Show cooking up new ideas
THE INTEREST in the local Junior Duelling Challenge is so great that the organisers are looking at possibly changing one of the entry requirements to allow more students to be involved.
Peter Edey, the brains behind the hugely popular local and regional competition and television series, said currently only children, who were part of a home economics programme and put forward by their teachers, were allowed participation in the competition.
Chef Edey, who was speaking to the Saturday Sun during a break in filming at the Dining Club yesterday, said prospective junior duelling chefs underwent three months of intensive training before experiencing the competition.
“What we’re thinking about is changing the entry requirement because, at this point you have to be part of a culinary programme in schools and that’s how you get selected,” Edey explained.
“But because so many students who are not involved in home economics want to be involved I think we will have to change the selection process so that it will let in a lot more people.”
But he added: “I don’t know if that is a safe thing because already, at this point, we have up to 80 students every year we are training so it means we might have to do two training sessions to accommodate all the students who want to be involved.”
Edey also revealed the organisers were looking at introducing a dessert segment at next year’s competition and Master Baker Chef Manfred Schmidtke will be in the island to conduct training sessions.
This year is the tenth year for the local segment and the seventh for the Caribbean Junior Duelling Challenge and there are a record nine teams, including Barbados, slicing and dicing for culinary honours.
Edey said the standard has improved “tremendously” because regional teams, made up of students between 13 and 19 years, were now practising, training and participating in competitions before they pit their skills against once powerhouses Barbados.
He added that the children who pass through the programme were usually recruited into the culinary industry and two of the members of the award winning Barbados culinary team who won gold awards in Miami were alumni of the programme.
The finals will cook off tomorrow and will be followed by a gala dinner later that evening.