Pumpkin Patch

By Monique Washington

Registration is open for chefs with a valid food-handler’s permit to enter the 2016 Second Annual Pumpkin Challenge sponsored by the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, the Nevis Tourism Authority, the St. Kitts Agriculture Department and the Hotel and Tourism Association. More than 30 hotels and restaurants will participate in this year’s competition.

Alphonso Clarke, Pumpkin Challenge marketing officer and coordinator, told the Observer registration forms are available from the Ministry of Tourism on Port Zante or at the Department of Agriculture. There is no cost to register for the competition.

April 22 will be the final day to enter the competition. Contestants chosen for the competition will be notified between April 25 and 29.

“As long as pumpkin is the main ingredient in the recipe, participants in the Pumpkin Challenge can be creative and use whatever combination ofspices they like in their recipes,” Clarke explained.

Representatives from participating restaurants will vote on the best recipe using pumpkin. As an essential part of the competition, the three finalists will prepare their winning dishes on-site during Restaurant Week.

Last year’s winner, Mrs. Maurine Stapleton, won the breadfruit challenge with her tasty breadfruit chowder.

According to Clarke, preliminaries begin May 3, when applicants will submit their favorite pumpkin dish.Judges will choose the best recipes to narrow the field down to three finalists, who will compete July 13-24 during Restaurant Week.

Clarke said prizes are still being finalized. He confirmed the winning dish will be featured in participating restaurants during Restaurant Week.

More than 40 restaurants and hotels will participate in this event. Some restaurants participating are Montpelier Plantation and Beach, the Varandah at Ocean Terrace Inn, Mango at Four Seasons, Sprat Net and Nisbetts’ Plantation and Beach Club.