Dive Fest 2012 First Iron Chef Dominica – “a raving success”

Jessica Pinard-Byrne Yarde, First Iron Chef Dominica 2012

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.”

Jessica Pinard-Burn Yard Winning Lionfish Sevice Starter
Winning Lionfish Recipe by Jessica at Iron Chef Dominica
Participating Chefs at The First Iron Chef Dominica



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  1. FBI in mayro
    July 16, 2012

    Her hair gave the dishes that extra hit of flavor! go Jess go!

  2. gf
    July 16, 2012

    Congrats lester u made grand fond proud u were the youngest and still maybe the one with least experience and reach thus far that tells a lot

  3. Kit
    July 16, 2012

    Dive Fest is doing good things and Achorage really took its initiative bringing this concept alive. I think this kind of competition can do a lot for Dominica. The facinating factor in this competition is that out of 5 competitors Jessica was the only woman and she is a food enthusiaste. She knows her stuff and I think as the 1st Iron Chef she can really do a lot for this competition in years to come. From a woman’s stand point, she is certainly representing! Congrats Jessica and to all the chefs who competited, they have set the bar high for others to follow and they will.

  4. Tiger
    July 16, 2012

    Great start. Now they should try to create new innovative dishes and encourage people to be more creative with our local ingredients.

    As a child, I never got tired of boiled dasheen, yams, bananas and stew fish served six days a week. But I don’t know that I could stomach the same thing over and over again.

    There is so much that can be done with our local stuff. I hope they build on that. Great work guys.

  5. DA's Local
    July 16, 2012

    Absolutely splendid event of skills, creativity, style and class. The chefs were so experienced and they served 5 star foods. As for Chef Jessica, how did you come up with the idea to stuff the fish? That was very creative, distinguished and first-rate, your reputation precedes you. Keep living your dreams Chef Jess and to all the other chefs, job well done. Waiting for sequel next year.

  6. lion fish
    July 16, 2012

    good observation cotton. that leaves us to wonder as to the judging criteria. Is it just the food and presetation or the overall apperance and presentation of the individual and the dish they present. After all, i would hope this event is held to enlighten the public looking on, aspiring chefs, cooks and food vendors.

    • And.....
      July 16, 2012

      Learn to read! The judging criteria was mentioned in the release!!!! SMH

      • Hmmmm
        July 16, 2012

        They more focused on hating someone than to sit and read before commenting. If they had read the judging criteria, they would not feel so bad right now. Hey give it up for the woman.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  7. I was there
    July 16, 2012

    Congratulations Jess.. Well Done.. the food was also very delicious…

    July 16, 2012

    that is a good twist to this activity. well done guys.

  9. hmmmm
    July 16, 2012

    this food looks good…Congrats Jessica

  10. Anonymous
    July 16, 2012

    Congrats Lester . You did well to place second in this novel contest . keep it up. Proud ah you.

  11. Anonymous
    July 16, 2012

    buy local sell local!!

    sounds so interesting!! Congrats to all for participating!!

    wish i could see the other dishes

  12. negre bord la maer
    July 16, 2012


  13. July 16, 2012

    Jessicia is the only one without her hair covered, the enviromental department, always mention the need for the hair to be covered, while prepering food and here is a winner cooking with her hair not covered.

    • Anonymous
      July 19, 2012

      stop hating she still won..shes an unqualified chef and she beat she qualified ones.

  14. Joe
    July 16, 2012

    Congrats Jess. Still cookin up a storm I see.

  15. natural living
    July 16, 2012

    Congrats Jessica….well done….and great idea Dive Fest…

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