Constantine and Tuckett preparing their meal.

Danae-Lishawn Constantine and Ayddan Tuckett of the Washington Archibald High School are the winners of the Twelfth Annual High School Chefs’ Competition, capturing the title by showcasing their culinary skills and creative expression Tuesday at the St. Kitts Eco-Park.

The cooking contest was organized by the St. Kitts Department of Youth Empowerment as part of the month-long celebration of youth held every November. Participating teams also came from the Cayon High School, Charles E. Mills Secondary School, Basseterre High School and the Verchilds High School.

Runners up in the competition were Shakera Mangra and Goldanne Welcome of the Cayon High School, while Tremaine Isaac and Joestan Eddy of the Verchilds High School placed third. Isaac and Eddy won the competition last year.

“You learnt how to collaborate, manage time, and handle pressure and in my experience, those are valuable traits that employers are looking for,” Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Tom Buchanan, told participants, saying while only one team can be selected as the winner, all of the students benefit from the experience.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, the Honourable Shawn Richards, commended the schools for their participation and noted the Department of Youth Empowerment is mandated by the Federal Youth Policy 2017-2022, to offer opportunities for Education and Lifelong Learning for such programmes.

The Deputy Prime Minister added the experience will be useful to students sitting culinary exams for CXC, as many requirements of the chefs’ competition are in line with the practical component of the regional examination body.

“A year from now, you may not be able to find the participant’s certificate or the gift prizes, but as you go through your mind, as you [recall] the learning experiences, those are the things that will remain with you forever,” he said.

Constantine and Tuckett each received a Fire HD 10-inch Tablet, hotel stay for two at the Royal St. Kitts Hotel, dining vouchers from Sweet Cane Restaurant and Bar, and a $500 cash prize. The Washington Archibald High School also received a $500 cash prize.

Senior Youth Officer at the Department of Youth Empowerment, Diane Dunrod-Francis, thanked partners and sponsors for their support. The primary partner was the Ministry of Tourism, and contributions for the event were also made by the St. Kitts Eco-Park, as well as MaPau, Uncle Fats, Dolphin Discovery, Sky Safari Tours, St. Kitts Scenic Railway, Jodel’s Catering and Sol EC Ltd.

Mrs. Dunrod-Francis applauded the participating teachers and students as well as the competition’s judges Jermaine Griffith, Claire Rawson and Edmund Belle.

Youth Month activities continue Thursday with the High Schools Choir Festival at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. Remaining activities include the Youth March, Rally and Business Expo on Friday, and the Youth Service Reception and Awards on Dec. 5.