Search on for Best Bajan Cook
New competition being added to culinary arts aspect of NIFCA
After many years of talking about it, and being urged to do it, the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) will be incorporating a Best Bajan Cook competition in the culinary arts aspect of the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA).
This was revealed this morning by Cranston Browne, NCF’s chief executive officer, as he delivered remarks during the opening ceremony of the Caribbean Junior Culinary Conference organised by renowned local chef Peter Edey, at the Dining Club.
He explained that under the initiative, the NCF would invite Barbadians who believed they were good cooks to come together to showcase and compete to see who would be dubbed the Best Bajan Cook.
“This year, we are paying special attention to our food, how we showcase it and how we can develop it. Peter Edey has readily accepted to be a major part of this year’s festival and he will be playing a major role . . . This is something that we are introducing this year and we want to invite all Barbadians to come out and join us this year in our Best Bajan Cook competition and Culinary Arts Showcase which is going to be a big two-day event at the Wildey Gymnasium in November. There is no age limit,” he said, noting that more information would be made available in due course.
Browne said the new initiative was being implemented at a time when the foundation was focused on preserving and protecting the island’s culinary heritage.
Additionally, he pointed out that Barbados and by extension the region’s most export ready culinary culture was one of the unique cultures in the world that was readily sampled by tourists.
Browne also commended Edey for the major role he played through projects and other initiatives to keep the culinary arts alive.
“In other areas of our culture and genres we have had cultural penetration where we have the influences of other cultures. This is something we cannot avoid because obviously people come to live here and therefore we would have these fusions. So whether it is music or mass or other forms of dance you would have these fusions of cultures and as you would well appreciate, culture is dynamic so we would have these evolutions. But one of the things that Peter has been able to do is to preserve our culinary culture and keep it Bajan and this is something very important to us at the National Cultural Foundation,” he said.
In 2015, the Junior Duelling Challenge programme will celebrate its 10th anniversary. The Caribbean Junior Duelling Challenge celebrates its sixth anniversary this month and Edey said the regional programme takes on a unique format with the Culinary Conference.
The conference will feature demonstrations by international chefs, as well as the Junior Duelling Challenge in which seven teams from Barbados, Bonaire, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St Croix and St Lucia are expected to compete.