Cooking up success

by Kimberley Cummins

At the tender age of 13 Darin Holder dominated the Richard Stoute Teen Talent contest and won.

Thirty years later he is still very active in the entertainment business, but now dominating the television airwaves with his cooking shows.

The average person on the street may not know who he is but ask that same individual about Eggonomics, Eggonomics Celebrity and even Street Heat and all hands go up. These shows have no doubt influenced many Barbadians to watch CBC TV8 to learn of new and interesting recipes and ways to cook, broil or bake eggs and poultry.

In Da Mix has taught aspiring drink mixers and connoisseurs of well mixed beverages about ingenious mixes. In November another cooking show called Sweet Treats will be added to the family in time for Independence and Christmas baking, plus another will also be added in November. All these shows are the brainchild of Holder.

He told Barbados TODAY that travelling to Barbados from his native England at age nine, he always knew he wanted to be in entertainment. At that time the best avenue to get into the business was through the teen talent contest but he was too young to enter. In 1982 when he turned the eligible age of 13, performed the “hell” out of Ben and She Is Out Of My Life both by Michael Jackson to become the youngest person to win the title.

After graduating from The Lodge School, he performed in night clubs then joined the Philip Forrester-managed band, Silk and met one of his inspirations, Anthony Lowhar.

Lowhar owned his own studio and he said there was where he said he learnt his studio craft. He learned to write jingles and songs which included: Old School Christmas which he sang and Tamara Marshall’s Why Can’t It Be Like This Throughout the Year.

While Holder said his strength is writing songs, he decided to pursue other alternatives since the “pond had in too many fish in it”, later delving into producing jingles and TV commercials.

“I started doing TV commercials about seven to 10 years ago and have a tone of commercial under my belt. Having started with the jingles and then I realised a lot of the clients would ask me about TV, because I would do the jingle and then I would send them to somebody else to do the commercial, I realised that I could do the TV part as well – so then I started to offer the full package.

“I was always doing promotions for egg and poultry and the president of the association at that time, Wendell Clarke, wanted to have creative ways of promoting eggs and chicken outside of the clich? ways. I said there is no better way to promote food than to see somebody using it like a chef. So I called John Hazzard and I did a demo with him and he was pretty good on camera and hence we did the first season of Eggonomics and now we are in season four in two years,” he said.

The response was, and continues to be, overwhelming for the cooking shows, with Holder to date writing, directing and producing more than 50 episodes in just two years.

While the father of three children, 20-year-old and 17-year-old daughters and a four-year-old son, had accomplished much in his time he does not intend to stop there; rather he has plans of branching out further into other aspects of entertainment. Presently he is producing music videos, the latest is a video for the very popular 2012 song, Undecided by Yannick Hooper.

“My aim is to get our stuff on Food Network. That is our plan to get a local chef or chef on Food Network and the Cooking Channel and take it to the next level, because it is a million dollar business. The thing about it is no matter how hard things are in the world, everybody still got to eat. People might stop buying cars but they would still eat food – food is something you can’t get away from. So that is our aim, and to promote the talented people here. I am just fascinated to see how the different chefs work differently to be creative

“My plan is to do a movie eventually, I always believed that if I do something it must be done properly. I don’t want to do a movie that locals lap it up but we take it to Americans and you can’t even get in the office. I don’t want to do a movie like that. . . not saying that Bajans like mediocrity. I remember when I first got into the music business Lowhar told me it is all about longevity. ‘If you could stay in this business long enough it proves that you are doing something right’. I don’t pretend to know everything but if I have been in the business since 1982, I still here relevant, I must know what I am doing. I believe whatever you do you should do it to the best of your ability, and I love what I do,” he said.

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