the top 10 chefs being selected from the list of entrants for each parish, to participate in three scheduled regional competitions.
These are slated for the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston on May 27; Dump Up Beach, Montego Bay, on June 29; and a venue in Clarendon on September 29.
Mr. Haskins said the regional competitions will each feature an hour-long cook-off, from which the winners and first runners-up for each parish will be selected. The 26 selectees will then advance to the November 18 final, scheduled for the Kingston Waterfront, where they will vie for the championship title, which will see the winner copping a cash prize of $275,000 from the CB Group; a $250,000 business expansion grant from co-sponsor, Churches Cooperative Credit Union; and a trophy.
“We have no doubt that the regionals and the grand finale will boast an abundant of succulent, mouthwatering, juicy, and irresistible (recipes) for everyone to enjoy,” Mr. Haskins assured.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter