Applications Open for JCDC Culinary Arts Competition

Story Highlights

  • Applications are now being accepted for the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s (JCDC) Culinary Arts Competition to be held in May.
  • Culinary Arts Development Specialist at JCDC, Paula Thomas Williams, told JIS News that this year’s competition will focus on smart cooking for healthy living and healthy eating on a budget.
  • The competition will involve five categories: Cooking A (preparing a three- course meal); Cooking B (preparing a meal for a special dietary group); Hors d'oeuvres, Sandwiches and Salads; Baked Treats; Cold Desserts and Fruit and Vegetable Carving.

Applications are now being accepted for the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s (JCDC) Culinary Arts Competition to be held in May.

Culinary Arts Development Specialist at JCDC, Paula Thomas Williams, told JIS News that this year’s competition will focus on smart cooking for healthy living and healthy eating on a budget.

“A lot of persons are being diagnosed with lifestyle illnesses and so we decided to get everybody to think of eating healthy and preparing healthy meals. We also want persons to know that they can eat healthy and it does not have to stretch their pockets. Persons say that vegetables are expensive but … think about the cost of buying tablets and medication when you become ill, so it is best to start thinking of eating healthy from now,” she said.

The competition will involve five categories: Cooking A (preparing a three- course meal); Cooking B (preparing a meal for a special dietary group); Hors d’oeuvres, Sandwiches and Salads; Baked Treats; Cold Desserts and Fruit and Vegetable Carving.

Mrs. Thomas Williams also informed that this year’s competition will have several new features. These include Rising Star Chef; Hot Off the Grill; Preserves and Condiments; Mixology; Table Setting and Napkin Folding; Cold Desserts; Sponsors Product; Nyam on a Budget and Dutchie Dash.

She explained that the Dutchie Dash “is like a mystery basket with a spin. The competitors will be required to find the items to be used in their meals during a treasure hunt and then there will be a cook-off. At least one aspect of the meal must be prepared in a Dutch pot.”

Also this year, entrants will be required to prepare their entire meal in front of the judges. This is a departure from previous years where contestants were allowed to prepare parts of their meals beforehand.

Another new feature of the annual culinary competition is the Food Preparation Lab Enhancement Cooking Challenge, where students will prepare specified meals at their respective schools.

This challenge is open to all secondary schools and the winning institution will have a part of its Home Economics Centre enhanced.

Mrs. Thomas Williams told JIS News that winners and participants in the various competition categories will receive cash prizes, trophies and gifts from sponsors, and they will also have the opportunity to expose their culinary talent.

“The winners from one of our categories will get the chance to participate in the ‘Taste of Jamaica’ competition. The other benefit is that from our workshops, you learn how to prepare healthy meals,” she said.

The Culinary Arts Competition will be held in four regions – eastern, central, northern and western.

For further information, application forms and guidelines, persons may visit the JCDC website at www.jcdc.gov.jm, the JCDC head office located at 3-5 Phoenix Avenue, Kingston 10; and all JCDC parish offices. The deadline for application is February 26.

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