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In another bold and intuitive step, the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) in continuation of the mantra of unearthing, developing, preserving and showcasing the best of Jamaica’s culture launched Culinary Clubs island-wide on Wednesday (March 16). The initiative which received overwhelming support from schools was launched at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre by Dorrett Thaxter, Director Programme Management, JCDC.

Mrs. Thaxter encouraged attendees to grasp with both hands the opportunity to be a part of the Culinary Club. “We are hoping to have Culture Clubs and Culinary Clubs not only in schools but will work towards extending the concept to the wider community so that more doors can be opened for young people. Adults are encouraged to participate in the club to train, guide and mold young people. We beseech others to volunteer their time, money and other resources which can assist the various groups to fulfill the aims and objectives of the Culinary Clubs,” she stated.

According to Dr. Pamella Powell, Special Project Coordinator, “The establishment of Culture Clubs is aimed at promoting food appreciation including food culture, food history, culinary arts, and various culinary techniques involving different types of cooking. The members of the club will be able to discuss topics related to food and culinary arts and present and exchange their own cooking ideas.”

The mission of the culinary clubs,” she continued, “is to assist students and teachers learn about origins, history, and the culture of different cuisine”. Dr. Powell elaborated that the very essence of the initiative is to bring students to a deeper understanding about the foods they eat; to elevate the culinary proficiency level of members; to create a culmination of recipes from across the island and basically to have fun!

Dr. Powell expressed that it was her expectation for the club’s existence to educate people new to the culinary arts, continue to motivate those already addicted and provide a forum for information exchange and network around a common interest – food. Meanwhile, she reiterated the importance of entering the Regional Festival of Foods an annual event that celebrates the culinary creativity of Jamaicans, while allowing participants to showcase and sharpen their culinary skills for personal and commercial pursuits.

The day’s activities featured live cooking demonstrations by Chef de Cuisine Brian Lumley who focused on French-Italian fusion of Pasta and Spinach. In his presentation, Lumley stressed the importance of buying local crops particularly those in abundance. Meanwhile, Chef Nicholas Douglas, fresh on the heels of creating a seven tier wedding cake masterpiece for display on the weekend which took over 650 man hours, presented a wholesome and nutritious approach by preparing a roulade stuffed with Earth Chef Veggie Mince.

The dates for four regional competitions where individuals vie for various incentives and awards were announced. The first staging will take place in the Eastern Region at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, Hope Road where participants from St. Catherine, St. Thomas and Kingston and St. Andrew will showcase their culinary skills on May 6. The Kirkvine Sports Complex, St. Elizabeth will come alive on May 13 when Central Region aspiring medallists from Manchester, Clarendon and St. Elizabeth will face-off for culinary accolades.

On May 20, the Northern Region lush vegetation will provide the backdrop for St. Ann, St. Mary and Portland hopefuls as the spirit of rivalry accelerates in the quest for gold, silver and bronze medals at the St. Mary Sports Club, St. Mary. Finally, the Western Region will up the ante on May 27 at the Sean Lavery Faith Hall, Westmoreland when participants from Hanover, Trelawny, Westmoreland and St. James will cook dishes in hopes of grasping the opportunity to rise to culinary stardom.

For more information contact:

Renae Mills

Public Relations Coordinator

Tel: 926-5726-9/ 371-3423


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