Do you know about Chefs On Show? Listen, I kinda don’t want you to because I love that it’s this secret little culinary event that I can go get my indulgence on every year for a reasonable cost without a lot of crowd and virtually no lines but since it’s in support of our Jamaican contingent to the Taste of the Caribbean competition held in Miami each year, let me help spread the word.
I like to call Chefs On Show a mini “Food Awards” that the Observer throws every year. Or, it’s what I imagine the Food Awards would be since I’ve never been as the price tag is quite the pretty penny. The Culinary Federation of Jamaica started Chefs on Show a few years ago as a fundraising effort to send their cohort of chefs to compete against other Caribbean islands in categories like Caribbean National Team, Chef of the Year, Junior Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, Bartender of the Year, Beef Competition, Seafood, Ice Carving, the list goes on.
It’s an accolade worth having. You’ll recall Chef Brian Lumley won Chef of the Year previously and now owns his own signature, much talked about, hard to get on the reservation list, restaurant in the heart of the capital city’s business district called 689 by Brian Lumley.
Chef Rochelle Grindley went on to hold this honour as well and has also since moved up the ladder in the culinary field, now helping to manage the kitchen of Beaches Negril, an all-inclusive resort. I had the pleasure of trying several of Rochelle’s dishes while she was at Tracks and Records and oh my, I can definitely taste why she won! Everything was superb. Both chefs were on hand to support this year’s team.
Have a look at all the categories here and check out how many times Jamaica comes out as winner! Awesome sauce. I walked around Chefs on Show from booth to booth sampling the likes of Lorraine Fung, The Best Dressed Chicken booth, The University of Technology booth (one of my faves) and Copperwood Pork’s divine booth. Many little known restaurants and catering services were there showcasing their skills to garner business as well as manufacturers of various food items like sauces and dressings. And wine. Of course. Lots of wine. The Shiraz from the Little Penguin brand was quite delicious.
These mac and cheese and codfish balls from the Utech team is the reason I am fat. I can’t resist delicious decadence like this. It was SO good!
The cost for entry was only $4000 or less than USD40! Look out for this event next year, do not miss it! The evening wrapped with a watermelon carving competition and great steel pan performances to sooth you after all that indulgence. It’s the perfect date night event and you’ll be supporting our amazing team of Jamaican chefs, they’ll be off to Miami in June. Good luck!