‘Tasting block’ passes the test
Ties, jackets and professional attire were set aside for aprons and serving spoons yesterday.
Rather than taking up positions behind a desk, a microphone, some part of a stage or in places more readily identified with them, several of the island’s well-known figures showed their aptitude around a kitchen, and presented their concoctions for the critical palates of the public.
The tasting block, as it were, was a section of the Roberts NIFCA Culinary Arts Arena and Expo at the Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex where Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley, his permanent secretary Ruth Blackman, broadcaster Carol Roberts, journalist Michelle Arthur and British High Commissioner Victoria Dean, joined others in serving up samples of their dishes, which added to the mouth-watering aromas permeating through the gym.
Breadfruit, cassava and sweet potato were the chosen provisions, and these were dressed up and either topped or filled with salt fish, flying fish, salmon, Bajan pork and other meats.
Lashley swore by his Buttered Cassava and Flying Fish, while Grantley Simmons’ pitch was that his sweet potato and salt fish was going the fastest.
Roberts got the thumbs up from quite a few people for her Pizza Baccalau made from salt fish and breadfruit flour crust.
Arthur’s Tamarind Chicken had a sexy ring, and people seemed to have enjoyed it. Opiten, prepared by Toni Thorne, had to be the most Bajan name on any dish and it was more Bajan than the main ingredient flying fish has become.
Just as the Barbadians kept it local, so did Dean. She had sandwiches and little cakes and scones that were just perfect for evening tea, and there was no shortage of flavours for the hot beverage.
The samples provided from the different chefs would have made for a good mid-morning fill-up and it had nothing to do with round two, which came later on in the afternoon.
Chief Executive Officer of the National Cultural Foundation, Cranston Browne, Sergeant Siebert Johnson, tent manager Eleanor Rice-Watkins and actress/MC Jennifer Walker were scheduled to offer a taste of their hands. (YB)