The first ever Iron Chef Dominica, a Vetivert Inc. production was hosted by The Anchorage Hotel, Whale Watch & Dive Centre on Thursday Night 12TH July as a new event on the Dive Fest 2012 Calendar.
The ingredients were revealed to the chefs and the public. With the theme ingredient the “Lion Fish” and accompany ingredients supplied by Astaphans. Set up of the cooking stations were set up with the help of Sukie’s Gas to heat up the competition. The Theme is significant to Dive Fest 2012 as we seek to raise awareness of this fish which is taking over the reefs and needs to be culled.
5 Chefs competed for the title of Iron Chef Dominica, Heskeith Clarke – Heaven’s Best Guest House in Savanne-Paix, Randy Prosper/Chef at Randy’s Restaurant in Wesley, Jessica Pinard-Byrne Yard – Food Enthusiast & Entrepreneur from Goodwill, Tang Bo Send/5CG(Dominica) Company Ltd in Roseau and Lester George from Grand Fond – Chef’s Assistant at Rosalie Bay Resort. All of whom were selected from around Dominica to participate in this first ever Iron Chef Dominica, a competition to test your creativity, culinary skills, artistry and speed. The panel of judges comprised of various professionals from Dominica and around the world who have experience of many different culinary backgrounds. The judging criteria as follows:
1. Presentation of Chef
2. Skill & Efficiency
3. Flare and Showmanship
4. Choice/diversity of dishes
5. Creativity, artistry and extent of use of the ingredients
6. Presentation of dishes
7. Taste of dishes
Judges: Ronald Astaphan of Guiyave Restaurant, Patisserie & Catering Services, Erica Burnett-Biscombe owner of La Robe Creole in Dominica for 36 years, Andrew O’Brien of Portsmouth of Cobra Tours, Janice Armour Dominica’s Tourism Pioneer, Ambassador Carmen Martinez de Grijalva of The Bolivian republic of Venezuela.
The Chefs had 30 minutes on Center-Stage to produce a starter and a main course using as many of the ‘mystery ingredients’ and the Theme Lionfish ingredient which were revealed 15 minutes earlier. The 2 dishes were tasted & judged by the 5 judges.
Competitors were supplied with the following:
1. A 2 burner table top stove, set on a table with a basin
2. Branded ingredients from Astaphans and vegetables from the local market
3. Hot water in flasks, water for rinsing and cleaning, and plates/bowls for service,
4. Chefs were asked to come equipped with their tools including their favourite skillets, small saucepan(s), utensils and of-course knives and a good chopping board.
Emerging First Runner up was Mr. Lester George of Rosalie Bay and the winner of Dominica’s First Iron Chef was Mrs. Jessica Pinard-Byrne Yard, Food Enthusiast and Entrepreneur.
Jessica produced for her starter a Citrus Ceviche using slivers of skinless boneless Lion Fish, salt and black pepper, chives (green onion), parsley, white wine, fresh Lime juice and diced tomatoes served in sweet pepper cups on a bed of lettuce.Her entrée comprised of a Pan Seared Lion Fish infused with ginger, chives, parsley, lime and white wine stuffed whole with a Pumpkin Couscous, served with Parsley Basmati Rice and Stir fried caramelized greens (string beans, spinach & cabbage).
Jessica has this to say:
“This was a great show and I am honoured to have cooked alongside some talented chefs in Dominica. Dive Fest and Anchorage brought a great new twist to this year’s activities and cooking with the theme ingredient of Lion Fish was ingenious. I had fun, I felt challenged and as I’ve said before, what’s next on the menu of life? Only life’s Inspiration can tell! For now I take privilege in holding the title of Dominica’s 1st Iron Chef. Thank you to the organizers, sponsors and all who support me, I create with you in mind.”