BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, July 17, 2023 (MMS-SKN) — The St. Kitts Labour East Basseterre, Constituency One, Branch Executive, on Saturday July 15 executed the highly successful inaugural East Basseterre Fish Fry and Cook-off Festival where Chef Ms Dwayniqua Payne walked away with the ‘Dr Geoffrey Hanley East Basseterre Cook-off’ crown.
The chef who hails from Half Way Tree faced stiff competition from another four chefs, They had assembled at the Newtown Playing Field where the Deputy Prime Minister and Area Parliamentary Representative, the Hon Dr Geoffrey Hanley, who was accompanied by his wife, Mrs Adaeze Hanley, worked tirelessly showcasing his culinary skills as he ensured that all who patronised the event were well fed.
The other competitors were Mr Akeem Peters, a soldier, from Bird Rock; Mr Pablo Lynch of St. Peter’s, representing the Dominican Republic; Mr Ian ‘Youth Man’ Nisbett of Taylors; and Ms Denisia ‘Nisi’ Whyte who, in the event’s promotional video, said she was from SP (Sandy Point) – ‘Where the Best Be’.
The event was coordinated by a member of the Executive for East Basseterre, Constituency One Labour Branch, Mrs Emileta Warner-Paul, who is also the current Chair for the Women’s Arm. She explained that the Fish Fry and Chef Cook-Off competition was the brainchild of the Hon Dr Geoffrey Hanley, which he had worked on for quite some time.
The five chefs were each given a mystery box, which they later found out contained grouper fish fillet, shrimp, onion, garlic, potato, carrot, broccoli, pineapple, tomato and pasta, and they were set loose to make the best of the ingredients in ninety minutes. They were then expected to make a presentation to the three judges after they would have put in front of them plates of the end product.
The Hon Dr Hanley introduced the three judges, who he said were all professional cooks and chefs as well. They were Mr Jermaine Wilkin, the head judge, Ms Sharylle Richardson, and Ms Teesea Nero.
Present at the well-attended event included, Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, the Hon Garth Wilkin, Speaker of the National Assembly the Hon Lanien Blanchette, Cabinet Secretary Dr Marcus Natta, Ambassadors His Excellency Kenneth Douglas, and His Excellency Leon Natta.
While East Basseterre Fish Fry and Cook-off Festival had started at 4:00 p.m. where food and drinks were served, music provided by TNO Sound, DJ Metal, and J’Nysis Band, adults engaged in games of dominos, while the kids entertained themselves in the Kiddies Zone which had among others a bouncing castle, the actual cooking competition did not start until 7:42 p.m.
At the end of the allotted one and a half hours (90 minutes) at 9:12 p.m. the chefs were advised that their time was up and each were to present three plates of their dishes to the judges who would sample it and give their comments. The first was Mr Ian ‘Youth Man’ Nisbett, followed by Ms Dwayniqua Payne, Ms Denisia ‘Nisi’ Whyte, Mr Akeem Peters, and Mr Pablo Lynch.
At the end, Head Judge Mr Jermaine Wilkin made the much awaited announcement: “Third place with a total of 83 points, we have Akeem Peters. Second place with a total of 88 points, we have Denisia Whyte, and the winner with a grand total of 91 points we have, and a grand prize of $1,000 cash and $200 gift voucher, we have Dwayniqua Payne.
Presentation of prizes was made by the Hon Dr Geoffrey Hanley, who was assisted by Chairperson of the Cooking Competition, Ms Kayrecia Nero. The contestants were each presented with a medal of participation, with $1,000 for the winner and a gift voucher for $200 from Best for Less, $500 for second place and a gift voucher for $125, $300 for third place and a gift voucher for $125. The other two got $100 each, along with a voucher for $125 from Best for Less.
While thanking all the sponsors, committee members for the East Basseterre Festival, which is headed by Ms Jamila Samuel, Dr Hanley announced that the Cook-Off event tied in with the official launch of the East Basseterre Festival activities that will take place from September 2nd on to the 30th.
“As the Parliamentary Representative for East Basseterre, I invite you to participate in all of the activities that you will hear more about,” said Dr Hanley. “This is just a taste of what is to happen. One of the activities that we will have is our Community Family Food Fair, so we are going to be showcasing all of our dishes in East Basseterre, in Taylors, in New Town, New Pond Site, Frigate Bay, Peninsula, and of course Ponds Pasture. We will have the usual J’ouvert morning, and the parade and the wet-fet and a lot of other activities.”
He further noted that one of the highlights of the East Basseterre Festival will be the first ever Prime Minister Eleven vs. the Deputy Prime Minister Eleven, describing it as the biggest football match that will ever happen in the Federation. He added: “I think I will be the goalkeeper. So you all will be coming out to support us.”